Today was by far the hottest practice of the year. Temperatures were in the 80's and heat was the word of the day. Players worked without pads. While much of the country would think temperatures in the 80's is a welcome relief from the heat wave, this was certainly the hottest practice to date.
As the players filed in through Goux's Gate at Howard Jones – Brian Kennedy Field, they were greeted by their personal welcoming committee; Candy and Eddie Bubar and Ricky Rosas. If you haven't been to the practices, Candy and Eddie are at all of the football practices, Candy greets many of the players with a bright "Welcome!" and shares hugs with many of the players. Ricky Rosas is a young man who has been "adopted" by the team. We'll write an article on these three great persons later in the week.
Pete Carroll Gets Involved
One of the entertaining attributes of Coach Carroll, as it has been documented, is his boundless energy. It is not unusual to see Pete running down the field with the players on kickoff drills. Pete was in the endzone under the goal post as field goals were being attempted. During technique drills, Coach Carroll was playing catch in the middle of the field. The energy and hands-on involvement of Pete is beauty in action.
Turning Up the Heat
While the D-Line practiced techniques, the competition was turned up a notch. Everson Griffen and Kyle Moore had a small spat, which illuminated the competition for playing time at the Defensive End position.
Greg Woidneck continued to perfect his punting technique and Billy O'Malley looked sharp punting as well. Christian Putnam and Will Collins are working as long snappers. C.J. Gable, Ronald Johnson and Desmond Reed took turns returning kickoffs.
Another Swapped Jersey
On Saturday and Sunday, Patrick Turner donned jersey "17"as a testament to his injured teammate, Travon Patterson. Starting last night at the scrimmage, Damian Williams (although not in full uniform himself) donned "46" as Sean Calcagnie roamed the sideline, held out of practice.
Meanwhile, Back on the Field, 7 on 7's
John David Booty's first pass today was a 20 yard toss to Fred Davis in the endzone. This was followed shortly with another 20 yarder, tipped away from Brandon Carswell by Shareece Wright in the endzone. Booty's last toss was a touchdown to Anthony McCoy up the middle. Aaron Corp led a series of downs, then the kickers came on to practice FG's.
Temperature Cools - Short Game
When the Trojans lined up 11 on 11, the majority of work was done in short yardage situations. Booty led a series of handoffs and short passes to Ronald Johnson, C.J. Gable, Allen Bradford and Brad Walker. During this exercise, Bradford took a handoff between the tackles and broke off for a long TD run.
Corp Gets More Time
With Sanchez held out of practice, Aaron Corp and Michael McDonald got a lot of significant practice time. Corp led a series of downs while Broderick Green was handed the ball mostly for short gains, before breaking one for a long touchdown run.
End of the Line – Staying out of the Heat
Today's practice was more workman-like and emphasized technique and short yardage situations. The crowd in attendance numbered about 100 people. Most practices to date has had closer to 200 spectators. Seems the spectators decided to beat the heat and not attend the practice. The Players didn't have that luxury and got in a good day's work for their eighth straight day of practice.