Vero Beach! Full pads! Open practice! An unprecedented amount of access for our beat-writer heroes! I love me some Jim Leavitt, but I think he would have held an all-day press conference before he would have allowed practice to be open to the public.
Also I read Skip Holtz's quote during the mid-practice Powerade break, where he told his players, "It's a 29-practice marathon, not a two-practice sprint." Believe me, around Day 15 of doing these recaps, I'm probably going to wish it was a sprint.
-- Scott Carter posted a string of photos from practice on his Twitter account, and he also filed a regular report from Monday's practice. I was mildly concerned about the players being held out for concussion-ish symptoms after only a couple days of hitting, but if there's any time of the season where caution is advised, this is it.
-- Greg Auman might be just dictating his every thought into his laptop at this point, as he filed a whopping seven blog posts yesterday. (If we see him posting about bills he has to pay, or the directions to a restaurant on the Intracoastal, then we'll know he's gone stream of consciousness on us.) One of his posts is about the abundance of caution USF Is taking with the summer heat, constantly measuring the players' body temperature with sensors and pulling guys out of practice to cool off if they reach a dangerous level.
-- Another is about B.J. Daniels not being included on the Maxwell Award watch list. I'm not willing to call complete shenanigans here, because there are a lot of extremely talented (and upperclassmen) players on the list, while Daniels is only a sophomore. But really? Tom Savage is on the list and Daniels isn't? Aren't they almost the same player?
-- TCPalm.com (I'm not sure if it's a newspaper on the east coast, or just a Web site) also had a feature about the Bulls practicing in Vero Beach, where Holtz made sure to educate his team on the history of Dodgertown.
-- With open practice comes video clips, and there are several to share. The official USF site has a story and video of some of the fans who were already in the area and stopped by practice. Auman posted several clips with his Times-issued video camera -- one of the team stretching out, one of Holtz's daily interview, and a summary video from his hotel room, complete with his Blackberry going off in the middle of it. I'm just waiting for the day Greg decides to go full-on Al Franken One-Man Mobile Uplink Unit. That will make me deliriously happy.
-- Skip was clearly more pleased with yesterday's practice than he was on Sunday. Morale is still good and the hitting is still pretty solid too. I liked how he mentioned a couple times the importance of the backups being ready to go if a starter has to come out, even in these early practices. He really wants to stress preparedness to his team and that's just another way to do it.
We also learned that Cory Grissom's nickname is "Pork Chop." Oh, and get to about the three-minute mark and you'll hear the story that sparked today's roundup title. Apparently there were some hot water issues in the dorms Monday morning...
-- Two practices on Tuesday, one in the morning and one in the evening. 25 days until Stony Brook.