By Jonathan Okanes
Monday, April 7th, 2008 at 10:05 pm in off-season stuff.
There were several players wearing red jerseys today, meaning no contact and very limited practice. The most notable was quarterback Nate Longshore, who suffered a pulled pectoral muscle on Wednesday, according to coach Jeff Tedford. Tedford said the area is black and blue is swollen and wasn’t sure when Longshore would practice again. He said Longshore was moving his arm pretty well, but there was no reason to take any chances. Tedford also praised Longshore’s toughness for going through two practices with the injury, including Saturday’s practice when he played well in the first day in pads.
Other notables who essentially sat out practice were linebackers Zack Follett and D.J. Holt, running back Shane Vereen and guard Noris Malele. Tedford said Follett and Holt each suffered concussions during Saturday’s practice. I didn’t get the reason for Vereen and Malele’s absence. Malele wasn’t suited up at all but seemed to be OK stretching on the sidelines.
Freshman running back Covaughn DeBoskie returned to practice after missing a couple of days with a bladder infection.
Longshore’s absence meant Kevin Riley got to take first team reps. He threw a couple of nice passes during 7-on-7s but also was intercepted by Syd’Quan Thompson during 11-on-11s during a poorly overthrown ball.
Speaking of first team reps, Kevin Bemoll, who is trying to make an impression this spring after being suspended last season, took Malele’s place at right guard. Also, Richard Fisher took first team reps for Mark Boskovich at left guard. As I’ve said before, no grand conclusions should be drawn from changes on units as the coaches are doing a lot of experimenting and rotating during the spring, especially on defense. But Fisher is one of several good young offensive lineman that surely will be evaluated closely this spring and fall as the team tries to establish its pecking order after the loss of two starters.
The Bears ran a new tackling drill that tested defensive players ability in the open field. There were four stations, and in one station defensive linemen practiced running from the line of scrimmage to the sideline to try to track down a receiver who received a quick out. Needless to say, the advantage mostly went to the receivers, although Tyson Alualu and Cameron Jordan came up with a couple impressive stops.
Defensive lineman Scott Smith had a couple of good moments during practice, especially near the end during crossover when he delivered a bit hit on DeBoskie behind the line of scrimmage.
Quarterback Brock Mansion, getting second team reps, had a rough day, missing several receivers with errant throws. Receiver Drew Glover almost had the highlight of the day, laying out with a sprawling dive to catch one pass, but he couldn’t hold on to it as he slammed to the turf.
One note from the athletic department: Parking will be free everywhere on campus Saturday for Cal Day, when the Bears’ practice will be open to the public. Practice begins at noon.