USA Continues Preparation For Second Preseason Scrimmage

August 21, 2014 · By · Filed Under Football 

Pads_GlovesThe Jags returned to the practice field on Wednesday morning in shells for a practice that lasted almost two hours. This is the third consecutive day they have practiced in shells after the teams scrimmage last Saturday.

“I thought we fought through pretty well, the guys were a little fatigued ā€” we’ve talked about that the last few days ā€” but they have a good spirit about them,” head coach Joey Jones commented on the practice. “It’s been fun to watch them get better, we’ve got several guys on this team who have improved. If we continue to do that we’ll be going in the right direction.”

Jones responded about if he thought the team was ready for the second scrimmage of preseason camp quickly approaching on Saturday. “I don’t know if you’re ever satisfied, there is always something to work on and something to get better at, but we’re ready for a scrimmage,” he replied. “Our guys would rather do that than practice, that’s for sure, but they are doing the necessary things in practice to make them good in scrimmages and games, and that’s what counts.”

Speaking about the defense Jones said, “We’ve got some guys in there who are new who don’t have as much playing experience. We feel that our starters have really got it, but now we are starting to find depth. It just takes time sometimes. You have transfers coming in who might have been here in the spring where they have had spring practice, summer workouts and two weeks of camp, those guys need more reps. They are going to continue to get better, so we just have to do a good job as coaches getting them reps and helping them improve.”

Offensive player of the day went to Nathan Sassaman. Offensive coordinator Robert Matthews praised Sassaman for his willingness to learn and his hard work. “Nathan has been a guy playing a couple of different positions at wide receiver, so he is having to learn both inside and outside routes,” Matthews explained. “During team periods today he came away with three really big catches where he ran good routes and got himself open. He’s a kid who works every day, he’s a wonderful young man and he’s really gotten better. I’m proud of him.”

Defensive player of the day went to Margo Reed. Defensive coordinator Travis Pearson had glowing remarks about Reed’s performance. “This kids is absolutely playing lights out,’ Pearson explained. “He’s still learning, but every day Margo comes out here and gets my attention, there is something he does that I see and say, ‘This kid made another play.’ I’m excited to see if he can sustain that throughout this camp and take it into the season.”

Play of the day went to Davin Hawkins who made a big leaping deflection of a pass during 7-on-7 passing drills that was almost intercepted by a diving Margo Reed. Hawkins would break up another pass later during 7-on-7’s and stopped Kendall Houston in the backfield during the final team period of the day.

In the first team session, the defense worked on blitz packages while the offense worked on picking up the blitz. Sassaman hauled in four receptions during the two team periods, three of those came when the defense was blitzing. The only turnover was an interception on the first play of the final team segment when Maleki Harris stepped in front of the pass and hauled it in.

Brandon Bridge had two touchdown passes during 7-on-7 sessions. One to Tony Ray Parnell for 40-yards, the other was to Marvin Shinn from six yards out.

The team will hit the practice field again on Thursday as they prepare for their second scrimmage of camp on Saturday. The scrimmage will be held at the Fairhope Municipal Park & Stadium beginning at 9am and will be open to the public.

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