Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Day one in pads, fighting and another transfer

Just a brief few notes from practice today, which was open to the public. Quite a few fans showed up, though many left once the rain got a little heavy. Cheshire Academy wide receiver Malik Golden, being recruited by UConn, was in attendance. At least two fans let him know they'd like to see him in Storrs next fall. The Huskies will need the help. Junior Gerrard Sheppard announced he will transfer immediately, joining Leon Kinnard as the second receiver to leave school in a week. Pasqualoni was disappointed, but said he understood the players point of view. Competition is heavy, and the two could see the writing on the wall.

“We’ve got a lot of competition, and Shep just felt like he wanted to go somewhere where he could just go in and play; not necessarily in a role, but just go in and play,” Pasqualoni said. “I liked him a great deal. We were trying to find a niche for him. But in the end, he felt it was best. We have him our blessing. … I don’t like seeing good guys like Leon and Shep go, but at the same time I have a hard time talking guys into doing something they really in their heart don’t want to do. This is a hard game to play if your heart isn’t in it.”

It was the first practice in pads, and the emotions, as the usually do, spilled over. A mild donneybrook broke out when tight end Corey Manning and linebacker Andrew Opoku continued going at it after the whistle. A few other players got into it, but it was David Kenney who went over the top by piling onto Manning. Pasqualoni wasted little time sending Kenney to the showers, then angrily called the team to the center of the field where he sent a message. Settle down and play, or you'll be gone, too.

"In a game, if anybody comes off the sideline and goes into any kind of ruckus, they’re out, they’re suspended,” Pasqualoni said. “I didn’t see everyone who jumped in, but I saw one guy so he was suspended. There’s always going to be some back and forth, but you’ve got to keep your poise. You can’t lose your head. So we all learned that today."

Asked to clarify the suspension, Pasqualoni said it was only for the day. Kenney will be back at practice tomorrow. It's training camp, after all.

"This isn’t Holiday Hill,” Pasqualoni said, referencing the day camp in his native Cheshire. “We don’t give days off here.”

Another nice day for Jonathan Jean-Louis, who had his best run on the first play after Pasqualoni settled the troops. Jean-Louis is looking more and more like he could be a major equation in the offense.

As for the quarterbacks, much like the spring game the rain didn't help the coaches settle much. McEntee probably had the best day; McCummings, not so much. Linebacker Jerome Williams remains out with an injury.

That's it for today.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It appears that Malik has now left the program as well

August 10, 2011 2:47 PM 

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