March 30, 2008

Practice Insider: Moving around Joe McKnight

On Sunday the Trojans concluded the first week of spring football with their first full-pads practice. Around 500 fans wedged into Howard Jones Field to watch their favorite players and coaches in action.

Watching from the sidelines, it appears that after four practices the more experienced defense has a lead on the younger offense. Pete Carroll was quick to defend his offensive players, however.

"The offense did pretty good," Carroll said after practice. "In the situation we did to jam it right down into the short end of the field I thought the offense did pretty well today, at the end. The defense did very well early."

Carroll likes that in some drills the offense shines while in others it is the defense that takes charge.

"We go back and forth and both sides are battling," Carroll said. "It goes back and forth between who is winning and who is losing.

"Intensity is really good. We are rolling a lot of guys with the first group and giving a lot of guys opportunities to see how they play with other guys around them."

With four starters gone and two projected starters hurt, the offensive line is shown some remarkable resilience.

"At this point I am most impressed with what is going on with the offensive line," Carroll said. "Seeing how these guys are fitting together, and we have the ability to make some plays and make things happen with the individual guys that are out there."

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