Jags Begin Spring Practice Facing Lots Of Changes

February 15, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

As the Jaguars hit the practice field today for the beginning of spring football practice, the offense will begin to make a big change. Players and coaches believe that it will be a change for the better.

With the hiring of Robert Matthews as the new offensive coordinator, the offense will move from a more pro-style offense to a spread offense. Coach Jones believes this will give the team the best chance to put up lots of points. Also, they believe it will take pressure off of the offensive line as they don’t have to sustain their blocks and be pressured to hold protection on every play. The offensive line replaces three starting seniors from last season. While their replacements are larger, they are less experienced than the outgoing seniors.

Additionally Coach Jones believes the switch will also allow the staff to take advantage of the different running types of the running backs on the roster.

Adding to the pressure of learning the new offense, the Jags will be stepping up their schedule in the fall as they go into the season year of the two-year transition into the FBS level. As part of this, South Alabama will play an eight game Sun Belt schedule in addition to a non-conference schedule of all FBS schools consisting of road trips to Mississippi State, NC State, and Hawaii while hosting Texas-San Antonio and Nicholls State.

“It’s a good bit different because it’s a spread offense and we’re going to be in the gun, which is really what I have run most of my years in coaching,” Coach Jones said. “I decided three years ago to run the power [offense] and be a physical football team, but the spread is what I really feel comfortable with and I think we’ve got the people to do it.  Sometimes you need some change, I think it excites you.”

“We understand that we are going to have to get it done quickly, because of the schedule we’re playing,” Jones continued. “We’ve got to be as good as we can be, so there is a sense of urgency to getting this done and getting it done right. It’s probably the biggest thing this spring that we’ve got to concentrate on. People are wondering if we are going to win a game next year, I have no clue what will happen from a win-loss standpoint, but I do know that we will be competing at the highest level of college football in the country. We’ve gotten there pretty fast, but we have got to elevate our play and become much better at what we do.”

After the season finale loss to Cal Poly back in November, Coach Jones changed his approach some. The staff has introduced competition to their everyday life. “Not only on the practice field this spring, but going to class, study hall, in the weight room,” he said. Jones believes that if its second nature the Jaguars will do it when on field. “There are consequences now, because there will be in the fall if we don’t play well.”

“We meet after every season as a staff and we meet as a team. The thing I challenged the team with was that I felt that leadership is something we have got to concentrate on this year,” said Coach Jones. “We have broken down into 13 different teams within the team, and each one has a captain. Everything they do in the offseason program is done by that team; there is peer pressure, things they have to do every day. And if they do anything the wrong way or just miss, they pay for it. We were a pretty disciplined team, but we are going to take it to the highest level. We’re not trying to punish them, we’re trying to create great discipline.”

As mentioned previously, Coach Jones announced changes in responsibilities for his assistants, both on the offensive side and on the defensive side of the ball. First year offensive coordinator Robert Matthews will take over working with the offensive line, while John Turner moves to tight ends, and Bryant Vincent moves to quarterbacks. Defensively Coach Clark, the defensive coordinator, will take over coaching the linebackers while Kurt Crain moves to defensive tackles and Brian Turner will concentrate on the defensive ends. Duwan Walker will continue coaching the secondary and Tommy Perry will continue coaching the running backs.

“After bringing coach Matthews in, he knew exactly what he wanted with the offensive line and had coached tackles. Rather than training somebody else and creating a learning curve there, I just felt like we would move him in and let him coach them,” said Coach Jones. “John was extremely happy about it, tight ends are a different dimension but he really liked the idea, and Bryant has been coaching quarterbacks his whole life and is really comfortable with them. Bill wasn’t really coaching a position, which I wanted him to, and he is comfortable with linebackers. Kurt had coached defensive linemen at Auburn, that’s really what he has always coached, and is excited about the move.”

Offensively, all of the changes make very good sense. Coach Matthews did a great job with the offensive line in his previous stints. Also Coach Gregory was the quarterbacks coach, so Coach Vincent’s move there also puts him back into coaching a position he is very familiar and comfortable with.

Defensively, Coach Crain has done a great job with the inside linebackers. His work with the defensive tackles will make a big difference as well.

There are a few players who will not be able to take part in spring drills or will not be at full speed. Kendall Houston and Enrique Williams are not scheduled to practice while they are recovering from offseason surgeries. Bryson James will not be able to return, if he is able to return at all, until late in the spring drills. Brandon Ross and B.J. Scott will take part, but in a limited role.

While the team is coming off a season that saw their first loss, facing a complete change of the offensive scheme and actually ending the season with a loss, Coach Jones is not worried how the team will respond. “I have never seen our team quite this motivated because they realize the challenges ahead. But they’re also excited about those,” he said. “This is where they all wanted to be, they’ve dreamed about playing these kind of teams every week. There’s no doubt there is a difference.”

Tuesday morning quarterback C.J. Bennett joined the WNSP morning show and talked about the changes on offense. He said that he played in a spread offense throughout high school, so the change to a pro-style offense was a bit of a transition for him. So he thinks the transition back to the spread will be an easy one for him. He also mentioned that they replace three offensive linemen and named Drew Dearman, Shaun Artz, Melvin Meggs and Trey Clark while they also expect big things from McKeller as well.

As for the running backs, Bennett said he has never seen a runner like Kendall Houston. He has excellent balance and a hard runner. Baker adds more speed and having a healthy Brandon Ross will make for an excellent trio of runners in the backfield.

They have a big challenge in front of them, but you better believe that this team has the heart and drive to tackle it.

Coach Joey Jones Show Recap 2011-09-27

September 28, 2011 · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show · Comment 

Running backs and special teams coach Tommy Perry joined Lee Shirvanian and Coach Joey Jones at Baumhowers Restaurant on Airport Boulevard for the radio show. They covered the Kent State game and what they are going to do during this off week.

Lee jumps straight to the question that many people want to know after the last two game. Is this program ready week-to-week FBS competition? Coach Jones answered that he thinks the program is ready for that level of competition. Talking realistically, he said that when people looked at this years schedule and saw NC State and Kent State, they just hoping that those games would not get embarrassing.

But Coach Jones pointed out that the team played NC State close, even though the final score did not reflect that but if they had made three or four plays then the game would have been much closer. Then he said that the team came out and played “pitiful” in the first half against Kent State. He said that he takes the blame for not being as focused as they normally are for games. He said they played hard, but made some very critical mistakes and didn’t play smart. But they played good in the second half by gaining 330 yards of offense and holding Kent to around 80 yards but they had a chance to score the tying points late in the game.

But he said that they are a growing team, but that they are ready for the FBS level. They are only about 2 1/2 years into this program but they are certainly ready to play at that level.

Stepping back and taking an overall look, they played NC State very well and they played Kent State pretty well. They were in the games and could have made some plays to change the outcome of those games; could have beat Kent State and probably should have beat Kent State. While they may not be ready for Alabama or Auburn, they are surely ready for the lower level FBS teams.

Lee asked if Coach Jones could explain the difference from the first half and the second half. Coach Jones reiterated that he did not think that the team’s focus was there before the game. The looks in their eyes was not something that he had seen before, but that it wasn’t bad like they were completely unfocused but they didn’t have the concentration that they normally have. The second point he made was that this was the first time someone jumped on them. It was the first time that they made mistakes and before they knew it they were down 16-0. They had never been down like that before, they had been down 7-0 and came back against a lesser opponent, but they had not been down that much before so quickly it seemed.

Basically, the team was stunned a bit until someone made a big play in the third quarter to wake them up, loosen them up and get them going again.

Lee then turned his focus towards Coach Perry. He stated that normally the Jags have much better numbers from the running backs than what we had at Kent State. He asked him to talk a bit about that. Coach Perry credited Kent State’s front seven for being very good. He said they were very aggressive, did some movement that confused and slowed the Jags down up front.

Coach Perry went further on what Coach Jones had previously said about the team being stunned and said that the team needs to learn that they don’t need a big play to get going. That they need to keep working, ignore the scoreboard and manufacture good things out of nothing to be competitive. The Jags have talented, competitive players in the backfield but they made some critical errors in the game with lining up and who they picked up.

Perry continued talking about how tough and how physical those running backs were during the game. This is a good learning opportunity for them to look at how their work had a direct impact on the outcome of the game.

Coach Jones then jumped in and said that Kent State was the #1 rush defense in the nation the previous season for a good reason. He also said that they were, by far, the best defense that South Alabama has played thus far. The Jags had a problem running the football for a reason. Kent State has some good linebackers that are well coached. In the second half they were able to find a few things they could do and hit on all cylinders.

Lee then asked a question that many Jaguar fans had been wondering about during and after the game. Was Kendall Houston hurt? Coach Jones said that, before the game, his lower back was tight and the coaches could tell in warmups that he wasn’t the same.

Coach Perry jumped in to say that Kendall is a football player and that he took some hits the previous week at NC State that he was amazed that he was able to stay up.

Lee followed that up with a question about the running game being a staple of the Jaguar offense. He asked when do the coaches on the sidelines start to try to find something different? Coach Jones said that they worked on schemes all week in order to find a way to run the football. He admitted that they may have overdid that leading up to the game. When you go against a rush defense that good, no matter what kind of scheme you come up with, it’s going to be difficult to run the football. You just try to run, as a team, for about 120 to 130 yards and hope you can throw for over 200 yards.

A fan called in and spoke very positively of the coaches and the players. He said that many teams that go down by that much at halftime will come out and hang their heads but this team did not do that. They came out and played with heart and all of their might to try to get back into the game. He said that the fans were very proud of them and that the future is bright for the team.

Coach Jones said that they are not satisfied with losing and are not satisfied with making mistakes. They are going to keep working on those things. Yes they have accomplished some good things, but they want to get better and win.

Travis Toth joined after the first break to promote the Jags upcoming games. Particularly the homecoming game against Tennessee-Martin which will kickoff at 2:30pm and will be televised on UTV44 and ESPN3. Thursday October 13th will be a pep rally at the Bell Tower at 7pm. Starting at 6pm on Friday, they will have their homecoming parade which will be followed by moonlight madness. Moonlight Madness is South’s version of Midnight Madness where the Jags basketball teams can start practice, which will start at 7pm.

Travis also mentioned that they are getting calls for away game tickets. He said that they had to return the remainder of their allotment for the UT-San Antonio game but they still have tickets available for the game versus Georgia State in the Georgia Dome. They will be available up to October 7th before they have to return the remainder.

Lee then turned to Coach Perry again talking about kick returners and how Jereme Jones has done well, particularly in the punt returns. Coach Perry agreed that he has grown up quite a bit and is fitting in nicely. Lee also mentioned a couple of occasions where, if he had called for a fair catch, it would have been down between the 15 and 20 yard lines. But he returned the kick for up to around the 30 yard line. While it’s not the longest run, both coaches agreed that that is a huge difference in field position. Coach Perry ended the conversation by saying that it’s a hard position to coach because you want them to be aggressive but they have to be smart about it.

Coach Jones reporting during The Orthopedic Group injury report that they had a few small things. Corey Waldon has a sprained knee and they think he will be back soon and no later than by Monday. Corey Besteda underwent a minor surgery to remove a small “loose body” from his knee. It was reported that Besteda’s procedure went very well and should be back by the middle part of next week.

The Jags had actually scheduled to play UC-Davis this week, however they bought out their trip to Mobile. Coach Jones said he would have loved to face UC-Davis again, but the off week was needed and well timed after all.

The next question was about recruiting and priorities of their staff recruiting. Coach Jones said they are graduating several players off of the offensive line, so they will be looking to bring in guys up there. They also want to continue to develop depth in the secondary.

Another caller talked about how well the Jags did against a very good defense. Coach Jones agreed and said he was pleased because there was a defensive linemen that they blocked well that made Alabama look silly at times.

Lee read an email asking about what the quarterbacks coach is doing to improve C.J. Bennett and the other Jaguar quarterbacks performance. Coach Jones said that the biggest thing for them is to have their quarterbacks get their progression down and stick with it. They don’t want them to continually anticipate things. Coach Jones said that is the biggest thing for C.J. and that it’s not anything technical throwing the ball.

Lee asked to look back at the first half of the Kent State game and tell us if he got his progressions right. Lee also mentioned that we have to keep it in prospective because C.J. has only started seven games and he is only a redshirt freshman.

Coach Jones reiterated what he and Coach Gregory have said several times; C.J. is a great quarterback. The problem, he thinks, is that C.J. has learned the offense so well that he knows the coverages and where to go with the ball but that he thinks he can make every throw. It’s that he is too aggressive. But he does have an uncanny ability to go to the right guy. But in certain situations it’s the best thing to throw the ball away.

Coach Jones continued by saying that C.J. is a good quarterback and he is going to be a great quarterback. He has already made several big plays for the team and he will make more. Basically, they want a good game manager but they don’t want the quarterback to be scared.

Lee mentioned to Coach Jones a quote that was published from him that said, “losses will make us better.” Lee asked wouldn’t it be better if wins make us better? Coach Jones clarified that it’s not the losses that make you better but the reaction to the losses that make you better. Complacency in human nature is a tough thing to fight. All they have had is good things, they had a 19 game winning streak and all kinds of good things happening to the program. How they react to these two losses will determine what type of team they are and will make them better.

Coach Jones said that the players will have three days off at the end of this week while coaches are on the road recruiting. They will come back in on Sunday and begin their game week preparation for their trip to San Antonio.

Lee asked if they saw that the team was more banged up coming off of back to back FBS games than they did playing teams like West Alabama. Coach Jones, at first, indicated no but upon reconsideration he said yes but only a little bit. Because the FBS teams are bigger, they probably did have more bangs and bruises, but they fared very well through those two game.

Next season it’s going to be very tough he said, with back to back games against Mississippi State and NC State as well as games against Troy and Middle Tennessee.

At the end of the show, Lee asked coach Perry how his wife was doing. It was last year that they announced that she was diagnosed with cancer. But she has recovered well and is a big inspiration for Coach Perry and many others as well.

Coach Joey Jones Show Recap 2010-10-05

October 6, 2010 · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show · Comment 

South Alabama sporting their all red uniforms at Ladd-Peebles Stadium against Kentucky Wesleyan.

Coach Perry was the guest along with Coach Jones and Lee Shirvanian on the radio show on Monday. The show started off talking about Baumhower’s is in the process of changing its name to reflect more of its dishes rather than just focus on their wings. So go out and support the show by visiting Baumhowers and ordering the Joey Jones Special, the black and white chicken with steamed broccoli.

This weeks game will see another new uniform combination with the Jags wearing their white jersey’s with their red pants. So the fans and students are being encouraged to wear their red apparel but get ready for Georgia State when they are having a complete white out.

The coaches spoke about how Kentucky Wesleyan stacked the box and the offense took advantage by throwing the ball and getting some big plays out of the receivers.

Lee mentioned the end of the LSU and Tennessee game and asked coach Jones if he has someone that is responsible to make sure that only 11 players are on the field at any given time. Coach Jones said that first off, the coordinator call the personnel grouping so then the position coaches make sure that the correct players get on the field. So when the players go on or off the field they tell them the package and the players are responsible to get on or off the field.

Coach Perry said he is responsible for making sure all of the offensive players are on the field. He also mentioned that it has been easier this year than it was last year, which means they are improving. But as long as the guys go onto and off of the field at the same time, it makes it much easier to keep up with numbers. If two guys go on, then two guys must come off.

Lee then asked that since USA has so many running backs, how do they determine who gets the most carries or more playing time. Coach Jones they are trying to find the winners on the team. If a player shows that they can win the game, then they will be on the field. The Coach Jones starts talking about the running back and how they have two big backs and two scat backs.

Obviously Brandon Ross (234 lbs) is one of their big backs along with Kendall Houston, while Ellis Hill is a bit between the big backs and the scat backs. TJ Glover and Santuan McGee make up the scat backs. Coach Jones talked about how he has never had such a group of backs before and how they can put Houston or Ross in there and they can pound for about 8 yards for play after play. Then they can put in McGee or Glover and they can get outside and got for 20 or 25 yards really quick. To round out the question, Coach Jones said they are trying to rotate all of the backs to keep them fresh and healthy as they go through the season.

Lee then posed a question to Coach Jones saying “If South Alabama gets into a tight game this year.” But before Lee could finish the question, Coach Jones said “we will, we will.” Lee then finished the question that when they get into that situation, will they continue to do like Alabama has done with Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson and continue to rotate. Coach Perry pretty much said that it just depends on who has the hot hand. Some days its Brandon then there are days when Kendall has the hot hand. Brandon has more experience and also that he has to be among the best in the nation in pass protection may sometimes be a better choice.

Lee said that if Brandon had more carries he would break 100 yards every game and Coach Jones was quick to agree in saying he definitely would. But he also added that there will be games in the not too distant future where he will be needed to carry the ball much more than he has been up to now. But the way that the games have been going, they have wanted to get as many players in the game as they can without overusing their starters.

Coach Jones mentioned that there are several players who are day to day or who will be 50/50 as they get closer to game day this Saturday. He mentioned Levi Slaydan has come back. Chris Brunson with a wrist injury. Brian Krauskoff had a weight room accident and has a big club on his hand. Shaun Artz has a cast on his wrist. Corey Pittman has returned to the team with fresh legs and is doing pretty good. They just have several guys who are a little beat up but if everything keeps progressing the way it has, they should be back to full strength in the next couple weeks.

Lee mentioned that Trey Clark, the center, has been the constant on the offensive line. Coach Jones said he makes all the calls on the line concerning pass protection and identifying the Mike linebacker. He may be considered undersized but teams will win with players like Trey.

After another break, they came back to the show to talk about a very sobering subject that they wanted to announce. Something that is more important than winning or losing on the field. They announced that Coach Perry’s wife was recently diagnosed with cancer. At a young age, only 29 years old, it was shocking for them to hear the diagnosis and find it boggling that someone as active, healthy and athletic as Ms. Perry, who runs every day and is a triathlon athlete, to be diagnosed with cancer. Coach Perry encouraged everyone to go downtown to Bienville Square for the American Cancer Society’s ‘Making Strides Against Cancer’ on October 30th. It starts at 8am and there is no fee. Donations are accepted.

Coach Perry stressed that if you do not know of anyone who has faced cancer, it’s only a matter of time with the current rate of diagnosis. So both he, Coach Jones and Lee Shirvanian wanted to make sure to encourage everyone to think about going downtown for ‘Making Strides Against Cancer’ on Saturday, October 30th at 8am starting at Bienville Square in downtown Mobile, Alabama.

The first write in question was about time of possession and asking if Coach Jones agreed that time of possession is a distorted statistic. Coach Jones agreed someone, he did say that about 90% of the time it is a good statistic, but there are games like the Jags have had this season, where time of possession favored the losing team and thus was a bit of a distorted stat. Generally, having the ball longer than your opponent means that you are probably sustaining drives better than your opponent and giving yourself more scoring opportunities.

Lee mentioned he wondered how may yards per rush the team was averaging. Coach Jones mentioned that Tommy Hicks ran some stats and compared them against Division I-AA schools and had them number one in a few categories on offense and defense. However, he was quick to mention that the numbers were distorted because they are not playing all Division I-AA schools so they can’t vouch for the validity.

Lee then asked about Missouri S&T, South Alabama opponent this weekend. Coach Jones said that they are giving them the most fits so far, coaching wise. They have odd looks defensively and offensively. Defensively you they typically see 3-4 and 4-3 defenses as well as the 8 man fronts. But Missouri runs a flex defense which few teams actually run and are making them really do their homework this week.

Lee mentioned the Troy and Middle Tennessee State game that was going to take place that night. Lee asked if he would like to play a Tuesday night game. Coach Jones chuckled and said definitely and that the Jags would play on Monday morning if they could be on television. However, their time on TV is rapidly approaching as the mid-majors are playing Tuesday and Thursday night, midweek games for ESPN and ESPN2.

Jaguars Hit The Practice Field In Shells

August 9, 2010 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Sunday

Sunday saw the Jags hit the field with shells while adding more contact. The hits were easy to hear and were definitely hard but full tackling was not allowed. They were only allowed to hit and hold up short of bringing someone to the ground.

Sunday’s practice began with more special teams practice. On Friday, they began with punt coverage but on Sunday they began with kickoff coverage. After beginning with special teams, the Jags then broke off into positional drills. Quarterbacks worked with receivers on timing and routes while running backs worked on handoffs and blocking. Linebackers, defensive linemen and defensive backs all working on basics as well.

After positions, the Jags then went into an inside drill session, which actually had the Jags hitting for the first time in summer camp. The offensive and defensive units swapped players in and out numerous times to more reps in for the new players. As Coach Jones said after practice, “The only way you can find out about guys is by giving them reps. I think we have some good young players who can build some depth for us at each position. Today, I felt like we got more people in practice, and we need to continue to do that.”

After the inside drill, the offensive and defensive linemen seperated to work on individual position technique. The secondary, linebackers, receivers and running backs worked against each other in pass coverage drills.

Monday

Similar to before, they had an 11-on-11 live-action session for ten plays. Freshman running back T.J. Glover rushed twice and broke one off the left end for 25 yards. In the two carries, he totaled about 30 yards but impressed the coaches and onlookers in the process. The Jaguars running backs coach Tommy Perry said, “He’s fast and you notice it. We’re trying to make things work so we can get him the ball in space, because he is electric. He’s a freshman, so he has to learn what to do, but as a coach you get excited when you see that extra gear, because he definitely has that.”

I would definitely look for Glover to be used in motions, misdirections and screen plays in the coming year with his speed.

The defense stepped up on six plays by stopping the offense for no gain on three rushes. They also forced two incomplete passes and and interception by redshirt freshman Eddy Cabrera.

After the 11-on-11 session, the offense worked on picking up the blitz with the defense. The first play of the drill saw Myles Gibbon hit Bryant Lavender, a freshmen, on a go route for 30 yards. Brennan Sim went 3-for-3 in the passing drill averaging close to seven yards per pass. He completed passes to Jereme Jones and Courtney Smith.

Monday was another practice in shells for the Jaguars. Practice began with a period of special teams practice, again focusing on kickoff returns and ended the practice with kickoff coverage.

The practice was similar to what the Jags will continue to do throughout preseason camp, but only with shells and limited hitting. They had multiple periods of third down situational drills and multiple 11-on-11 drills.

The first third down situational drill had the offensive line and running backs practice running plays against the defensive interior. On the other side of the field, quarterbacks and receivers worked against defensive backs  in coverage. During this set of drills, Anthony Taylor and Charlie Higgenbotham came away with sacks as well as forcing and recovering a fumble.

One of the 11-on-11 sessions was running plays in the red zone. The offense started witht he goal of making a first down starting at the 20. On the first play, Sim connected with Courtney Smith for a nine yard gain, short of the first down when Anton Graphenreed tackled Smith one yard shy of the first. The offense then had two big gains on the defense with Houston on a rush and a screen play to Johnny Lockett from C.J. Bennett. But the defense held on the next two plays.

The final 11-on-11 of the day continued the outstanding play by the defense. They only allowed two first down in ten plays with three consecutive sacks. Jake Johnson was in on two of them as well as Ben Giles and Ucambre Williams. The first play saw the offense make a first down with a pass from Sim to Courtney Smith on a slant. The offense’s only other first down was on a quarterback draw by Raymond Cotton on their last play.

The offense was hot early in the third down 7-on-7 drills. They converted about half of their attempts with Bennett being responsible for four first downs with four completions to four different players. Brennan Sim helped to get three first down. Only two Jaguars, Taylor Noon and Bryant Lavender, caught two passes for first downs.

Coach Jones commented on the practice afterwards by saying, “It was a very good practice, though I thought we had a little lull in the middle to latter part for the first time. That’s normal, and what I was proud of is that they fought back at the end of practice. We’re in the middle of nine straight days of practice, and that ‘s tough. They just have to get a little better every day, and so far we have improved.”

The Jags continue their nine consecutive days of practice on Tuesday when they don full pads for the first time this preseason camp.

Jags Preparing For Big Test From Georgia Military

October 7, 2009 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

The Jags will have a step up in competition this weekend when Georgia Military Junior College comes to Mobile on Saturday. The Jags have opened the season with two wins against prep schools, but Saturdays matchup will be their first one above the prep level.

Georgia Military comes into the game with a record of 3-2, however they are ranked 14th in the National Junior College Athletic Association poll which was released on Tueday. Over the past decade, they have been to the national championship game three times while winning it once. They have had 18 players sign with Division-I schools last year. So obviously they are very talented. Looking back they are consistently good.

The Jags strength so far this season has been their rushing game where they have averaged 287 yards per game and almost six yards per attempt. That will be tested in this game because their opponents strength has been their defense, particularly against the rush. The Bulldog defense have allowed and average of 91.8 yards per game and 2.9 yards per rush.

The Jaguar defense has allowed and average of 284.5 yards per game so far, with only 109 per game rushing. Also the Jags defense has nine take-aways, five interceptions and four fumble recoveries.

This game has the makings of a very good game and a quality test for the young Jaguars. “Georgia Military has a lot of weapons and guys that can score on you quickly. That always worries you as a coach,” Coach Jones stated. “They have a very athletic quarterback who can throw the ball and run it as well, and probably have the fastest running back that we’ve seen on film this year.”

Obviously with two such evenly matched teams the difference maker may come down to special teams play. Michel Chapuseaux converted all of his PAT attempts against Army Prep plus his one and only field goal attempt of the season. However in the first game Coach Jones seemed skittish about attempting field goals in the first game against Hargrave, opting instead to go for it on fourth down. If the game comes down to a field goal, could Chapuseaux or McGlon come on and convert?

The Jags punter, Scott Garber, has punted only twice so far in the first two games, but he is averaging 52 yards per punt with both being downed inside the opponents 20 yard line. While Erling Riis is averaging 19 yards per punt return for the Jags. Also the Bulldogs are only averaging 30.5 yards per punt and have not attempted any field goals.

But also don’t forget about punt pressure. The Jags blocked a punt against Army and Hargrave, however the Hargrave punt block was flagged as roughing the kicker. The stat to remember here is that the team who blocks a punt wins 85% of the time. You can believe that Coach Jones and Coach Perry knows that stat and will be looking for good special teams play on Saturday.

Following are some quotes from the Jaguars media day from Monday. Possible problems the Bulldog’s offense may post to the Jags defense: “Number one, they run multiple formations. They have a very athletic quarterback that can throw the ball and run it as well. (Georgia Military) probably has the fastest running back (Tobias Palmer) that we’ve seen on film this year. He’s a very good player. They have a lot of weapons and guys that can score on you quickly. That always worries you as a coach.”

Advantages Georgia Military has over a team like Hargrave: “The advantage that (Georgia Military) has is that they have these kids for two years. During that second year, there is a big change from your freshman year to your sophomore year. They have players that are older and who have been in big games. They can teach the younger players what it is all about. That’s like our team. I think we have some older guys that have been able to teach our younger players what it’s all about, so we should be pretty similar to them. The two previous teams that we played have been all freshman. They both have been very talented, but didn’t have the older guys to try and show them how to do things.”

Coach Jones’ thoughts about the early kickoff time: “I think that it is going to work out real good for us. I like the idea of getting up and eating your pregame meal at 7:30 a.m. You don’t have to sit around all day and worry about the game. I have always liked early games, both as a player and as a coach.”

Kickoff for the Jags and Georgia Military is set for 11:30am at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Come out and cheer the Jags on against a very good team.

Go Jags!!

Coach Jones And The Jags Complete Final Practice Before Scrimmage And End Of Camp

August 13, 2009 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

The Jaguars hit the practice field twice on Thursday, their last day of practice before their scrimmage on Saturday ends their fall camp.

The morning session of the two-a-day saw the team take the field at 7am in shells. Practice began with special teams work on field goals. After that, they went into position drills for a while. Next they broke into separate groups with recievers and defensive backs working one-on-one while the offensive and defensive lines worked practiced against each other. Following that, they had a period of 7-on-7 practice which was followed up by full squad passing plays.

Next the offense and defense separated to different ends of the field and worked against scout teams. Then, to end the practice, the first and second teams each got a shot to run a two-minute drill.

The first run saw freshman quarterback Myles Gibbon leading the offense. Gibbon hit the freshmen receiver Corey Besteda down the left sideline for a 45 yard gain. However, time ran out with the team inside the 10-yard line.

The second run at the two-minute drill saw junior Brennan Sim and freshman Nick Owens both taking snaps at quarterback. Their result was a field goal.

The afternoon session was less physical and saw the team focusing on plays for the scrimmage on Saturday without pads. They worked mostly in position groups but they did have some time in 7-on-7 passing drills and 11-on-11 running drills with some focus on receivers working on blocking.

Coach Jones said that the scrimmage on Saturday help the coaches in making decisions towards who will start and who will be second string. “Number one is that it’s a great evaluation process for the kids,” Jones said. “They’re under the gun so to speak, and they’re out there in a live situation. They know the pressure is on them, so we’ll so how they react in a game-type situation. It’s more of an evaluation time. We’ve been teaching fundamentals all week long, and we’re going to treat it like a game and see how they perform when the lights are on.”

However, Coach Jones was quick to say that the scrimmage will not necessarily determine who starts. Just because a player has a good scrimmage, he might be way behind another guy. But several positions have players that are pretty even so a good showing at the scrimmage will definitely move them up on the chart.

Coach Jones had this to say about positions that he was worried about, “We have depth at a lot of positions. I’m worried about the secondary, and I’m worried about the tight end situation. In those two areas we don’t have as much depth, but the other positions I feel good about. We’ve got players that can fill in.”

Running backs coach Tommy Perry indicated that he was looking for more than one running back to step up and win the starting job. “You’ve got to have at least two, and if you’ve got three that really helps. That third guy has got to be able to do a little of everything. Ideally we’d like to have three. Everybody kind of has their strengths, and you’ve just got to know as a coach, feel the offense and know when to have that guy in there. The guy that’s going to be playing the most is the guy that can do everything the best.”

Perry also mentioned that he has some specific things he will be watching for on Saturday. “I’m going to look for running after contact,” he said. “We’ve got something we call Jag yards, and those offensive linemen do a great job of opening holes, but some of those five and six-foot holes I can run through and look pretty good. That doesn’t take a lot of talent. I’m looking for the guys that get the extra yards. After contact how many yards are we picking up, and how sharp and crisp are we in pass protection. Those are the two big things I’m looking for.”

Coach Jones said they are looking at about 120 plays and will try to get every player into the scrimmage with the ones and twos having more time than the threes and fours will.

The Jags will have a day to rest on Friday before hitting the practice field for their scrimmage starting at 9am which will be followed by “Family Fan Day” to end their fall camp.