Tuesday’s Practice Added Scout Team Work In Prep For Hargrave

August 26, 2009 · By · Filed Under Football 

Tuesday’s practice started off with the Jags working on positions drills with the defense on the grass field and the offense working on the turf field. Then both squads came together and worked on punts and punt returns before splitting once again for more positional drills. They ended the first half of practice with a period working on power running plays and another period of 7-on-7 skeleton passing drills.

The second half of practice was dedicated to working against the scout team in preparation for Hargrave, their opponent for the first game of the season. The Jags split into scout teams with the first team defense working on the grass field and the first team offense working on the turf. However, the coaches are working somewhat blind. “We’ve kind of used ourselves as competition until two weeks before and now we start trying to look at Hargrave,” defensive coordinator Bill Clark said. “Now it really starts getting into the fine-tuning of what we know. All we can base it on is what we’ve seen in the past and that’s where we’re headed right now.”

“For us it’s just about the fact that we have so many young guys and now we’re trying to show them what it takes to get prepared,” coach Clark continued. “We’re trying to say this is almost like game week to us because we’re only two weeks out and you don’t know what play it could be. It could be a running play, it could be a pass play, that could be the play that breaks, so we’re trying to get them to learn how to practice at full speed and the things that it takes to go against a scout team.”

The same uncertainty goes for the offense as well. “We’ve gotten some really good work done against Hargrave in the last two days, as far as the looks and what we expect, but they could change very easily,” said offensive coordinator Greg Gregory. “They changed quite a bit from game to game a year ago, and you just don’t know what their personnel is like. They’re going to see who they have come in this year, and last year they may have been a four-man front and the year before that they may have been a three-man front, they’re going to decide what defense they’re going to play based on what personnel they have, so you really don’t know. They’ve got some really good football players. We were looking at the roster of guys they’ve signed, and their four down defensive linemen are all big-time players – they will all be playing at the BCS level a year from now.”

“We’re to the stage now where about half of our practice is still against our own defense to get the real speed that we want, and then the other half of practice is spent working on Hargrave,” coach Gregory continued. “We’re showing them basically what [Hargrave’s] looks are against certain formations, trying to expose our guys to that a little bit, and really just trying to use this week to introduce quite a bit of what to expect from Hargrave.”

The Jags will continue working on preparation for Hargrave throughout this week and next week. Wednesday’s practice will be in pads and if they have a good practice, then Thursday will be helmets before holding their final scrimmage before their match-up with Hargrave on September 5th. Friday’s scrimmage is scheduled for 4pm at the on-campus practice fields.

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