Clay Helton Day 9 Notes

1) Frosh ILB Palaie Gaeteote had an arthroscopy on his “small torn meniscus” and will be out just two to four weeks.

2) ILB Cameron Smith is coming around and went through “walk-throughs” yesterday.

3) OT Chuma Edoga is back in “full force.”

4) OT Austin Jackson is out with an ankle. Doesn’t seem serious and could return by week’s end.

5) OT Clayton Bradley (formerly Johnston) is looking good and is especially valuable because he can play on both the left and the right side.

6) OT Jalen McKenzie is also “making good progression and is a good athlete.”

7) CBs Greg Johnson and Isaiah Langley are battling it out and Greg is “pushing hard” for playing time. “It’s s good competition.”

8) Frosh QB JT Daniels is “distributing the ball well and taking what the defense gives” and not leaning towards or forcing the ball to his former Mater Dei team-mate Amon-Ra St. Brown.

9) Frosh WR Amon-Ra St. Brown has “a sense of urgency to be great. He’s ‘powerful and physical’ and can play inside or outside. He will move around. He’s a talented individual who has really put a mark on this camp with his physical and mental maturity at such a young age. He has ‘natural-catching ability’. It comes easy for him. Nelson Agholor had to really work at it, while Woody (Robert Woods) was day 1.”

10) WR Michael Pittman suffered a broken nose and had reset surgery. He also has a shoulder sprain and won’t be back until next week at the soonest.

11) Clay Helton says he was actually pleased with the OL play on Saturday and that there were only two or three “physical beats” by Jay Tufele and Hunter Echols — and no missed assignments by OLs. He said the QBs were holding the ball too long. “Three or four of those sacks were quarterbacks not getting rid of the ball.”

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TrojanMPA90
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On Item #11, the QB’s need to be taught to go through their receiver progressions quickly and if they see nothing available to get rid of it. Might be good to do a timing drill in camp where they practice this with D-lineman coming at them.

Rock2112
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It might be a little more complicated than that, particularly with Sears and Fink who had the bulk of the sack problems. They are not going to beat JT on a straight throwing basis — their success depends on showing an aspect to their game that JT doesn’t have — i.e., like Sam, the ability to avoid the rush, move the chains, and make something out of busted plays. If they just check reads and then toss the ball out of bounds because everyone’s covered, that is probably the smart play but it is also an incompletion that will not… Read more »

Gabby
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Are these truly sacks or an aspect of practiced used to protect the QB’s

Rock2112
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They are not necessarily sacks (hence putting that word in quotes). The QBs can’t be hit, so the coaches exercise judgment to blow the whistle when they think a sack was likely in a real game. But we’ve all seen what should be sheer sacks turn into big gains when QB steps out to avoid a hit and then sheds the tackle. Take it all with a grain of salt, although, at the very least, the situation counts as a “hurry” and it is not a situation we want our line to put our QBs into often.

Golden Trojan
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I like points 8 and 11, Daniels not depending on St Brown and the O Line improving.

ATL D.D.S.
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Seems like an awful lot of early season injuries. Is this bad luck or a consequence of having physical practices where we used to not have physical practices? Geez Louise!

Steveg
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It doesn’t appear that fortunately they are serious. Gustin has probably the worst injury and he will be back soon. Hamstrings, ankles, and sprains all heal fast so with a little luck they should be a pretty much full strength for the seasons games. Not to say other injuries won’t occur, but personally I am not rattled by the number. One thing I have seen mentioned is that conditioning is falling short and is the reason the injuries are up. I fail to see that, what I see is the intensity going on in practice, which is something new we… Read more »

ATL D.D.S.
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Thank you, Steveg…. Are you really “observing” practice? Your comments make it sound like you actually have eyeballs on scene. I hope you are–nice to have eyewitness accounts–but I thought practices were closed affairs this season?

Steveg
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Hey Atl, the commute is way to far for me to go to practice. Not as far as yours would be but at my age the drive and road rage would either kill me or get me sent to jail.

ATL D.D.S.
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Okay, Thanks for clearing that up for me, brother!

Old_Trojans_never_die
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A sack is a sack no matter whose fault it is. I imagine the coaches are putting that notion into play this week.

Steveg
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A practice sack is getting close. In real games the QB has to hit the ground. What I am reading into it is that the coach feels the QB’s need to take evasive steps to finish their progression, or to take off or throw it away. They are not avoiding the sacks.