DAY 9 MORNING SESSION: Canfield ramps up

SUAESI TUIMAUNEI

CORVALLIS -- Oregon State QB Sean Canfield was back in action after taking a day off -- and he was lighting it up. Patrick Henderson was again running with the 1's at corner, Markus Wheaton has a good day -- and a smile to match, Michael Philipp looks for a 'backer downfield to engage plus more.

Individual drills again focused on footwork and engagement in Coach Cav's corner. Assistant Mike Cavanaugh was jacked up for this far too hot morning practice, with a heavy verbal dose of; "Drive your legs!"

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Blocking on the edge is crucial to the OSU offensive success, and the tight ends and running backs worked most the session on blocking drills.

Good news for the front seven, David Pa'aluhi III was back in pads -- and he looked like he didn't missed a beat.

Team Sessions/Skelly:
As normal, the Beavs had three team sessions and an extended skelly drill, all of which will be covered in this segment.

The morning didn't start too well on offense when the big boys joined the skilled players. The first three plays consisted of a Sean Canfield botched snap, which Stephen Paea fell on, an overthrown deep pass down to a wide open Markus Wheaton and a dropped ball by the usually sure handed James Rodgers.

FORTUNATELY THAT'S WHERE the negatives ended for the offense today. But Coach Cav was already revved up, and he continued the verbal niceties, now directed at the second team offensive line.

Jacquizz Rodgers doesn't generally get all that many touches in team drills but when he does, he often electrifies.

The Texas sophomore jetted past defenders to start. Quizz then took a toss outside and followed the agile Michael Philipp, who moves very well for a guy his size (6-3, 315). Philipp chested up Pa'aluhi and drove him to the outside, allowing Quizz to shoot up field for a big gain.

THE OFFENSIVE LINE began and finished the day well. Whether it was the encouraging words from their coach, or memories of victories past, the line looks like they're beginning to figure things out.

Sean Canfield shook off the shaky start and again began orchestrating an offensive symphony with his left arm in skelly drills.

From this chair, if the o-line gives him time, Canfield is going to be a very, very dangerous weapon for the Beaver scoring machine. The things is the o-line hasn't always given him that time to this point in fall camp.

But on Wednesday, receivers were finding space in the underneath routes and were hit time and time again by Canfield and Ryan Katz.

TO ILLUSTRATE JUST how accurate Canfield is/can be, on one play Casey Kjos snapped off an out route, but Suaesi Tuimaunei -- who has continued to impress -- had blanket coverage. Canfield slug the ball to the outside and as Tuimaunei looked like he was going to intercept it Kjos snatched it out of the air, just out of the reach of the safety.

Great route, great coverage, better pass.

Patrick Henderson took the majority of the reps at corner with the first team defense and looked solid again in coverage.

No. 3 is beginning to show good instincts and shut down ability. James Dockery rotated in and did make a couple good plays after Mark Banker coached him up. The vacant corner spot opposite Tim Clark is beginning to look less worrisome with the increased production of late.

WORTH MENTIONING IS the demeanor of WR Wheaton. He carries around a smile all day long and is continually jawing with onlookers and defenders.

Indeed, Wheaton does not play or act like a true freshman who's being forced into a starting role. The true test will come on Saturdays this fall but on Wednesday, the quick wideout looked comfortable on the practice field.

Back to the action as Wheaton, at one point, slipped and fell to the turf as Canfield was in mid-delivery. But Wheaton jumped up from his backside and laid out to make the catch. A great sign, not giving up on a play, and getting positive yards.

We'll have our second article on this morning's session up shortly.

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