Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Monday evening practice report
By Pedro Moura
Notes, quotes and video from Monday's under-the-lights practice:
The light two-a-days format Lane Kiffin is using so far in fall camp is having its intended purpose, as the Trojans have largely stayed away from injuries over the last several days. Kiffin had no major ailments to report during his post-practice meeting with the media, although sophomore linebacker Devon Kennard was limited in practice with a minor toe injury.
Two injured players -- safety Marshall Jones and receiver De'Von Flournoy -- returned to the practice field Monday, looking fully recovered. Jones (groin) made his return in dramatic fashion, intercepting a pass from Mitch Mustain and taking it back the other way for a touchdown. Flournoy made a couple quality catches in scrimmage drills.
Offensive guard Butch Lewis is still nursing an strained groin muscle, despite his stated expectations of returning to practice Monday. Kiffin said the staff expects him to be out for another week. As for defensive end Nick Perry (high-ankle sprain), Kiffin expects him to be out another two-plus weeks, putting him right on track to suit up for the season opener at Hawaii on Sept. 2.
Freshman defensive back Patrick Hall, who tore his ACL in his lone practice with the Trojans in 2009 and didn't enroll until the spring, has not fully recovered from the injury, Kiffin said: "His rehab has not gone as well as hoped. He's not there yet." Hall may play either cornerback or safety, and Kiffin also has not ruled out running back as a potential landing spot for him.
Kiffin, joking about how much time he and his staff spend worrying about their depth issues across the field: "Not much, because we don't have any. There's nothing to talk about." He went on to say, positively, that the Trojans actually "are getting some guys back."
Final notes: Tuesday's practice will again be under the lights. It's scheduled for 6 p.m...Kiffin said he hopes to make a decision on who will start at middle linebacker between Chris Galippo and Kennard after the third "preseason game" of the fall. With that scrimmage scheduled for Saturday, expect a possible announcement Monday or Tuesday.
Kiffin's mood has appeared to improve as the injuries have subsided. Monday evening, he even cracked a joke or two in response to reporters' questions. Hear everything Kiffin had to say in his post-practice media briefing:
Linebacker Shane Horton has provided valuable depth for the Trojans throughout fall camp as a weakside linebacker with starting experience. A redshirt junior, Horton switched positions from safety in fall camp a year ago. With that in mind, he provides an interesting perspective on Kennard's switch from defensive end to linebacker.
Horton is also being counted on as a leader for some of the younger linebackers. Hear everything he had to say in a video taken after Monday's practice, including his response to Kiffin's comment that the Trojans are trying to turn the linebackers from a weakness into a strength: