The coaches took the 6th day of practice as a time to do walk-throughs, drills and lightening the work load on the Trojan Football team. The morning session was an animated, up tempo walk-through, without pads, but close to game speed and no hitting. The afternoon's workout emphasized situational drills and practice.
Morning Walk Through
The morning was overcast and slightly muggy as the sun burned through the clouds overhead. The team slowed down the practice pace ever so slightly, and without pads, they did not have a lot of heavy hitting. Each of the available tailbacks got some work. Patrick Turner quietly but efficiently got a number of catches at one point making 4-5 receptions in a row. He ended his morning with an acrobatic sideline grab.
Mark Sanchez had a better morning, although he was intercepted once by Thomas Williams, whom was yelling and cheering as he got his pick. Sanchez turned around and found Ronald Johnson on the sideline for a touchdown grab. Sanchez then caught the defense off-guard and got an offsides penalty called by using a staggered cadence. There was a little work done with the shotgun formation as well.
Travon Patterson was on crutches and will be out for a week and a half with a toe injury.
For the afternoon session, the team returned in full pads. The Trojans seemed just a step slow, but Coaches Dave Watson and Ken Norton Jr. fired up the troops with enthusiasm. Kevin Thomas ran on to the field yelling and pleading for the team to pick things up. As Everson Griffen ran on to the field, he turned to a teammate and said, "I feel 29, and I'm barely 19!"
The atmosphere seemed deliberately lighter as Brian Cushing teased Coach Watson from the endzone about playing special teams. Turner came out to the field donning jersey "17" and Travon Patterson wore "1" as he sat on the sideline supported by crutches.
The team broke out into positions and practiced specific techniques. The special teams worked on kicking, punting and a little coverage. During "9on9's" runs and a few passes were being worked on. Chauncey Washington got a powerful run off of the right side of the line. Thomas Williams introduced Joe McKnight to the wall adjacent to Brian Kennedy Field. Allen Bradford then got a huge run for a TD behind a hole roughly the size of Iowa created by a powerful push by Thomas Herring. Broderick Green got in some needed work.
The team got some situational practice in, driving out of the goal line and driving in from 2 yards out.
John David Booty, Mark Sanchez and Aaron Corp got all of the snaps for the afternoon. Ronald Johnson had some fine catches in the afternoon. Stafon Johnson worked well and had some good gains, Washington had a nice run in back of Keith Byers, and Green had some hard earned yards.
Stanley Havili also had an impressive afternoon. His best play, coming out of the backfield, straight-armed and flattened his defender and scampered for a long gain. Jim Abbott had a highlight one armed tackle of McKnight off of a sweep on the left side. Booty ended his day with a 10 yard pass in the endzone to Fred Davis. Sanchez finished with a bootleg to the right side and ran straight into the endzone. Aaron Corp capped off the practice with a handoff to Stafon Johnson for a two yard touchdown, followed up with another two yard touchdown by Allen Bradford through the middle.
Let's Have a Little Fun
Pete Carroll ended the session, with a team huddle, jumping, cheering and
chanting emanating from the center of the huddle. He seemed to say, job well
done! Spirits were lighter as they emerged from the huddle, as fruits and Gatorade
awaited the hard working Trojans.