It was another shorts and shoulder pads practice as the Trojans recover from the extended scrimmage on Sunday and today we saw a couple of wide receivers shine in drills. We all know that Keary Colbert has turned in a fantastic performance this spring and Pete Carroll said he has become a real leader of the wide receiver corps but today we also saw impressive play from Jason Mitchell. Mitchell has had a few bright moments so far this spring but nothing to make us think that he is going to have a major impact but in this practice he was using his body well and laying out for balls with good results.
Norm Katnik sat out practice with torn ligaments in his hand and he will likely miss the rest of spring ball. Billy Hart did not dress and was limping badly on the ankle that he originally thought was not a serious injury. The good news on the injury front is that Nate Steinbacher was back at practice today.
The punt team worked early on the timing and correct angles to block a punt and then Coach Pola also had them work on downfield coverage. There were a lot of players flying about in different directions and at one point Alex Holmes unintentionally ran right over Tommy Huff who was lined up to punt in a separate drill from the one Alex was in. Huff got right up but it couldn't have felt good to take an unexpected shot from Holmes.
The offense worked on several trick plays in one drill and obviously we can't discuss too many details in a public forum but rest assured that Norm Chow is beginning to open his bag of tricks.
The WR's and DB's worked on some one on one passing drills and there is no substitute for this drill to give them experience beating their man. Some of the top plays were as follows: Darrell Rideaux went against William Buchanan on a deep pass and Rideaux timed it right and was able to knock the ball away. Greig Carlson beat Marcus Johnson and then Keary Colbert beat Rideaux. Jason Mitchell tried a comeback on Marcell Allmond but Allmond was able to knock the ball away. A couple plays later Marcell went against Devin Pitts and came away with an interception by using his body to shield Pitts from the ball. Miguel Fletcher made a good play to knock the ball away from Carlson and then Allmond ended the drill with his 2nd pick in a row.
In scrimmage situations we saw several good plays including a nice two minute drive at the end led by Matt Leinart. Mitchell got things started when Carson threw a deep pass and Jason fully extended himself for a beautiful catch. Lee Webb had a nice pop on Brandon Hancock who had made a short catch over the middle. Omar Nazel left practice briefly with a strained right calf but came back a few minutes later and saw Cody and Allmond apply pressure to Carson who hurried the ball and Omar was able to come away with the pick. On the next play Carson correctly read the blitz and completed a quick pass to Sandy Fletcher. Melvin Simmons then came on a blitz but Darryl Poston did a good job to pick him up which allowed Carson time to complete a pass to Grant Mattos. The best play of the day came when Carson threw a medium range pass to Mitchell who got into open space and started racing downfield before getting a tremendous downfield block on Allmond by Alex Holmes and the play resulted in a 65 yard TD. Poston took a handoff and was met immediately on a nice play by A.J. Single. Mike Patterson had a sack on Matt Cassel. Cassel then tried a screen to Poston but Patterson sniffed the play out well and stopped it for no gain. Carson read a blitz well and threw to Malaefou in open space and he rambled for good yardage including a stiff arm on DeShaun Hill. Leinart came in and led a touchdown drive in the 2 minute offense by throwing a short TD pass to Buchanan with :05 left on the clock.
Winston Justice and Ronald Nunn were in attendance. Nunn has been a regular at spring ball now that he has transferred from CCSF to Pasadena City College.
Spring Ball Day 13
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