Coach Joey Jones Show Recap 2011-11-08

November 9, 2011 · By · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show 

Head coach Joey Jones was joined by coach John Turner and host Lee Shirvanian for his radio show on Tuesday, November 8, 2011.

They have already started preparing for Cal Poly. The team is practicing three days this week (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday) then the coaches will be recruiting Thursday and Friday. The players will have Thursday, Friday and Saturday off before getting back in and starting back in game week mode.

The extra three days of practice will be a huge help for the team, especially for the defense as they have to prepare to defend the triple option. It’s an offense that you don’t see often anymore. Kids don’t see it in high school any more nor do you see in the college game much either. I wrote an article about basics in defending the triple option you can read by following this link.

They are working on fundamentals and are really focusing on special teams fundamentals. This week they have really broken down the special teams fundamentally this week and Coach Jones can see results.

Lee posed a question to Coach Turner about the offensive line preparation for Cal Poly. Coach Turner said that they have seen several 4-3 base defenses this year and over the past couple years so they are ready fundamentally. So they will repeat some of the game plans that they have installed already this year as well as any other plans they think are needed for this game.

In The Orthopedic Group’s injury update segment Coach Jones said that B.J. Scott is still recovering from his knee injury and is listed as doubtful for the game. Jereme Jones, who hurt his shoulder against Henderson State, is currently listed as questionable (50/50) but is looking better each day. Gabe Loper who left the game against MVSU with a hamstring issue will probably be ready by game time. Finally Bryson James has slowed with a back injury but is doing well and has more than a 50% shot at playing but will only list him as questionable right now.

Lee asked for another update on Brandon Ross’ status. He was at practice where he had been running and is looking pretty good. However he said that he is probably 75-80% and thought if they had pushed him harder, he probably would have been ready to play in the final game but there was no need to hurry his recovery just to play in one game and risk re-injuring his knee. They are focused on getting his well and ready for next season.

Lee mentioned their depth and running back and how injuries this season had thinned out the stable. Coach Jones said that Keels playing time was necessitated because of injuries at running back.

A caller asked if Coach Jones preferred playing in a divisional format with a conference championship or would be prefer something like the Big12 has where each school plays each other and have a conference champion coming out from that. Coach JOnes answered that he preferred the divisional format with a conference championship.

He actually talked to the team recently about something like that. This is their third season without anything to really play for beyond an undefeated season. It’s hard preparing for each game without a goal to strive for.

Next season that changes somewhat as they are playing in the Sun Belt Conference but will not be eligible for the conference championship nor will they be eligible for a bowl game. But they do have a bowl like trip to end the season at Hawaii to strive for. But they will be able to directly compare themselves to other teams in the conference. He guarantees that if they win more games than anyone else, they may not be recognized by the conference, but they will be recognized by the school.

Another listener called in about kickoff times and how they relate to Alabama and Auburn with their TV games. Coach Jones they talk about kickoff times alot in the offseason. He could not care what time they kick off beyond what is best for the fans. They don’t want 11am kickoffs because they have such a great tailgating presence and they don’t to do anything to hurt that.

Next year game times will be more fluid due to conference scheduling, TV and other outside factors. Coach Jones is worried about the quick turnarounds as they are starting to play Tuesday night games on ESPN. He does not want to play a Saturday game and have to turn around and play Tuesday. Or Play on a Tuesday and turn around for a Saturday game.

An email question asked if they would be able to sign a few JuCo players and be able to back sign them to this past recruiting season. Coach Jones said that they can and they will. They want several for offensive line and secondary players.

Lee asked if the offensive line was going to be the hardest hit group from graduation. Coach Jones said that they are the only graduating players on the team pretty much. They will be losing Brian Krauskopf, Jon Griffin and Chris Brunson, all starters on the offensive line. Jon Griffin has started every game since he has been at South Alabama. Two more players they are losing are Paul Bennett and Kevin Helms, which amounts to a lot of experience and ability.

Coach Jones is very confident in the leadership and ability in the players they have recruited. They can see their leadership and they will have a chance to step up and make a difference.

Other players that are Seniors are corner backs Jeremy Roberts and Anton Graphenreed, Safety Coleman Hornaday, Placekicker Jordan Means, offensive lineman Ryan Norris and wide receivers Lamontis Gardner and Donte Rome.

Lee asked how many offensive lineman they are targeting for this recruiting class. Both coaches answered that they are looking to sign seven to eight offensive linemen this time. They will be addressing that need with some JuCo players as well as several high school signees.

Coach Jones jumped in and said that their plan, which has been very successful so far, they have been very careful about who they sign. They didn’t sign just to have numbers, they signed a calculated number of players and thus they will be able sign over 20-24 scholarship players instead of the 10 that they would have been able to sign otherwise.

An email question about balancing money games against playing other teams to help get to a bowl game. Coach Jones said that they will have to play some money games for the financial stability of the program. But they hope to have some good scheduled games like Navy. But they were very fortunate to get teams like NC State, Mississippi State and Oklahoma State to come to Mobile for games, but they lost some financially in doing that. But what they lose there, they gain with exposure and things for the area.

Lee asked if he could ever see a time when Alabama or Auburn could be on the Jags schedule. Coach Jones said that he could see a time when that could happen.

Rounding out the show, they had the Fuego Who’s Hot segment and asked who are the most improved players this season. Coach Turner said that Brian Krauskopf would be one that he would single out as the most improved this season in technique. Younger guys have gotten better as well and he named Tremain Smith, Shawn Artz and Drew Dearman out of the young guys that have really improved. Coach Jones said that Gabe Loper has really improved and come one this season. He did not begin the season as a starter but jumped in there when needed and has really improved. They started him at safety but they think he is more natural at corner back. Since moving back there he seems to have grown more comfortable there and settled in nicely.


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