The Warriors were again in shoulder pads today for the fourth practice of spring training. Some notes:
• Corey Paclebar and Billy Ray Stutzmann were the No. 1 slots. Paclebar was ahead of Allen Sampson, who was the No. 1 left slotback for the first three practices. Stutzmann, who had been the backup at right wideout, was the No. 1 right slotback in place of Terence Bell.
• Coach Greg McMackin called for the “Warrior Drill,” in which he matches a player from offense and a player from defense in a one-on-one battle. Safety Richard Torres bested wideout Royce Pollard, and linebacker Aaron Brown outdueled running back Sterling Jackson. Center Matagisila “Sila” Lefiti outdueled defensive tackle Kaniela Tuipulotu. After that, it was revealed that Lefiti’s nickname is “Godsila.”
• Walk-on Kenton Chun aced his orientation. In a field-goal test, surrounded by heckling teammates, Chun converted all six of his attempts, each from 35 yards. Two were from the right hashmak, two from the left, and two in the middle.
• Offensive guard Andrew Faaumu and defensive end Beau Yap are practicing as backup long-snappers.
• Leroy Lutu, making the adjustment from basketball player to safety, had an interception in team drills.
• The Warriors spent 45 minutes working on special-teams fundamentals. It was the longest practice period for the specialists in McMackin’s four spring trainings. The period served as both a teaching session and evaluation period. Selection of the “strike force” — previously known as special teams — will not be determined until after spring break.
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The next two spring practices will be important for linebacker Art Laurel, who is projected to have an expanded role in the Warriors’ plans. With the Warriors running the 45 scheme most of the 2010 season, there were limited opportunities at the two linebacker positions. With Corey Paredes recovering from shoulder surgery and Laurel having shown progress, defensive coordinator Dave Aranda declared: “It’s Art Laurel time.”
Some lawyers refer to the area in front of the jury box as the proving ground. The same can be said for the area between the defensive line and secondary.