Tuesday afternoon practice report

One question that many Trojan fans are asking right now is "Can Ryan Powdrell block?" and the resoundingly positive answer came during the RB/LB pass blocking drill.

The first person I saw upon arriving on campus today was Brandon 'Hancock. I was walking from the parking lot to the practice field when I passed by King dining hall and Brandon was coming out after getting a Jamba Juice. He was on crutches with a knee brace on his right knee and he was getting into a golf cart. I told him how sorry I was about the injury and he tried to be as realistic as he could about the situation but you could tell he was down. Right before I left he told me he heard that the news had already reached the message boards and that he was told there were a lot of messages in support of him. I told him I would forward the threads to him so that he could see the kind words many Trojans fans offered to him.

Now we turn to Ryan Powdrell at fullback. One question that many Trojan fans are asking right now is "Can Ryan Powdrell block?" and the resoundingly positive answer came during the RB/LB pass blocking drill when Rey Maualuga came in on a bull rush against Powdrell and Ryan met him head on, both guys reared back for another shot and this time Ryan knocked Rey stumbling backwards. All the other running backs started going crazy over what they had just seen. You rarely get a running back who delivers a blow like that, especially to Rey Maualuga, but Ryan is no ordinary running back when it comes to power. Let's not forget, he is still the only defensive player who has ever driven LenDale White backwards the way we saw on a goal line play in practice last year. Ryan is a very strong guy and he will be given first chance to replace Brandon in the starting line-up. After that we've Jody Adewale (inexperienced but has shown flashes of being able to contribute) and Stanley Havili (young with a lot of potential). Do the coaches stick with this group or could we possibly see another player switch positions? Two candidates that could come to mind are Michael Coleman and Thomas Williams. Coleman is big enough to make the move while Williams played the position in high school and could be a serious battering ram.

The RB/LB drill also featured other good battles. Stanley Havili had a good rep against Kaluka and then Coleman was solid against Rey. The LB's had a stretch where they dominated as Dallas Sartz was too quick for Moody, Mike Morgan did a good job to toss Stafon aside, Clay Matthews beat Adewale and then Dallas had a real good physical battle with Mike Brittingham that had to be called a draw since both players fought so hard. Stafon then had his best rep when Nick Garratt came charging directly at him and Stafon stood his ground and stood Nick up with his block, nice job Stafon.

The team drill on Brian Kennedy Field featured a big run, for the second day in a row, by Emmanuel Moody. This time we saw Emmanuel hurdle a pile of bodies at the line before breaking right and using his speed to outrun the defense to the end zone. Stafon had a nice run where he lowered his shoulder on Vincent Joseph after picking up 8 yards. Jeff Schweiger and Clay Matthews put pressure on Sanchez which forced him to throw the ball away. Sartz got Stafon behind the line for a two yard loss. C.J. Gable had a nice spin move at the line to gain a few yards.

In the line one on one drills, one of the most interesting sequence of events involved Butch Lewis. On one play he did a good job to stop Mike Morgan but then the coaches put Brian Cushing against him and Cushing pretty much ran right by him two plays in a row. We're starting to see some interesting developments with some of the key reserves on both sides of the line. Three guys in particular (Drew Radovich, Alex Morrow and Fili Moala) have all been steadily going about their business in fall camp and have been rewarded in recent days with some first unit reps. It's not to say that they have moved into the starting line-up but it shows that they have played well so far in camp and the coaches have noticed.

David Buehler tried a few long field goals, he made a 47 yard kick but barely missed a 52 yarder wide left (it was long enough).

During one team drill, the defense worked a lot on nickel packages with Shareece Wright as the third corner. Booty started things off by trying to hit Ausberry but Shareece made a nice play to knock the ball away. Booty hit Patrick Turner over the middle and then he was sacked on the next play by Cushing. John David tried to hit Turner on a slant but Kevin Ellison was there to bat the ball down. Booty completed a pass to Patterson dragging across the middle and it's easy to see why the coaches have searched so hard to find a shifty and speedy slot receiver in recent years. Sanchez came in and immediately went down the middle to Turner, he then tried to hit Vidal Hazelton but Vincent Joseph was called for PI. Sanchez had his best throw of the day when he had a good pocket and he was able to step into a throw down the middle to Turner (good coverage from Pinkard) for a big gain. The past two days have been the best of camp for Turner.

The first unit offense was matched against the first defense. Morrow came in on the rush and pursued Booty to the sideline forcing him to throw it away. Booty hit McFoy on a slant for nine yards. Another short pass to McFoy went for seven yards thanks to a block by Dale Thompson. Keith Rivers had a good play when he read a Michael Coleman run and filled the hole for a two yard loss. Moody then ran left and picked up 14 yards before being driven out of bounds by Sartz. Cushing had another sack. Booty completed a short pass to Hazelton. Mario Danelo made a 35 yard FG.

When the 2nd units came on, Sanchez threw a pass to Patterson who put a move on his former Poly teammate Joseph to gain extra yardage. Sanchez then tried to lob a pass over the outstretched arms of Taylor Mays into Patterson along the sideline but the ball was dropped. Mike McDonald came in (Garrett Green worked the whole day with the secondary at safety) and he completed a touchdown pass to Vidal where he went up and battled the defender before coming down on the goal line with the ball. A couple plays later Alex Parsons made a nice play to corral Bradford at the line. Mario Danelo came in and made a 42 yard FG. Sanchez handed the ball to Gable who followed Jeff Byers for a 12 yard gain. Sed Ellis stopped a Bradford run and then Sanchez hit Turner on a slant for a touchdown to end the day.

One player who caught a couple nice passes in the drills was Anthony McCoy, he continues to impress. Among those who were not suited up today were Lawrence Jackson, Oscar Lua, Thomas Williams, Chauncey Washington, Antwine Perez, Kevin Thomas and Mozique McCurtis.

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