Jags Spring Practice Is Winding Down

March 5, 2010 · By · Filed Under Football 

The Jags started the week with a lively practice on Monday morning after playing hard and getting beat up in last Saturday’s scrimmage. But much to Coach Jones’ delight, they came out and worked hard.

The players know they have a limited amount of time to impress the coaches with the end of Spring practice closing in. With practices on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday this week before tomorrow’s scrimmage, time is quickly running out.

Monday’s play was highlighted by improved play from the offensive line, which is something Coach Jones wants to see on a regular basis. While Wednesday’s practice was highlighted by some situational drills pitting offense against defense on full 11-on-11 play.

One of the drills was red zone play with a couple of big plays from Kelly Vail with a 21-yard reverse for a touchdown and a 19 yard catch on 3rd-and-10 to set up another touchdown.

The other full team drill was running third down plays with varying distances for the first down.

On Thursday the team had a light workout in preparation for the scrimmage on Saturday.

Coach Jones spoke about Wednesday’s practice by saying, “It was a real good day today. The offense came out and got better, and the defense played real hard. The defense has been knocking the offense around a little bit, but offensively we came out and competed, which is good. We’re creating competition out here every day, and have really gotten better not only from last fall to now but from the beginning of the spring to this point. We haven’t wasted a day.”

The offense did well throwing the ball in last Saturday’s scrimmage. However they were pounded by the defense whenever they tried to run the ball. But this week they have responded well as Coach Jones observes, “They got knocked around a little bit, but when your back is up against the wall you tend to react one way or another. Thank God they reacted in a positive way. They came out and worked and took it to heart. It’s not that the offense has come out and dominated, but they have gotten better. That’s what you’re looking for.”

But Jones is also pleased with the defense’s ability to stop the run as well as the offense’s attack developing more balance. The team has improved from last season as Coach Jones also comments about, “If you look where we were at the end of last season and where we are now, we’re a much better football team. We have a long way to go, but the bottom line is that we have improved, and a lot of that is an offseason in the weight room, maturity and experience. When you have a bunch of freshmen, the learning curve is going to be steep.”

Saturday’s scrimmage should be about 120 plays covering a variety of game situations beginning at 11am. Coach Jones said, “We’re interested in reps. We want to get them out there and put them in situations that we know we need to cover.”

He further said, “This is going to be what I call the last day of spring. We’re going to get everyone on the field so that we will be able to go back and look at the film to evaluate how they did ‘under the lights,’ so to speak. It’s going to be an important day for some of these guys. Some players know their positions are on the line and that they will need to come through on Saturday.”

This scrimmage will be the 12th of their 15 for the spring. With only two more practices scheduled before Wednesday’s spring game, or what Thunderjags refers to as the JagDay game. The JagDay Game will be held at Ladd-Peebles Stadium beginning at 6pm with the parking lot opening at 3pm for tailgating.

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