Rain Threat Does Not Deter Jags From Second Day Of Practice

February 16, 2012 · By · Filed Under Football 

Even though there were threats of rain, the Jags hit the practice field for their second session of spring practice. They were able to get in a two-hour practice despite the weather threat.

Most of the first half of practice was dedicated to individual work and position coaches.

Near the end of practice, the Jags had two 10-minute sessions of offense vs defense. The first session was a 7-on-7 skeleton passing drill and the second was full 11-on-11. Both sessions were focused on the defense with emphasis on the pass rush and blitz.

Before the offense versus defense session, the defense worked for about 20 minutes on formations and blitzes while the offense worked against the scout team for about 15 minutes.

Some of the challenges facing the players this spring as they go from the power offense the Jags ran previously to the spread offense by Coach Matthews is adjusting to new personnel and the increased tempo. “When you hurry a kid up on the second day of practice in a brand new offense, it multiplies the problems,” Coach Jones said. “I think they have handled it pretty well. The biggest thing is that day 15 has to be much better than day two, that’s what we are shooting for.”

One reason for spring football practice is to evaluate players and help to determine who will be on the field in the fall. With a daunting schedule ahead of them with a full Sun Belt schedule and a very tough non-conference schedule, every position will be observed. “You can’t tell much without pads on, we’re just trying to teach them and get them to learn what they are doing,” said Coach Jones. “Saturday when we put the shoulder pads on, we will be able to tell a lot more about our players.”

“We want to find out who our players are, who will be on the two-deep,” said Jones. “It’s really wide open. There are some spots that are obvious, but there are a lot that aren’t. We’ve got guys who have worked their way up in our program, who are going to be juniors, and have been No. 2 or No. 3 fighting for jobs, and we’ve brought in some new players who are fighting for those spots. I would say that 75 percent of our spots are wide open right now.”

Coach Jones indicated that he was comfortable the linebackers and noted their experience. Jake Johnson and Enrique Williams both started all 10 games last season at the inside positions. Clifton Crews also started all 10 games at outside linebacker while Logan Bennett and Bryson James have both lettered the last three years at the outside position. Plus Ben Giles and Desmond LaVelle both received playing time last season.

Overall, coach Jones thought it was a good day of practice and liked the effort put forth. “I thought it was a good day,” said Coach Jones. “The intensity was there, the kids were working hard. Offensively, we are a long way from being all together, but we were expecting that. The kids have really locked in, they are making some mistakes out there but we had some good things happen when they went against the defense too. It’s just a matter of being patient, of coming in every day and studying what we are doing and getting better. It’s just going to take some time.”

The team will take a day off on Friday before practicing in shells for the first time on Saturday. That practice will be held and the Jaguar Practice Facility and is scheduled to begin at 9am.

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