Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Practice notes: battle brewing at CB

A big crowd of injured Huskies not practicing today, all of them forced to walk up and down the steps of Memorial Stadium as part of the rehab. Some did it on crutches. Someone had a cane. I think I spotted a walker in there, too. From a distance, they looked like very large escapees from a geriatric home. But wearing football jerseys instead of cardigan sweaters.

  • Tyler Lorenzen and D.J. Hernandez didn't participate in any drills, but they weren't injured. Edsall just trying to get his other players at those positions a little seasoning. "You find out more things here than going into a game and needing them to play," he said.

  • Among the wounded from today: Jerome Junior (knee), Doc Goudreau (calf) and Lindsay Witten (migraines). Witten is expected to be back for tomorrow's scrimmage. Lawrence Wilson, Greg Robinson and Brad Kanuch remained out, as well.

  • Edsall anointed Robinson with a new nickname. Plaxico. "He only plays on game day," Edsall said. "His role will be as a backup at the Husky on short-yardage and goal line packages. But he has an ankle injury that's been chronic."

  • The kickoff return teams got some work. Jasper Howard and Darius Butler were the 'A' team, Jordan Todman and Donald Brown (you read that right) on the 'B' team.

  • Good day for Tony Ciaravino, who twice saved his teammates from sprints by nailing 55-yard field goals. The final attempt came as a tiebreaker because no one could decide whether the defense held the offense on a 4th-and-1 on the final play of practice. Edsall was willing to call it a tie, but the players wanted Tony C to break the tie.

  • Memorable plays of the day: Andre Dixon spotting a hole only to be flattened by Greg Lloyd, who came in fast and hard. Tight end John Delahunt making a one-handed grab over linebacker Jerome Williams on a toss from walk-on quarterback Jon McEntee, and racing in for the score. Not to be outdone, on one of the very next plays, starting TE Steve Brouse evoked images of Graig Nettles circa 1978 by making a full-extension, diving grab.

  • Marcus Easley caught Edsall's ire for too much dancing and not enough north to south running after a catch. It's never good to be referred to as the "No. 1 idiot". Unless you're Johnny Damon in Boston in 2004, that is.

  • Howard is suddenly looking at lots of playing time. Not only is he returning kicks, he's moved ahead of Robert "Reggie" McClain as a starting cornerback. The competition is by no means over, however. The scrimmage on Wednesday will weigh-in heavily."Jazz (Howard) has gotten stronger and quicker," Edsall said. "Reggie's stronger, too. But I think Jazz is a better cover guy right now." Not long ago, Howard weighed 154 pounds. He's a solid 174 now. McClain is 201, and benching 390.

  • Am I the only one who thinks most Olympic sports are just stupid? Synchronized diving? BMX and mountain biking? Blowdart target shooting? Lawn Jarts? Wait, those last two may not be official sports yet. How about two-person beach volleyball...which, apparently, you aren't allowed to compete in unless you're a nudist. But think about it. If you were a decent athlete in high school and dedicated your life to race walking...I mean you quit your job and trained year-round...would it really be that hard to qualify for the Olympics as a race-walker? I refuse to believe I couldn't have done it.

  • By the way, Ansonia native, 2004 Yale graduate and current Yale football radio play-by-play broadcaster Ron Vaccaro is calling race walking and modern pentathlon for NBC Sports in Beijing. I once served as Ron's color guy for Yale's student radio station when the Yale men's hockey team played two games out at the University of North Dakota. Back then, I thought doing play-by-play for hockey was tough because it's non-stop talking. Imaging having to call race walking and modern pentathlon. I don't even know what modern pentathlon entails, but I assume it's not terribly exciting. But if there's anyone who can make it interesting, it's Ron Vaccaro, who is simply tremendous as a broadcaster.

  • Best of luck to Leigh Torbin, whose final day at UConn is Friday. Leigh has been a tremendous help to me since I took over the football beat back in January 2005. He's also a pop culture guru, much like myself. We spent many hours discussing things like who belongs on the list of the top five rock drummers of all-time and the merits of being head of the international moustache institute (a real position). He has a new job at Central Florida. Best of luck, Leigh.

UConn is holding its open practice session on Saturday. Hope to meet see some of you there.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Olympic sport stupid? Have you even try to play any of those sports? Many people outside of USA think American football is stupid. Ignorant comments like yours are reason why many people have problems with attitude of people in this country. Just because you don't get it does not mean it is stupid. Stop looking at everything in terms American bias point of view. Do you ever realize how hard it is to do synchronized diving? There are lots athletes out there and they certainly deserve the respect.

August 13, 2008 3:27 PM 
Blogger Chip Malafronte said...

C'mon, now. I was a professional performer. Learned to dive in Atlantic City. The Steel Pier. I used to open for the diving horse. Perhaps you've heard of the dive I made famous...the Triple Lindy? I don't do it any more. It nearly killed me.

I do respect the athletes (except for those lame-o race walkers). But the sports are still stupid.

August 13, 2008 4:10 PM 
Anonymous kooch said...

Thanks for the anonymous comment, but we know it was you, Bela Karoli.

August 17, 2008 9:01 AM 

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