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Jaguars press conference previewing season opening game

August 30, 2011 · By · Filed Under Football 

USA Cheerleaders leading the team onto the field.

South Alabama held a press conference on Monday ahead of the season opening game against West Alabama. Head Coach Joey Jones along with wide receiver Bryant Lavender and defensive lineman Andy Dalgleish were available to the media.

Coach Jones previewed the game against West Alabama. He said that last season they were 7-4 and did not lose a game by more than four points. He also mentioned that fourteen of the teams 22 starters are junior college transfers so they are experienced and talented.

Coach Jones expects former Gulf Shores High School quarterback Gary Johnston to start, which West Alabama head coach Will Hall confirmed in a radio interview yesterday morning.

Gerald Worsham had 80 receptions last season and is poised to break the career receptions record for the Tigers. Coach Jones said that he is extremely quick and a very good football player.

Defensively Coach Jones said that the Tigers have some big guys up front and that will make it tough to run the ball. He expects to play a talented football team but is looking forward to the challenge.

Coach Jones continued talking about the teams progress this offseason and preseason. He said they have been building the program for the last three years now and he feels good where they are. Players have gotten bigger, faster and more mature and also more experienced.

He said that he believes that the team is where it wants to be at this time, but he does not know how that compares to the teams we have on our schedule this year. The team returns most of the starters from last year, so he knows what to expect and he also is ready to see how they step up their game against the teams they will face this season.

Talking about ticket sales and fan support Coach Jones said that most upstart programs, including South Florida, saw good support in the first two years. However they saw support fall off in years three and four, but the Jags support has continued to increase as we go into season three.

Coach Jones attributed the continued support to the excitement in Mobile over the football team. The players also get excited to see the fans full of red and white cheering them on.

When coach Jones talked about how good the team is in year three, he was cautious by saying that this is a building process. While the team may be where it wants to be at this point in the process, but it will take years to get where the team ultimately wants to be. But there are several games this season that will give insights into where the team really is. Coach Jones also cautioned that everyone should wait until the end of the season to reflect on the entire body of work before judging where they are.

On the opening season game, Coach Jones said he is very excited. Actually he is as excited about this game as any game he has been involved with. He also said that the players are very excited too. The players had a very high intensity during practice and their emotion levels have been up the last few days.

Video and interviews with Dalgleish and Lavender are available on the South Alabama sports website here.

Go Jags

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