The Trojans held their final regular spring ball practice with a shortened day as they prepare for the scrimmage to be held on Howard Jones Field at 11:00am on Saturday.
Joe McGuire went through many of the agility drills with the linemen early in the day and showed the tremendous footwork that helped develop his reputation as one of the elite HS players. If McGuire can successfully return from his shoulder injury that would go an awful long way in curing some of the past ills on the offensive line. Norm Katnik had his arm in a sling to help protect the ligament damage to his right thumb. Troy Polamalu has also gone without pads the past two practices as he has a torn ligament in the bottom of his foot.
In the passing drills, Carson Palmer had one of his best days as he was just "on" with his passes and looked extremely comfortable. He threw a couple underneath routes to Jason Mitchell and D. Hale that showed how effective Carson's arm strength can be when utilized in the horizontal passing game. Carson also zipped one hard pass that saw Sultan make an excellent grab as the ball was moving pretty fast. Carson also rolled out to avoid the rush on one play and did a good job to dump the ball to a wide open Sunny Byrd but the pass was dropped. CP then fired a nice sideline pattern to Mattos and the ball was on a rope with no chance for the DB to make a play.
Shaun Cody had a nice sack and Darrell Rideaux made a strong defensive play when he read Brandon Hancock coming out of the backfield and as the ball was thrown Darrell made his move and arrived at the same time as the ball, he gave Brandon a good pop and the ball was up in the air but Darrell was unable to come down with it. Rideaux is playing with as much confidence as we have seen from him and he has to be considered one of the more pleasant surprises of the spring. Matt Leinart threw a deep pass with soft touch and D. Hale came down with an impressive one handed grab.
The ball was moved to the 20 for some red zome drills with Leinart starting off at QB. He threw his first pass to Hancock but Aaron Graham stopped the play for no gain with a solid play. Pollard then knocked down a pass at the line. Cassel came on and threw a fade in the end zone to Devin Pitts but Rideaux had great position and was able to knock the ball away. Kenechi Udeze then batted down a Cassel pass at the line. Cassel then scored a TD after faking the handoff to the tank backfield and keeping it himself into the end zone.
Among the notables in attendance today were Ron Yary, Hal Bedsole, Serra WR/DB Devin Stearns, Mira Costa LB Michael Okwo, El Camino College LB Brian Smith and incoming CB Ronald Nunn.
Spring Ball Day 14
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