After another disappointing loss, the team seemed a bit listless. They also appeared to be "going through the motions." Tuesday Practice was somewhat promising. There was a fire, emotion and energy missing for several weeks. If the intensity displayed today continues, the Trojans may be on the way to "finding themselves." Too little, too late; but then again, better late than never.
J.D. Getting Back to Business
John David Booty looked sharp today, he keeps improving each day. The way things are going he will be starting on Saturday. A word of caution to the wise: He is still healing and Mark Sanchez needs to be ready if called upon (re-injury to Booty, can't make it on Saturday, whatever). Both quarterbacks need to be ready. Right now Booty is getting all of the first team reps.
Booty did hit his hand on a teammate and he seemed angry about it, but shook it off and seemed to recover quickly.
Special Attention to Special Teams
Coaches spent a lot of extra time on special teams, in particular, punt protection and rushing was given attention on this Competition Tuesday. It was a pleasant change in routine.
Level of Competition Reaches New Level
Practice started routinely enough, but soon the intensity level began to climb. The defense got back to hard hitting and forcing turnovers. The offense is beginning to find a spark of fire as well. It was as though both coaches and players realized that the intensity was lacking, so they turned it up just a bit. If this continues, it may be the spark that has been sorely lacking of late.
Sights and Sounds
There was a bit more yelling from both the coaches and players, which probably helped to increase the intensity of the practice. The bulk of the offensive plays went to Fred Davis, Patrick Turner, Vidal Hazelton, Joe McKnight, Hershel Dennis and Chauncey Washington.
The team practiced some shotgun today, mostly at the beginning stages of practice.
The offensive team yelled and cheered as a great play was had on their side of the ball. Practice ended with team yelling and jumping around and a long team huddle. Signs of good things to come.
John David Booty Post Practice Comments
"I feel better today than I did yesterday. I feel good. I hit my hand and it didn't bother me at all, which was a good sign, even more than throwing the ball. I'm glad that it did (happen) because I was able to see how I was going to feel."
"You have to play every week as though you are the starter and Mark (Sanchez) needs to do the same. (I) said that every week when Matt (Leinart) was here and I was the backup. For me, there was never any doubt in my mind, if I got back and was healthy, I would be the guy."
Mark Sanchez Comments
"It's still fun, I love being out here, it's a great experience. I'm going to prepare to start like I always have and bring that fire and stuff that I try to bring every day. As far as I know, it's still up in the air (starting on Saturday), but J.D. (Booty) is healthy, he looks awesome and he's throwing the ball well. He's getting reps with the first team so, I think we can see where it's heading, but there's no final decision yet."
"I just need to keep up the competitive attitude no matter what happens and I'm totally behind coach's decision. It's going to be a great week of football for us."