Jags Open Second Week Of Practice Tuesday

March 5, 2013 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

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South Alabama opens their second week of spring practice Tuesday morning for their fourth practice session.

The staff continue to get as many players repetitions as time and circumstances allow them to do. They continue to add some new wrinkles to the offense and evaluate players as much as they can. With over 100 players taking part in spring practice, the focus continues to be on fundamentals and evaluation.

But the learning process continues. The new plays have been filmed and reviewed. The coaches have broken them down, players have reviewed them and mentally prepared for Tuesday’s workout.

Offensively, running back Jay Jones has garnered attention in the Jags first three practices. He has showcased his speed to get to the edge but also the ability to run off-tackle up the middle as well. That was something the Jags staff wanted to get when they recruited him.

He joins some experienced players in the backfield in Kendall Houston, Demetre Baker and Terrance Timmons among others. Cristobal Dinham and freshman Kaleb Blanchard will join them this fall.

Jay actually ran a similar offense in his first season at Northeast Mississippi Community College, which has helped him grasp it quicker than anticipated. While he still has a long way to go, he believes that coach Matthews’ scheme fits him well and factored into his decision to come to South Alabama.

Jay will definitely have the upper hand on the players who will join the team this summer. He will know more about the offensive playbook and will have plenty of time in the weight room and conditioning program ahead of the newcomers.

Coach Jones likes having competition at positions on the team. He believes the players work harder and allows the staff to get a good evaluation of the players from that competition. Plus it’s good to have more options and styles to choose from on game day. Competition will make the team better.

Injury wise, the Jags have had only one serious injury. Cornerback Eddy Cabrera will miss the rest of spring practice with a broken fibia. Cabrera’s had another players leg whipped into him, breaking the fibia in the process. He had surgery performed by Dr. Albert Pearsall, the team physician, and is expected to be ready by fall practice.

Two other players are recovering from concussions. Defensive back Charles Harris suffered his on Saturday while defensive end Ridge James suffered his on Sunday. Once they are cleared by the medical staff, they will return to the practice field for the Jags.

The players will hit the field looking to improve their execution in preparation for what coach Jones referred to as a “half-scrimmage” coming up on Thursday. The Thursday session will begin as a normal practice, but with the scrimmage at the end. It will also be the last practice session for over a week as the team will have spring break off before returning to the practice fields on Tuesday, March 19 at 6am once again.

2012 Preseason Ranking By SportsRatings

August 11, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

SportsRatings, a website dedicated to rankings, power ratings, BCS projections, analysis and more, put out their preseason rating of South Alabama. The number should not surprise anyone as the Jags enter their second and final season of a two-year transition into the FBS.

They ranked the Jags #116 out of 124 schools and last in the Sun Belt. Lindy’s ranked the Jags #121, Athlon #123 and Phil Steele ranked them dead last. Athlon also had them projected to go 2-11 on the season.

SportsRatings projects the Jags to go 4-9 on the season. The likely wins they have are Nicholls State, FAU and MTSU with Troy and UTSA being toss-up games. They also mention doing better than 4-9 is “out of the question.”

In other projected stats, they rank the offense to be #123 as it faces a tougher schedule. The passing game is ranked #108. They point out C.J. Bennett’s 17 interceptions to only 7 touchdowns last season but point to Bryant Lavender and Corey Waldon, both top receivers last year, returning as positives. But they also point out they gave up 21 sacks in 10 games and that they think that could rise well into the 30s this season with better competition.

They point out that the rushing game returns most of players from last year, but with what should be a more balanced offense so they predict an decline in rushing totals. Their rank seems to be #121, but due to a typo this could be incorrect.

Finally the defense is projected to be #87 which is quite positive. They note the Jags return 15 of the top 17 tacklers from last season and that Ken Barefield is the only loss from the linebacker corps so they think they will improve on their rush defense. they also point out that in the secondary Charles Harris, B.J. Scott and Gabe Loper all return.

Finally they grade the 2012 recruiting as #113. You can read all of their coverage of the Jags here.

Coach Joey Jones Show Recap 2011-09-20

September 21, 2011 · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show · Comment 
Coach Jones Observing warm-ups.

Head Coach Joey Jones oversees the Jaguars pre-game warm-ups at N.C. State.

Coach Joey Jones and Lee Shirvanian were joined by defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator Coach Brian Turner at Baumhower’s Restaurant on Airport Boulevard in Mobile.

They immediately started reflecting on the NC State game with an overview of how the team played. Coach Jones said that he thought the team played an very, very good game. He pointed to some basic tenets that coaches look to in order to get their team into a position to win the game. Things such as stopping the run, be able to run the ball yourself and possess the ball more than your opponent, all of which the Jags did in the game. However another area that you need to do well in is turnovers. While the Jags did recover a few turnovers, they also turned the ball over a few times themselves.

But he pointed out Kendall Houston’s performance on the ground as he rushed 18 times for 117 yards against the NC State defense. His was a large majority of the teams 139 yards rushing (minus sack yardage). Defensively the Jags were worried about stopping the NC State run because they were so big, however they were able to stop their running game. They knew their quarterback was good and he had a great night going 17-of-20 for 297 yards, but the two deep post routes were what really hurt the team.

Overall, Coach Jones said that the Jags were very physically tough and played extremely well. They got after them on every play and were not intimidated nor did they back down. He said that lots of great things happened, but that it was one of those games that you have three or four plays in the game you have to make but the Jags didn’t make them. Coach Jones said he has been on both sides of the field in these types of games and they just didn’t get those plays to go their way.

Lee said he had picked out three plays that were key. First was the on-sides kick fumble. Second was the open receiver around the 30 yard line but the ball wasn’t thrown well to him which would have easily been a touchdown. The third play was when Jake Johnson forced the fumbled at the 5 yard line when the Wolfpack was driving which Graphenreed recovered but fumbled back to them. Lee said you could also point to the play deep in the Wolfpack territory when Bennett lobbed a pass to an open Kevin Helms but was picked off at the 5 yard line.

Coach Jones pointed out another one where the Jags scored but the play was called back on a procedure penalty which he also pointed out was not there on film. Coach Jones was quick to follow that up by saying things like that happen and that the bottom line is you have to make plays. He ended that by saying that the core of the game, he thought the team played very well and put themselves in a position to win the game.

They had themselves in a position to win the game if they made some or all of those key plays against a team that beat Florida State the previous year. And this was only the 20th game in the schools history. Coach Jones said he does not like losing but he still considers the game a success for the program. None of them enjoy losing so he talked to the team that they can continue to look back at this game and play the what-if game or they can turn around and concentrate on making themselves better this week. They can correct those things that they did wrong and get ready to play the next game and then they can say that they beat someone.

He’s proud of where the team is but they have to do better.

The first caller said that South Alabama’s “ones” seemed to matched up well with the NC State “ones”, but he asked Coach Jones how different the Jags “two’s” were from the NC State “two’s”. Coach Jones said that there were probably some difference there, but he said he didn’t notice it much. He continued by saying that the Jags are fairly deep at some positions like defensive line, linebackers, receivers and running backs. But they lost Ken Barefield which hurt their secondary depth some. But Coach Jones did not think that personnel was as much of a factor in the game as missed opportunities were in the game.

Lee then turned to Coach Brian Turner and asked him how he felt the Jaguar defensive line did against NC State. He started off saying that it’s never as good as it seems and it’s never as bad as it seems either. He thought that they played well up front and did not get pushed off of the ball as much as they feared they would earlier in the week due to their size. The defensive line did a great job holding their gaps and doing their job.

Lee asked if the Jags had a good pass rush on Glennon even though he completed 17-of-20 passes. Coach Turner said that their gameplan was to blitz them alot but play coverage, however when you do that you tend to only rush three or four guys and when the opponent has five or six guys protecting the quarterback, your rushers are getting double-teamed often. They didn’t get alot of pressure on Glennon, but they did get to him. Romelle Jones came away with two of the Jags four sacks on Glennon. He also said that they should have gotten to him more often.

Lee then introduced the Fuego “Who’s hot” segment. Offensively, Coach Jones said that Kendall Houston was the hot guy for them this week but he also pointed out the offensive line for their work blocking against NC State. Defensively he pointed out Romelle Jones for having probably his best game of his career, he is quick and is also learning the game very well. Also Coach Jones pointed out B.J. Scott and Charles Harris for playing a very good game defensively at the safety positions.

Lee then introduced the Orthopedic Group’s Injury Update. Coach Jones said that the Jags came out of this with some bruises. Ken Barefield got hurt and missed the end of the game but will be able to play against Kent State this weekend. Rush Kendricks has an injured ankle and will not be able to play this weekend. He said that it looks like everyone else will be back, he mentioned Jake Johnson has a small injury with his quad but will be okay.

Lee asked how Johnson played in the game. Coach Jones said he played very well, like the whole defense did. He said for the “who’s Hot” segment it’s hard not to just list out all of the defensive players because of how well they played.

Lee asked Coach Turner about one of the concerns going into the game about intimidation as they went in to play against an ACC team. He asked if he caught any of the intimidation factor early on from the team. Coach Turner said that he did not see any intimidation in their eyes before the game, they were focused and ready to play the game.

They next caller to the show expressed how proud of the program the fans are for how hard they played and how composed they were. Lee asked a few email questions to both coaches. The first asked if NC State showed anything that was unexpected and if they thought the Jag players were in better shape than them. Coach Jones said that they did not show anything that was unexpected and he also said that he thought both teams were conditioned pretty well. Coach Jones didn’t notice anyone out of shape on either team. Coach Turner agreed to both statements by Coach Jones. Nothing surprising and he didn’t notice anyone out of shape either.

Lee then asked about Coach Crain and how he is doing. Coach Jones said that he is doing better, he’s been in the hospital since Friday. They finally found out that he had a staph infection and have him on antibiotics to help that. He has actually been dealing with that for the last month or so Coach Jones said.

The next email quested asked how coach Jones thought about how well Jag Nation traveled to NC State for the game. He said it was incredible. He said that after the Jags would get a big play he would sneak a look up at the Jaguar section going crazy. He said it was probably between 700 and 800 people strong in that section. After the game, the players went over to the Jag section and held up their helmets and thanked the fans for coming to the game to support them.

The next email question asked Coach Jones what the thought about the officiating and if there were any bad calls in the game by the ACC officials. Coach Jones said that there are rules where Coaches will get fined for speaking badly of officiating. Lee then chimed in saying that sometimes a no answer speaks more loudly than an actual answer which Coach Jones agreed with. He also told Lee that things happen and you have to deal with it and move on.

Lee followed up by asking if Coach Jones called the officials over anytime during the game. Coach Jones laughed and said “calling them over” is a good way to put it. Coach Jones then said that he will send in game film and call someone at the conference office to help educate the referees because, as Coach Jones said, everyone makes mistakes (except coaches with a laugh). So they send that film in so help the refs educate themselves and continue to get better.

The next email question asked if there were mismatches or communication problems in the secondary allowing for some big pass plays by NC State. On one big pass play for a touchdown, corner back Damond Smith fell down and the other one was some miscommunication in the secondary. He praised how well the secondary played the whole game, especially against #6 T.J. Graham who was really quick.

Lee followed that up by asking if there was an effort to keep the punts and kickoffs away from Graham. To which Coach Jones said yes, because NC State actually leads the nation in kickoff returns. So they tried to kick some sky kicks. The first kickoff return they got out to around the 42 yard line which was their only long kickoff return of the game.

Lee then asked who was covering T. J. Graham. Coach Turner answered that it depended on where he lined up as to who was covering him. They didn’t assign a specific person to cover him.

Another email question asked about conference realignment and if South Alabama could benefit from it. Coach Jones said that as a fan he doesn’t like it so much but for the school it could be good. While they like the Sun Belt, it could be an opportunity for something good to happen. He said it’s going to happen sometime in the future, you can see it and there will be some big shake-ups on the horizon in the next couple years.

Loyd Meyers joined the show to talk about the homecoming game against Tennessee-Martin on October 15th. On Thursday night October 13th there will be a pep rally at the Bell Tower followed by a volleyball game vs Troy. Friday night there will be a homecoming parade and luck worked out for a moonlight madness where the Jags basketball team can begin practicing for their upcoming season. The soccer team will be playing at The Cage as well.

Lee brought up that they have not talked about C.J. Bennett’s play against NC State yet during the show. Coach Jones said that if you look at the whole game, he played a very good game and made some unbelievable throws. It was great to see that out of a redshirt freshman to go into that type of environment and play that well. He is doing a great job understanding secondary coverages and going to the right place with the ball. He also mentioned that he got the team out of third down many times. Coach Jones did mention that he did have a high throw across the middle that was intercepted. He also mentioned about the throw the Kevin Helms where he floated it behind the safety but he didn’t see the backside corner. Coach Jones also mentioned that they did not show him that coverage in practice so there were some things they could have done to prepare him for that situation a little better.

Lee then turned to ask Coach Turner about their defensive line rotation during a game. Coach Turner said that they rotate defensive linemen every three plays no matter what. They want two fresh guys every play pretty much, so they are rotating their interior linemen, their inside linebackers and outside linebackers.

Lee asked about the play of Romelle Jones and if he has been playing better lately. Coach Turner said that the last two games he has been really playing well. He has been the defensive lineman of the week the last two weeks for his play against Lamar and against NC State. Lee asked to clarify if it is the same rotation all the time. Coach Turner answered that it is the same rotation all the time, they are not rotating based on match-ups but every three plays they are getting fresh guys on the field.

Lee then asked about recruiting and stated that he knows that they cannot comment about specific recruits, but asked if they are getting top notch athletes now. Coach Turner said they are definitely getting very good talent. He also said that they currently have 11 verbal commitments on their recruiting board right now. He also said that they are recruiting against schools from the Big East, Conference USA and the Sun Belt. They may be losing some, but they are also winning some battles against those schools. He praised the coaches for their hard work recruiting and staying on the best players for the South Alabama program.

Lee asked that, aside from the verbals, what positions are being recruited this year. Coach Jones said that he says this every year, but it’s true, they are recruiting offensive linemen. They are probably going to lose four seniors on the offensive line so they have quite a bit to fill. Two tight ends with Paul Bennett and Kevin Helms being seniors will need replacing. Offensively they are pretty good, they will always look out to pick up a player here or there for a backup role if they are a really good player.

Coach Jones said defensively they need a defensive end, that they kind of refer to as their outside linebacker who is very athletic to rush the quarterback. Also they need to continue to shore up the secondary. They have some good players back there, but they don’t have depth.

Lee asked about C.J. Bennett being a redshirt freshman and if that would be detrimental to trying to bring in other quarterbacks to the program the next four years. Coach Jones said that they do not want a player who does not think they cannot come in and beat out C.J.

Lee then asked about popular spots for South Alabama to recruit. Coach Turner said that when the program started, they were not recruiting the entire state of Georgia. They are now. He indicated that obviously Alabama is their home state, but they are also recruiting Florida all the way down to Miami, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. Coach Turner also mentioned that Myles Gibbon is from Canada so they are willing to go anywhere to get good players to find players that fit into the program and fills their needs.

Lee then transitioned to previewing the Kent State game. Lee said that this is a little different than the schools other 2-for-1 series. We travel to Kent State, then they travel here before we visit them again. Coach Jones said that they are a very good defensive team but they have struggled on offense but they have played Alabama so it’s hard to tell how good they really are because how strong the Alabama defense is this season.

Lee flashed back to the NC State game again by asking about Scott Garber and the special teams play. Coach Jones said that the special teams play was very good. He thought the kicking game was much improved against NC State. He said Jordan went 2-of-3 hitting a 46 yard attempt and missing a 44 yarder. He also thought that Scott’s punted was very good too. They changed and went to a rugby punt style.

Following up on that, Lee asked who and why they decided to go with the rugby style punt. Coach Jones said it’s hard to return a rugby style punt because it’s a low punt but it takes time for the punter to move out and kick it that it gives the coverage team time to get down and cover the returner. So you can get 40 and 50 yard punts pretty easy without a return because of that.

Lee asked about Garber being run into during one of his punts, he said that he thought that it was an automatic 15 yard penalty and a first down. Coach Jones said that it’s a judgement call, that they have bumping the kicker and hitting the kicker with two different penalties and that it’s a judgement call. He indicated that Coach Perry read the rules once they returned back to Mobile and that is how it is written, it’s a judgement call.

Lee said that they talked last week about trick plays. Wake Forest burned NC State with a couple of them and he asked if the Jags ran any. Coach Jones said that they tried a reverse but the defense caught it for a loss. The play-action pass on 3rd and one to Kevin Helms he thought was a good call at the time. Then there was a play at the five yard line where the tight end was wide open at the corner of the end zone but Bennett didn’t see him and went down for a sack. They weren’t trick plays he said, but they were different plays to call at those times and they didn’t execute them very well.

Coach Turner previewed what the defense sees in Kent State coming up this weekend. He said that they started the season throwing the ball much more, but now they have settled in running with a 260 lb running back. He said that it was going to be a good match-up between the two teams.They have a very good defensive lineman who game Alabama some problems blocking and Alabama has some very good offensive linemen. They round out the program saying that the team definitely has a different attitude going up to Kent State and that it should be a very good and competitive game.

Additionally it was announced during the WNSP morning show and reiterated again during the radio show that South Alabama picked up another verbal commitment from Georgia. Lamar Counties Fredrick Walker is a six foot two inch, 320 pound nose tackle. He wasn’t interested in any big programs so he turned down Central Florida and South Florida. He chose South Alabama over Georgia Southern to make the 12th verbal for the Jags 2012 recruiting class.

South Alabama and Kent State kick off on Saturday October 24th at 2:30pm. The game will not be televised, however Kent State will be broadcasting the game online at KentStateSports.com for free for the first time.

Jags streak end with loss at NC State

September 17, 2011 · Filed Under Football · 1 Comment 
CJJ with NC State Coach in pre-game warm-ups

Coach Joey Jones speaks with an NC State coach during team warm-ups.

South Alabama may have lost the game if you looked at the scoreboard, but if you watched the game and look at the stats, you will see it wasn’t a total defeat. In only it’s third year of football, the Jags proved that they have come a very long way in a very short time.

Facing their first FBS (Division I-A) team, the Jags performed well. It’s easy to say that NC State now knows who South Alabama is.

The game by the numbers. NC State outgained the Jags through the air 297 – 182 yards. However the Jags outgained the Wolfpack 104 – 95 on the ground. State held the overall yardage gained 392 to 286 yards.

The Jags gained 18 first downs to State’s 19. The Jags averaged 3.2 yards per rush on their 33 attempts while State rushed 37 times and averaged 2.6 yards per rush. The Jags ran 65 offensive plays to 59 for the Wolfpack.

The Jags punted four times for an average of 41.8 yards per punt. The Jags also held the time-of-possession advantage 32:45 to State’s 27:15. South went 7-of-15 on third down conversions while State was 5-of-9.

Unfortunately the Jags were flagged nine times for 50 yards while State was only flagged once for 15 yards.

Kendall Houston rushed 18 times for 117 yards with a long of 24 and averaged 6.5 yards per touch. Demetre Baker added 18 yards on eight carries with the Jags first touchdown against a FBS opponent. CJ Bennett went 17-of-32 for 182 yards and two interceptions.

Corey Waldon lead the Jaguars receivers with 5 catches for 57 yards. Jereme Jones added five catches for 35 yards. Bryant Lavender caught three passes for 39 yards. Besteda, Houston and Gardner all had receptions as well.

Jordan Means made field goals of 46 and 36 yards but missed an attempt from 44 yards.

The Jags defense played very well most of the time. Jake Johnson paced the team with eight total tackles, five solo and a sack. Charles Harris also added eight total tackles, three solo. Romelle Jones sacked Glennon twice for 17 yards. Alex Page also added a sack for the Jags total of four sacks.

With a cleaner game penalty wise and some better coverage on a few big plays, the Jags would have made this a much closer game that it ended up being. Even with those miscues, the Wolfpack did not have an easy game like they first thought.

The Jags have some things to work on this week in preparation for their trip to Kent State. But they have many things that fans and coaches can be proud of. Being outsized and out manned, the Jaguars played with heart, and when they played smart and disciplined, they outplayed the Wolfpack.

Coach Joey Jones Show Recap 2011-09-06

September 7, 2011 · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show · Comment 

Coach Jones and Lee Shirvanian was accompanied by defensive coordinator Bill Clark for the Joey Jones Radio show from Baumhower’s restaurant on Airport Boulevard.

Lee asked about perspective about the UWA game. He asked if he thought that the Jags played a good game. Coach Jones started off by saying “I don’t know,” he then continued by saying that he thought the players played hard, that they got after it physically, they were there emotionally and were ready to play. But he said that they did make some mistakes and did not play what he considers ‘South Alabama Football’. He mentioned the four turnovers in the first half and the play on special teams.

He also mentioned the field position because the offense didn’t play well and the mental mistakes and the special teams play had them, on average, starting at their own 19 yard line. He did not know where the defense averaged their starting position but he thought it would be near midfield.

He then said that if your field position is that bad you are not going to play well. But, bottom line, those things are fixable and they have to turn them around quickly. If they want to be a good football team, they have to fix them quickly.

Lee then mentioned to Coach Clark that they have less to work on than Auburn’s defense. Coach Clark was quick to deflect that by telling Lee that, to them, it’s all about the next game. As they were looking back on the game, they liked the effort but they also have things they want to work on and get better at. Coach Clark also mentioned that it he likes that they have film of their opponent for the next game. For UWA all they had was what film they had from the previous year.

Lee then went about talking how Steve Spurrier benched Steven Garcia then he came off the bench to lead the team to a come-back win. He then transitioned that into talking about Kendall Houston and Demetre Baker being suspended for the first half of the game against UWA and asked if they have been in the game, would it have been different?

Coach Jones said yes it would have been different, however you don’t know for sure that it was. Jones also said that when you walk out onto the field without two guys like them and Corey Besteda, who is another big play guy at receiver, it leaves a bit of a void that the team has to overcome.

The Jags did score on their opening drive of the game, but Coach Jones said they threw the ball alot in that drive. But then the turnovers took over. He rounded out the answer by saying in the future they want those guys out on the field and that they do not want that to happen again.

Lee introduced the ‘Who’s hot’ feature sponsored by Fuego Mexican Restaurant. On offense, Jones recognized Kendall Houston for his job coming in and playing a good game and breaking lots of tackles. Defensively he recognized Enrique Williams for his performance. Williams had 11 tackles after coming back from a shoulder injury in preseason camp.

Lee and Coach Clark began talking about the defense and the secondary. Lee asked about how B.J. Scott, Damond Smith and Charles Harris in the secondary changes the defense. Coach Clark agreed with Lee’s comment that they are good cover guys so they can leave them in coverage and get a good pass rush on the quarterback.

Jones agreed with what Lee Shirvanian said about what a good job the defense did to prevent Worsham from making any big plays. While he did lead their team with five receptions for 44 yards, his longest was 13 yards.

Lee mentioned that in previous airings of this show, Coach Jones had said that special teams had improved. So he asked Coach Jones if he had a better game at that phase of the game. Coach Jones said no, but he did say that there were some positive things and negative things. But they know what they need to work on and they will get to work to correct them.

The first email question that Lee asked was if there have been any difficulty keeping the players and staff focused with NC State and Kent State games approaching. Coach Jones said he has not thought about those games and cautioned that his players better not be thinking about those games either. He cautioned that Lamar has had this game circled since last year and want to come to Mobile and win. So his players better not be caught looking ahead because Lamar could jump up and bite them.

Coach Clark answered from the prospective of the staff that it has not been hard to stay focused on Lamar and not look ahead to the two games ahead.

The next question emailed to Lee asked if that was indeed the wishbone formation that he saw near the goal line against UWA. Jones confirmed that it was the wishbone and went on to say that they use it when they get near the end zone.

Lee stepped back after a short talk about the wishbone and the single wing offense to talk about high school football. When he moved to South Alabama in the 80’s, he said that the offenses were ‘the quarterback hands off to the running back’ type of offenses. Now you see shotgun formations, trips left and trips right. The offenses have really opened up.

Coach Clark then chimed in talking about how the high school offenses have evolved. The rise of the throwing quarterback then the advent of the running quarterback. Then you put those together. Coach Clark also mentioned that Coach Jones was one of the first to use the spread and throw the ball around alot in the high school ranks in Alabama.

The next sponsored segment was the Orthopedic Group injury update. Coach Jones said that the team came out of the game looking great on the injury front. Looking back to what they were like during the summer, they are looking really good. He said it was about two pages of injuries, down to one page, down to half a page and now it’s only about three players with injuries. He announced that Greg Hollinger will be back for the Lamar game, which is a tall receiver that has shown some good play in practice.

Coach Jones said he came in last year and tore his quad muscle then this year he hurt his shoulder at the beginning of the summer. Greg is about 6’3″ and weighs about 215-lbs. Jones said that last year he was a terror against the first team defense, which Coach Clark agreed with. They are now ready to get him on the field.

Lee asked about Melvin Meggs, who he saw leave the game. Coach Jones said he had cramps and that was all with him. He also mentioned B.J. Scott having cramps late in the game as well. Other than those, he said that they don’t have any injuries.

Lee asked about Enrique Williams and his injury last year going into this year. Coach Clark said that it wasn’t a worry that he was missing practice time. He continued by saying that he has been in the system for a while so they were comfortable with his play, but he was still out there with Coach Crain and the linebackers so he would know what was going on without physically participating.

Lee asked coach Clark as to who is their field guy who makes sure they are lined up correctly and takes control on the field. Coach Clark said that they depend on the Mike Linebacker who is either Jake Johnson or Bryson James and they also depend on their safeties Scott and Charles Harris.

Lee circled back to Hollinger and asked how much playing time he would see. Coach Jones said that they rotate in receivers quite a bit and feel they are interchangeable. They are two deep so he would expect Hollinger to see action for about half the game because they feel he is that good of a receiver.

Lee made light that Lamar will be the first team that we will have faced twice. He also said that the defense played very well, shutting out Lamar at home. Coach Jones agreed, he said that it was the start of a three game series with road games against Lamar and UC-Davis before returning to Mobile to face Georgia State. They really considered it the first road game too, the Dothan game wasn’t the full road game experience to them.

The WNSP staple caller Scooter called in and asked a few questions and made a couple comments. One of his questions was to Coach Jones about his preference of field, was it grass or artificial. Coach Jones said he was a traditionalist and preferred grass, but that field turf has come a very long way and makes such financial sense now for many places. Scooter followed it up with a question about burns and scuffs on the artificial turf. Jones said that they do still get burns and scuffs, but it’s not like what it used to be on the old turf.

Lee asked about the field turf and drainage since it rained heavily on Thursday. Coach Jones said that it drains very well, within 30 minutes or so it was drained and in great condition. It’s one of the major advantages of the artificial fields.

Another caller asked that, if South Alabama defeats NC State, would he name every player on the team as captain for the rest of the season like Coach Belichick. Coach Jones said that was a great idea and he might do that if they win, but he quickly turned the conversation back to Lamar.

Lee turned the conversation from TV, that one caller was calling about, to uniforms as being a big issue after the first week of play. Coach Jones let out a very audible “Oh god” when uniforms were mentioned. Lee asked if USA would ever go to something like the Georgia uniforms. Jones was quick to say “no.” However, he did mention that his wife liked the Georgia uniforms. But Coach Jones said that the Georgia uniforms were nowhere near as bad as the uniforms that Maryland wore for their game.

Coach Jones said that he has liked some of the Nike ProCombat uniforms that they have designed in the last few years, but that the Maryland uniforms were horrible. Coach Clark agreed and said that they took away from the game itself. They like to do things that the kids like, but Maryland’s were just too over the top.

Lee mentioned Tim Brando and what he said on his show about the uniforms. Brando said part of the allure of college football is the tradition of college colors so he was against it. Coach Clark said that they (South Alabama) likes to mix it up, but as long as you stay within your colors.

Another caller asked for Coach Clark to comment on Ken Barefield’s play on Saturday. Clark acknowledged that it was a very good comment. He said that Ken is a very good player and since his move to linebacker from safety, it gives them a fifth defensive back in the game in a way. They felt that they have found him a better place to play because of his agressiveness during the game. He can be their Sam or nickle linebacker. He is very mobile, as fans saw during the game when he leapt over the offensive player attempting to block him. Plus he added an interception in the red zone.

Lee asked both Coach Jones and Coach Clark as to what Lamar brings when they come to Mobile on Saturday. Coach Clark said that they had two of their starting receivers out and their starting tight end out on offense, but from last year to this year they added three transfers to their offensive line. The guard they added was the #2 guard in America two years ago and signed with USC but didn’t get in there. The right tackle came from Arkansas, is a big guy at about 6’7″ or 6’7″ and 300+ pounds who transferred to them. Their quarterback threw for over 400 yards before playing us last year. But they brought in a transfer at quarterback that signed with West Virginia and was the #5 running quarterback in the state of Texas, while also returning their quarterback from last year. He also said that they just have good players across the entire team.

Lee asked if the Jags would see much of a change in their defense from last year. Coach Jones said that they have changed personel some, but the biggest change has been the interior of their defense. They have changed from a 4-2-5 to a 4-3 defense. Last year they had lost two linemen to injury. They will have some big guys inside and he said that probably their two best players are the two guys on the inside.

Lee said that Kendall had a break-out game against Lamar by rushing for over 160 yards against them. He asked if the Jags could do that again. Coach Jones said he hopes so, but that the offense has to be balanced and they have to be mindful of the plays that they call.

Lee said he was a little hesitant to ask, but he asked both coaches what they thought of the Kent State game. Coach Jones said that the Kent State defense scared him a little because they were getting through Alabama’s offensive line at will early in the game. They did a good job of stopping the run early. But he wasn’t really watching them all that closely, they were watching the game as a game and preparing for Lamar. They will get to Kent State when it’s time.

Jags look good in situational scrimmage

August 26, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 
Kickoff

Michel Chapuseaux kicks off at the Fan Day scrimmage.

On Thursday the Jaguars held a situational scrimmage at the Jaguar Practice Facility. With the September 1st season opener less than a week away, the coaches wanted to cover as many game-like situations that the player could face this season as possible.

The first team and second team offenses and defenses faced the scout teams for about 80 plays as well as all special teams. The scrimmage began with a kickoff by Jordan Means with the first-team defense starting the day against the scout team offense at the offense’s 20-yard line.

The defense forced a three-and-out then the first team offense started at mid-field. The offense ran six plays with Kendall Houston rushing three times and C.J. Bennett finding Corey Waldon open for a seven yard gain. The offense got to the 35-yard line, but a field goal attempt was missed wide left.

The first team defense forced a second three-and-out. However they were quickly back on the field following a simulated turnover where the offense took over at the defense’s 45-yard line. The defense answered with a Charles Harris interception in the back of the end zone to end the drive.

First half highlights include a Lawson McGlon 37-yard field goal as well as a two-yard Demetre Baker touchdown run followed by a Jordan Means extra point.

The second half highlights saw a 41-yard touchdown run by Ellis Hill, a Gabe Loper interception in the back of the end zone during two-minute drills and extra points by McGlon and Means.

“It was a pretty crisp practice. We didn’t have a lot of mental errors out there,” Said head coach Joey Jones after the scrimmage. “The kids came focused and ready to go. I think they are ready for the game next week – there’s no doubt about it. We keep talking about working hard, and they have done that. They have paid their dues. We have been here three weeks and a lot of good work has been done, so they are ready to play.”

Coach Jones continued, “They know it is game week and that from this point forward we have three or four days of practice before the first game. They have worked all year, from January until now, just to have a chance to play in the game. That’s one thing about football; you work a long time just to have a few chances to get out in the spotlight, so our kids are looking forward to it.”

Coaches and Players return to the practice field at 7:15am on Friday morning to continue preparation for West Alabama.

Coach Joey Jones Show Recap 2011-08-23

August 24, 2011 · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show · 1 Comment 
Baker and Jones

Coach Jones looks on as Demetre Baker looks to the sideline before blocking for a field goal attempt.

The Joey Jones Radio Show started season three with host Lee Shirvanian and guest Joel Erdmann today.

They started the show off by talking about the depth chart now that they are finished with preseason camp and are into game prep mode. The first thing that Lee asked coach Jones about were there any surprises that emerged that he wasn’t thinking about. Coach Jones said that they don’t have many changes.

He mentioned on the offensive line that Levi Slaydon did not return so they had to fill that position. Jermaine Smith and Brian Krauskopf have stepped up and are neck-and-neck for that starting job. Other than that change, the offensive line is the same as last season. At tight end it is pretty much the same with Kevin Helms and Paul Bennett there. A little bit of a change will be the backfield with the addition of Georgia transfer Demetre Baker with Kendall Houston. He indicated that they would be co-starters in the backfield.

When coach Jones moved onto receivers, he mentioned that they have more names out there than they did last year. Last year Courtney Smith was the big name and the other receivers were ‘the others’.

Lee then started talking about the defense and mentioned that there were many familiar names on that side of the ball. He first mentioned Cori Barnett at the Sam position with Ken Barefield as his backup. Barefield played defensive back last season for the Jags.

When asked about how Cori emerged as being a starter, Coach Jones said that he had a great spring and awarded him with a scholarship for how well he did in the off-season. He mentioned that he is a bit undersized but still plays very well, he’s smart and knows all the answers to questions over on defense. Ken will still play alot.

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