Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Practice notes: four days to spring game

Busy day at practice again.
  • Brad Kanuch was hurt during a drill, and went off in pain with an apparent shoulder injury. While running full speed, he was pushed in the back by cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson and was sent sprawling (nearly taking out Shawn Courchesne of the Hartofrd Courant on the sidelines). Randy Edsall said it was "dumb" on Wreh-Wilson's part, since it was a thud drill (meaning players can hit each other, but are supposed to remain on their feet). "It gives me another teaching moment on Thursday," Edsall said.

  • Jordan Todman, Marcus Campbell and Dwayne Gratz weren't allowed to practice today because they missed a class on Monday. Edsall's new policy is to keep players out of practice instead of the typical 6 a.m. running drills. "That was too easy," Edsall said. "This has a little more bite to it." Meaning, you miss practices, it increases the chances of someone sliding into your job, especially if you're in competition for a spot. Todman was kicked out of practice Saturday for throwing the football at Twyon Martin, so he's not exactly winning points with the coach. And Dixon had a pretty good day today.

  • Beau Brunelli (kneecap) also went down Tuesday. Injured Anthony Sherman (hamstring), Robbie Frey (shoulder), Yianni the Greek (knee), Alex Polito (ankle), Jesse Joseph (groin) and Billy Ferriter (concussion) will all miss Saturday's spring game. Moe Petrus may have been feeling ill -- he was hurling into a garbage can early in practice -- but finished the day. Maybe some bad capricola and provolone from Jersey Mike's. No wait, that was my sandwich from this afternoon.

  • Those anxious to see promising tackle Jimmy Bennett on Saturday will have to wait until the season opener. He isn't playing Saturday because he has a funeral to attend.

  • Edsall hasn't named his return men yet, but said he's got a lot to choose from. Reggie McClain, Jasper Howard and Gary Wilburn will be returning punts. Todman, Kanuch, Frey, McClain, Gratz and Kashif Moore are all on kickoff return.

  • Kashif had a bad day. He got yelled at by Edsall for not securing the ball on a run after the catch, which caused him to fumble. On the next play, another mistake got him yanked for Gerrard Sheppard. Sheppard had a terrific day, but Edsall wasn't in a complimentary mood. "Kashif Moore got a little sugar after Saturday's scrimmage, and he came out today and stunk the joint out," Edsall said. "It's tough to give any of these guys sugar because they get fat and happy." And by giving sugar, Edsall means compliments. Not candy bars. Or kisses on the cheek. Just wanted to clear that up. Let's move on.

  • Desi Cullen as your place kicker? Dave Teggart as the punter? It could happen, though unlikely. The two have been diversifying this spring to help in case injuries occur, and have been very good. The Kentucky Hammer crushed a 56-yard field goal today, and Teggart has been doing a nice job punting. Edsall said it's possible Cullen could be kicking long field goals this fall. That's not to say Teggart hasn't been doing the job, but Cullen can blast them just as long. "He's been killing them," Teggart said. "We both want to be the best we can be, and we're really pushing each other."

  • Others who stood out: Ryan Griffin made a pretty catch in traffic. McClain had at least two interceptions. Cody Endres and Zach Frazer both made some nice throws. Sheppard made a pair of deep grabs up the sidelines.

  • Still no rush on the depth chart. Or naming a starting quarterback. When Edsall's ready to name someone, he'll do it, no matter who thinks the job's already sewn up.

  • Teggart was saddened by the death of Mark "The Bird" Fidrych, the charismatic Detroit Tigers pitcher who was the AL rookie of the year in 1976. Teggart is from the same town (Northborough, Mass.) and, like Fidrych, starred for the Algonquin Regional baseball team. Fidrych even coached Teggart a little during his Little League days. More on this in tomorrow's Register.


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