Baby, It's Cold Outside
Fall is upon us in Southern California and the temperature at the practice field dipped into the high 50's with a brisk wind coming in off the ocean. Sure that doesn't sound cold, but just about a week ago temperatures were in the 80's…let's just say it was chilly on the practice field this evening.
Sparring Partners: T.J. vs. Pete (aka Predator vs. the Good Guy)
Earlier in the day, Los Angeles Times Columnist, T.J. Simers and Coach Pete Carroll squared-off for a few rounds at the weekly press conference.
Simers has made it a point each week to challenge Carroll on issues he thinks are important. Today was no different and Carroll fended off questions or answered them, as he saw appropriate.
To illustrate the exchange of words, here is an example:
Simers: "Why is your offense so boring?"
Carroll: "There are a lot of guys who work hard, every day, they really work hard at their beat...one guy asks questions. I couldn't hear the question, could you repeat it?"
Simers: "Why is the offense so boring?"
Carroll: "I don't know how to address that, because I don't see it as boring at all. I see it as the offense trying to get it right and trying to be productive and use our guys well. I think play was a little bit off last week in bringing John David (Booty) back in after a month…hopefully he'll come back sharp this week and give us good play."
Simers: "Has your offense been off all year?"
Carroll: "Does anyone else have any questions?"
An interesting transaction, indeed.
Missing in Action
Hershel Dennis was missing from the practice field today, not sure of the reasons why. Alfred Rowe remained on the sideline, nursing his ankle sprain from Saturday's game. Sam Baker continued to rehab, although it's doubtful he'll return this week. Thomas Herring and Jimmy Miller were on the sidelines. Fili Moala received some minor work on his ankle.
Sam Baker (right), recovering from a hamstring injury is doubtful for Saturday's game.
The defense continued its fast paced practice and hitting. Offensively, there may be some catching up to do, but it seems the fire set by the defense may set the pace for the team the rest of the season.
Practice was fast and intense; it should translate to the field this week at Berkeley.
Special teams continued its hard work, which increased a notch last week. The punt rush was intense and the kick rush managed to block two field goal attempts. The obvious dichotomy here: if the rush is getting there, then the protection is not doing its job.
John David Booty Speaks
When questioned about the similarities this between USC and California this season, Booty said, "Each team is getting stronger and stronger as the season goes on because they're getting guys back."
"We already know what we have to do, that's win every game. They're probably thinking the same way up there in Northern California. It's going to be exciting, their stadium is always awesome and electric. We've got a big game ahead of us."
About his broken finger, Booty said, "The finger feels good, it's getting better each and every day with each and every practice."