DAY 2: Rodgers running wild; injury bug bites
Rodgers literally outran the entire secondary, sprinting past safety Cameron Collins and cornerback James Dockery to chase down the Katz pass. Now, the pass was ultimately dropped, but it was placed perfectly, taking Rodgers' abundant straight-line speed into account.
A couple more days, a few more padded sessions, and that's probably going for six. What can already be said is that there's a lot to like about the QB position's prospects this season, even at this early stage.
STARTING LEFT TACKLE Michael Philipp is resting the rest of the week after breaking his nose in a pre-fall workout with his brother last week. The accident was simply that, and the blue-chipper had his nose set earlier today.
Beavers head man Mike Riley noted that OSU will be taking the proper precautions and that protocol calls for him to sit out at least until Saturday.
AND SOPHOMORE Markus Wheaton will also be sitting out at least the rest of the week, suffering a bruised shoulder after falling hard on it during practice yesterday.
Junior Darrell Catchings, sophomore Jordan Bishop and senior Aaron Nichols all filled in for Wheaton this afternoon, and it was the eldest that impressed the most on Day 2.
Indeed, Nichols showed off his ability to hang onto the pigskin, jousting with one of the Beavers' hardest hitting safeties. With senior hammer Suaesi Tuimaunei in tight coverage, it looked like he had the upper hand, but Katz delivered a beautiful pass that put Tuimaunei in a compromising position.
So the big safety put his hands in front of the receiver to slap the pass away, but Nichols ripped the pass away and turned upfield for a big gain.
MEANWHILE, ON THE o-line, senior tackle Wilder McAndrews took the majority of Philipp's snaps. Whether or not that trend will continue is to be seen – line coach Mike Cavanaugh may do some experimenting in the coming days -- but McAndrews has a high ceiling despite his injury history.
Junior Mike Remmers took all snaps at right tackle, as per the usual, with guards Grant Johnson and Burke Ellis and center Alex Linnenkohl rounding out the interior of the No. 1 offensive line.
IN THE SECOND team session of the afternoon the offense got a little crafty, to the delight of Beaver fans in attendance.
We won't go into detail but junior defensive tackle Kevin Frahm sniffed out the threat immediately and the first play was stopped with a short gain. But the second play could not be stopped, as James Rodgers beat senior defensive end Gabe Miller to the edge and then matriculated his way down the sideline for a longish gain.
SPEAKING OF FRAHM, the Portland native plays with intensity and the move to d-tackle seems to have suited him well. During a particular defensive line drill, Frahm picked up the tempo.
The drill was basically a pursuit drill of sorts, and involved a massive amount of sprinting. Frahm continually shouted, "Texas Stadium! Texas Stadium! Texas Stadium!" in reference to the Beavs' season opener vs. TCU as the big linemen ran their sprints.
"You all should be thanking me because I just made all of you better! You're welcome!" concluded the always upbeat Frahm.
OSU FRESHMAN QB Sean Mannion, as detailed in yesterday's report, had a rough debut. He fared better today.
And it took just one throw to open eyes on the sidelines and in the stands.
As unlikely of a play as this was, the freshman quarterback rolled out, nearing the sideline, then quickly turned and threw across his body and towards the far sideline -- about 50 yards downfield.
Yes, the pass ultimately was incomplete. But it was some kind of throw.
The Beavers will don shoulder pads tomorrow and Thursday before going full pads on Friday.
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