The team cut the drills short today as they spent a good amount of time on punt and kickoff coverage and returns. With the chore of having to find new punt and kickoff returners as well as the obvious attention that the coverage teams need, the coaches have definitely put an emphasis on special teams during the fall.
After the kicking drills, the team got right into the final scrimmage.
During the warm-up, Michael Coleman took the first handoff for a big gain over left tackle. He received a very limited amount of reps today, but with Chauncey Washington still out and Coleman himself still coming back from injury, his carries during practice will probably be down.
Speaking of Washington, he was seen doing some light jogging and cutting along with Jimmy Miller in the far endzone during the scrimmage. He wasn't gearing up for game speed or anything, but with the way he's been hobbling around for the past week, seeing him put any significant weight on that leg is positive.
And speaking of legs, Luthur Brown sat out today's practice with a large brace running from his ankle to his thigh on his right leg. Nick Vanderboom missed sat out the practice as well with a walking cast on his foot.
Continuing the warm-up, both Stafon Johnson and C.J. Gable had long runs against the second team while Ryan Powdrell caught a deep pass over the middle of the field and received praise from Coach Carroll.
Some battles for playing time along the offensive line continued today as Drew Radovich and Jeff Byers both saw time at left guard for the first team and Travis Draper saw action with the first team at right tackle.
The scrimmage started with Drew Radovich at left guard and Lawrence Jackson, Sedrick Ellis, and Fili Moala along the defensive line.
Booty's first pass was complete to Travon Patteron on a crossing route, a pattern that Patterson has had a ton of success with during practice.
A blitz by Rey Maualuga resulted in a batted pass on John David Booty's next attempt, but Booty was able to come back on the next play, scanning the field and firing a completion over the middle to Patrick Turner.
Booty's next completion was on a quick out and fired into Brad Walker before the defender had a chance to come up and make a play. The drive finished with an incompletion to Chris McFoy.
Mark Shanchez's drive began with an incompletion on a throwaway, before C.J. Gable took a handoff to the left and moved the pile for ten yards.
Sanchez's next pass was to Chris McFoy on a post pattern and McFoy made a great catch with his arms and hands completely extended.
Sanchez then lost Oscar Lua in traffic and fired the ball right to him for an interception.
Terrell Thomas had a good couple of plays on the next series as he came in for a sack on Booty and then provided great coverage to knock a pass away from Fred Davis.
After that, Anthony McCoy stepped up and provided two of the best plays of the day, hauling in a touchdown from Booty on a corner route and then coming back on the next series and catching a touchdown from Mike McDonald while pulling the ball in over tight triple coverage.
Brian Cushing added another sack of Booty on the next series, adding to his lofty practice totals.
But the play of the day came at the end of the scrimmage when the offense set up a screen play, but Alex Morrow read it and stayed with the running back. Booty, with the play blown up, tried to throw the ball into the ground at Morrow's feet, but the lineman was able to kick the ball up to himself and intercept it. At least, that's what happened according to the defense. I'm still waiting to take a look at the replay.