Coach Jones Pleased With Thursday Practice Prior To Saturday Scrimmage

March 22, 2013 · By · Filed Under Football 
Coach Jones

Head coach Joey Jones working with the field goal unit during South Alabama’s Scrimmage on Saturday, March 3, 2012.

The Jags hit the practice field Thursday morning for their seventh practice out of their 15 allowed practices during the spring. The workout lasted over two hours and coach Jones was very pleased with what he saw, more so than Tuesday’s practice.

“It was real good today, the effort was great,” Coach Jones explained. “The guys were lively this morning. I thought Tuesday was a good practice, but today’s was even better. There is no doubt we are putting more in and they are retaining it. These guys are coming to practice every day, that’s what I’m pleased with.”

South Alabama backs and receivers went through different formations and motions prior to coming together to run red zone 7-on-7 skeleton passing drills against the defense in a two-minute drill situation. They also went through some three-quarter speed rushing plays as they continued to focus on fundamentals and help the offense to run the ball better.

The special teams group worked on kickoff and kick returns. But Coach Jones has been stressing that, this spring, they had to slow down and work on fundamentals. However, on defense, he noticed that they worked at a faster pace after learning their new system and new terminology.

Not everything was good though. Jones expressed how many times the offense put the ball on the ground. Up until Thursday, this had not been a problem.

Spring practice is not only for fundamentals, it’s also a chance for players to seperate themselves and begin to make their case for positions on the depth chart. Maleki Harris and Jay Jones have both opened some eyes this spring. Additionally redshirt freshmen offensive linemen Daniel Aust, Steven Foster, Clay Machen and Joseph Scelfo are all working hard and pushing for playing time.

They closed out the practice session with nearly 35 minutes of team drills. One segment consisted of red-zone plays and a pair of two-minute drills to end the session.

Brandon Bridge had three long gains that eventually set up a six-yard touchdown to Jake Howton for the second team. In the latter portion of the practice, the first team defense did not allow any points.

“The two-minute drill was good,” Coach Jones explained. “The defense did a good job of stopping the offense our first time doing it. You have to familiarize yourself with situations, that’s what we’re trying to do this spring. If it’s third-and-eight and we have 20 seconds left on the plus-40 yard line and need three points, what are we going to do? We’re trying to teach them throughout these practices, it’s not as much about whether we are successful or not, so that they can learn from these situations on film.”

The Jags will return to the practice field on Saturday morning for their second scrimmage of the spring that is scheduled for 9:45am and will last about two hours.

“It will be a little different in that we will have a lot more special teams situations infused into the practice, but as far as the number of plays it will be very similar,” said Jones. “We’ll move the football around the field, we’ll be in the red zone and goal line more than we were the first time, which are the two changes we’ll make.”

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