Jags Return To Field After Scrimmage

August 14, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 
CJ Bennett in the rain

Quarterback CJ Bennett prepares to take a snap in the light rain at the Jaguar Practice Facility.

The Jaguars returned to the practice field on Monday to begin their second full week of practice as they are only 16 days away from their 2012 season opening game against Texas-San Antonio. After their day off on Sunday, Coach Jones thought they opened the second week with another strong effort after a rest day.

The practice on Monday spanned about two hours in full pads. Most of the first hour focused on individual skills drills before progressing to skeleton passing drills then full 11-on-11 team drills in the second half of practice.

The skeleton drills focused on open field and red zone plays while the 11-on-11 drills focused on the base playset. In the first four plays of team drills sophomore C.J. Bennett completed passes to four different Jaguar receivers.

Bennett and Metheny both found open receivers and enjoyed good protection as the offensive line only allowed two sacks during team drills. Jereme Jones hauled in an impressive one-handed touchdown pass. Wide receivers Cameron Broadnax and T.J. Glover both added some very nice catches as well. Kendall Houston and Senior Brandon Ross stood out amongst the running backs in individual drills.

Defensively the secondary allowed some receivers to get open during the skeleton drills. Safety Charles Harris broke up two passes while his counterpart B.J. Scott continues to be a vocal leader on the field. During individual drills Montavious Williams and Lucas Melo almost flipped a sled.

Also, the Jags got a visit from former Jaguar receiver Courtney Smith during practice.

“I thought it was great, it was one of our better practices,” Jones said after practice. “The kids came out ready to go and were mentally sharp.  I told them that if we can practice like this, we’re going to be a pretty good football team. But we have to continue to do that. They can’t worry about what happened in the scrimmage, on the last play or last week, all they can do something about is what is ahead of them. The kids understand that, and if they take each day and get better we will have a shot.”

“This week is a tough week, the second week of camp. There is no school and no game coming up this weekend, so we have to make sure it is a good work week,” Jones explained. “We’re going to finish this week getting a ton of reps, next week we will start backing off and focusing on quality reps. We just need to throw a lot at them and see what they can do.”

After Saturday’s scrimmage the coaching staff reviewed the scrimmage video and Coach Jones said he was pleased with what he saw. “I was real pleased, I thought there were some good things offensively. We executed much better, the offensive line is really starting to come along and the quarterbacks understand the offense,” he said. “Defensively we are real banged up right now, a bunch of starters are out but will be back by the middle of the week. Once we get all those guys out there I feel really good about what we are doing defensively.”

The players and coaches will return to the practice field on Tuesday morning at 7:40am and will keep that schedule all this week leading up to an 8am scrimmage on Saturday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

Jags Pick Up Big Defensive Addition For 2012 Season

July 30, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

There are two positions where mid-major football programs, especially young programs like South Alabama, always has need. Those positions are the offensive and defensive lines. The Jags picked up another one of those big defensive linemen this week.

Coach Jones has said on numerous occasions that, “God only makes so many 300-pound linemen.” He has also given a similar reason why South Alabama runs a 3-4 defense. On a number of occasions, when asked about it, he tends to give two reasons. First he says that, as an offensive mind coach, he does not like to go up against an ‘odd front’ because of the problems it causes in blocking. The second he says is with only three defensive linemen, you don’t have to find as many big defensive linemen while smaller, faster linebackers are more available.

Lucas Melo of Pierce College in Los Angeles, California will join the Jags on Tuesday, just before the Jags being their preseason camp. Melo is a 6’2″ 305 pound all-conference defensive tackle in the Southern California Football League. He had 47 solo tackles, 9.5 sacks, 13 TFL’s, two forced fumbles and two blocked field goals. He was rated a two star recruit by Rivals.com.

Melo had early offers from BYU, New Mexico State and Texas State among others and in February chose to sign with Maine, who is a FCS power. However, after signing day he discovered many of his class credits would not transfer to Maine or to several other schools. He asked for and was granted his release. Then Melo picked up offers from Akron, Buffalo, Georgia State, Jacksonville State, Washington State, Boise State and South Alabama.

When he visited South Alabama he enjoyed his visit. He said that he loved Mobile, the campus and everything about the South Alabama campus. But his decision came down to early playing time and the ability to get into school without any further problems.

Though, Melo does have one academic commitment he must meet before he can officially join the team. He will have to complete and online English class within 21 days of beginning practice as South Alabama or he will have not be able to participate in practice until he has finished it. However Melo anticipates he will have that taken care of within a week.

Melo said that he believe the coaches envision him as playing primarily at the nose guard position. However, depending on the defensive package he could play end or the 3 technique.

Not only does Melo’s size help the team overall, but he provides experienced depth. Coach Turner, who primarily coaches the defensive line, likes to be able to rotate out the defensive line every three plays or so. Having another big guy up front helps to protect the middle and puts more pressure on the quarterback in passing situations.

Look for Melo along with Romelle Jones, Montavious Williams, Randon Carnathan, Andy Dalgleish, Alex Page, Ceasare Johnson and others to make some big plays this coming season.

Below is Melo’s Sophmore highlight reel.