Note: This entry is by staff writer Chace Bryson, filling in for Jonathan Okanes on Thursday:
The primary storyline to Thursday’s practice was quarterback Kevin Riley being given the opportunity to work exclusively with the first team. Working on the hurry-up offense with full squads, Riley’s first pass was a 30-yard completion to Michael Calvin on a wheel pattern down the left sideline.
The sophomore signal-caller had his ups and downs during Thursday’s workout. His nicest pass of the afternoon came on a rollout to his right when he hit Nyan Boateng cutting across the middle about 40 yards down field. Boateng caught the ball in stride and went into the end zone untouched. Riley’s day also included a handful of misreads and a few overthrows.
Asked for a quick assessment of Riley’s day with the first team, coach Jeff Tedford seemed encouraged, but not overly so.
“It’s practice, and we’ll watch the tape,” Tedford said. “Every day is a learning process for everybody. (Riley) did some good things and some not-so-good things.”
Longshore had a relatively strong day with the second team offense. He had a copule of 60-plus yard touchdown passes. He hit tight end Tad Smith over the middle for a score. And he connected with wideout Sean Young on a fly pattern down the right sideline. Young beat freshman cornerback Michael Anthony on the play. However, Anthony redeemed himself later in practice when he picked up the only interception of the evening. He jumped the route on a Beau Sweeney pass and returned it 25 yards into the end zone.
Overall, Tedford was pleased with Thursday’s workout as the team transitions into full-pad workouts on Friday.
“We had more mistakes today, and that’s to be expected when you continue to install plays,” Tedford said. “But tomorrow we get to be in full gear, so it’s going to be real football tomorrow. So I’m anxious to see guys get after it. I’m sure the energy and tempo is going to be great.”
Some players already seemed to be itching for full pads on Thursday. Junior safety Gary Doxy lowered his shoulder pads to Jeremy Ross after Ross had a pass go off his fingertips early in practice. And senior wide receiver Drew Glover delivered a punishing block on a screen pass near the end of workouts.