Saturday, April 14, 2012

And we're down to a week left

Final Saturday practice of the spring. We'll be back up here on Tuesday, and then everyone gets to see for themselves at the spring game. Here's what happened today.
  • Another day for the defense, but we saw some impressive running from Max DeLorenzo at tailback and Mike Osiecki at fullback. DeLorenzo broke off a couple, and ran hard in short yardage situations. At one point, Sio Moore, on the sidelines watching, wondered if Mike Alstott hadn't slipped on the white and blue No. 44 jersey. "We saw some wiggle from Max," Pasqualoni said. "He looked like he did at Berlin High School." DeLorenzo knows Lyle McCombs has the experience and talent, but says he's doing all he can to get on the field this fall. "I still feel we're two different types of back," DeLorenzo said. "We're all competing and supporting each other. I think we'll use two or three backs this year. Don't quote me on that. We don't know anything. But, yes, I'm trying to make it happen."

  • Osiecki has shown he can be a weapon out of the backfield in the Anthony Sherman mold. Several times this spring he's been able to make a catch on the swing pass, then make tacklers miss. He can block too, though he's still learning. But look for him to have a few catches this season.

  • Joe Williams remains in contention to get some carries as well, but he's also returning kickoffs along with Nick Williams.

  • It was Nick Williams who had the catch of the day, streaking up the outside he caught a perfect pass from Chandler Whitmer in stride for a touchdown. Pasqualoni said Williams is learning to do everything on offense this year, noting the pass he caught was an outside route, and not the inside and underneath routes Nick ran all of last fall.

  • Jimmy Bennett stayed out for the scrimmage, but did don a helmet to shadow some offensive line drills early in the practice while wearing his knee brace.

  • Scott McCummings remained out with his toe injury, and isn't expected to play in the spring game. Shakim Phillips, Geremy Davis and Ryan Wirth all wore the red cross jersey with pads, but were limited. Same with linebacker Ryan Donohue.

  • Pasqualoni was on the war path with the players today, and it started early when Sean McQuillan forgot his yellow beanie during kickoff coverage. The head coach was as vocal today as he's been all spring. It's a long month, and perhaps after several good practices in a row the team started to drag a bit.

  • Don Brown was all over the referees for one particular pass interference call during a live drill. Brown, in his inimitable way, felt the pass was uncatchable. "Are you (kidding) me?" he shrieked. "He threw the ball off the wall!" It didn't end there. Brown kept on about it for the entire rest of the drive. At least the coaches are in midseason form.

  • The interior line will be young, but there's some real potential at a position that took a big hit with the losses of Kendall Reyes and Twyon Martin. Shamar Stephen, Angelo Pruitt and Julian Campenni have been getting plenty of reps with Wirth slowed by injury, with B.J. McBryde working in there too.

  • Shamar Stephen is huge. At one point while on the sidelines, he walked in front of myself and Joe D'Ambrosio of WTIC and completely obstructed the field from us. I had to slide a few feet to the left. But at least we may have a nickname for him: Eclipse.


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