Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Three pounds makes all the difference

It's April Fools' Day. I would have conjured up some detailed, elaborate story and tried to pass it off as legitimate...and then sprung an "April Fools'!" on you at the end. But I decided against that because, well, it's just so stupid.

Just back from practice. Today was an "Edsall no speak" day, so we're a little thin on news and heavier on observations.
  • Zach Hurd has moved into a starting role on the offensive line. That was confirmed independently. Moe Petrus also played with the first team today at guard, even though he's listed on the spring roster as a center. Whether that move sticks is open for debate. Alex LaMagdelaine wasn't practicing due to what appeared to be a shoulder injury, and Dan Ryan and Mike Hicks both took reps with the first and second teams. Both Ryan and Hicks have likely been moved down, with Petrus taking over for Hicks and Hurd for Ryan. William Beatty and Keith Gray are both still with the 1's.

  • It also appears Jonathan Jean-Louis has passed Kijuan Dabney at strong safety, as he spent the whole practice with the first team, while Jasper Howard started opposite Darius Butler at cornerback while Robert McClain took snaps with the 2's.

  • Scott Lutrus and Martin Bedard were ill, and didn't attend practice. Steve Brouse was dressed, but sat out with what looked like a lower leg injury. C.J. Marck and Yianni Apostalakos played with the 1's. Yianni had a pretty good day catching the ball, and showed he's got some speed, too. Screamin' Meme Wylie also had some impressive runs. The three injured receivers, Kanuch, D.J. and Gaulden, remained out.

  • Slimmed down Donald Brown says he feels much more agile, thanks to a healed ankle and a couple of shed pounds. How much lighter is Brown? Three pounds. He's around 210, down from 213 from the fall. "A couple of pounds makes a big difference," he said. Running backs coach Terry Richardson, the designated spokesman for coaches today, said with Brown's frame and strength, he doesn't need the added bulk. "He's plenty strong," Richardson said. "Keeping him lean and quick is the way to go."

  • Robbie Frey says he is ready to make whatever contribution he can as the No. 3 back. He's stronger and heavier -- up to 195 from his listed 187 in the fall -- and is looking to peak at 200 if he can get there. "Donald runs with more power, but I have a little more speed," Frey said. "That's one of the things that makes our backfield so unique. We do different things and that has its advantages."


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