Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Oh, Thank God. I thought I had malaria.

A few minutes after entering the Shenkman Center this afternoon, I was hit with the feeling you get just before coming down with the flu or malaria or some other seven day-long illness that hits sometime around mid-January. I haven't been feeling well lately. But it was a chilly 59 degrees outside today and upon entering the Shenk, I started sweating like Jason Giambi before a grand jury hearing. (Actually, Jason Giambi always looks that way, sort of like the coked-out Ray Liotta in the second half of "Goodfellas", when he's on the lookout for FBI helicopters and forcing his crippled brother to spend all day stirring tomato sauce, but I digress).

After a few minutes, UConn sports info man Leigh Torbin informed me the furnace had been cranked up to 85 degrees, with a heat index of 90, because Randy Edsall wanted to simulate what it might be like in Durham, N.C. at 2 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon in very, very early September. That was a relief. I still sweat off about six pounds over the 2 hour session, and am still feeling a bit light-headed in the bowels of Gampel. But Zac Boyer of Rivals just hand-delivered me a tall Arizona iced tea (along with a diet Coke for Ed Daignault of the Waterbury Republican-American), earning himself a well-deserved media hard hat for the day in the process. Now, I'm ready to blog. Can you feel the static?
  • Randy Edsall says he's not going to talk much about injuries this year. That's why linebacker Ryan Henegan is still listed as day-to-day despite beginning his second week in a knee brace so big it may or may not have it's own motor and limping around the practice field like Barbaro at Pimlico. Edsall won't say it, but I have to think it's obvious. No chance Henegan is ready to play any time soon.

  • Lawrence Wilson has emerged as the leading candidate to replace Henegan, with Greg Lloyd serving as his backup.

  • Look for D.J. Hernandez, Brad Kanuch and Terrence Jeffers to play more on special teams, and not as return men. All three will be worked into the rotation on punt coverage, along with a few others you may not have seen there last season.

  • Edsall on Cody Brown, "He's taken his game to another level. If he keeps pushing himself, he has a lot of upside."

  • Mike Hicks has been bumped down to second team at right tackle behind Dan Ryan, but has been working at guard and will see time there if there are any injuries.

  • Lindsey Witten missed most of the day after an unspecified injury/illness. Fullback Anthony Sherman injured an ankle and had it on ice. Fullback Lou Allen got a day to rest.

  • Lots of extra up-downs and extra laps for certain players during a skelly drill at practice today. The lesson? Play until the whistle blows. As Edsall told Kashif Moore after making sure he sprinted all the way to the end zone after one play, "This is the big time, young man. This isn't high school any more."

  • The team will play its final scrimmage Wednesday. The coaches will then sit down and hammer out the final depth chart for the Duke game on Thursday (hopefully, it will be completed before the media conference call that afternoon).

  • Freshman defensive tackle Danny Russell looks just like Carl Spackler from "Caddyshack". All he needs is some plastic explosives and a gopher to chase around. At the end of practice, I even thought I overheard defensive line coach Hank Hughes telling Russell he was welcome to use the pond at his house. "We have a pond and a pool. The pond would be good for you, though. Natural springs, and what-not."

2 Comments:

Anonymous Chris said...

Chip,

Thanks for the update. It's nice to hear the new facilities being used to simulate the anticipated weather in Durham. Keep up the good work.

By the way, is this entry's title a "Cheers" reference? If it's not, then I'm not sure what I'm chuckling about.

August 22, 2007 11:28 PM 
Blogger Chip Malafronte said...

Chris,

You got it...Cheers it is

August 23, 2007 9:08 AM 

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