April 3, 2009
Special visitors attend Cardinal practice
Stanford held their second Junior Day of 2009 and around 15 prospects and their families were in attendance. (We will have more on who was at the Junior Day next week). Besides the juniors in attendance, another visitor was seen on the sidelines for a portion of the practice. Former United States Secretary of State and current Stanford University political science professor Condoleeza Rice was on the field taking in the practice and talking to the recruits and their families. Many of them got autographs and snapped a photo with Ms. Rice.
The visitors watched the Cardinal hold it's 10th practice of spring 2009 going in full pads for three hours in Stanford Stadium.
Several players were held out of today's workout with injuries. Guard/tackle Chris Marinelli, tackle Allen Smith and defensive end Erik Lorig were the new faces that joined the rehabbing crew. All three were banged up in Wednesday's practice and there is no word of when they are expected to return. I hope to talk to Coach Harbaugh after the next practice.
In better injury news, wide receiver Marcus Rance is working out more and more, participating in non-contact drills and running routes in the 7-on-7 sessions.
Tavita Pritchard and Andrew Luck continue to share reps and time with the first team. Today was not one of Luck's better days, he overthrew a few passes and a few others were behind their targets. Pritchard, as he always has, runs the offense very well, looks poised and confident. But it appears he still lacks the arm strength for routes 15 yards out. The team ran a lot of the spread option today and Pritchard looked very good.
Here are a few players that stood out in some one-on-one blocking and tackleing drills.
Here are some plays that caught my eye during various drills.
Pritchard to Doug Baldwin (who got slightly dinged and did not return)
Pritchard with a nice pass to Ryan Whalen
Baldwin beat Corey Gatewood deep but Pritchard overthrew him.
Luck overthrew an open Chris Owusu on a deep post, covering was Michael Thomas.
Harold Benard had in interception is a 7-on-7 drill
Richard Sherman had a nice pass break up.
Jeremy Stewart made a nice one-handed grab of a Luck bullet.
Konrad Reuland, wide open and running up the sideline, dropped a pass from Luck
Patrick Maynor had an interception.
Luck threw a bullet to Warren Reuland, who caught it in self-defense.
Kris Evans picked off a terrible Pritchard pass.
Owusu made a nice adjustment on a deep ball from Pritchard.
Owusu skyed to grab a Pritchard pass.
Pritchard ran a nice bootleg and found Owusu on a comeback route.
Luck drilled a pass to Stewart, between two defenders.
Luck overthrew a wide open Owen Marecic, who got behind the secondary.
Thomas worked at wide receiver more than he has in previous practices, with Loukas out and Baldwin getting dinged, the unit was thin today
With Alex Loukas out with a torn ACL, the Cardinal have only two quarterbacks available. And with the set-up of Stanford practices, there is always more than one drill going on. With Luck and Pritchard working elsewhere, this left Coach Jim Harbaugh taking snaps in a 9 (defense) on 7 (offense) drill. And the coach still has it, a few passes were a little low and he looked rusty but the tools were there. Most impressive was a scamper up the middle avoiding a sack and gaining a first down.
Nate Whitaker is the number one kicker for now, he connected on a 45-yarder during the two minute drill.
The offensive line is continuing to work well and develop some nice depth. With Marinelli and Smith out of today's rotation the unit didn't miss a step. Jonathan Martin has looked good and is running first team at left tackle. And Chase Beeler seems to have a hold on the center spot. The unit will be the strongest part of the 2009 team in my opinion.
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