Oregon St. WR/KR James Rodgers was in street clothes, as he will be all spring, when the Beavers began spring practice Monday, but he was not on crutches, which shocked Coach Mike Riley.
"I think everything is really good," Riley said. "I was shocked he wasn't on crutches. It's going to be one of those things we won't know for a long time if he can starts practicing on Day 1 of (training) camp this fall."
Rodgers is optimistic, in part because the second of two surgeries on his injured left knee didn't hurt the way the first one did, and did catch some balls being tossed around.
The day was the first introduction for most to new wide receivers coach Brent Brennan, who is "living out of a big duffle bag." Brennan, is living with Offensive Coordinator Danny Langsdorf, and hasn't even had time to move his family to Corvallis yet, but struck a positive note with Rodgers and the receiving unit.
"I'm feeling really good," Rodgers said. "I've been rehabbing in Texas, and I feel really good where I'm at right now. I've been working hard since I've been back in Texas. They (the trainers) will evaluate me, and when I'm cleared to go I'm going to hit the ground running."
Brennan, who first met them Sunday night, bounced from station to station during drills, in a light-mooded atmosphere.
"It’s just more fun that way," Brennan said. "Knowing how spread out everything is, it’s hard to see everybody at the same time if you’re standing still. I think you’ve got to get around to see everybody; everybody needs to hear your coaching points, because they’re getting to know me and I’m getting to know them, so I need to know what they can do too."
"I love it," Rodgers added.
Quarterback Ryan Katz joined Rodgers in watching the workout, and then had another CT scan on his throwing wrist. Riley is taking a slow approach to working Katz back into practices.
"If he gets clearance he’ll start throwing," Riley said. "My goal is get him throwing full speed the last three weeks of our five weeks. I would be happy with that. If it’s only the last two weeks, I’ll take that."
The one notable development out of the first day involved a slight shuffle on the defensive line.
Starting defensive end Dominic Glover moved inside from right end to right tackle, making the alignment from left to right Blake Harrah, Kevin Frahm, Glover and Rusty Fernando.
"I like the position change, and it feels good to be in there," Glover said. "I just want to be on the field."
The change is an ongoing effort to get as much speed as possible on the defensive line.
"One of the most important jobs our coaches have to do this sprint is we have to look at our personnel and see the correct placement," Riley added.
The Beavers will work in shorts in Wednesday and Friday's practices, and Riley will switch them to pads next week.