Jones Pleased With Thursday Scrimmage

March 9, 2013 · By · Filed Under Football 
Jaguar Offensive Line

Offensive lineman Drew Dearman signals pre-snap as the Jaguars work in Spring drills last season.

The South Alabama Jaguars held their final practice prior to the University dismissing for a week for Spring Break. The session was half practice and half scrimmage.

The scrimmage covered over 80 snaps and used six different quarterbacks running the first, second and third string units. Though, Coach Jones said that there were no special designations as to what players were with the first team and those who worked with the second and third teams. The offense got started fairly quickly with some big plays as Ross Metheny hit Wes Saxtor for 13 yards then two plays later scrambling for 15 yards.

Next up was Brandon Bridge who opened the drive with a 19 yard completion to newcomer Jay Jones. Four plays later Bridge found Shavarez Smith on the sidelines, who shoved down the defender and took it 43 yards for a touchdown. Jay Jones also broke a 32-yard run on the day.

About midway through the scrimmage Bridge would notch another touchdown when he connected with Corey Waldon in the corner of the end zone for a 10 yard score. Earlier in the drive he sprang loose on a 3rd and 11 from their own 29 yard line for a 36 yard gain.

Metheny narrowly missed connecting with Bryant Lavender for a score from about 40 yards out, but Lavender was one step out of bounds. But Metheny did connect with Corey Besteda for a 30-yard score.

Qudarius Ford, who missed all last season with a knee injury suffered in preseason camp, had the lone turnover with an interception in the end zone. The defense had three three-and-outs during the second half of the scrimmage including a stop on fourth-and-two.

Logan Gunn attempted six field goals as part of the scrimmage. He connected on four of the six including kicks from 37 and 39 yards.

“We had a really good work day today,” head coach Joey Jones said after practice. “I can’t tell who did what running plays. We ran seven-play segments because we were trying to get a lot of plays in today. We got in about 80 in a 50-minute time period because the kids were hustling and doing a good job of getting to the ball on defense. We’ll watch film to get the results of who did what.”

“I think our leadership has been really good this year,” Jones continued. “The guys are mature and working hard to fix some of the little things behind the scenes. The offensive staff has done a good job in the offseason of trying to tweak some things and make our offense better. I though you saw some really good things out there today. We’re running the football better, that’s the big thing.”

“We’ll use the off time as a staff to work the whole week on recruiting and of course evaluating where we are at this point,” Jones explained. “I told the players that we’ve gone through five practices now, which is close to halfway, so we are seeing where we are lining up. We won’t make [depth chart] determinations until the end of the spring, but obviously we’ll start looking at the personnel as well.”

One of the most obvious differences was how well the Jags moved from unit to unit and play to play. The coaches did a great job in organizing and preparing the players to be ready on the sidelines. They ran on and off the field and looked sharp. The offense was able to get the ball snapped quickly, which is an improvement from last season. The defense also jumped offsides a few times, which Jones said will be addressed.

“I think we came out kind of slow, everybody was late,” linebacker Clifton Crews commented after practice. “We probably looked better the first three days of practice to tell you the truth. The coaches have come in and taught us a lot, but we are keeping it to fundamentals and sound technique. If we mess up, then mess up at full speed. We don’t want effort to be the problem.”

The Jags will pick up with practice after spring break on Tuesday, March 19 at 6am as they lead up to the Red-Blue game on Saturday, April 6th at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

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