Earlier in the week, players who are preparing for this Saturday's Senior Bowl contest had to be looking forward to Thursday's practices without pads as a breather from the more intense workouts.
But Mother Nature played a cruel trick on the North Team as they practiced in their shorts and helmets during their morning session as a light drizzle made the unseasonably chilly 42-degree temperature feel much colder. And a steady breeze made it even worse, resulting in a wind-chill factor of 35 degrees during the morning session. The temperature only rose two degrees for the South Team's afternoon session, but they only had to endure a brief 10-minute shower.
Although most of the players wasted no time running for the bus after the end of their practices to warm up, a few of them turned in some noteworthy performances during their final real practice session of the week. And a few players stayed out on the field long enough to meet with some team representatives for interviews:
- Virginia Tech WR Eddie Royal made two nice plays during the practice.
During a drill where he was lined up one-on-one at the 5-yard line against
California's Thomas DeCoud, Royal executed a really smooth slant into the
end zone for a completion. During scrimmage plays with a full offense and
defense squaring off, Royal made a nice leaping catch in the end zone,
extending his arms above his head to grab the football before falling
backwards into the corner area of the end zone.
- Dorien Bryant had to work hard against his defender who initially had tight coverage — until the Purdue wide receiver made a nice juke move inside before snapping back to the outside. The throw to Bryant was high after he had gained separation, but he made a nice overhead catch, watching the ball all the way into his hands.
- Indiana cornerback Tracy Porter kept close coverage on New Mexico wide
receiver Marcus Smith on one play that Smith curled out to the sideline.
Porter showed great timing and burst, closing the gap and slapping the ball
away as Smith attempted to pull in the ball.
- California RB Justin Forsett continues to impress with his quick moves. He
zig-zagged his way through a crowd to the right side of the offensive line,
getting past the congestion with such fluidity that it almost looked
- Boston College cornerback DeJuan Tribble curled in front of a receiver in
the end zone to make an interception late in the session.
- Two pass rushers who were bringing the heat consistently despite the
chilly temperatures were USC's Lawrence Jackson and Purdue's Cliff Avril.
- The Denver Broncos talked with Virginia Tech LB Xavier Adibi as he was
leaving the field at the end of the session. Meanwhile, the Browns talked to
Adibi's teammate, WR Eddie Royal. The Baltimore Ravens spent an extensive
amount of time with Notre Dame safety Tom Zbiskowski, almost making him late
for the departure of the bus.
- During the afternoon session, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie made a nice
break on a ball thrown into the end zone to knock it away from what had
appeared to be an easy catch for Kentucky TE Jacob Tamme. Not to be
outdone, Alabama's Simeon Castille made a diving interception in the end
zone on a waist-high intended for Florida WR Andre Caldwell.
- Tamme showed good quickness and instincts while breaking off one of his
routes to the left side of the offense. He charged forward for about 12
yards before snapping back to his quarterback just before the ball arrived
to make a nice catch.
- Hawaii QB Colt Brennan looked much more comfortable in today's practice, showing his ability to hit receivers in stride while rolling out and under pressure. He put a soft touch on a 25-yard pass to Kentucky RB Rafael Little, who had scooted wide out of the backfield and up the right sideline to make an over-the-shoulder catch.
Indiana CB Tracy Porter
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