Monday, October 22, 2007
There was a brief 45 minute practice on Cromwell Field today – practicing on turf to simulate playing at Autzen Stadium. USC takes on the University of Oregon, 12:00 p.m. PST, in Eugene on Fox Sports Net. It was pleasantly warm and sunny on the practice field. Practice was short, but lively and light-hearted.
The most noteworthy occurrence was seeing a group of linemen who had been injured recently participating in drills. Kristofer O'Dowd, Sam Baker, Chilo Rachal, Thomas Herring, Zack Heberer, Charles Brown and Nick Howell were all on the field. Most could be returning to action this week or next.
John David Booty's finger is still taped and he did not throw passes. Pete Carroll said Booty will participate in practice tomorrow and they will evaluate the finger in the coming days.
DETERMINING THE STARTING QUARTERBACK
We caught up with John David Booty to get a report on his progress. Booty is aggressively seeking to return to the lineup as he has the last couple weeks. The swelling on his finger has subsided considerably and he expects to remove the glove for practice tomorrow. Booty said it will be a nice change because the glove is irritating.
Preparing to Start on Saturday
"You have to go about it as though you are starting. You have to be that way…you have to go about it as though you are…same with Mark (Sanchez), anything can happen. He's got to prepare the same way."
Standing on the Sidelines
"I only watch it from the sidelines, I try to be as supportive as I can, even Sam (Baker), last week, as senior leaders, it's important for us to be vocal, even though we're not out there."
Throwing the Ball
"It's gotten better, I haven't thrown in a couple days. I'll come back tomorrow and try to chuck it around and see how it responds on Wednesday."
Being Ready to Play
"I don't know if I'll be exactly 100% physically, but I will be mentally, I'm going to be on top of it. In my mind I'm ready to go."
We caught up with Mark Sanchez to get a report on his progress. Mark was elated about the victory over the Fighting Irish and will prepare for this week as he did last week, realizing the coaches and Booty's finger will determine his status.
"I feel good, I played at a great tempo today. I'm still excited about last week, but unfortunately it has to end and now it's Oregon time and preparing for them."
Preparing for Notre Dame and Oregon
"I kind of got my feet under me after that game (Arizona). Had a great week of practice leading up this game (Notre Dame) and that's what it will take this week if I get the ‘nod' and that's what I plan on doing."
Who's Starting on Saturday and Playing at Autzen Stadium
"We'll both prepare like we're ready to start, I think this past week was a great experience for me versus a tough crowd, at least in that first quarter, they were hollering and we had to call a couple of timeouts. I got that experience of the away crowd being tough. Whoever starts, JD's (Booty) battled through it already and I got my taste of it last week and both of us will be ready."
The Call on the Starter Last Week
"He (Booty) started throwing mid week last week, so I had no idea. I prepare like I am going to get the ‘nod' and I got my chance." When was he notified? "Not until the plane ride, Thursday."
Finally, we caught up with Coach Carroll to get his assessment on the quarterbacks' roles and who will start against Oregon.
"We're going to throw tomorrow and see how he (Booty) does, and also see how he responds on Wednesday and take all that information and see where we are."
"When he threw last week on Tuesday, he wasn't able to throw on Wednesday…we'll find out if he's improving. He's feeling better, we need to see if he's effective."
"Meanwhile, Mark (Sanchez) going to work at it, stay with the first group, get the majority of the reps and keep preparing in that fashion."
Status Quo. The team will prepare as it has the last three weeks with Mark Sanchez getting most of the work in at quarterback. Carroll expects Booty to be game ready sometime in the next couple weeks.
It appears then, that going into the week, Sanchez would be preparing as the starting quarterback, and Booty may be ready to step in depending on the progress this week after throwing the ball Tuesday and Wednesday.
Expect Sanchez to start and Booty ready to relieve him if necessary. Booty should be 100% recovered by the Oregon State or Californa game.
What is uplifting about this process is the maturity and attitude of both quarterbacks. Although both want to start and will compete for the spot, neither seem bothered by the other one starting.