2014 Spring Practice #3: Notes

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Written by Caroline Deisley, USC blog contributor

The Trojans continued to grind at day three of spring practice earning a much needed break for the next week as the players will get a few days off for spring break.
  • The Trojans will enjoy a few days of relaxation while also taking a step back to process everything they've learned from the first three practices.  "I'm proud of these guys. It's been physically and mentally grueling for them. We've put a lot on them in three days," said head coach Steve Sarkisian. "When we come back, we'll go right back to day one installation and really start focusing on the fundamentals, techniques and details of those calls." 
  • Saturday's practice focused a lot on learning different schemes on both sides of the ball and giving all the players opportunities to make plays. Though the quarterbacks are still learning the system, Coach Sark said he did see some positive glimpses from them; however, he is still not close to choosing a starter. "When it feels right, when it looks right then I'll probably wait one more practice and then we'll make the decision," said the head coach.
  • Last year's starting quarterback Cody Kessler did say that he finally felt like the fast tempo was becoming more natural for the offense even though it's still early and everyone is trying to figure out timing. "The thing with the offense is that there's no set positions so the guys have to learn every single route. They can't just learn one position," said Kessler.
  • Senior LB Hayes Pullard said after the first week the one thing that has stood out to him the most is the entire defense. "Everyone's embracing this playbook. They're just coming in and everyone on this defense is taking the initiative to go out there and just play every snap," said Pullard.
  • The Trojans' young backfield also got a lot of work in at practice with defensive backs coach Keith Heyward even running some of the drills with the players. In order to develop these young players, especially cornerbacks like Kevon Seymour, Heyward said they have to have tremendous attention to detail. "Cornerback is a very technical position and you have to be a master at your technique," said Heyward. "As a corner, you're out there on an island and any one mistake you make can be a touchdown."
  • After the first week with his new players, Heyward said he can't get over the athleticism, football knowledge and football IQ of these guys also mentioning that the competitive nature of the USC players is unparalleled. "All of these guys want it a lot and it's good because now the intensity gets up and it makes the competition level as a team rise," said the defensive backs coach. 
  • Here is Coach Sark summing up the first week of spring practice...

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