Coach Joey Jones Show Recap 2009-03-18

March 18, 2009 · By · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show 
From South Alabama Football First Spring Practice

Coach Joey Jones, Lee Shirvanian and Tommy Perry are in the studio at Baumhower’s Wing’s sports grill on Airport Blvd for today’s radio show. This is the next to last Coach Joey Jones show so go out and tell the people at Wing’s that you love the show and would hate to see it leave the airwaves. They also have their Grills Gone Wild specials going on right now so make sure to ask for that menu when you go. Joey Jones choice of the week is the Ragin’ Cajun chicken wings with the sauce on the side.

The first caller had another question about the release of the football schedule. However, this week we got some really good news when this was asked, not what we have been getting. Coach Jones said that the schedule will be released on Tuesday with seven games, probably an eighth and quite possibly a ninth and all of the confirmed games (seven) will be home games.

The caller followed up with a question about what kind of teams USA will be playing against come football season? Coach Jones said that USA will be playing smaller teams and schools, like he said before, but he can’t mention names until Tuesday. They will be teams that USA could recruit from in the near future which indicates possibly junior colleges and smaller Division II schools. They are moving towards Division-I as fast as they can and will be playing Div-I teams in three years, which when they release the schedule for the fall they will also talk about some of the upcoming Division-I teams that they have contracts to play in the coming years. The eighth game may be a road game for USA to wet their feet with traveling.

They took a few minutes to joke about Lane Kiffin at Tennessee and some of the questionable remarks he has made since he was hired at Tennessee.

Lee wanted to look back on the practices held last week. Coach Jones said he likes how the players and coaches were over their first week of practice but they cannot tell anything about the players until they put pads. But they improved from day one to day two but they really improved from day two to the third day of practice as expected. They start to internalize the drills and just get back into moving like a football player again.

When asked about some standout players so far, Coach Jones mentioned Courtney Smith and Ralph Turner as some good looking Wide Receivers with good routes and such. He aslo mentioned Richard Ross, Anthony Mostella and Santuan McGee as some good looking running backs. Starting next week they will be wearing pads and will start hitting and there will be some sort of scrimmage on April 10th but with only two quarterbacks  he is trying to figure out how that will work, they don’t want to risk one or both of them getting hurt.

They have about 97 to 98 players coming out to the practices with about 28 more scholarship kids coming in the fall. He said a total of about 45 coming in the fall and for camp they can only have 105 players, but when they start fall practice they can have 130 so they can add 25 kids at that time.

Tommy Perry is the running backs and special team’s coordinator for USA. Coach Perry is from a long line of coaches, his grandfather is John David Crow and his father is a high school coach as well. He graduated from Texas A&M and then went to University of Texas to work with Coach Brown, who he credited with teaching him how to coach a player one-on-one and to how to work with them.

Coach Jones said that they could have split the special teams’ duties between the other coaches but he like Coach Perry for that position. Coach Jones said that Coach Perry was irritated after the first day of practice because everything did not go like he wanted but as the players have gotten better so has his mood (a little chuckling there from both of them). Coach Jones said he and the rest of the staff really likes Coach Perry and Coach Jones really likes that he is a perfectionist.

Special Teams is a very critical part of the game. If you look at the conference champions each year in any conference they are almost always the leader in the special teams’ categories. He was a backup full back in college so Coach Perry got his chance to play because of special teams. Some people do not think that much about special teams and coaching special teams and can almost belittle them. But your good coaches know and acknowledge that specials teams can and will make or break a game.

Continuing on about special teams, Coach Jones said he will have players that are not allowed to play on any specials teams at all. Then some players can be on some special teams but not all of them. One reason is to prevent game fatigue. One example was a wide receiver that just ran a 55 yard fly route and then has to come right back and play the gunner position on the punt team. That is a lot of energy expended in two consecutive plays.

Talking about punt returning, getting a good punt returner, like Javier Arenas at Alabama, is pretty rare. But when a team blocks a punt, that team typically wins about 95% of the time. So Coach Jones said he may not emphasize the punt return as much, but he will definitely emphasize getting pressure on the punter trying to block a punt which could yield maybe 20 yards instead the average of 8 or 9 yard punt return if he is pressured and not blocked.

Talking about the Senior Bowl possibly moving to Tampa, Coach Jones said he was sad to hear that news that broke yesterday. After 59 years in Mobile, he hopes that they don’t leave for the tradition, for Mobile and for the USA Football program.

Practice next week will be in pads for the first time. Monday will be a weight training day. Practice will be held from Tuesday through Friday from 2:30-4:45pm. Once warmed up they will start hitting, some one-on-one drills and other drills. Coach Perry says he was pleasantly surprised with group of running backs at USA. Some speed guys and some grind it out and hard hitting guys. But it’s easier to look good in shorts but when they get pads on and the holes get smaller they will really see how good they are.

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