Jeremy Francis was in pads warming up. Later on, many in observance were quite stunned to see him take full participation in the skelly and scrimmage-type situations -- all while taking and dishing out some hard hits in the process.
After watching him go down yesterday with what looked like it could be a serious injury, it was something of a jaw dropper to see him up and running like he was on Wednesday. Listen to Francis talk about it in this audio section:
The offense worked on the short passing game, where they had some issues yesterday. To the coaches' delight, the drill went extremely well. Offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf appeared quite pleased and let the players know it.
11-on-11 (short yardage)
The focus of the drill was on the run but Howard Croom made a couple of nice grabs. Lyle Moevao connected with Sammie Stroughter for a TD -- that was just the beginning for Stroughter in the session. Slade Norris would have sacked Moevao on a couple of plays had the quarterback not been off-limits in a yellow jersey. Keaton Kristick stayed with Gabe Miller on a long pass and batted it away -- nice to see a LB virtually running step for step with a receiver.
11-on-11 (No. 1 offense vs. No. 2 defense)
Stroughter beat James Dockery and Tim Clark on a pair of TD receptions -- Lyle Moevao was delivering his passes right on the money. The offensive coaches seemed happy with the performances, and Stroughter made it a point to let Moevao know that he was making great passes. On the last play, Justin Engstrom underthrew a pass to Stroughter, but Sammie still managed to catch it -- even after it was deflected. There were several candidates but that play perhaps highlighted best Stroughter's concentration and focus.
Stroughter gathers in yet another TD on a long pass. Damola Adeniji made a sliding catch inside the margins. If Adeniji can become more consistent, he could possibly work his way into playing time. Defensively, Isaiah Cook made a couple of nice plays, getting in front of short passes and batting them down. Jacquizz Rodgers got the most reps here with Francis staying out for a good portion of the time. But he wouldn't be sitting out for long.
Francis got the most reps in this scrimmage, and he wasn't afraid to take some hits in the process. Jacquizz Rodgers continued his Houdini acts taking a handoff from Ryan Katz to the house. The play of the session, however, went to Kyle Brown as he made a sterling one handed grab. Like Adeniji, consistency would appear to be what he needs to most improve.
11-on-11 (short yardage)
The defense came up strong in the drill. Indeed, the front line of the Beaver stop corps was creating havoc with Slade Norris, Stephen Paea, Brennan Olander and Victor Butler all making their presence known. Ryan McCants and Jacquizz Rodgers did manage to find the end zone and on a broken play, and Moevao ran one in himself.
Not as many highlight reel plays here but what was most interesting, and as was reported earlier by the Oregonian and Gazette Times, both the Rodgers' brothers lined up in the back field. Several different combinations saw time on Wednesday but just watching James and Jacquizz in the same backfield would probably send chills up the spines of many a Beaver fan. The options are wide open when they line up like that.
Play of the day
Jeremy Francis, for padding up and taking part in contact drills. There were no truly spectacular plays from him on Wednesday, but the fact he went in with the mindset to take full contact hits a little more than 12 hours after things looked a little bleak makes him the player for the session. Don't forget to tune in to the Francis audio clip.
The punting looked good this morning with all three -- Sean Sehnem, John Hekker and Ryan Allen all booting consistently well.
The first of fall's two-a day's started Wednesday with some cool weather in the Valley, as the sun played hide and seek and the temperature stayed around the mid 50's, a far cry from the swelter of recent days past.
The offense looked good in the morning session. The tight ends are really playing some good football early here in fall camp. Jacquizz Rodgers is not afraid to block, and he seems to have a sixth sense when the rush is coming -- a very positive sign for the QB and the receivers.
We'll have a report up later tonight but don't forget to check out the 10 minutes of audio from Mike Riley: