Camp Practice 9: Notes

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Measuring risk against reward, Lane Kiffin has chosen the safe route.

  • The head coach has decided to eliminate live tackling in all but two of the remaining fall practices.  USC will hit in Saturday's scrimmage and the third preseason game a week from Saturday.
  • As we reported last night, the impetus for this change was the physical goal line drill that led to DE Nick Perry's injury.  The redshirt sophomore was diagnosed with a high ankle sprain.  He only expects to be out a week.  Kiffin said two weeks, but he knows this injury can potentially nag for up to a month.
  • Kiffin: "We tried to go one drill of being live and we can't afford to do it.  Never again...until about four years from now."  Kiffin admitted that this policy is counter to his instincts and his coaching history, but he's forced to adapt to this team's current situation.
  • Butch Lewis was not a casualty of last night's practice, but he remains on the sidelines with hip and groin pain.  They have ruled out "all the bad stuff" and Lewis told the media that surgery will not be necessary.  He expects to return to practice next week.
  • Now for the good news, WR Robert Woods and CB Brian Baucham were back in the mix today.
  • After a strong effort last night, Markeith Ambles was running with the first team receivers during a passing drill this morning.
  • If TE Jordan Cameron can block well enough to stay on the field, he will be a legitimate weapon with his size and athleticism.
  • Nickell Robey ripped away an interception today.  His strong camp performance has him in position to play the nickel role.  Nickell as the nickel corner!?!  Some things are just meant to be...
  • Asked to play the comparison game again, Lane Kiffin measured DT Jurrell Casey up with former Trojan 1st rounder Mike Patterson.  Kiffin jokes with Casey about being "short and squatty" like the aforementioned "Fat Pat."
  • Kiffin on Dillon Baxter: "This is not end of the world for his career.  He's just got to continue to develop.  He's come out here with a great attitude.  He needs to learn from this and not let it effect him going forward."
  • Kiffin also pointed out that they have a lot of specialty pieces offensively.  For example, David Ausberry has tremendous size and Stanley Havili is a great receiving fullback.  For the most part, you won't see the same guys play the whole game the way the receivers and tight ends did in the past.
  • Derek Simmons has been moved to defensive end for depth reasons. 
  • Devon Kennard will likely not move back to end unless he loses the middle linebacker battle to Chris Galippo.  If Galippo loses out, he could potentially fill the standing end role like Brian Cushing once did.
  • Here's Kiffin's full media session as he explains the tackling limitations:

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