Well, I might as well start out the morning with the significant news coming out yesterday. Just before practice yesterday, word leaked out that Richard Brehaut would be sitting out with a foot injury, news soon confirmed by media reports. X-rays came back negative, and the injury was diagnosed as a sprain, likely suffered at the end of Monday afternoon's practice. Brehaut talked with ESPNLA's Peter Yoon after practice about the injury and how he is dealing with taking a couple of days out of full practice mode.
"It was nothing that hindered my play, really," he said. "I finished practice and I thought it was going to be fine. Walking off the field yesterday, I didn't expect to miss practice, but once I took my ankle brace off and took my cleat off, that's when it really started hurting."
Brehaut seemed optimistic that he would be able to return in time for Saturday's scrimmage and said he didn't think missing a couple of days would be too much of a setback in the quarterback competition.
"I'm still in the meetings, I'm still getting all the mental reps," he said. "I'm still throwing on the side making sure my arm doesn't lose any of the accuracy or lose anything like that."
It sounds like Bre is taking his injury in a productive way, and thankfully it does not sound like it will affect his chance at earning the starting job. Richard's status is day-to-day, with Coach Neuheisel expecting him to be able to return to practice by the end of the week. In additional injury news, Jamie Graham has been diagnosed with a torn meniscus in his right knee, and will undergo surgery to repair the damage later today. His recovery and rehab is expected to keep him out of action for 3-4 weeks.
There was some movement in personnel on the Offensive Line in practice, as Coach Palcic switched Albert Cid from the 2nd team to the 1st team O-Line, with Chris Ward taking Cid's place on the 2nd team. There was a motivational aspect to the move at both ends; Neuheisel wanting Ward to compete harder in the practices, and Palic wanting to put Albert a little over his head. Chris Foster reported Palcic as wanting to "force feed" Cid a bit, and noted that he is adapting to D-1 Football faster than he had expected. While this may just be an attempt to get Ward to feel a sense of urgency to step up his game, the move would not have happened if Cid were not showing legitimate signs of progress and ability to contribute this season - both Gold and Maya noted in their practice reports that Coach Palcic made them believe that Cid could be starting for the Bruins to open the season, and ESPN has the following quotes from Coach Palcic on Albert..
"He’s coming along faster than I thought he would," Palcic said. "... but Alberto is progressing faster than I anticipated, to be honest."
"I think he can be a real good player," Palcic said. "I thought he did a decent job in there. He’s going to be a good football player. He’s a big strong kid and has good mobility and likes to play. He’s everything I thought he was when I watched him on junior college tape."
With Richard Brehaut out of action, Kevin Prince had the bulk of practice time and attention to himself - time that he can still very much use in his bid to keep the starting job that he has won coming out of the last two Fall practices.
Reports painted a mixed picture of Kevin's performance on Tuesday. While he practiced better than he did on Monday, throwing some nice long passes, Prince was still not as sharp as Neuheisel thought he should be, though Kevin certainly has a pathway open to success if he can become more consistent between drills and practice/game situations.
RN: "He was better today but still not as sharp as he needs to be. I think that there’s more in him. There are some balls he’s missing that he needs to hit. You can’t be thinking about your feet, you got to play. And you got to take what you do in drill work to the practice field. If he’ll do that he’s going to be terrific."
To his credit, Kevin was also been forthright about his recent struggles in practice while talking to the media after Tuesday's session, with Peter Yoon sharing this quote.
"I don’t know what it is really," Prince said. "I’m just not putting the ball where it needs to be right now. It’s not necessarily a mental thing. My confidence is there. I think it’s just more of a mechanical thing. I’m just not getting my feet in the right place. I feel good about the fact that I’m picking the right receivers to throw to, I’m just not giving it to them. I’m not giving the receivers a chance to make a play. It’s frustrating because I know I can do it, it’s just not all coming together."
He went on to talk about the need to focus on his fundamentals, a method that he has used before to break out of slumps. Adam Maya has more from Kevin's media session on the OC Register's site.
gbruin noted the placekicking slumps faced by Kip Smith and Joe Roberts in yesterday's Spaulding Roundup. While Smith has started to show improvement in recent practices, this morning's practice reports describe a backslide on the part of both kickers on Tuesday.
"It wasn’t good enough," he said. "We’ve got to find a guy to go out there amidst pressure and kick the ball. We need someone who can put it through there reliably." When asked about using punter Jeff Locke, Neuheisel said, "It’s still possible. I’m hoping to get it done with somebody else because he’s so valuable in other areas."
There still is time for both of our placekickers to work on the mental and physical issues at play in their recent struggles before the season opens. While Jeff Locke has the ability to assume the placekicking role in addition to his punting duties, and Coach Neuheisel let one of his players who kicked in high school put one toward the uprights yesterday, the team will be much better off with someone simply able to placekick, and nothing else, whichever kicker that happens to be.
Jon Gold talked with freshman receiver Devin Lucien after practice; in watching that video he sounds like a confident young man, and has the talent and ability for the position to make an impact. Today sees another double-session of practice, with the Bruins taking Spaulding Field at 9am and 4pm.