Jags wrap up second week of spring practice

March 5, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Head coach Joey Jones observing his team as they warm up in Dothan for the Wiregrass Classic last season.

South Alabama completed it’s second week of spring practice and will now have four days off while students are on spring break.

On Monday, the first day of the second week of practice, started at 7:00AM and went for about two hours. The practice was split into two overall periods which focused on individual and team practice. Coach Jones said he is more interested in the individual portion in the spring, rather than the team portion. “I like to see how much better each guy is getting, and to evaluate talent. I think we have some individuals who are, and we’re challenging the ones who aren’t so that by the end of the spring every player will get better, that’s the whole goal.”

The Jags focused on first downs and third down plays in the red-zone on the first day of the week. Jereme Jones made a nice diving catch in the back corner of the end zone to score a touchdown. Also, Kendall Houston caught a screen pass for a score from CJ Bennett. Coach Jones remarked that he thought the final segment was pretty even, but that he would have to watch the game film to determine for certain.

On Tuesday, the Jags hit the field at 7:45AM for another two-hour workout. Coach Gregory, the offensive coordinator, echoed Coach Jones’ words about spring practice being about individual from Monday when he stated, “We’re not anywhere close to where we want to be as an offensive football team, but that’s really not our goal in the spring.  Our goal has been to focus on individuals.”

Coach Gregory then continued along this line of talk when he used a couple Jaguar players as an example, such as returning receiver Corey Besteda and the new player Greg Hollinger. “For instance, are Corey Besteda and Greg Hollinger going to become big-time receivers, or are they just going to look like big-time receivers? Is Tremain Smith going to become a big-time offensive tackle or look like one? I’m using those guys as examples, but how good is each individual player going to be? That’s what it is really all about.”

Another interesting insight from Coach Gregory on Tuesday was when he spoke about scheming in the spring. “As far as scheming, we try to do enough to have a chance to move the ball but we don’t game plan. We’ll come back and do that in the fall. I never want to look at a situation in the spring thinking we have to win this drill, because I don’t want to do something now that we will not do next season.”

Another group of positions that is receiving lots of focus this spring is the offensive line. The offensive staff is working hard on individual fundamentals. Coach Gregory mentioned that he is looking at their ability to block, their footwork and their hand placement.

Offensive line coach John Turner said that they are working to improve everything they do. “We start with our split and stance, then we look at our first step, hat placement and our hands. We go back and try to break down every play to see if we are accomplishing those things. And we try to harp on effort. One thing that we know is that we are going to play hard — I don’t care if they are 190 pounds, we are going to play hard by God. So we go back and grade that every day to make sure that we are challenging ourselves to give a great effort.”

What helps the Jaguars on the line is that they will be returning all five players who started the 2010 season finale against Arkansas-Monticello. Center Trey Clark, guards Jon Griffin and Melvin Meggs and tackles Brian Krauskopf and Levi Slaydon. Additionally, Chris Brunson who started four games for the Jaguars last season before a season ending injury will also return. However, four of the five will exhaust their eligibility at the end of the 2011 season. Meggs is the only underclassman.

However that has allowed several of the Jaguars underclassmen from the second recruiting class to work in and become integral contributors to the unit. Coach Turner named Ucambre Williams, Drew Dearman, Shane Doty and Chris May as some of the integral members of the group.

Coach Turner’s commented on these younger players by saying, “I tell you what, we’re finding some players. We are looking at some younger guys who are getting better. Obviously, they still have a long way to go, we’re not there yet. But I am proud of them, they have improved every day. You can see them compete, you can see them fight. They are not backing down. They are working very hard to try and get their assignments and learn where they are supposed to be.”

Injuries have affected the offense this spring. Brunson and Shaun Artz have been unable to participate in drills. While Brandon Ross is continuing to recover from knee surgery. TJ Glover is being moved from running back to wide receiver.

Coach Gregory mentioned the injuries when he spoke. “T.J.’s absence has hurt us the most. We know Brandon can play, but we’re moving T.J. and there were some things we wanted to do with him at receiver that we wanted to look at in the spring but have junked. I think the big loss is Chris and Shaun. They are two big bodies, and we need to get bigger up front. Shaun is 290 and Chris is almost 300 pounds, we need them in there as starters or top back-ups who are going to play a lot.”

Thursday, the Jags hit the practice field behind the fieldhouse for the eighth time, marking the halfway point of spring practice. In addition to their individual drills, the team period focused on third and goal situations in the red zone. Then both first and second team offensive units had one chance to score during a two-minute drill.

CJ Bennett guiding the first team from their own 40 yard line into the red zone with three consecutive completions to Bryant Lavender, Kevin Helms and Jereme Jones. But the group had to settle for a 28 yard Jordan Means field goal.

The second team offense lead by Myles Gibbon crossed midfield on their second play when Gibbon found Taylor Noon for a gain of 24 yards. Three consecutive incomplete passes forced a 4th and 10. Gibbon found Greg Hollinger in the back corner of the end zone for a 36 yard touchdown on the last play of the team session.

Just like the offense, the defense has been working on the basics at each position. They begin each practice with tackling. As Coach Bill Clark, the defensive coordinator, says they are trying to be expert tacklers because that is what defense is all about. It’s about proper technique and angles.

Another facet that the Jaguars are working on is take-aways. In the course of winning all 17 of the schools games thus far, they have totaled 48 turnovers. They had 23 in the first season and 25 in the second season. Coach Clark wants to increase that number again in order to help give the team an even better chance to win.

Coach Clark comments, “We always say that a turnover is a gift that the offense gives us. We’re not looking for gifts, but we’ll take them. “We know that we have to physically take the ball away, and there’s a science to that — punching it out, stripping it, scooping and scoring.  There are a ton of techniques to it, and we want to create that mentality that we will get the ball back to our offense.”

Another technical aspect that is being worked on this spring is how the defenders pursue the opposition. Coach Clark explains by saying, “Our goal, when you look at our defense, is to have people say they’ve never seen anyone run that fast to the ball. But there’s a way to do that. There’s leverage, which shoulder to keep the ball on. That’s how you keep from having big plays against you. So that’s where we start, putting those three things — pursuit, tackling and takeaways — together. Then you go to individual fundamentals. And so far we’ve been pleased, it’s been a real good spring up to this point.”

Coach Clark looked to shore up the secondary in the offseason. With transfers from four-year schools and junior colleges added to the roster, everything was looking pretty good. However only two players, Spanish Fort’s Ameriol Finley and Damond Smith have been able to participate in drills these first two weeks.

Coach Clark talked about the secondary. “The future is bright, but we’re a little frustrated. There are different reasons why guys aren’t here, and though we see them coming they’re not here yet. A lot of the guys who are out there now people have seen before, and they have improved. They have another year of experience and are another year older, so we’re excited about them. A lot of these guys have been with us and are going into their third season. That in and of itself is exciting. When we add these guys on the way, we feel like it’s going to be a good situation.”

While the Jags continue to run a 3-4 defense, Coach Clark and Coach Jones have created a hybrid position which combines the responsibilities of defensive end and outside linebacker. So far, the individuals who have made the move into this hybrid position have been Anthony Taylor, Logan Bennett, Clifton Crews and Alex Page.

Coach Clark elaborates on this new position. “For us, the position has fit real well. We think it fits our personnel probably a little bit better. “You can see from watching us that it is a little bit different, and I think it’s going to help us for what we’re seeing being done offensively.

He continues, “Defensively, it’s all about stopping what offenses are doing. You look at your schedule and identify who our opponents are, because we have to look ahead to those teams and what they do. We always say that we are reactors on defense, we counter the trends in offensive football. You can see from the national championship game the spread formations used and the speed of the game, and that’s what we have to get ready for.”

Then to wrap up the week, the Jaguars moved their Saturday scrimmage to Friday morning at 7:30AM due to weather concerns. The team took part in a full scrimmage when it ran through about 100 snaps.

The Jaguar defense held the offense to less than 300 total yards while giving up two touchdowns and three field goals. The scrimmage lasted almost two hours.

The offense started quick with Myles Gibbon moving the team 70 yards in 14 plays which was capped off by Ellis Hill scoring the touchdown on a 2-yard run. The third and four play back on the offense’s 37 yard line was one of the highlights on the drive. Gibbon connected with Greg Hollinger for 34 yards to move the chains. On another third down play later in the drive. When the offense needed 14 yards, Gibbon found Richard Ross for 15 for another first down.

Gibbon would finish the scrimmage 5-of-6 for 57 yards to lead the stable of quarterbacks.

CJ Bennett lead the offense on it’s ensuing drive. Bennett found Lamontis Gardner for 12 yards then Jereme Jones for nine more yards to move the offense across midfield. Kendall Houston reeled off a 16 yard run on third and one to move the chains and get into field goal range. However, an attempt at a 50 yard field goal would fly wide right. Bennett would complete five passes for 50 yards in the scrimmage.

The defense would strengthen and limited the offense to only two field goals on the next nine possessions. Both field goals came on drives led by Ray Cotton. But the defense also forced two turnovers during that stretch.

Bryson James both forced and recovered a fumble on the defense’s 27 yard line. Jonathan Cameron intercepted a pass at the goal line on the first play of a drive that started on the 30 yard line.

Another drive that started at the defense’s 30 yard line resulted in a touchdown. Demetre Baker ran on the first four plays of the possession for a total of 20 yards. Then Bennett found Ross for an eight yard completion. Then Baker ran again for a one yard gain. Then Kendall Houston capped it off with a one yard run.

James and Justin Harris both recorded four stops tieing for team best. Jake Johnson led a group of four players who made three tackles.

Richard Ross and Greg Hollinger were the lone players to record multiple receptions with Hollinger leading all with four catches for 55 yards. Julien Valentin led the ground game with eight carries for 41 yards. Baker and Santuan McGee each added 24 yards.

Coach Jones spoke after the scrimmage saying, “I think we have some guys who have gotten fundamentally better, especially the freshmen who joined us at the beginning of last season. They have really jumped. Each coach was taking their guys trying to get everyone involved in the scrimmage. I told them not to even worry about trying to group guys together. We ran about 100 plays including the kicking game, which was what we wanted to do. And I don’t think anybody got hurt, which is always a positive.”

Coach Jones continues with comments about both sides of the ball starting with defense. “Defensively we had a good day, they got after it; they played with a lot of effort and intensity.”

Then he commented about the offense by saying, “All three quarterbacks came out and played well today. They were calm in the huddle and did a good job running the team. We also got a little better blocking on the offensive line today. I know I keep saying this, but it’s not about who won the scrimmage. I don’t even care. It’s about who is getting better fundamentally. That’s what we keep looking at and the way we set practices up.”

In addition to the offensive versus defensive plays, the Jaguars also worked on special teams play throughout the scrimmage. One period was devoted to kickoff returns while another was devoted to kickoff coverage. All three kickers on the roster attempted a minimum of three field goals during and after the scrimmage.

The Jags will have four days off with the next practice scheduled for Wednesday at 7:45AM.

Jags First Day In Pads Plus Media Day Coverage

August 11, 2010 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Tuesday was the Jaguars’ first day in full pads and it did not disappoint. An hour long, 70 play “mini” scrimmage in addition to Coach Jones, the coordinators and a handful of players talking with the media to preview the 2010 season.

Reflecting on the scrimmage, coach Jones thought it wasn’t very good. Actually he said, “I think that our practice today was marginal at best. It was our fifth day of practice in a row, we had a heavy lifting session yesterday afternoon so there legs were tired, it was our first day in full pads, it was hot and we had a scrimmage. We didn’t have a good energy level today for the first time this camp. Our first four days were great, but today we hit a wall.”

He continued, “Is that okay? It will be if we come back tomorrow and work our tails off. I’m okay with having a bad day because sometimes I think it shakes you up. You rattle the tree, shake out all the bad apples and then you continue. I don’t want every practice to be happy, sometimes you have to struggle to succeed.”

In the press conference on Tuesday, Coach Jones talked about looking into the future of the program and their goal to be a big-time Division I program. He spoke about how the kids understand the process they are going through and how they have to work hard to get there. He said from day one they have taken a Division I mentality and that they will continue to do so, from the classroom to the weight room and to the practice field.

Coach Jones himself and the players are all excited to move up in competition by facing all four year institutions, including several Division I-AA schools.

Coach Jones went on to mention some of the differences between last year and this year. They tried to get the best player they could get and get them out on the field. Last year they didn’t have any standards, they went out and did their best. Now they can use last season as a standard to improve upon.

During recruiting, they had higher standards. They only went for players better than what they had on the roster. I’m sure this was a time consuming task as they brought in some really good players last year.

My favorite segment was about the character of this seasons team. He said, “It’s probably as good as I’ve ever been around, and I’ve had some great teams with tremendous character. We preach that and believe in it, it’s something we can control. We can’t control how big they are, if we have a 6-foot-3, 270-pound lineman that’s what he is. But we can do something about character and the choices we make, and we really harp on that. I think our edge is doing things that are intangible. By that I mean, the work ethic and commitment to the team. We stress that every day.”

In the state of Alabama their are two teams which everyone compares every other team against. Nick Saban’s philosophy is character and work ethic. Coach Jones philosophy, similarly, is to outwork their opponent. But unlike other programs, South Alabama is not where they want to be yet and that gives them a fire to work harder than the team on the other sideline.

However, he still stressed that they are taking great strides but that they are not ready to face a Division I opponent yet. Having North Carolina State scheduled for next season, the Jags have work to do and a target to meet.

Talking about preseason camp, coach Jones said he stressed to his team that they are going to win games this week. The Jags are in the middle of a nine consecutive day stretch of practice. With heat indices of around 108 degrees, he stressed that the one who fight through these workouts will be on top in the fall.

Coach Jones spoke about the ghosts of an undefeated season. “We’re fighting our success last year a little bit. Just because we were 7-0 doesn’t mean anything. If we had been 0-7 it wouldn’t have meant anything to me either. I think that as coaches and players we need to look at it through regular glasses rather than rose-colored glasses because we all get comfortable and think everything is okay. We have to keep looking to be critical of ourselves no matter what the circumstance.”

When he spoke about offseason transfers, he said “Sometimes they fall into your lap, it just kind of works out.” The excitement of a new program and opportunity for early playing time is quite alluring. They can also see how they are doing thing right from the coaching staff to the facilities. Those kind of things are quite compelling to very good players at big schools where they don’t see much playing time.

Coach Jones addressed South Alabama’s quarterback talk by saying, “We are trying to get every one of our quarterbacks reps now, I’m not going to rank them one through four because they all have good qualities. We have a good problem. It will filter out as time goes, and we will have to make a decision in three weeks.”

Then he spoke about Brennan Sim specificly, “Brennan’s a leader. When I talked to [head strength and conditioning coach] Justin Schwind last summer when Brennan came, he told me that he was one of the best leaders we had in the weight room, and he had just gotten there. He is one of those guys who is just a born leader. I haven’t known him since he was growing up, but when he walks into a room there is a presence he has. Brennan has a calming effect on our young players, he has an experience factor that a lot of guys on the team don’t have right now.”

Defensive Coordinator Bill Clark spoke next about the defense. He spoke about how he could not think of how last season could have gone any better from a team standpoint. But that they will have a larger challenge to tackle this season with back to back weeks of games. Last season they had several breaks between games. His list of positives was that they have lots of veterans returning from last season. Last year they were trying to find out who could play, this season they will have to step up.

Players have returned bigger and stronger and they are working on developing depth. One position that he feels that they have developed depth is at cornerback. A position of concern is safety and that the coaches are working on that. He is said that the coaches were very excited about linebacker position with a lot of depth. Defensive end, however, is a position he is looking for players to step up in.

He has a goal of getting three players at each position for depth. They want the defense to be dynamic, which means they need the new players to come in, get the scheme down and play at the level they expect them to. It will take some time in order to progress to that point.

Offensive coordinator Greg Gregory said that he expects the offense to be a good football team since they have so many players returning with experience. The continued by saying that they are fostering as much competition at every position as they can. Returning players know that they have pressure on them from the new guys.

However, the Jaguars are returning a good core of skill players in addition to the entire offensive line from last season. Add into the mix the “exceptional” group of freshmen and incoming players and he thinks the pressure and competition will drive them to be even better.

They know that they need to improve since every team on the schedule this season is better than any team they faced last season.

The hot question, again, was about the quarterback position. Coach Gregory said he thought Sim was a little better than Gibbon in the spring, but only slightly. But C.J. Bennett has picked things up quickly since he was there all summer. The newest addition, Raymond Cotton, is in a position where he is playing catch up since he wasn’t on campus during the summer. He was quick to point out that he was very talented. But he ended the QB talk by saying, “The bottom line is we’re going to play whoever gives us the best chance to win games.”

There was no hesitation from Coach Gregory when he spoke about what the offense needed to get better. “The key to getting better offensively is the line. I think a great quarterback deflects praise to the offensive line, because it’s not going to happen if we don’t have an offensive line. I think that’s where we have to make the biggest step in our football program. We’re a little bit undersized with our returning guys, but they are athletic and we need them to step up and play at a high level. Our freshman are just young, but they have size. We’re trying to find out who can provide us depth at each position, but I think we have some young guys who are going to help us out up front.”

He spoke similarly about the freshman running backs as he did about the quarterbacks saying, “The best players will be out there, and if they’re capable of playing, we’ll get them out there. They all have a chance.”

For a more in depth read and quotes from players, check out www.usajaguars.com.

Jags Media Day

November 5, 2009 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

At media day on Monday Coach Jones was joined by quarterback Brennan Sim and defensive lineman Romelle Jones. Following are some of the highlights from the press conference.

When asked about Milford Academy coach Jones said that they have some similarities to the last few teams the Jags have faced. One difference is their defensive front. They will put eight guys in the box, which really crowds the line. So they have to play man coverage outside. The Jags have already seen that with Georgia Military.

On offense they are more similar to everyone the Jags have played with multiple formations, but not nearly as many as Fork Union, who utilizes 42 different formations.

Coach Jones’ answer to the question about what the team will do in practice this coming week, he had the following to say. “We’re going to go against each other again offensively and defensively. That’s making us better as a football team. I’ve learned over the course of this season that getting ready for the speed of the game by the way we practice with our ones against ones has really helped us. We’re going to focus on that.”

One question reflected back on last weeks thrashing of Fork Union asking what the team could take away from that win. “We’re trying to really evaluate ourselves,” Coach Jones said. “I talked to the coaches and told them we ought to evaluate as if we lost the game. Normally when you lose a game you’re mad, you’re upset about something, and you overanalyze things. Let’s do that now, even though we won, because there are a lot of things our guys can do to get better fundamentally, and we need to just focus on those things. I’m taking the focus off of who we’re playing and putting the focus on what we’re doing to be a good football team. The bottom line is it’s reality for us right now, and we’re just focusing on getting better in practice, as well as how we approach practice and how prepared we are mentally to practice.”

Coach Jones answered a question about where the team needs to improve, which he has been saying for weeks now: “It’s still going back to the passing game. We threw the ball deep very well last week, had some big plays down the field. Where we struggle a little bit offensively is converting the third and four to eight types of plays, and we’ve got to get better at that. We have a problem with that in practice, our defense brings a lot of pressure, and so converting on third and medium would be a concern of mine offensively. Special teams we’ve been really pleased with, and the only thing I would say there is tackling, that sometimes gives the kids some problems, but as far as assignments go everything is good. Defensively, getting back to more turnovers. We had so many takeaways in the early games, and they’re playing well, but we didn’t have as many turnovers come our way in the last couple of games as we had in the previous three.”

With the season winding down, one of the questions was about how Coach Jones feels about areas that were a concern coming into the season. “The offensive line is still thin, but we’ve had a couple guys step up into the playing rotation,” Coach Jones answered. “The secondary was our other concern earlier in the year, and some guys have really stepped up and played well there. Jerron Mitchell has really stepped up and had a great year at cornerback, and having Jerron there has really helped us.”

Another question about the season winding down, was about having only 11 days left in the first football season. To which Coach Jones answered, “I’ll probably think more about that once it’s over, but reflecting back on it one thing is it’s gone fast. It seems like every day I come to work it’s a great experience. Our kids are reacting really well on the practice field and in games. One thing looking back on it is the team chemistry has come together in a great way. I’ve coached a lot of teams, sometimes you work on those things and talk about those things with the players, and some years the chemistry may be good. On a scale of one to 10 some years it may be an eight, some years it’s a seven, some years it’s a nine, and I think this year it’s a 10 as far as the team chemistry goes. That’s one thing I look back on and feel like we’ve accomplished, and the kids are certainly a big part of that. It’s been a very gratifying season from the standpoint of we didn’t look very good at all last spring. This fall we’re a totally different football team, it’s not even close, and that makes you feel good that you’ve made some progress and the kids are going in the right direction.”

Next up was Brennan Sim who was asked about Saturday’s game. He said that from his positions standpoint, he thought the coaches was happier with their performance. They have progressed over the course of the season and they want to keep getting better. They are not where they want to be going into next season and they have a long way to go to get there.

He was also asked about knowing what to work on each week. “There are still things that we can improve on,” Sim said. “The teams we’re playing have really talented players, it’s just tough to put a team together in one year. Most of them have players who are one year removed from high school, and we’re a four-year program, so we’re going to have more chemistry. But these are really solid teams that we’re playing, so you can still get good feedback.”

The final Jag player to speak was Romelle Jones. He was asked about the defense’s performance against the Fork Union offense. He said that the defensive line is still young and are trying to improve every game. He also said that Coach Clark has been on them saying they need to get more sacks as a group. But that their goal is to shut out their opponent each game.

When asked about the defense’s performance this season he answered, “Our coaches preach perfection each practice, and to never let down in the game. We don’t underestimate any of our opponents, and we have respect for everyone on our schedule. We prepare for every game the same way, no matter who we’re playing.”

One of the final questions was about what the defense is working to improve on every day. Jones answered that they are working this week to prevent big plays. He said it seems that every game they have given up a big play in every game this season and that tehir goal is to limit them.

Don’t forget all of the homecoming activities Friday at South Alabama. 4:30-5:30pm they will be hosting an open house as the new football field house followed by an hour long alumni lawn party outside of Alumni Hall which is then followed by USA’s Homecoming parade starting at 6:30pm.

The Jags will take the field against Milford Academy at 4pm on Saturday to try to stay undefeated at 6-0 for their first season of football.

Go Jags!!

Coach Joey Jones Show Recap 2009-10-20

October 20, 2009 · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show · Comment 

Chuck Dunn, the outside linebackers coach, joined Coach Jones and Lee Shirvanian at Wing’s Sports Grill for the show on Tuesday. Once again Coach Jones ordered the ‘unofficial’ Joey Jones Special, which is the black and white chicken platter with steamed broccoli.

Lee asked Coach Jones about an email that a listener sent that they didn’t get to cover last week. They asked if the records from this year, like the win-loss, rushing yards etc. would be included in the future since we are not playing Division-I schools. Coach Jones said they would, they may have an asterisk by them but yes they will be kept for the future.

Lee also had a question about red shirting. They were wondering if he was going to be red shirting anyone this year, is anyone being red shirted right now? Coach Jones answered that they are doing some red shirting, they have some players that are being red shirted this year and they will look at it next year as well. He also mentioned that they have to, they have to plan ahead and spread their graduation classes out. They have to look four and five years down the road to plan that out so they don’t have 40+ players graduating in one year.

It was mentioned about Brandon Ross, how he has two more years of eligibility after this season. Lee asked wouldn’t they like to have a player like him around when they reach Division-I play. Coach Jones said yes they definitely would and that they have talked to him about that and have worked it out.

Talking about Louisburg, Coach Jones said they may have under estimated them a bit at first. The game film they got was from pretty far away so they couldn’t tell their size and were caught a little off guard by their speed.

Lee asked Coach Jones which of the quarterbacks played better on Saturday. He said he thought they all played better. Myles played better, completed more passes and managed the game well. Brennan Sim came in and threw a couple really good passes. He said he was proud of them.

Back to Brandon Ross, Lee asked how did Memphis ever let him go. Coach Jones said he didn’t know but he was sure glad they did. Coach Jones said he was a great running back and has a lot of potential. But said if he learns how to run every play like its his last, then he could continue his career in the NFL.

Lee asked Coach Dunn what kind of rotation he had for the outside linebackers and if he was satisfied with it. He said that he was satisfied and that hey had three guys in the rotation, Josh Chestang, Clifton Crews and Logan Bennett. He said they are a great good and probably the most coachable group of players he has ever had.

Lee asked how Coach Dunn and Coach Crain, who coaches the inside linebackers, coordinate to coach the linebackers. He said they are good friends and do a good job communicating.

Lee asked if it was easier to be an inside linebacker or an outside linebacker in the Jaguars defensive scheme. Coach Dunn answered that both are tough. Coach Clark asks the linebackers to be the quarterbacks of the whole defense basically.

Coach Jones said that they are more than just two positions of linebackers, inside and outside. Everything has gotten much more specialized now. The inside linebackers are covering the A gaps and the B gaps as well as chasing the ball outside. The outside linebackers are really covering two halves of the field, they have to contain the quarterback and running backs inside and not get outside of their defense. They can rush the passer from the edge and drop back into coverage. He said he thought the outside linebackers really had to learn more as far as different skill sets than inside linebackers.

Lee asked if their decision to run the ball more came from the weather being so windy. Coach Jones confirmed that and said that they had planned to throw the ball more but the wind was blowing 25 MPH. He watched snaps before the game and saw the ball get blown two feet to the side before the ball reached punter. Thus if the quarterback throws the ball down the field then its probably going to get blown six feet which can cause interceptions to happen.

Coach Jones talked further about the Jaguar passing game by stressing that the Jags definitely have to become a better passing team. He said that that is their goal this week is to improve their passing game and he wants to really put the ball in the air in the next two games.

Lee was a little surprised by Coach Jones commentary and asked why when they are running the football so well. What difference does it make? Coach Jones answered by saying that he wants them to be a complete team, a better team by the end of the year. In staff meetings and player meetings they said they want to work on their weaknesses and their weakness on offense is their passing game. Coach Jones said he thinks that the Jags are an average passing team and a great running team right now. He did qualify his answer by saying that they are not going to sacrifice a win just to throw the ball more. If they are struggling throwing the ball, then they will run the ball if that is what works.

The next question asked was about the consideration about the wind in the game against Louisburg. Lee asked how much consideration went into it before the coin toss. He then mentioned remembering hearing about Coach Saban in a recent windy game that he based everything so that he had the wind at his back in the fourth quarter. Coach Jones said they certainly consider that in game situations. One thing they have to look at is the time of day. Coach Jones said that they wanted the wind in the first quarter because they thought it would be the strongest and that it would die down in the evening. But if you know that the game will be gusty the whole time, then you would want the wind at your back in the fourth quarter.

Coach Jones was then asked why the offense took so long to get going against Louisburg. He answered that it was probably a couple things, the first he mentioned was that maybe it was his fault that he did not prepare them well enough and he took full blame for that. The second thing was that the defensive front showed a look that was not on film and so the first couple series the line was confused about where to go and who to block. Then it was a matter of one guy making a mistake while everyone else did their job and that one guy came through to make a play.

Coach Jones then mentioned how it goes on offense versus defense. On offense everyone has to do their job and if one guy messes up it can throw everything off. While on defense you want all 11 players going to the ball but it only takes one guy to make a play thats the difference.

The injury report was slim yet again. John Mark Patrick still has the knee problem but the good news is that he came onto the field in Monday’s practice to do some drills and light workouts. Coach Jones said that hopefully, by next week, he might be able to play. That depends on if they can get him ready in time. Its still touch and go really. They had a couple people injured yesterday that were just one or two day issues and that they should be back this week.

Lee asked Coach Dunn if the Jags practices were tougher than the games. Coach Dunn replied that they get after it and Coach Jones does a good job of setting up practices where they get good competition against each other.

They have talked before about putting together an offensive game plan for a game, so Lee asked Coach Dunn about how they go about putting together a defensive game plan. It all starts with Coach Clark obviously, but Lee asked what part Coach Dunn plays in that process. He answered that his part is that he takes the opponent and breaks them down play by play, personnel, down and distance, formation, strong, weak and other factors. He compiles all of that into what they call a hit chart. He breaks it down into formations, both right and left, and if its a run or pass and where they threw it or where they ran it. He then gets a percentage and gives the numbers to Coach Clark so he can plan according to that.

Coach Jones said he likes to know what is going on in the defense but he doesn’t get into the middle of it all the time. He mentioned that he is a 3-4 guy. Lee asked him why to which he answered that from an offensive standpoint blocking an odd front (3 is odd, 4 is even) there are several ‘bubbles’ that can change in a 3-4 scheme. But against an even front like a 4-3 or even a 4-4, there are more predetermined ‘bubbles’. Coach Jones said that based on his standpoint from the offense, there is a better running game against a 4-3 than a 3-4 because of the predetermined ‘bubbles’. Based on their game plan and play list, when they play against a 4-3 defense their run play list was more than they had against a 3-4 defense. So that tells Coach Jones that if you can hold up with 3 guys on the defensive front and hold the running game then you have a better chance to stop and offense.

Coach Dunn said that they (the linebacker coaches) like the 3-4 because its a chance to put more speed on the field. The offense tries to match the personnel, but with the 3-4 they can keep the same guys on the field no matter what the offensive formation.

Lee then mentioned how they have talked about the wildcat formation and how its just a throwback to the old days and the single wing and box formations. He asked how long it will be before the defenses catch up to what the offenses are doing.

Coach Jones said that he does not think that the offenses have explored the offense enough in college. He mentioned the offenses they used in High School when he was coaching that utilized the shotgun and was very multi-dimensional with it all the way back in 2000 and 2001. But he said that it involved the quarterback running the ball a lot. The Jags does not use that wildcat formation because they don’t have to put someone back there that can run because they feel that the quarterbacks are athletic enough as it is.

The quiz question was name the player who had the most sacks in the game versus Louisburg JC. The Vanguard’s own Hannah Skewes answered and won with Josh Chestang. Check out her work online.

Lee and Coach Jones also mentioned that the Jags will be sporting a slightly different look on October 31. Instead of wearing their red jerseys with white pants they are going all red. Red jersey’s and red pants to take on Fork Union Military. Come on out to Ladd-Peebles Stadium and bring your kids. If they wear their costume or the jersey of their favorite team (which should be the Jags) they will get in free. Plus they will have some extra special kids activities since its Halloween.

Go Jags!

Jags Make Adjustment To A Short Week Of Practice

October 16, 2009 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

For the first time this season, not to mention in South Alabama history, the Jags only had one week to turn around and prepare for an opponent. But the schedule was constructed to work up to this point in the season.

Lousiburg Junior College from North Carolina will enter the game with a 5-1 record and ranked #18 in this weeks NJCA poll. They are quite similar to Georgia Military by running multiple sets on offense and utilizing the 3-3 stack on defense.

The results of the last game versus Georgia Military was a 31-3 win for the Jags while limiting the Bulldogs to 234 yards of total offense.

Offensive coordinator Greg Gregory mentioned that the similarities is a definite benefit for the Jags. “What really was a blessing for us is that Louisburg’s defensive scheme is the exact same as Georgia Military’s,” he said. “All we had to do this week was tweak some things – maybe we want to use some plays we didn’t last week or vice versa, we have taken out plays that we ran against Georgia Military that we didn’t like.

Defensive coordinator Bill Clark said something quite similar about the defense. “Obviously we won’t do all the same things as last week, but it will help us,” he said. “If we went from Army Prep running the option to more of a traditional offense it would’ve been harder.” Coach Clark also mentioned that their workouts through the season has helped the defense to get to this point where they can adjust to playing back-to-back games. “It’s a little bit different, everything is compacted, but we’ve handled it well,” he said. “On defense, we are so focused on adjusting to what the other offense does – the formations, the plays, the tendencies – so we’ve been lucky to have extended amounts of time prior to this week. Of course, Saturday will be the test to see how well we’ve handled it.”

The Jags are approaching this week like it was any other. Their goal is to be a better football team by weeks end than they were at the beginning of the week. “One of the ways we have approached this is to say that we are going to work to improve,” Coach Gregory said. “Sure, we have to work against the scheme of the opponent, but we are really focusing more on ourselves. We want to win every game this year but we are trying to build a football program and lay a foundation, so half of our practice is based on improving fundamentals like throwing, catching and tackling rather than the opposition.”

Even though the Jags are 3-0, the coaches are quick to point out there are improvements to be made. “Right now we don’t throw the ball as well as I would like to throw it,” Coach Gregory said. “That’s a combination of not being good enough at quarterback yet and that we’re not a great pass protection football team yet. That always takes the longest amount of time. We’d like to work on that more in some of these ball games if we get the opportunity, but we’re playing to win.”

Through the first three games the Jaguars have been clearly dominant in the ground game, gaining an average of 257.7 yards per game while only averaging 135.7 yards per game through the air. The coaches are pleased with the performances, however they want a more balanced attack. “The one thing we are trying to do is build a tough, hard-nosed, attacking football team,” Gregory explained. “We’re doing that, but we have to become a more balanced football team not in how much we throw but just having more confidence in our ability to throw.”

On defense the Jags are doing good as well. They have allowed an average of 268 yards per game and only surrendered 16 points in the process. In addition to the yards, the defense has held strong on third down by only allowing seven of 38 attempts to be converted into first downs, which is an 18% success rate.

“Our guys know tackling and takeaways, and when you talk to them and they shoot it back you feel like they are getting it,” stated Clark. “We want to get better fundamentally, we want to be better tacklers. There are things in the last game we saw that we believe we can improve on. We had their quarterback trapped four or five times and couldn’t get him down – he’s a great athlete, but we should be able to do that. The way the players have bought in has been excellent. When you’re a coach they are going to do what you say, but to really get them to believe has been important because we have a really high standard. We feel like we are about excellence, and one of our goals is a shutout. That’s a tough goal when you play four 15-minute quarters, but that’s what we’re looking for. Every week is a chance to improve, we’re only as good as our last game. I’m pleased at this point, but know we have work to do.”

The Jaguars kick off against Louisburg JC on Saturday, October 24 at 4pm at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.


Coach Joey Jones Show Recap 2009-10-13

October 13, 2009 · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show · Comment 

Coach Joey Jones joined with Lee Shirvanian and Dameyune Craig at Baumhower’s Wings Restaurant on Airport Boulevard for today’s show.

First question they are going to start with, now that the Jags are 3-0 and they have defeated what they think will be their best competition of the year. Where do you think this program is in terms of what level of competition could you compete with Division I-AA, Division II or division III. If you could redo the schedule where do you think they could go? Coach Jones talked to the team yesterday about some of their goals for the rest of the year and what they can do to get there. He then, kind of reluctantly, went on to talk scores. The #2 Junior College team beat Georgia Military 28-8 and the Jags beat them 31-3, but by the scores they could compete with that team. However, Coach Jones was quick to remind the listeners that it does not mean they could beat them but it indicates that they could compete with some of the best JC’s in the country.

Coach Jones then said they could probably get on the field with many of the Division I-AA schools, but not the Appalachian States or other traditional big schools in that division.

Lee then asked Coach Craig said he really didn’t know because they have alot of freshman. But that they have a really great group of kids that go out and work hard and learn, so its hard to compare. He thinks they could do well in Division II and maybe Division I-AA. He also thought they could probably do well in the SWAC conference.

Lee also mentioned that they tried to schedule Alabama State but it didn’t work out. But Coach Jones hopes to schedule them in the future thinking it would be a good game.

Lee mentioned that the team has a lot of Freshman but they also have a fair amount of Junior College linemen and asked if that was the difference for the team. Coach Jones said that they came in and gave the team a maturity factor that rubbed off on the younger guys. They are more calm with something bad happens in a game.

Lee followed up asking if the Jags would be looking to bring in some more Junior College players and transfers like Courtney Smith and others. Coach Jones said you should always look to better your team any way you can. Meaning that they have Brandon Ross that expressed an interest in coming to USA. The same with Charlie Higgenbotham. He said they have to spread their wealth, they took Brandon even though they had a pretty good line-up at running back because he was a difference maker.

Lee asked Coach Craig what positions they were looking to focus on this recruiting season. He answered that they are looking at defensive ends, cornerbacks and safeties. They feel pretty good about receivers and running backs but they can always use offensive lineman.

Looking back at Georgia Military, Coach Jones said that they knew that defensively they were a good team. Also they felt like there were some deficiencies on their offensive line that they could exploit and pressure the quarterback. They hurried and hit the quarterback a lot but didn’t get too him. The defense ran him around the field so much that at one point he had full body cramps and they also hit him every time he threw the football which was good for the Jags.

Lee asked about Michel Chapuseaux’s injury which Coach Jones said he was alright. It looked worse than it was and it scared him some. It was a hard hit but he’s okay. Offensive guard Jon Griffin turned an ankle but is expected to be fine for the game on Saturday. Then John Mark Patrick who continues to out due to his knee problem.

The offense only scored two touchdowns and didn’t have a chance to catch many passes because they didn’t throw much. They just want to do what they can to win, players are working hard to make a play when its their time and to just do their roll in the game plan.

Lee joked with Coach Craig about his days at Auburn and how the Georgia Military quarterback moved around to make plays. Coach Craig joked that his games ended better, he didn’t throw interceptions but rather threw more touchdowns. But he gave credit to Coach Clark, the defensive coordinator, for doing an outstanding job with the guys on defense and that it has been a pleasure working with him and everyone on the staff.

He even included Coach Schwind the strength and conditioning coach on what a good job they have done and how well they work together. He continued saying that the summer workouts they did with the players getting them prepared for camp really made a huge difference.

A listener emailed in a question about the special teams punt coverage. He was saying that one punt went into the end zone where the coverage team had a chance to catch it close to the endzone but allowed it to hit and go in for a touch back. He wanted to ask if they are coached to catch it if they have a chance like that and the receiving team is not trying to catch it.

Coach Jones said that the kids are instructed to catch the ball in that instance. They have stressed that and have worked on it. He said as a coach he looks back on that and asks himself if they did that enough in practice and did they put their kids in that situation enough for them to make it happen in the game. He then said he takes full blame for that because they should work on that enough so that it becomes second nature to them.

Certain positions they are looking at Junior College players to recruit. But right now they are looking to find the best players at the positions that they are looking to fill in. If they could find some Junior College defensive backs, coach Craig said that would be great. It would help them to get more experience in the backfield. Lee then made the observation that Zach Brownell and company are doing a good job in the defensive backfield. Coach Craig said its more about creating depth. They are comfortable at certain positions about their depth but when if one player gets hurt and it completely changes your game plan, that is a pretty tough situation.

The Jags finally have back to back game weekends. It feels good to finally have this and the kids are ready for it too. But Coach Jones said they feel they have used the previous off weeks very wisely and it has paid off on the field.

After Coach Jones said previously that Georgia Military was going to be their biggest test of the year for the Jags. Where do they go now? Coach Jones said they are trying to teach these kids to work every day. This is something that will help them on the field and in life. He also told them if they come out onto the practice field and work for two hours every day and get a little bit better every day then they are going to be better the next game and better at the end of the season. Coach Jones says he does not like to talk about going undefeated but that is their goal for the season. But how do they get there? They don’t get there by talking about it every day. They work towards achieving that by going out and working hard to get a little bit better every day.

Lee said that previously that it was mentioned that they felt like some of their receivers could possibly play in the NFL. So Lee asked if that was possible and who they might be. Coach Craig said that Courtney Smith has the intangibles. He has size and speed but some things he needs to work on to get there and he is willing to work to get there. They also have some young guys that are being redshirted right now. Kelly Vail from LeFlore was also mentioned.

When asked by Lee about who has the best hands, Coach Craig answered it would either be Lim Windham or Corey Besteda.

Coach Craig again praised the other coaches on the staff and said that the biggest thing he learned was that they can get Freshmen ready to play. Before he thought that they just were not ready to play coming into the team but what Coach Jones and the rest of the staff have done has changed that. They got these player in summer so they could work out and it has payed off big time because they are ready to play.

Coach Jones said that Louisburg may not be as talented as GMJC but they are still talented. They have players committed to Temple and other schools like that. They mentioned that they like to roll out the red carpet to teams when they arrive to play the Jags. They like to show them around the field house and to show off their facilities. Coach Jones said he has not been to many schools but he is pretty confident that they probably have among the best if not the best facilities in the Sun Belt and probably are good enough to make some of the lower end SEC schools a bit envious.

Jags Prepare For Possibly Their Toughest Opponent Of The Season

October 1, 2009 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

The first week of preparations for Georgia Military Junior College wrapped up on Thursday for the Jags. While most teams do not get multiple weeks to prepare for opponents in college football during the season, but since the Jags only have seven teams to face in their inaugural season they get to have this luxury. At least for this season.

But the extra time may be needed most for their upcoming contest on October 10th. Georgia Military JC utilizes a number of formations on offense, but defensive coordinator Bill Clark the extra time will give them plenty of time to learn and prepare for the different offensive looks they may see.

While Coach Clark has been pleased with their progress through the first week of preparations, he stressed that the Jags must be able to adapt to anything Georgia Military JC might through at them. “You’re going to get two-back I, or a tight end and three wide receivers, or four wide receivers, or a bunch formation,” Clark said. “They’re very multiple, with great players, and we’ve talked about the history of that program and what a good job they do, so we’ve got our work cut out for us.”

“We’ve had a good week. Any time you’re talking about a formation change almost every snap, there’s a lot of learning,” Clark continued. “Luckily, we’ve got an extra week, but then again so do they. We don’t know what wrinkle they’re going to add and we’re going to have to be ready for that. We’ve had a good week, had a few guys bummed up, but hopefully we can get them back healthy and ready to go next week.”

Coach Jones also spoke about Georgia Military JC and the challenge they will present to the Jaguars. “The coaching staff has been together, they’ve run this system for a while, and they’re very well coached,” coach Jones said. “Offensively, they’ve got some great athletes. Their quarterback is a tremendous athlete who can throw it and run it, and they’ve got one of the best running backs we’ll face this year – he’s a very fast running back. We’ve got a great challenge.”

Also their size and talent may make them the best team South Alabama will play in their first season on the field. “Their offensive linemen have the same size of some of the guys from Hargrave,” Jones said. “Some of them are 340 or 350 pounds, so we’ve got a great challenge, but I’m glad for the challenge. I’m looking forward to it because it’s good for our kids to have to step up and play a team like this. They’re very athletic. They’re by far the best defense of the teams we’ve played thus far.”

“They were 9-2 last year and at one point they were the No. 6 junior college in the country,” Coach Jones continued. “They’ve got great players, great coaching, and they’re really similar to Hargrave except that they’ve been around for another year and the guys are a little bit more mature.” On top of going 9-2, they also have won two national championships in the last 10 years.

Over the next five weeks the Jags will have four games, which is quite different from the past five weeks where they only had two games. Coach Jones said, “We’ve worked on some of our fundaments, and we worked offense and defense against each other to see the speed of the game. Defense ran their stuff, offense ran their stuff just to see speed because we’re going to see a lot of speed out there next Saturday. They were 9-2 last year and at one point they were the No. 6 junior college in the country. They’ve got great players, great coaching, and they’re really similar to Hargrave except that they’ve been around for another year and the guys are a little bit more mature.”

The coaches decided to give the players two days off this weekend after practicing for four days this week. But they will return to the practice field Sunday evening, hopefully refreshed and ready for game week preparations.

During Monday’s media day, coach Jones did have this to say about when asked if the team was farther along that he thought they would be. “We’re probably further along than I thought we would be. Our kids have really come together. There’s a chemistry part to a football team that nobody in the stands can see, and sometimes people on the team can’t even see it, but as a coaching staff we’re really noticing how these kids are coming together. That’s really pleasing. Some of the things we’re doing offensively, defensively and on special teams are great on the field, but I think a lot of it has to do with the chemistry of this team; that’s been a real key factor.”

Then following up on that question he was asked if he was concerned about the team chemistry going into this season. “(I had) extreme concern. I had done it before in my job at Birmingham-Southern, but that was a deal where we brought in all freshman. I knew bringing in some older guys who had been around and played in other programs would be a key to bringing us together. We did that, but I still wasn’t sure if it would work, but the plan has worked. The older guys have done a good job leading, and the younger guys have done a good job of listening and doing what they’re supposed to do, so it’s been good.”

The Jags will take the field against Georgia Military Junior College at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on Saturday, October 10th with kickoff scheduled for 11:30am. This will be the Jags earliest kickoff of the season.


Defending The Triple Option

September 15, 2009 · Filed Under Commentary, Football · 5 Comments 

A very crude diagram of the triple option. It gives the quarterback three options: hand off to the fullback, pitch to the tailback or keep it himself to run.

The Jags will start preparing this week for their game against Army Prep on September 26. Army Prep, like Army, runs the triple option offense. In both teams first game of the season, Army gave Ohio State a handful before the Buckeyes sealed the win when an Army two-point conversion attempt to tie the game was intercepted and returned for two points for the Buckeyes, for the final score 31-27.

The triple option is a very tough offense to prepare for and defend from a mental standpoint. Blitzing and stunting can easily be punished by an observant and well run offense by taking advantage of personnel being out of position. Its pretty easy to rack up yardage on the ground playing sound triple option football.

The best philosophy, which is really what any defense wants to do against any offense, is to limit production on first down and to try to keep the offense in third-and-long situations. Basically against the triple option, keep things vanilla and play assignment-sound football.

One popular way to defend the triple option is by modifying the base 3-4 defense into a 5-3 type defense using the 5 technique for the defensive tackles and the 0 technique for the nose guard. The 5 technique aligns the defensive tackle at the outside eye of the offensive tackle, keying first the tight end then the offensive tackle. Typically this technique has four duties or uses: 1) keep the offensive tackles off of the linebackers, 2) the defensive tackle cannot be blocked singularly by the offensive tackle, 3) to check for the trap, and 4) rush the pass. The 0 technique has the nose guard line up directly in front of the center and he will read and react to both of the offensive guards and the center.

In this scheme, the five defensive linemen line up against the five offensive linemen with their assignment being to tackle the fullback in the dive play and to keep the offensive linemen from getting to the linebackers. The two linebackers line up about five yards off the line with their outside leg splitting the crotch of the 5 technique linemen, basically lining up half a body to the inside. This way they can play the B-Gap and the fullback on the dive play or they can scrape and play the quarterback on the pitch. The outside linebackers, if a tight end is present, will use a heads-up technique on the tight end, which will allow them to play the quarterback or the pitch.

That only accounts for seven of the eight players in the box. The biggest adjustment is moving the strong safety into the box seven yards behind the nose guard. This allows him to scrape inside out on most plays. His deeper alignment allows him to move without running into the linebackers. His job to pursue from the dive play to the quarterback rolling out to the pitch.

Obviously, this puts a lot of pressure on the cornerbacks who will be in man-to-man coverage most of the time. They will normally line up about seven yards off the line and either straight on with the receiver or one to two yards inside so they can use the sidelines as an extra defender. The free safety plays the deep middle with his job to get depth and play the ball on the pass or give run support once the ball has passed the line of scrimmage.

Obviously, with the free safety playing deep middle with eight in the box, the seven yard cushion by the corners is to protect from a receiver engaging the corner and getting the inside position for a quick pass with a long run for a big gain or touchdown.

I do not know if this is what the South Alabama defense will employ for this game. It will be interesting to see what Coach Jones and Coach Clark put together to defend Army Prep’s triple option.

Here are some videos demonstrating the triple option in use.

Nebraska running the triple option in the 1995 Orange Bowl. Quarterback keeps the ball.

Florida running the triple option with Tebow pitching to Harvin.

Highlight video of Navy running the option.

Tuesday’s Practice Added Scout Team Work In Prep For Hargrave

August 26, 2009 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Tuesday’s practice started off with the Jags working on positions drills with the defense on the grass field and the offense working on the turf field. Then both squads came together and worked on punts and punt returns before splitting once again for more positional drills. They ended the first half of practice with a period working on power running plays and another period of 7-on-7 skeleton passing drills.

The second half of practice was dedicated to working against the scout team in preparation for Hargrave, their opponent for the first game of the season. The Jags split into scout teams with the first team defense working on the grass field and the first team offense working on the turf. However, the coaches are working somewhat blind. “We’ve kind of used ourselves as competition until two weeks before and now we start trying to look at Hargrave,” defensive coordinator Bill Clark said. “Now it really starts getting into the fine-tuning of what we know. All we can base it on is what we’ve seen in the past and that’s where we’re headed right now.”

“For us it’s just about the fact that we have so many young guys and now we’re trying to show them what it takes to get prepared,” coach Clark continued. “We’re trying to say this is almost like game week to us because we’re only two weeks out and you don’t know what play it could be. It could be a running play, it could be a pass play, that could be the play that breaks, so we’re trying to get them to learn how to practice at full speed and the things that it takes to go against a scout team.”

The same uncertainty goes for the offense as well. “We’ve gotten some really good work done against Hargrave in the last two days, as far as the looks and what we expect, but they could change very easily,” said offensive coordinator Greg Gregory. “They changed quite a bit from game to game a year ago, and you just don’t know what their personnel is like. They’re going to see who they have come in this year, and last year they may have been a four-man front and the year before that they may have been a three-man front, they’re going to decide what defense they’re going to play based on what personnel they have, so you really don’t know. They’ve got some really good football players. We were looking at the roster of guys they’ve signed, and their four down defensive linemen are all big-time players – they will all be playing at the BCS level a year from now.”

“We’re to the stage now where about half of our practice is still against our own defense to get the real speed that we want, and then the other half of practice is spent working on Hargrave,” coach Gregory continued. “We’re showing them basically what [Hargrave’s] looks are against certain formations, trying to expose our guys to that a little bit, and really just trying to use this week to introduce quite a bit of what to expect from Hargrave.”

The Jags will continue working on preparation for Hargrave throughout this week and next week. Wednesday’s practice will be in pads and if they have a good practice, then Thursday will be helmets before holding their final scrimmage before their match-up with Hargrave on September 5th. Friday’s scrimmage is scheduled for 4pm at the on-campus practice fields.

First Ever Media Day For South Alabama Football

August 24, 2009 · Filed Under Football, News · Comment 

On Monday, head coach Joey Jones as well as offensive coordinator Greg Gregory, defensive coordinator Bill Clark, and players Jon Griffin, Charlie Higgenbotham and Anthony Mostella participated in the first ever Media Day for South Alabama Football. The program included a tour of the fieldhouse and lunch before the highly anticipated interviews.

Highlights of the press conference can be read on the USA Jaguars page located here.

Less than 12 days until kickoff. Do you have your tickets yet?

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