Sunday, August 29, 2010
Sunday practice report: Breakdown
By Pedro Moura
Notes, quotes and video from Sunday's practice:
A fairly light practice was also a fairly good one for the Trojans on Sunday, as the energy that seemingly had been lacking earlier in the week was palpable on Howard Jones Field. Coach Lane Kiffin indicated it was largely because of the closeness of the season opener -- only four days away -- and said he was particularly impressed because the squad had just completed what he termed a "heavy lift" before heading out to the field in shorts and completing a solid practice. "I think they're really turning towards the game, getting their minds right," Kiffin said.
Freshman defensive back Patrick Hallhas been suspended indefinitely from the Trojans for unspecified reasons. Said Kiffin of the situation: "We have a team of 99 percent of the guys right now that are fully committed to being a championship student-athlete on the field and off the field,” Kiffin said. “We didn’t feel like Patrick was doing that."
Redshirt sophomore receiver Brice Butler was the standout player on the day, pulling down three touchdown catches with another scoring catch called back because of a questionable offensive pass interference call. Said Kiffin of Butler: "He had a great day. By far the best day since I've been here -- easily. He was all over the place making big-time catches." Kiffin went on to compare Butler's situation to running back Allen Bradford's, in that both players were expected to start at their positions at the beginning of fall camp and lost out to surprise candidates but have responded well to the inherent challenge in losing their starting spot.
Injury update: left guard Butch Lewis was again the only player characterized as "full" in Kiffin's new injury report system. A host of players were termed "limited," those being right guard Khaled Holmes, defensive end Nick Perry, cornerback T.J. Bryant, safety Drew McAllister, quarterback Mitch Mustain, and running back D.J. Morgan. Out were linebackers Hayes Pullard and Marquis Simmons, tight end Xavier Grimble and -- in a surprise -- offensive guard Michael Reardon. Reardon's injury was not disclosed, but he was considered the probable starter if Holmes (neck) is unable to start against Hawaii.
Kiffin, on whether he will have his father (and assistant head coach) Monte Kiffin observe games and call plays from the press box or the field: "We're still looking at that. We've had some conversations about the differences. You come down in the NFL because the press box is of basically no value because you have the pictures of the sidelines. Here you don't. He actually went up in preseason game four to experiment with it, so we'll decide here shortly."
Final notes: The Trojans will practice twice more before leaving for Hawaii -- Monday at 4 p.m. (in what probably will be their last Monday practice of the 2010 season) and Tuesday at 2 p.m. ... Kiffin said the Trojans voted on team captains during a Sunday morning team meeting. The selections have not been finalized yet, he said, and will be announced tonight or Monday. ... Music played during certain sessions of practice on Howard Jones Field featured an unusual addition Sunday: crosstown rival UCLA's fight song.
Kiffin addressed the media following Sunday's practice, giving his new, streamlined injury updates, talking on the Hall situation, and praising his players for an energetic practice performance.
Hear what the coach had to say:
Left tackle Matt Kalil missed the first five practices of fall camp because of a lingering hamstring injury suffered during summer throwing sessions. Since his return, he has been a rock as a bookend blocker for quarterback Matt Barkley.
Kalil talked after Sunday's practice about the offensive line as a whole and also shed some light on the running back situation behind him, with Marc Tyler beating out Bradford and co. to start against Hawaii.
Hear what the redshirt sophomore had to say Sunday: