Saturday, August 16, 2008

Talkin' 'bout practice: notes from the public viewing

The weather was perfect for a morning practice open to the general public. I'd estimate there were around 300 who showed up to check it out at Memorial Stadium. For those who couldn't make it, a quick rundown.
  • Zach Frazer suffered a concussion during Wednesday's scrimmage, and was held out of practice again on Saturday. Cody Endres, bumped up to work with the second team, didn't have a great day. He pulled a couple of Drew Bledsoe's and held onto the ball too long instead of throwing it away, and was scolded for it.

  • Jordan Todman took a hit on a running play, and looked to be in severe pain. He left practice and didn't return. Randy Edsall said it was a shoulder injury, but didn't know how severe it was. From the initial looks of it, Todman might be out for a little while.

  • Some of the injured from earlier in the week, Greg Robinson, Lawrence Wilson and Robbie Frey, were practicing Saturday. Edsall also said Brad Kanuch is improving.

  • Jasper Howard has moved into a starting role opposite Darius Butler at cornerback. He says his biggest challenge, aside from perfecting technique, is keeping weight on during hot summer practice sessions. He's gained over 20 pounds since last summer, and reported to camp at 175 -- right where the coaches would like him. But he's down to about 170 after 17 practices. "I'm on my way to eat now," Howard said. "I never miss a meal, so hopefully I can put a few back on right now."

  • Donald Brown put on a show for the fans, breaking loose a couple of times. He easily outraced cornerback Khaliyl Lane to the end zone once. "There's no one in the country catching him," Lane muttered as he jogged back to the huddle after the play.

  • UConn recruit and Bridgeport resident Trevardo Williams was at the practice with Bridgeport Central assistant coach Peter Cox. Williams didn't qualify for UConn this year, and is heading to the Canterbury School this fall. He said he's still firm on his commitment to Edsall.

  • Poor Zach Hurd. For the second time in two weeks, he was victimized by Edsall for a false start during a red zone drill. If Edsall was finalizing work on a PhD in ball busting, Hurd would have been his doctoral thesis. "How dumb are you?" Edsall yelled, prodding Hurd to take off like a shot for his punishment lap. If Hurd was hoping to outrun Edsall's wrath, he was mistaken. "It was 1st-and-4, now it's 1st-and-9!" Edsall hollered, as Hurd sprinted like a 300-pound Tyson Gay down field in the direction of the newspaper reporters. "Why don't you give them an interview while you're down there!" OK. Edsall loses points because we've heard that one already, but earns a few back because it was fresh for the fans, and drew a few laughs from the crowd.

  • Nice job by the coaches resisting the urge to drop f-bombs with the family atmosphere watching. I heard a lot of "friggin's", though.

  • Edsall wasn't pleased with the practice, he told us. "As a matter of fact, I thought it stunk," he said. Cody Brown said it was the defense which really disappointed. "Some of (the defense) had the wrong attitude, and it showed because the offense torched us."

  • Sad news: Lindsey Witten missed practice to be with his ailing grandmother in Ohio, who requested to be with her grandchildren. He left this morning, and is scheduled to be back tomorrow night. Say an extra prayer tonight.

That's it. I'm heading home to take a dip in the old water cube.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Chip's "water cube" isn't quite up to Beijing Olympic standard. It's a kiddie pool he purchased for $19.99 at Target.


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