Fall Camp Day 9

During one of the situational drills the offense had the ball down near the goal line and White was handed the ball on a run up the middle when he was met by a ferocious tackle from Ryan Powdrell. The impact sent LenDale backwards and his helmet went flying off his head. Coaches and teammates began mobbing Powdrell after the play and LenDale took his time getting back to the huddle. It was the type of hit you want to make if you are engaged in a tight battle for playing time at MLB.

The Friday afternoon practice marked the return of LenDale White to the field and it didn't take long for LenDale to be involved in one of the biggest contact plays we've seen so far in fall camp. During one of the situational drills the offense had the ball down near the goal line and White was handed the ball on a run up the middle when he was met by a ferocious tackle from Ryan Powdrell. The impact sent LenDale backwards and his helmet went flying off his head. Coaches and defensive teammates began mobbing Powdrell after the play and LenDale took his time getting back to the huddle. It was the type of hit you want to make if you are engaged in a tight battle for playing time at the middle linebacker spot.

It was good to see LenDale out there no matter what. There was one screen pass earlier in the day where he caught the ball and turned upfield with Winston Justice leading the way, you certainly don't want to be the defensive man trying to go against those two in the open field.

One of the drills which always has good impacts is the pass blocking drill between the RB/TE group and the linebackers. The linebackers are able to get a running head start as if they are coming into the backfield and the offensive man must hold his ground and keep the defender from the "QB'. Today we saw the offensive guys get the best of things with good blocks by Brandon Hancock (vs Kaluka Maiava), Desmond Reed (vs Collin Ashton) and Jimmy Miller (vs Clay Matthews).

The team spent most of the day working on various situational drills and there was one stretch with Leinart at the helm where the ball didn't touch the ground. Matt got things started by hitting Reed out of the backfield and the next play was a swing pass to LenDale with Dale Thompson providing a good block out front. Another completion went to Dwayne Jarrett who was dragging across the field and then Matt went deep for a nice hook-up with Chris McFoy. John David Booty then came on and completed a short pass to LenDale and then a mid-range pass to Dominique Byrd. The string of completions was ended when Thomas Williams broke up a pass attempt to Byrd.

The team got some special teams work including a focus on downing punts inside the 20 yard line.

The offense and defense came back on the field for more work and Leinart immediately went to Reed with a short pass and Deuce Lutui (at LG) provided an excellent downfield block. Leinart calmly hit Patrick Turner with a deep pass down the sideline and then Jody Adewale had a completion to bring on a field goal attempt. Mario Danelo had his kick blocked by Terrell Thomas.

John David Booty came on for a series and hit Fred Davis for a nice gain until Kevin Ellison made the strip, recovered the ball and headed the other way for a long return. It was the type of play which makes you realize why the coaches love Ellison so much. Kevin also received a nice block on his return when Fili Moala took advantage of the rare opportunity to block and he put a good hit on William Buchanon.

Mark Sanchez got some reps and his first attempt was a deep throw to Turner that barely missed. Mark came right back with a throw to Jimmy Miller and then he hit Greig Carlson on a slant. Kaluka Maiava put a Polamula-type hit on Carlson but what was interesting before the play is that the corners watching from the sidelines were yelling at Jerry Williams to move up in his coverage because they knew a short route was coming. Williams came right back on the next play though by picking off a Sanchez pass in the end zone which was intended for Davis.

Leinart came back in and tried to go deep near the end zone for Davis but Josh Pinkard made a highlight play by coming over to knock the ball away. A Leinart to White screen pass featured a convoy of blockers including Sam Baker, Deuce Lutui and Brandon Hancock while LenDale rambled for good yardage. Leinart capitalized on that big play by hitting Jarrett for a touchdown on the following play.

Booty came in and one of his first pass attempts was batted down at the line by Averell Spicer. Powdrell had a big hit on a Desmond Reed run but John David came right back and hit William Buchanon for a touchdown.

The next series featured the huge hit by Powdrell on LenDale that we talked about earlier in the report. The coaches came right back on the next play and ran LenDale up the middle again but the defense was up to the challenge and they stopped him short of the goal line. Finally Leinart just dropped back and found an open Fred Davis for the touchdown.

Other notes:

* Reggie Bush left practice with what was called a minor groin pull. Nick Vanderboom suffered a high ankle sprain (left ankle) and will have it looked at tomorrow to determine how long he might be out. Mozique McCurtis is expected to be out for five weeks with a hernia suffered this summer in workouts.

* Luthur Brown had a solid tackle on Dominique Byrd in the open field.

* Kaluka Maiava had a sack in early drills.

* Recruits in attendance included LB Poly CB Vincent Joseph, Crespi OL/DL Sione Fua and the Notre Dame duo of QB Garrett Green and RB/CB Rodney Glass.


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