Coach Joey Jones Show Recap 2011-08-30

September 1, 2011 · By · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show 

The first email question asked about an update on several players, so they went straight into the Orthopedic Group injury update. Greg Hollinger will not play this week. Santuan is good to go, Enrique is good and ready go. Tremain smith is good to go, surgery on pinkie, will have to wear a cast but will be good to go. Most improved player in the classroom and has Division I size. Also he is a junior with a lot of ability.

Another question said that USA seems thin at receiver, especially with T.J. Glover not being eligible. Might we see some new personnel to get involved and also trick plays, wild Jag and such. Receiver wise, Coach Jones said he feels better this year than last year. While they lost Courtney who was a big play guy, but he feels that we have a few guys who can make the big play. But Coach Jones feels that they have more guys that can play. Losing T.J. hurt from a big play standpoint, but the 2 deep at receivers can rotate in and do well.

Coach Gregory joined in to help answer the question and said that they are a very balanced, a 60/40 run to pass ratio is pretty balanced because there are certain down and distances where you just don’t throw the ball that much. If you are successful running the ball then you should be about 60/40, but if you’re not able to run well and you start getting up there around 50/50 or 40/60 then your probably not that good of a running football team.

The Jags want to be a running team, they want to wear the opposing team down, run play action passes and still be able to drop back and throw it. Coach Gregory also mentioned that he and Coach Antoine were talking the night before that they are really excited about their wide receivers. They have worked hard and as a whole group they think they have been improving dramatically right now.

Asked about size, Coach Gregory said that Corey Besteda is 6’2 1/2″, while it’s not 6’5″ like Courtney but he is a tall guy. The others range between 5’9″ and 6′ but Jereme Jones, who may be the most powerful of them all, is only about 5’7 or 5’8″.

Coach Jones says there’s not another guy like TJ on the roster, he was comfortable as a running back and a receiver. They thought they had one that could do that in Anthony Ingram, however he was injured and will miss the season.

Coach Gregory was asked via email about C.J. Bennett’s possibility of being a 5 year starter and if that was something that has ever happened in college football before. Coach Gregory said that not to his knowledge but it’s possible someone has done that before where they started a couple games then got injured and was redshirted. Coach Gregory said that was really how they got Bennett in the first place, because of the extra year of play.

Lee Shirvanian asked if Bennett was heavily recruited out of High School. Coach Gregory said he was recruited, he had verbally committed to Wyoming, then South Florida brought him in for an official visit the week before signing day but held short of offering him a scholarship which helped USA get him.

Lee then asked about a quote coach Gregory had said that Bennett was the best quarterback in the state. Coach Gregory said that we will find out this year, but he thinks he is a very good player. One thing that is unique about C.J. is that when he comes off of the field he can tell you what happened while other guys just cannot. Coach Jones then joined in talking about his quick release and how smart he is with the ball. His negatives is his height, which holds back your SEC caliber schools.

Back to talking about the game, Coach Jones stressed that West Alabama is a talented team with lots of junior college transfers, 14 of the 22 starters will be JC transfers. Last season they went 7-4 and their largest lost was by four points. He also said that they are being coached by a new coach so the Jags have to ready for everything. They could come out with on-sides kicks, trick plays or anything else.

Coach Gregory started breaking down the Tiger defense some by saying they will probably mostly play a four man front with some three man front. UWA is very high on a new free saftey they have and think he will be able to make some plays for them. They are big inside with a guy that is about 325 pounds and looks bigger than that. Also have a 6’5″ defensive end that is fast.

Coach Gregory mentioned that these guys can be very good players. They may not have been able to qualify at the Division I-A level but could get in Divison II. Lee asked if we would see both Demetre Baker and Kendall Houston in the backfield at the same time. Coach Jones acknowledged that we could see that throughout the year because they are both very good players and they don’t want them to be on the sidelines.

Coach Gregory answered Lee’s question about the two running backs and if they were similar. He said that Houston is a very voilent runner, he hits very hard and may not be super fast but runs hard and is hard to tackle. While Baker is fast, he likened him to a locomotive. He’s going to run over you but if he gets an open field he probably has close to 4.5 40 speed. When asked who else may see some action Coach Jones said that Ellis Hill will probably see some time because he has worked hard and done well in preseason camp. He is a good inside runner at about 5’9″. Santuan is a very good running back and has made some good runs and will see some time. Also J.J. Keels got mentioned as someone who is coming around.

Some very, very good news was that Coach Perry’s wife is doing very well. Last season it was announced that his wife had been diagnosed with breast cancer and was undergoing treatment. Now we know that she is recovering well.

Lee asked Coach Jones about the specials teams. He answered by saying that he feels much better about special teams this season. Kickers are kicking much better than last year when they were having problems kicking kickoff’s out of bounds and such. They are more consistent on kickoffs and on field goals as well.

Jereme Jones will return punts and kickoffs this season and B.J. Scott will also be back for kickoff returns and some punt returns.

When asked why he settled on Jordan Means as being the placekicker, he said that he kicked the best. He was more confident standing over the ball and make more kicks. So they felt the best with him but said that Lawson McGlon was neck-and-neck with Means so he shouldn’t relax just yet.

In the Fuego Who’s Hot segment, Coach Gregory said that normally you would think of a skill player when you think of someone who has been hot the previous week. However Coach Gregory said that he thought it was the offensive line this past week. He added that he is very excited about those guys.

Coach Jones singled out Jake Johnson as the standout guy on the defense for his leadership, he work in the preseason, during game week preparations and in the weight room as well. Lee also mentioned that there is not many more players on the roster on the defensive side of the ball who has played more games against Division I opponents. Coach Jones agreed highlighting Jake’s time at Virginia Tech and that he started the first eight games of his freshman season including a game against Alabama.

Lee asked about the defensive secondary and how it has changed this season. Coach Gregory said that it is a major difference between last season and this season. He also said that he thinks that you are looking at bonafide Division I football players in all of the positions in the secondary. They have speed, range, coverage and they are tough.

He also said that he thinks it has been great for the receivers to face that kind of pressure. Early in preseason the receivers were getting beat up at the line but they have worked hard against them to get better.

Lee asked Coach Gregory if it was difficult for the Jaguar receivers to get separation from the defensive backs. Coach Gregory said yes, but also said that it was hard for them to get off the line.

Lee mentioned that everyone wants to talk about Alabama transfer B.J. Scott. Coach Jones agreed, saying Scott originally played corner back at Alabama and got moved around before injuring his ankle. But Coach Jones said he sees him as a safety because he is a very physical guy. With his skills he fits well in the South Alabama defense because the safeties are key in their defensive scheme because they need to be able to cover the run and the pass. Which Scott is able to do.

Damond Smith was the next player mentioned by Lee as someone who intrigues him. He is a transfer from Western Michigan and was highly recruited coming out of high school. Coach Jones agreed and added that he is a great player. He even mentioned that he saw about two or three plays of his highlight reel and said that this is a great player.

Lee asked coach Gregory about the quarterbacks and if he is going to stay with one quarterback this season. He answered that they are fortunate to have two great quarterbacks, but Bennett has won the starting position but Myles Gibbon is very talented, started lots of games and has played in the system for two years now. They would not have any problem with him going into the game, but reiterated that C.J. won the job. But he did say that there may be times when you could see both in certain situations.

They then started talking about walkon freshman Trey Fetner. Coach Gregory said that Kolt Peavy committed to USA early but Fetner had attended camp last year and was a very good prospect. However USA was not in a position to offer him a scholarship at that point.

They recruited him like a scholarship player and were fortunate to get him and was able to put him on scholarship when one became available in preseason camp. They would like to reshirt him, but they will have to wait and see how the season goes. He has a strong arm with good speed and is both physically and mentally tough.

Lee asked if there were any other players who were able to walk on, work their way into a scholarship. Coach Jones said they have over the last two years but this year Cori Barnett came in and earned a scholarship and will be starting at the Sam position. He said that each year they have one to three who earn scholarships that way.

Lee said that, looking at the depth chart, there are a few freshmen in the two-deep. Coach Jones mentioned Desmond LaVelle as being one that will be a great player and will not be redshirted this season. he continued saying that they are really good at linebacker again this season. Which is good after Higgenbothom and Dunn, both two year starting inside linebackers graduated last season.

Another freshman that could see playing time would be Maleki Harris according to Coach Jones. He is listed at both outside linebacker and safety.

On the offensive side of the ball, Coach Gregory said that J.J. Keels would be a freshman that could see plenty of time. He continued by saying that he probably has the best feet of the running back. He is able to get through very tight spots and has all of the skills that you want to have in a running back. As for being able to hold onto the ball, that is something that they develop and he said they will see how quickly he will develop that.

Lee asked Coach Jones about his thoughts on starting the season on a Thursday night. Coach Jones answered by saying that it’s his favorite way to start the season. Actually, if it was completely up to him, he would do it every year. The kids are ready to play, they have been working for about a month and they are playing when no one else is pretty much. But it also gives them an extra two days to prepare for the next opponent.

It also allows them to go through camp, then game prep, then the actual game and then let them get away for a day or two before picking it back up to continue their schedule.

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