Minnesota Tuesday Practice: Notes

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Reggie Bush was on the media's mind, but the current USC players are trying to plug Gopher holes.

  • USC AD Pat Haden addressed the report that Reggie Bush is returning his Heisman.  "It was a very noble thing for Reggie to do.  In my opinion, he made the right decision.  It was a thoughtful decision by Reggie," Haden said on the Heritage Hall steps.  "It's never a good thing to give a Heisman back.  But at the end of the day, USC did the right thing when we gave our Heisman back and now Reggie did, too.  Reggie was a fantastic football player, one of the most exciting players ever.  But by his own admission today, he made some mistakes."
  • Kiffin on Bush: "I respect any decision that Reggie made. I'm sure it was extremely hard for him."
  • On the injury front, DL Armond Armstead was surprisingly listed as "limited."  Lane Kiffin does not list specific injuries, so we can only guess what is wrong.  Not surprisingly, DE Nick Perry (ankle) and TE Jordan Cameron joined him on the sidelines.   Cameron was banged up making that acrobatic recovery on the on-side kick.  LB Marquis Simmons returned to full practice after a month out following an appendectomy.
  • Without Armstead and Perry, Ed Orgeron is forced to dig deeper into his defensive line pool.  True freshman Christian Thomas and little used Kevin Greene are getting pushed up the depth chart in their stead.
  • Coach O should be listed on the injury report as well.  He needed crutches to get around practice after breaking his foot last week.  If you have the patience to get through tonight's media session, Kiffin tells a great Orgeron story near the end.  Coach O refused to walk up the tunnel Saturday night.  He RAN up on a broken foot!
  • The offensive line went back to work today after a rough outing on Saturday.  "I'm just upset that we were not as productive as we could have been," LT Matt Kalil said after practice.  "We're fixing it and we'll get rolling."
  • Kiffin pinpointed the first quarter as the real problem period for the offensive line.  Kalil attributed that to "jitters" not being flat.  "In Hawaii, we were a little more relaxed.  I'm more nervous when I'm in the Coli, I just want to play so well," Kalil admitted.
  • While Marc Tyler is still the leading rusher in the Pac-10, the running game was slowed on Saturday.  "They were hitting the holes hard," FB Stanley Havili said of his running backs.  "Obviously in Hawaii, we had holes that were as big as trucks."
  • Lane Kiffin admitted that he has tried to preserve Havili since they do not have a recognized back-up and he's such a valuable weapon.  "Every player on this team would like more touches, but there's nothing I can do about it," Havili said on how little he has been used.  "Whenever the ball comes my way, just make plays and the biggest thing is to make plays when the ball is not in your hands."
  • Monte Kiffin held court for reporters tonight.  The venerable defensive guru was asked about having to tailor his defense to the college game.  "It's called the option!" Kiffin said of the biggest change.  "You don't see too many quarterbacks running like that in the NFL, except for Michael Vick."  Jake Locker will be awaiting the Trojans defense at their next home game.
  • The audio on Lane Kiffin's media session is low for the first four minutes, but it gets better.  It was a turf war out there today as the TV cameras wanted their Bush story.

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