Coach Joey Jones Show Recap 2010-09-28

September 28, 2010 · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show · 2 Comments 

Ray Cotton takes a knee to run the final seconds off the clock against against Pikeville.

With Coach Jones and Lee Shirvanian they had defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator Coach Brian Turner on the show. Coach Jones called an audible so to speak, instead of his normal “Joey Jones Special” of black and white chicken, he went with something else.

Lee opened up talking about the road trip to Dothan to play Edward Waters. The win was great but Lee praised how well the trip itself went. Coach Jones said that many people, especially the players, did not realize how much time and effort went into planning this trip. They want to make the trip as similar to a home game as possible. Coach Jones estimated about 2,000 fans for the Jags and about 300 or so for Edward Waters.

Lee asked Coach Jones what the players got out of the game on Saturday. His answer was that they got several things out of it. The big thing was they got lots of players in the game to help build some depth. This is something that will be crucial for the team, not only going down the stretch, but also in coming years as the Jags will be playing better opponents. Also, it’s hard to get your subs time to play when you are playing very good teams where you not only want your best players on the field, but you need them on the field to help you win the game.

One position that Coach Jones mentioned where they want to continue to build more depth is the offensive line. This is something that all teams want to build and it seems that all teams continually feel that they are not deep enough on the offensive line.

Coach Jones said that the two’s got anywhere between 36-44 plays each on Saturday which is a good number for subs. Plus they got scout team players into the game. One name that was mentioned by Lee was Michael Nevels who scored two touchdowns late in the game. Lee said he was glad to be on the trip just to be able to hear about his story. Nevels was about 6th or 7th on the depth chart and he got in to play and scored twice.

Lee started talking about the Jags game plan where they wanted to throw the ball early. Lee remarked that the Jags could have just run the ball down the throat of Edward Waters without even throwing the ball and won the game easily. But Coach Jones said that they wanted to throw early because when you get ahead by about four touchdowns you don’t want to continue throwing the ball and be perceived as running up the score on the other team. After they scored the first touchdown in two plays, which were both passing plays, they decided then to starting reining it back some and start to mix it up.

Lee mentioned that in the second half he noticed that the clock continued to run. Coach Jones mentioned that he and the EWC coach agreed to let the clock run.

Brian Turner came on and spoke about the recruiting front. He said that they meet every week specifically about recruiting. They start many of their meeting speaking about recruiting and spend lots of their time reviewing video and evaluating players. Lee asked how many players they were looking at and Brian answered that they currently have 125 players on their recruiting board. Among them, some have offers from Alabama or Auburn while others do not have an offer as of yet.

Lee asked of that number that they have on their board, how many they are looking to sign. Coach Turner said they are looking to sign from 20-22 players. It’s based on their needs at certain positions and if they hit that number that’s great. If they don’t they will save them for the next year.

Lee then turned his attention to Coach Jones in asking where their emphasis is this year in recruiting. Coach Jones answered that the secondary needs depth. Next he mentioned offensive lineman which he also said that he believes that you cannot have enough offensive lineman. He estimates that a team needs to have anywhere from 16-18 scholarships in offensive lineman.

Lee mentioned special teams, in particular kickoff’s. Coach Jones said that is a real concern for the team right now. Lee asked what they can do about it and Coach Jones said that he thinks, that right now, its a mental issue. That the mind controls the body. Obviously they know how to kick the ball because they have gotten to this point. They know the steps, they know the routine. They just have to get their minds back on track. He likened it to a baseball player going through a slump, they just have to keep working through it until they work out the issue causing the problem.

Lee had a few email questions for Coach Jones. The first was asking when the first Sun Belt Conference opponent appear on the Jags schedule. Coach Jones answered that it will be 2012 when they will be playing a full Sun Belt schedule. He does not know who they will be playing yet, but they have eight games slotted for Sun Belt teams. This will be a year before they are eligible for the Sun Belt championship in 2013.

Next question asked about the policy for South Alabama in scheduling FCS teams once they become full members at the FBS level (IE Division I-A). Teams can play one a year, the rest will be FBS teams. But they may be some years when we won’t play any FCS teams. For the four non-conference games a year, they want to shoot for three FBS teams and maybe one FCS teams per year. A qualification to that was that two of the games will be “big games.” Like upcoming games against Tennessee, LSU or Ohio State which are also referred to as “money games.” It doesn’t matter who they play, they will look for the team who pays the most money to help with recruiting and give the players experience as well.

The next question was about Edward Waters. South Alabama currently has them scheduled for a game in 2011 but the person emailed asking if Coach Jones may be looking into buying them out for next year in order to schedule a better opponent. Coach Jones declined to say anything about this since they most likely have a contract for a two game series. But he did confirm that they have had some talks about that.

The next email was from someone asking about several players specifically so here are their names and what the coaches had to say about them. Terrell Brigham, defensive back, a really good athlete and a true freshman who is progressing well. Ryan Onkka, tight end, who Coach Jones thinks he is really talented but that he needs to put on about 30 pounds. Rush Hendricks, tight end, a tough, physical kid who is also very smart with a good ACT score and is picking up the offensive pretty well. Will Thompson, defensive end, he came in to the team in January but is a true freshman on the field and has made it into every game thus far. Davin Hawkins, defensive back, good size freshman that has helped out on special teams. Desmond Jones, linebacker, a walk on that is doing a great job and coach Crain his pretty high on him. But Coach Jones added that all of these players are freshman who are in the process and need to learn their positions and their side of the ball.

Lee then moved on to recap injuries. Myles Gibbon and Richard Ross did not play due to injury while C.J. Bennett did not play due to discipline reasons. Myles practiced today though his knee bothered him a little bit, but Coach Jones expects him to play on Saturday. Richard Ross did not practice today and thinks he is a 50/50 chance to play on Saturday.

The Jags came out of the game with EWC pretty healthy. Bryson James came out with an injured shoulder but he will be okay.

Coach Jones reiterated his stance that he will not take away a players starting job because of an injury, but they do still have to compete. He will continue to be the starter until someone beats them out.

Brian Turner breaks down Kentucky-Wesleyan (3-1) a bit by saying that they have a very good offense. Their offensive line protects the quarterback well. The quarterback is a lefty with good accuracy. Overall the offense is good. They spread the ball around. Coach Jones thinks they are well coached and could score on the Jags. But they will prepare for them and see what happens on Saturday.

After the second break, Lee came back and spoke with Coach Jones about Justin Dunn who intercepted a pass and ran it back for a touchdown in the first quarter against EWC. But then he moved on to talking about linebackers and, in particular, he mentioned Ray Lewis, an NFL player who was interviewed on the Colin Cowherd show. Lewis said that it’s not about speed with linebackers, it’s about angles. Coach Jones completely agreed. He said the entire game of football is about angles, from offensive line to linebackers to receivers. It all hinges around angles. A guy who understands that can play faster on the field.

The first caller to the show asked how her cousin, who plays football in Louisiana and loves South Alabama, could get recruited by the Jags. Brian Turner answered that first they need to send their video in to the program so they can evaluate him on film. Also they need to include their information so they can get materials out to them and, if they are a senior, start calling and talking with and recruiting them.

Travis Toth spoke about Saturdays game encouraging fans to wear their red to help them with the “red out” the stadium. The team will be wearing red from head to toe which is a departure from their normal home attire of red jersey’s over white pants. The weather forecast is 0% chance of rain with a high of about 82 degrees. He then touted how affordable it is to go to a South Alabama game, from parking at Bel Air Mall and riding the Wave to Ladd-Peebles Stadium to the ticket prices and good seating with affordable concessions. It’s just a great deal all around to come out and support South Alabama on a beautiful football weekend.

Lee also noted that the Auburn game is an early one and the Alabama game doesn’t kick off until 7pm so you can still catch both of them as well as get out to the Jags game and have one heck of a day.

Coach Jones mentioned that they have had about 23,000 people out to the two home games thus far this season and that they have a great crowd travel to Dothan for the game. He also mentioned that they have a great core group of fans that are going to be there for the team and he appreciates every single person who makes it out to the games.

Travis said that he was shocked to arrive at around noon, which he thought was going to be early for the day, and see the visitor side full of tailgaters already cooking it up and enjoying the day.

Lee asked Coach Turner about recruiting again, this time to see if they are expanding outside of the immediate area and the south east. Coach Turner said that they are getting interest and video from every state in the Union. The main difference between what they are recruiting now and what they were recruiting when they started is the caliber of player. Coach Turner was unsure the type of player they were going to be able to get but they have been amazing at what they are getting now. They are going head to head with Conference-USA, the Big East and whomever they have to go against for players and they are winning those battles.

Lee asked what kind of players Coach Jones will have to get to compete with NC State, who the Jags play next year. Coach Jones said that they are going to get more players that USA is going to get right now, they are an established Division I team for a while. But what South Alabama has to do is to evaluate better. Everyone knows who the blue chip guys are and many will go after them. What South Alabama has to do is to find the guys who may be an inch too short for these top level programs but who play like those players and bring them into the program. Where the top programs will get a defensive end who is 6’5” and weighing 250 or more, the Jags need to find that 6’4” or maybe a little shorter player who is only about 210 but that they think can be 250 pounds and get them there.

The difference when South plays NC State will be depth. When USA starts to bring in their second string guys against NC State’s second string guys who are the same size just a bit younger, that’s going to be the difference.

Lee asked if USA subscribes to recruiting services who rank players with the familiar stars rating. Coach Turner answered that yes, they do use those services and that it helps of course. Coach Turner says that some of the 5 star ratings could be overrating players. What Coach Jones tells them is that they are going to go after players who fit their need. If they can play, fit their system and they think that they will do well then they will recruit them and bring them in if they can. Pretty much Coach Jones summed it up as if the recruiting services are picking up the players and ranking them, then they are pretty good players. Some will be overrated some will be underrated, but that the majority of them will be pretty good players. If other schools like them are recruiting players then they feel that they are right trying to recruit them also.

Sorry, but I missed the final segment of the show but this recap is also getting quite lengthy. So wear your red out to Ladd-Peebles on Saturday at 4pm to cheer on the Jags as they try to go 4-0 on the season and 11-0 all time in school history thus far.

Also visit http://coachoftheyear.com/ and vote for Coach Joey Jones for Division I-A coach of the year. Currently he is still sitting nicely in 3rd place behind Gene Chizik of Auburn and Nick Saban of Alabama and ahead of Bo Pelini of Nebraska and Dabo Swinney of Clemson.

Go Jags!!

Coach Joey Jones Show Recap 2009-10-27

October 27, 2009 · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show · Comment 

Coach Jones called in for a few minutes during the show while he was traveling to Birmingham. But Lee Shirvanian was joined at Baumhower’s Wings Restaurant by Coach Crain, Coach Craig and Coach Rodrigue. Coach Crain and Coach Rodrigue both got the Joey Jones Plate (AKA the black and white chicken) while Coach Craig ordered the grilled chicken.

The coaches mentioned that they practiced this morning from about 5:30am until about 9:00am and had a really good practice.

Lee asked Coach Jones about Fork Union Academy which he said they were very athletic on defense and will definitely be a challenge for the Jags on offense. Lee then asked Coach Jones and the rest of the staff on hand if the players would favor the flurry of games coming up, three in 12 days. Coach Jones said that he thinks they want to play games and that they will favor this. Typically coaches think they need more practice time while players are ready to play. Coach Rodrigue said that he thought that having a game at the end of a week of practice helps to keep them focused and interested. While Coach Crain said that an open week is good especially to recover from playing week after week and the bumps and bruises you get during a normal schedule. But he likes to get into game week and scheme and do everything that goes with that.

One of the South Alabama marketing people came on and said that they were asking tailgaters to decorate their area for halloween. They are calling it Truck Or Treat. The kids can dress up in their costume and trick or treat from tailgate to tailgate. Kids 12 and under can wear their costumes or their favorite teams shirt (hopefully the Jags) and get $5 tickets to the game.

Lee then moved to recruiting and mentioned Alabama’s Terrance Cody and if there were many of them out there. Coach Rodrigue said they are if you are looking to stop the run. But they are recruiting more speed now, some places are recruiting runningbacks and fullbacks to play linebacker because of their vision. Since they are used to looking for holes, they fit good being a linebacker who is supposed to fill those holes before the backs find them.

Lee then asked the coaches about how much time that USA spends on special teams, which Coach Crain said that they spend alot of time on every phase of it. Knowing when to pick up the ball and when to get away from it and things like that. He said it has really helped the Jags to be as successful as they have been this season. They both also praised Tommy Perry’s work with special teams as well.

Lee ended the show asking the coaches what is the toughest position to recruit for. Coach Rodrigue said he thought it has been defensive line so far for the Jags. Coach Crain said the quarterback would probably be the toughest in his mind, because once you get a good guy, its hard to get another one to commit.

I have to apologize because I missed a segment in the middle due to technical difficulties not related to the radio station. I hope you enjoy the recap nonetheless.

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!

Coach Joey Jones Show Recap 2009-09-08

September 8, 2009 · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show · Comment 

Unfortunately I missed the first half of the show, but I have covered what I did get to listen to of the Joey Jones Radio Show.

I tuned in just in time to hear coach Jones talk about how USA was smaller than Hargrave up front however they matched up very well. The defense did a good job stopping the run except for a few plays and the one big pass play for a touchdown.

Coach Crain came on the program and said that he was pleased about how the defense played. They were good enough to win but were not perfect, which is what they strive for. He said that USA has been blessed with players that want to go out and play hard and do the best that they can. He believes in having pressurized practices. He also said that if you can get to the point where practice is the hard situation and the game is not, then you can be very successful.

Several callers mentioned the great time they had on Saturday. Coach Jones thanked them for coming out and giving the players a great environment to play in. He said he loved the atmostphere and had to take off his headset a couple times just to hear the crowds reaction to some plays. USA had some top recruits in for the game and that they look forward to making some calls to them to guage their reaction. it should make a good impression on them.

Another caller said he was very impressed with how the Jaguars played. That they were only called for four penalties for about 25 yards which is not what you would expect for a first game.

Another caller asked when they were going to upgrade the scoreboards at Ladd they wanted to see replays. Coach Jones said he thought that both the GMAC bowl and the Senior Bowl both brought portable big screens for that but he did not know of any plans for that to be installed at Ladd.

Lee asked again if USA had a wildcat like formation. Coach Jones said they do not. Several teams use it, mostly when they don’t have a quarterback that can run well. The Jags have some very mobile quarterbacks and they don’t need to use that formation because of that reason.

South Alabama Releases First Schedule And Holds Its First Practice In Pads

March 24, 2009 · Filed Under Football · Comment