Saturday, April 12, 2008

A klutz, a rising Pole(s) and a perfect D-tackle

Plenty of tidbits coming out of today's scrimmage, and time is short. I need to get to the TV to root against Tiger Woods. So pay attention!

  • Tyler Lorenzen rolled an ankle on one of the final plays of the 2-minute drill during Thursday's practice, and sat things out on Saturday. Nothing serious, but his status for the spring game is now in question, as Edsall said Lorenzen's health is more important than the need to get him into next week's game.

  • As for circumstances of Lorenzen's injury, Edsall said, "He's a klutz and he's a non-athlete. You can print that. I told him, I'm going to tell the media you're a klutz and you're not an athlete. He laughed. I was just joking with him."

  • Edsall is a bit perturbed at the number of injuries that have occurred from non-contact this spring. Ellis Gaulden (foot), D.J. Hernandez (ankle), Steve Brouse (tendon flare-up), Isiah Moore (pulled hamstring) and Lorenzen all went down without contact. Trey Tonsing's injury injury was the result of him moving in the wrong direction on a block, Edsall said. Rob Lunn also limped off with a likely sprained ankle. "I guarantee it was because he didn't play to the whistle blew, didn't keep his feet moving," Edsall said. "Any time those things happen it's because guys don't keep moving their feet because they don't play til the whistle. The hardest hit we had (that resulted in an injury) was Mike Cox's sister jumping on him when he got hurt at home just before the spring."

  • Big day for Kevin Poles, who reeled in a pair of touchdowns. He made a nice leaping grab of a Cody Endres pass in the end zone, getting his feet down in bounds as the pass was toward the corner. Later, he caught a post from Endres and outraced the defense to the end zone. It went for about 75 yards. Gaulden, watching the day's action from a trainer's table behind the end zone, shrieked in delight as the play developed. "Poles! Poles! POLES!" he screamed as his teammate ran toward the end zone. It was like the scene in Rocky II when all the kids are jogging with Rocky through the streets of Philadelphia, and when Rocky finally sprints away from the pack that one kid screams, "Go! Go! GOOOOOOOO!" When I first watched that scene, I thought Sly Stallone was the fastest man on earth. By high school, I realized Rocky's 40 time was probably around 6.8.

  • We won't pencil Poles into Terence Jeffers old slot just yet. Asked about Poles afterward, Edsall said, "Kevin did better today. I'll leave it at that. He needs to be a lot more consistent, and needs to be a lot more physical at that position."

  • Dan Orlovsky, sporting an Ashton Kutcher-like John Deer trucker's cap with matching beard, was roaming the sidelines at the Shenkman Center today.

  • Kashif Moore caught a 75-yard touchdown pass from Zach Frazer, which set Edsall into a tirade directed at safety Robert Vaughn. Vaughn misread the play, and Edsall screamed at him for what seemed like, honestly, a solid 15 minutes. "Get me a new safety! You don't have anything sewn up! Bagsby! Get in there! Get your eyes in the right place! Where's Bagsby?!?" It went on and on like that for a while. It may still be going on. "There were situations guys didn't think the way I think they should be thinking. When you see certain individuals who've played a lot for you making mistakes, that tells me they aren't as focused because they shouldn't be making those mistakes. I told them afterward they need to understand I'm looking for perfection. I know they're not going to be perfect all the time. I know sometimes guys are going to get beat. But there are certain situations where I thought guys should react better than they did, and that's what brought about some of the stern teaching moments out there."

  • Frazer had a pretty rough day, too, catching grief from Rob Ambrose and Edsall for his tendency to throw off-balance or off the wrong foot when he has time to set his feet and throw. Asked to talk about what Frazer does wrong with his throwing technique, Edsall said, "I don't know if we have enough time to go through all that. The bottom line is he has to learn to step and throw the ball where he's going. Get his shoulders turned to the target and step directly toward the target when he throws the ball. Until we get that corrected, the others don't mean anything."

  • Edsall had a conversation with Darius Butler and asked him how much he thought Darius could contribute at wide receiver this fall. Butler told him about 15 plays a game, and Edsall agreed that was a good number. Edsall trusts Butler a lot, which is one of the reasons he was captain last fall.

  • Speaking of captains, the team will vote on Thursday and the results will be announced prior to the start of the spring game Saturday. My take: There's no reason why Keith Gray, D.J. and Butler shouldn't return. Pencil in Lorenzen for No. 4. If Edsall wants six again, I'll take a stab that it's Rob Lunn and Dahna Deleston rounding out the sextet.

  • Dave Teggart had a much better day kicking field goals than Tony Ciaravino, but Edsall says nothing will be decided this spring with his kickers.

  • Defensive tackle Alex Polito has been outstanding this spring. "He's improved leaps and bounds since last season ended," Edsall said. "Also from a leadership standpoint." Alex relayed a great story when I asked him about his attendance record at Governor Mifflin High in Shillington, Pa. Polito and a couple of his buddies didn't miss a day of school in four years. Turns out they heard kids who had four years of perfect attendance from their rival school, Wilson High, were entered into a raffle to win a brand new car. But for his Cal Ripken-esque streak of 720 straight school days without a sniffle, headache or dentist appointment, Polito received $200. "They got new cars," Polito said. "Mifflin gave us $200."

  • Edsall confirmed Marcus Campbell will return to the team in May (as was reported a few weeks ago) and he's still waiting on Brandon Dillon, also an academic casualty. Cox isn't expected to return from his sister-induced injury until a month into the season.

  • John Delahunt, a tight end straight out of the junior football leagues in Ottawa, needed a quick primer on the rules of American football. Edsall said early in the spring, Delahunt would be shifting from his right foot to his left while waiting for the snap on the line of scrimmage. "He didn't even think it was a problem," Edsall laughed. "He thought he was still in Canada playing with those Canadian rules." Edsall remarked Delahunt has exceptional hands. He also isn't afraid of contact, as he lowered his shoulder and bowled through a couple of would-be tacklers on Saturday. Still, "He has to get stronger," Edsall said.

  • Several teams have contacted Edsall about Tyvon Branch and Donald Thomas in regards to where each might end up (and in what round) for the upcoming NFL Draft. A few teams are also very interested in Danny Lansanah, Edsall said, though he declined to name teams or specifics.

  • No weird scoring for the spring game this year. It'll be first team offense and second team defense vs. second team offense and first team defense with traditional scoring. No live special teams, aside from field goals and fair-catch only on punts.

Just to clarify, I root against Tiger Woods because I'm one of the few who thinks it's more exciting when he doesn't win. That and the fact that his bouncer/caddy is perhaps the biggest ass on the planet.


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