Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Day after: D-ends continue to impress
By Pedro Moura
Extra observations from Tuesday's late practice, plus surplus notes and video:
Each of the four USC defensive ends seem to be making plays for the Trojans. For much of last season, Nick Perry was the disruptive force, leading the Trojans -- and the nation, at one point -- with eight sacks on the year. During Sunday's scrimmage, Wes Horton stepped up to help boost USC's run defense. And Tuesday, on the evening of the Trojans' first two-a-days of the fall, both Kevin Greene and Armond Armstead impressed. Greene, a redshirt freshman, ran down C.J. Gable as he attempted to score on a run play he busted open. Armstead, a junior, just flat-out dominated.
After Tuesday's practice, Kiffin -- in keeping with his demonstrated flair for the comparison -- compared the burly Armstead to former New York Giants great Michael Strahan. Armstead, at 6-foot-5 and 295 pounds, isn't particularly similar in terms of frame to Strahan, who weighed in at 255 pounds during his playing days. But Armstead, who played defensive tackle as a freshman at USC, is explosive enough. His return to the practice field Tuesday after a bout with dehydration and stomach issues earlier in camp made an obvious difference during the end-of-practice scrimmage. On one particular play, two tight ends -- one of which was Rhett Ellison -- were assigned to block Armstead. They, predictably, failed miserably, as Armstead made his way into the pocket within a couple seconds. After a whistle blew the play dead and the linemen retreated to their sides of the line of scrimmage, Armstead could be heard loudly taunting Ellison.
Safety Drew McAllister will undergo an MRI today on his right hip. He had surgery on his left hip in March to fix a torn labrum. Interestingly, when asked last week if he was feeling any lingering effects of the injury and the corresponding surgery, McAllister seemed fairly confident that he was fully recovered -- or at least fairly close. "I'm pretty close to 100 percent right now," the junior said last Thursday, following the second practice of camp. "In terms of playing, I'm not limited in any of the drills I can do or any of that, so it's just getting my legs back and all that now."
Kiffin had a lot to say about a host of his players when talking to the media after Tuesday's practice. Here are more of his thoughts on a number of subjects, including the outstanding play of Armstead: