Spring Practice Continues For The Jaguars

February 23, 2010 · By · Filed Under Football 

Receiver Ralph Turner lined up during Spring practice.

Starting with the second day of spring practice, the Jags started working on drills. They began on special teams, position drills, 7-on-7 skeleton drills and 11-on-11 offense versus defense. They even had the offense and defense face the scout teams as well.

Coach Jones compares the improvements between the first and second games of last season to the improvements seen between the first and second practices this spring. The coaches unanimously thought that last seasons improvements between the first two games were the biggest of the year.

Thus on Friday, Coach Jones decided to go with full pads for the first time in the Spring on Saturday. The nearly three hour practice on Saturday saw a variety of work for the players.

After warming up, one of the first drills was the punt teams practicing staying in lanes on punt coverage. While on the other end of the field it saw the quarterbacks and receivers working throwing drills and quick throws.

The offense and defense separated onto opposite ends of the field and into three groups and went through fundamental drills. One of the most spirited drills was blocker on tackler with a runner going through the lane. The tackler had to fight through the block in order to get to the runner for the tackle.

Then all of the players met in the middle of the field for a team huddle. They broke the huddle and split into offense and defense again for more drills. They then had skeleton passing drills while the interior offensive and defensive lines practices inside running plays.

Then the real fun began with full offense versus defense drills running first down plays from the 35 yard line. Which went into first and ten drills followed by 3rd and 8 drills trying to pick up the blitz.

After the final huddle, the kickers got a chance to practice kickoffs with returners fielding kicks.

Overall there was alot of hard hitting even though the coaches limited the players to two hand tag most of the time. The players definitely came out with an intensity that carried over from last season.

Coach Jones commented that they need to spend more time learning their assignments because they did make their fair share of mental mistakes. Coach Jones commented, “We’re going to strive to be perfect, so mental mistakes aren’t accepted around here.”

Coach JOnes also made note of Brennan Sim’s passing during practice as well as Tim Harvey and Charlie Higgenbotham on the defensive side.

Tuesday’s practice was the teams first full-contact practice of the spring session. They once again got an early start by hitting the field at 7:30am. They began with agility drills by position then moved onto special teams work. Which was followed by fundamental drills by position. Then around 8:45am they started 11-on-11 drills with the popping of pads meeting on the gridiron. The only non-contact players of the field were the quarterbacks.

They ran about 20 plays total between the first and second teams. This was followed up with offensive and defensive lines ran skeleton pass rush while the secondary teamed up with the receivers and backs for skeleton pass drills.

The Jags then came back together into 11-on-11 drills to close out practice. But it wasn’t your typical offense though. They practiced goal-line stands as an idea of success. Of the final 30 minutes of practice devoted to 11-on-11 drills, half of that was focused on plays near the goal line with the offense and defense cheering each other on from nearby.

The Jags had a huge goal-line stand in last seasons finale against Huntingdon College. With the offense struggling early and after a couple big plays, the Jaguar defense lined up near the goal line. The Jags were about three yards from going behind in a game for the first time but the defense came up huge to ignite the Jags on both sides of the ball.

Forcing a fumble, the Jaguar offense, which had sputtered so far in the game, drove 98 yards for the games opening score of the game and onto the final win of their undefeated season.

Coach Jones was pleased to see the fight and intensity from his players. “I think the defense has stepped up against the run compared to last fall. Coach Schwind and coach Dunn have done a great job with them in the weight room during the off season. They’ve gained weight, gotten faster and stronger and are playing more physical. Offensively, we’re trying to concentrate a little more on throwing the ball well, and running it. We know one of the biggest areas we have to improve upon is throwing the ball well.”

But the intensity and excitement in those final 15 minutes of practice at the goal line really had the players going. Coach Jones said, “I thought we had a real spirited end of practice today. Really, what you’re looking for is competitors and guys who are going to come through in the clutch, when it’s fourth-and-one, on offense and defense. What you’re looking for is those guys who are going to step it up and not back down. That’s why we put them in those situations in practice as much as we can. You can’t do it too much. You don’t want to get people hurt. But it was good to see that at the end of practice.”

Thursday, the Jags will hit the practice field again to continue spring workouts.

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