Hot, hot, hot!
Not news for Southern California, but it has been quite warm for practice the last two days. Temperatures in the mid 80's seems unusual for most of the country at this time of the year, but not in Los Angeles.
Putting a Scare in Practice
At the end of drills on the short field, Joe McKnight came up limp after his last rush. He was stacked up at the line of scrimmage and came limping off the field. It took him several minutes to get up and stretch out his legs, but he came out of it with just a slight hitch. Pete Carroll said he just aggravated the same bruise he has been nursing.
Piping in Loud Noise
In preparation of what should be a loud Autzen Stadium, some very loud crowd noise was brought in over loud speakers. The sound was deafening.
Sam Baker seemed recovered from his hamstring injury–he put in hard work today. Coach Carroll expects him to play on Saturday.
Today being Turnover (No Turnover) Wednesday, Brian Cushing got a good steal from Desmond Reed. As Reed ran through the center of the defense, Cushing stripped and grabbed the ball to take it the other way.
As Pete Carroll predicted, most eligible players returned to practice and virtually no one sat at the training table.
The Booty/Sanchez saga continued as Mark Sanchez continued to get the first team reps, but John David Booty continues to improve daily. He took his first center snaps in 2-1/2 weeks today and threw the ball well. The team will continue to monitor his progress.
John David Booty's recovery took a nice turn as he threw the ball for the second day in a row and took snaps for the first time since he was injured. Booty stated, "I feel great, I feel great…I had no swelling and no pain today. If I make improvements each and every day, I'll be back pretty quick."
He continued, "I'll come back tomorrow, we'll have a little shorter day and I'll try to get some reps with the first team. I really feel good about our game plan…if I come back tomorrow and it's just like today, it feels pretty good and I'll be excited about that."
About his throwing abilities he said, "It's getting better, the balls aren't really sailing on me anymore, I feel like I'm getting my accuracy back…it was a good day for me today."
Discussing the pain in his finger he said, "I really feel good, I feel great, it's just the tip of my finger that's held me back a little bit. The pain's going away, I got feeling back in it so, I'm just looking forward to getting back out there."
Finally Booty summed up his thoughts on the current situation, "I'm a team player and I always have been, that's just something I think is very important. My dad and my brothers taught me growing up, there's a lot more to the Trojans besides what's going on with me. We're really looking forward to this week, it's a big game for us."
Booty's strength of character throughout this ordeal shows a maturity beyond his years.
"I'm not worried about that (the starting role), whatever happens, happens I think both of us will do a great job and we're excited about the challenge…Of course I want to play, I've wanted to play since I was a freshman, but that's just me being competitive, if I wasn't a bit upset, I wouldn't be competitive."
Continuing, Sanchez said, "Either way, it'll work out, and if it's not me, I'll be his biggest cheerleader, but I'm anxious to get back out there so I hope it happens."
Speaking about how he and Booty relates to the situation, Sanchez said, "We don't talk about who's going to start or anything, because we're such good friends that we know we are competing to do that (start), we talk through our actions out here (on the field). Off the field we talk about family, he asked how my dad is, he knows he's fighting a fire. He's a great guy and a good friend."
Opinion on the Quarterbacks
We've said it before, but it deserves mention again, the attitude of both of these quarterbacks is refreshing. It would be so much easier (and understandable) for them to take a combative attitude.
They both compete for and desire the starting role very much, but defer to the coaches and will support the decision made, as well as each other. This is a reflection of the coaching staff, their respective upbringings and is a testament to their characters.