Friday, August 01, 2008

Practice No. 1 is in the books

Football the way it ought to be. It's sunny, it's 90 degrees. Let's practice outside.

Didn't think this would turn into a deadline story, so the blog is gonna have to be quick.

  • Scott Lutrus is back at "Husky" linebacker, Dahna Deleston is back at strong safety, and your new starting middle linebacker is Greg Lloyd Jr. The move was made mainly because Edsall wanted Lloyd on the field as much as possible. Couple that with the fact that Lutrus and Deleston know the other positions much better than where they had been moved for the spring, and it's going to be a much quicker defense. "Everyone is familiar with their positions, so they are comfortable, and can play faster," Edsall said.

  • Lutrus and Deleston had no problems with the switches. To be honest, I think they were both relieved to be back even if they didn't say as much. Lloyd is thrilled and grateful for the opportunity. He's got some things to learn, but he isn't lacking in confidence. He knows he earned this promotion.

  • Jordan. Todman. Is. Fast.

  • The freshmen wide receivers made their share of mistakes, which is to say they didn't really have great days. Edsall wasn't worried. Freshmen tend to press to impress on the first day.

  • Tyler Lorenzen isn't much for first practices. Back in the spring of 2007, his first practice since the transfer, he had the media double-checking the roster to see if Lorenzen was wearing a different number. He wasn't much better for the opening of preseason practice. Today, well, Edsall said it best. "He was bad, but at least he was better than he was those last two first practices."

  • There were nine new walk-ons at practice today. Among the notable, Greenwich resident Beau Brunelli, a 5-foot-9, 193-pound defensive end; Clark Maturo, a 6-foot-4, 307-pound offensive lineman, Jon McEntee, a 6-2 quarterback from Fullerton, Calif., and Zac Zielinski, who is 6-7 and 354 pounds.

  • Among the walk-ons who won't be returning are Oliver Bernson, the son of Corbin Bernson who recently appeared on the celebrity edition of Family Feud.

  • Lawrence Green's playing days are over, but he took part in practice today snapping for the quarterbacks during a drill. He snapped the first one so hard, I thought Lorenzen broke his hand.

  • It was helmets and shirts today and for the next practice, then shells for two days, then full pads the rest of the way.

  • Edsall says he never has high expectations for the first day of practice. I would have believed that because he was relatively calm for about the first two hours. Then, for the final 20 minutes, he erupted like Mt. Vesuvius on the people of Pompeii. Heck, even the coach needs some time to get back into the swing of things. However, he may be trying to stave off donating to the swear jar. He ended his first scolding with "God bless America."

That's it for now. My apologies for the lack of detail, but I need to get to work on my story for the paper.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


At the alumni dinner the other night, Coach mentioned that he would put Darius Butler at KR, but that PR was a bit uncertain, and that Jordan Todman was a strong candidate. Did you see any special teams? If so, how did Todman look? I'm concerned because our special teams play was terrible in 2006 (4-8) and great in 2007 (9-4). Thoughts?

August 02, 2008 1:33 PM 
Blogger Chip Malafronte said...

They didn't run special teams Friday, but Edsall said after the spring game that Darius would be one of the kick returners. He also said Todman would "likely" be the other KR, and a PR as well. Edsall also said the pressure is on him, because he coaches the returners. (See April 19 blog entry for full details).

Todman, as I observed, seems very fast and very quick. I imagine he has a good chance to play right away as a returner.

August 02, 2008 1:53 PM 
Blogger Chip Malafronte said...

Don't rule out Butler getting a chance at PR, too, if things aren't working out, there.

August 02, 2008 1:54 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Chip.

2 questions. First of all, from what you've seen, is Greg Lloyd simply the next great young UCONN talent at linebacker to team with Lutrus and Wilson? And secondly, which of young the wide receivers do you see making the biggest impact this season?

August 02, 2008 5:13 PM 
Blogger Chip Malafronte said...

Tough questions. I hate to make a sweeping generalization about Lloyd being the next great talent, but I think he can be just that. He has the potential to be a special player, although he has a ways to go, still.

Really tough call on the WRs, since it was the first day and they were making a lot of mistakes. Parker, from a physical standpoint, looks like a dangerous player just because he's so tall. Smith seems smaller than 6-0. I think the guy who makes the biggest leap will be Kashif Moore, but I readily admit I can better answer that question in a few weeks.

August 02, 2008 6:24 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The nice thing about this year, is that the schedule sets up nicely to be a great year. If UConn does well, they can garner the attention that Rutgers did two years ago (BC did well last year, but were not relevant or talented enough to get the attention-sucks for them, that was their one chance..) Now that Rutgers lost Ray Rice...

August 03, 2008 8:04 PM 

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