Tuesday, August 11, 2009

VIDEO: First football practice, Monday, August 10

Football practice, Tuesday, August 11

This post was written by Vanguard writer Allison Whited.

The weather this morning was beautiful and it offered a nice reprieve from yesterday's sun. Practice was quieter today than yesterday and the media hoopla has receded a little bit.

Something I would like to make note of that I did not mention regarding yesterday’s practice was an injury to freshman free safety Justin Lilley. At the end of a drill yesterday, Lilley slipped on the turf and lay there for some time after. I looked and looked for him to see if he came back and I could not find him. Today I spotted him—on the sideline with crutches and his leg in some kind of brace. Before his injury yesterday he looked great and exercised good control when going through some drills.

The coaches were exploring who would be best suited for the punt return team today and it was fantastic to watch. A group of players would line up and once a punt was kicked to the returner, they would take off after him. The coaching staff implored them to do well and reminded them they would be watching video of the drill later on to determine who would make it.

Cornerback Tracy Ford had a great return, as did Aaron Woods. Quarterback Connor Kavanaugh got a piece of the return action too, though he had a pretty ugly drop on one of his two attempts.

Linebacker Ryan Pedersen had a great tackle and strip, and defensive end Joe Ma'aseia had a perfect tackle towards the end of practice, really showing what coach Glanville's seniors are capable of.

Football practice, Monday, August 10

This post was written by Vanguard writer Allison Whited.

Ahh... Football is back on the Portland State campus. Coach Glanville and company were out for the first practice of the 2009-10 season and it was a great scene to behold. There were some new faces, like new offensive line coach Brad Davis, and some old ones, like newly minted offensive coordinator Jim Craft. But all around, there were smiles and the team seems ready to get the new season under way.

I will be writing a blog entry after every practice I attend, just to make note of a few things that caught my eye and to keep everyone current on the news coming from the field. I will do my best—just remember that far too much goes on for this to suffice as a complete report.

After practice, Glanville seemed very convinced that the level of talent on the field this year is great. This is a sentiment I have heard echoed more than once from the coaching staff. In hand with this belief in the talent on the roster has come a kind of confidence. When asked if he felt like this was finally his team, Glanville said, "Yes, for the first time in three years."

The seniors playing on the team had a lot of confidence yesterday as they carried out their drills. Linebacker Erik Pedersen was quick and controlled when running through the pads. Cornerback Tracy Ford read his receiver all the way and knocked down a guaranteed touchdown pass. Free safety Jordan Brown exhibited some incredible speed, showing that he has come back from the injury last year that kept him off the field.

The newcomers on the team struggled a little bit today. Linebacker Jaycob Shoemaker, who I have heard Glanville is excited about, had some trouble running through the pads when he was hit and he stumbled out at the end of them. Fullback Ben Bowen dropped some balls but tried to redeem himself with strong runs after every one of them.

I didn't cover the team last year, so I am less aware of where they're coming from, but it looks like where they are headed to is a good, solid place. With the first game less than a month away, only time will tell, but after today, I am excited to find out.