Was on hand for a healthy portion of practice today, and here's what I observed ...
-The cornerbacks, who I highlighted in the previous blog post as a concern, played well. One might argue they played very well. Kishon Wilcher closed fast to bat down a ball in the red zone, Cheatham Norrils intercepted a pass thrown by --- I'm pretty sure on this --- Austin Dantin, and Keith Suggs dove around the goal line to knock down a pass, halting a scoring chance. The best play of the bunch? None that I've mentioned. That distinction goes to Jordan Haden's brutalization of receiver Alonzo Russell at the 1-yard line. It appeared Russell would score easily on an out pattern before Haden, closing fast, pulverized him to the turf. Haden has missed most of camp with an injury he suffered in the spring, so I'm not sure where he stands in the pecking order at cornerback. But he certainly didn't hurt himself today. Russell, at 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds, is no chump. As an aside, I saw several corners working with the first-team defense. Hard to predict how this competition will shake out, although I continue to believe senior Byron Best has secured one of the two starting spots.
-Norrils has switched from No. 36 to No. 11. Expect Bernard Reedy, the former bearer of the No. 11 jersey, to switch to No. 1.
-Terrance Owens and Dantin took turns working with the first team offense. I will continue to work under the assumption that Owens will be the week one starter.
-James Green, listed No. 1 on the depth chart at 'X' receiver, was on crutches with his foot in a boot. Not sure what's going on there. Dwight Macon (ankle) did not practice but will be back soon.
-Eric Page, also on crutches, was on hand to watch practice.
-Practice ended with running Cassius McDowell, practicing with the first team, bouncing outside and sprinting for a touchdown of 50 yards or so. McDowell is making the most of his opportunities in the absence of David Fluellen (foot).
-The line of the day comes from Jermaine Robinson. After an official threw a flag for pass interference on fourth down near the goal line, Robinson voiced his displeasure by saying "Must be Big East officals." Zing.