Today's Spring Showcase went off as expected. There weren't any noticeable injuries and it pretty much played out like the other practices I've observed this Spring. The only real exception was that there were no individual drills. So, the fans in attendance didn't get the opportunity to see a live scrimmage, but, overall, the fans didn't seem to mind.
Afterwards, Coach Jim Mora said:
[Compared to the start of Spring Practice, the offensive performance] is like night and day....Last week was when I noticed that they made a significant jump in the terms of execution and consistency and, today, they made another jump.
He also talked about the offense's improvement in false starts, noting that they had only one and it was a wide receiver. Mora added:
We made a lot of progress there....It's no secret we've had some penalty issues and, so, I think this will help us.
Defensive Coordinator Tom Bradley also met with the media after the Showcase. He was asked about Takkarist McKinley's progress and he said that Tak has had an excellent Spring. He seemed pleased with the way the defense has worked on fundamentals over the course of Spring Practice. He mentioned that he thinks that it's always a productive day when no one gets banged up.
Unfortunately, during much of Josh's interview, it is very hard to hear what or whom he is talking about because of the background noise. But, the key thing that's audible is Josh's response to the question about which drill has helped the most is the 9-on-7 drill. Rosen said:
The defense should win that drill because they've got two extra guys. So, if we get two to three yards, that's a win for us. It's really good because they aren't seeing the same thing. The defensive linemen are getting hit from all different sides. So, they have to think, rather than just beating a double team.
As Coach Bradley noted, Jayon Brown has probably gotten more reps than anyone else because of some injuries to the linebacking corps. Overall, Jayon had the quote of the day:
This is great. I feel like we should have a stadium on campus because I know it's a struggle going to the Rose Bowl every Saturday. A lot of people came out and supported it.
From Jayon's lips to Dan Guerrero's ears. An on-campus stadium would definitely be a great thing even if it might make tailgating tougher.
Conor McDermott spoke about the improvement to the interior line, saying that they're getting better and better every day. That's incredibly important because the interior line will need to perform well in Coach Polamalu's offensive scheme and because there have been so many issues with the offensive line in past seasons.
While Eldridge Massington hasn't had the best Spring, he did seem to perform better compared to each of the previous Saturdays. That said, he does need to continue working hard and improving his timing with Josh Rosen as he is still dropping a lot of catchable balls. When asked about what it's like having Ishmael Adams, Massington said:
He actually helped me get better this week. There's been a competition between [us]. We argue every day about who's going to make the most plays....It's been great having Ishmael [on offense]. He's a better receiver than he is a DB to me. He's so explosive with the ball in his hands. He can score at any time with the ball in his hands.
Now, it's up to the players to continue working on their own with Strength and Conditioning Coach Sal Alosi until Fall Camp rolls around in San Bernardino.