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Jags Complete Third Practice Of Preseason Camp Saturday

August 4, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Head Coach Joey Jones talking with wide receiver Carr Tigner during preseason practice.

South Alabama got started early on Saturday morning to beat the rain chances and completed their full practice schedule for the day. It was overcast most of the morning, but the humidity made it pretty warm. The hydration staff roamed all morning making sure the players were well hydrated to help prevent players from overheating and cramping.

The Jags practiced for almost two-and-a-half hours on Saturday in shells (helmets and shoulder pads) with the offense focusing on inside running plays. In all, the offense ran over 100 plays against the defense working on the inside run, 7 on 7 skeleton passing and full-team drills.

The first half of practice focused on individual drills and fundamentals. The quarterbacks worked with the running backs and receivers in 10 minute periods while the offensive line worked with Coach Matthews. Additionally, the receivers and defensive backs would work one-on-one on while other personnel worked on inside drills.

The defensive linemen and outside linebackers worked on the sleds early in the practice. The secondary and inside linebackers did drills with Coach Clark, the defensive coordinator, while also going through various formations before going against the offense.

During skeleton drills, C.J. Bennett started with back-to-back completions to Jereme Jones and Bryant Lavender. Transfer quarterback Ross Metheny hit Jared Palmer in the back corner of the end zone for a touchdown later in the drill. Tyrell Pearson deflected a pass as well as picking off a pass that was deflected by lineback Jake Johnson. Darrius Morrow also broke up a pass during the drill.

Bryant Lavender added three receptions during the final team drills of the day. Corey Besteda added a few catches during the day as well. One fully extended catch and a Tyrone Prothro-like near catch along the sideline, however it appeared that he could not come down with it in the end.

In the first practice, there were four or five players who obviously cramped up. After the practice, the staff made sure to remind them to eat plenty of food and, particularly protein and drink lots of gatorade. It was obvious today that the staff helped the players to correct those problems from the first day.

Coach Jones made note in the post-practice talk that he is seeing the benefits from the offseason strength and conditioning workout regimen. The benefits are not only physical, but mental and in leadership roles.

“We’ve got more leadership on this football team,” Head coach Joey Jones said. “What I am hearing is guys leading others, which hasn’t happened as much in the past. That’s going to make things better as we go through this football season.”

“I was happy with the effort, they came out ready to go and their minds were on it,” he said. “Obviously we have some things that need to be sharpened up, but this was really just our second day of practice. We have a way to go, but I was real proud of the effort.”

“We wanted to concentrate on running the football and stopping the run when you put shoulder pads on for the first time,” Coach Jones further explained. “The inside drill went really well, I thought the defense got after it while the offense hit a few plays. It was good to see the intensity. I’m not worried about results right now, I’m concerned with the process. It’s not going to be perfect now, we know that, but if we continue to work on the process we’ll have a chance to be good later on.”

There were times when the offense looked flat later in practice. But that really is to be expected at this time. Coming into preseason camp, the quarterbacks and receiver tend to have an edge but the defense will typically pick up quickly and surpass the offense. Which I believe explains today. Also, this is the third day of intense workouts in the humid weather, that much intense work will take something out of you this early in camp.

On the injury front, Brandon Ross was dressed out but did not participate in contact drills. However he did hold pads for certain drills. Qudarius Ford iced up his knee late in practice. Will Thompson had an occasional limp. Eddy Cabrera got winded late in the conditioning drills.

In recruiting news, Alabama commit Darius Paige appeared at practice today. Paige, a 6’3″ 275-pound defensive tackle from Pensacola, Florida observed practice with Assistant Athletic Directory Haven Fields. Paige, who committed to the Crimson Tide back in May, has been offered by a number of schools including: Arkansas State, Clemson, FIU, Florida State, Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Marshall, Mississippi State, Tennessee and South Alabama.

The Jags will have Sunday off before returning to the practice field on Monday morning at 7:15am.