Jags Take A Long Weekend But Are Back And Ready For Game Week

October 26, 2009 · By · Filed Under Football 

Coach Jones and his staff decided to shorten practice last week by a day by wrapping up on Wednesday instead of Thursday. Wednesday’s practice lasted about two hours that morning.

Over the three days of practice last week they covered basics by position. But the main focus was working on the passing game which included pass protection and being able to throw the ball when called upon to do so.

The accumulated work that the team has done since preseason camp and how hard the players practiced those three days last week contributed to the long weekend for the players. However, the weekend wasn’t so long for the coaches. Another reason for the short week was to help the assistant coaches to get a head start on their recruiting trips over the weekend. The early morning practice on Wednesday allowed the coaches to get on the road and recruit Thursday and Friday.

Coach Jones commented about the weeks’ practice: “I thought it was a great three days, we were really good. I’m very proud of how we practiced, we came out and got better. Any time you have change during a long season, it’s good for the team. I think it really perked the guys up, they practiced well. We came out these three days and gave great effort. I challenged them in Monday’s meeting and told them we have two choices – we can take these three days and get through them or we can take them and get better.”

“We want to be a Division I football program. That means we have to take every opportunity we have to build a foundation for how we do things. They guys really responded and practiced like champions.”

Coach Jones also spoke about what they practiced on during the week: “We really dedicated these three days to ourselves. We backed off and concentrated on fundamentals and just working hard – in other words, playing hard and playing fast. If you can do those things you have a chance to win every time out. If we would’ve worked on preparing for Fork Union, we would have lost some of the fundamentals. It was a good time to focus on those instead.”

Then on Monday Coach Jones spoke and media day about their upcoming opponent Fork Union Military Academy. “We’re excited about the game this weekend. We had a week off again, our last off week for the season, and we play three games in 12 days. It’s a little different because we’ve been in a slow-down mode and now we’re in a speed-up mode, especially with Saturday, Saturday, Thursday. I’ve been watching Fork Union on film and they’re a very good defensive football team. They have great talent on the defensive side of the ball, some really good players. I think they’ve got four guys that signed with Temple on that defense, so they’re a very skilled defensive football team. We’ve been working ourselves, and we talked to our kids last week about how we want to work against ourselves. We pretty much said forget game planning, we’re going to show the speed of the game with the offense going against the defense and the ones versus the ones. We had some great practices, the kids really picked it up, and I thought we really didn’t waste a day last week. We had some of the best practices we’ve had all year, I was really proud of that, and we’re looking forward to this weekend.”

Answering a question about the Jags not having any more off weeks, Coach Jones said: “There’s going to have to be a little more urgency to each practice. Our kids have been practicing that way, I’ve been really proud of them, but the interesting thing is going to be after that second Saturday game when we play a Thursday game. That’s going to be an interesting week. This week and next week will be no problem getting prepared, but that last week will be interesting.”

Speaking about improvements he wants the team to undertake: “Offensively it’s throwing the football, and that starts with protection and throwing and completing passes – that’s something we’ve got to work on. If we’re going to become a great football team we’ve got to be able to do that. That’s an area we need to work on.”

When asked what the team plans to do against Fork Union, he said “We’re going to come out and definitely try to throw the ball more than we’ve been throwing it. We feel like we can run the football, and that’s something we can always hang our hat on, but we need to try to work on the throwing game. We need to find out about our quarterbacks and receivers and what they can do for next year. We want to learn more about them in the next couple of weeks.”

When asked about Fork Union’s team coach Jones said: “They’ve got some good athletes. They’re a multiple offense like most of the teams we’re playing – they’re in the shotgun and under center. Looking at their team, if you looked at offensive and defensive sides of the ball, you’d probably say the defense shines a little bit more than the offense. They’re very sound defensively.”

To round out his portion, coach Jones commented on his goals for the Jags this week: “One of my goals for this week is to come out playing fast, start the game playing fast, proceed with that and play throughout the game that way. We’ve done a good job of playing hard, but I think offensively we’ve come out a little slow in a couple of games, and that had something to do with the defense we were playing being pretty good.”

Linebacker Enrique Williams answered a few questions as well, but the most striking answer he had was when he was asked about being a Mobile native and how important and how much fun it has been playing as a Jaguar. He said, “It has been great. A lot of my family and friends have been able to come to the games. It’s been the big talk around town, so it has been great to be part of the team and contribute on the field. One of the main reasons I signed at South Alabama was to be one of the first people to play for a big university in my hometown.”

The Jags host Fork Union on Saturday October 31st at Ladd-Peebles Stadium with kickoff set for 4pm.



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