Coach Joey Jones Show Recap 2009-03-18

March 18, 2009 · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show · Comment 
From South Alabama Football First Spring Practice

Coach Joey Jones, Lee Shirvanian and Tommy Perry are in the studio at Baumhower’s Wing’s sports grill on Airport Blvd for today’s radio show. This is the next to last Coach Joey Jones show so go out and tell the people at Wing’s that you love the show and would hate to see it leave the airwaves. They also have their Grills Gone Wild specials going on right now so make sure to ask for that menu when you go. Joey Jones choice of the week is the Ragin’ Cajun chicken wings with the sauce on the side.

The first caller had another question about the release of the football schedule. However, this week we got some really good news when this was asked, not what we have been getting. Coach Jones said that the schedule will be released on Tuesday with seven games, probably an eighth and quite possibly a ninth and all of the confirmed games (seven) will be home games.

The caller followed up with a question about what kind of teams USA will be playing against come football season? Coach Jones said that USA will be playing smaller teams and schools, like he said before, but he can’t mention names until Tuesday. They will be teams that USA could recruit from in the near future which indicates possibly junior colleges and smaller Division II schools. They are moving towards Division-I as fast as they can and will be playing Div-I teams in three years, which when they release the schedule for the fall they will also talk about some of the upcoming Division-I teams that they have contracts to play in the coming years. The eighth game may be a road game for USA to wet their feet with traveling.

They took a few minutes to joke about Lane Kiffin at Tennessee and some of the questionable remarks he has made since he was hired at Tennessee.

Lee wanted to look back on the practices held last week. Coach Jones said he likes how the players and coaches were over their first week of practice but they cannot tell anything about the players until they put pads. But they improved from day one to day two but they really improved from day two to the third day of practice as expected. They start to internalize the drills and just get back into moving like a football player again.

When asked about some standout players so far, Coach Jones mentioned Courtney Smith and Ralph Turner as some good looking Wide Receivers with good routes and such. He aslo mentioned Richard Ross, Anthony Mostella and Santuan McGee as some good looking running backs. Starting next week they will be wearing pads and will start hitting and there will be some sort of scrimmage on April 10th but with only two quarterbacks  he is trying to figure out how that will work, they don’t want to risk one or both of them getting hurt.

They have about 97 to 98 players coming out to the practices with about 28 more scholarship kids coming in the fall. He said a total of about 45 coming in the fall and for camp they can only have 105 players, but when they start fall practice they can have 130 so they can add 25 kids at that time.

Tommy Perry is the running backs and special team’s coordinator for USA. Coach Perry is from a long line of coaches, his grandfather is John David Crow and his father is a high school coach as well. He graduated from Texas A&M and then went to University of Texas to work with Coach Brown, who he credited with teaching him how to coach a player one-on-one and to how to work with them.

Coach Jones said that they could have split the special teams’ duties between the other coaches but he like Coach Perry for that position. Coach Jones said that Coach Perry was irritated after the first day of practice because everything did not go like he wanted but as the players have gotten better so has his mood (a little chuckling there from both of them). Coach Jones said he and the rest of the staff really likes Coach Perry and Coach Jones really likes that he is a perfectionist.

Special Teams is a very critical part of the game. If you look at the conference champions each year in any conference they are almost always the leader in the special teams’ categories. He was a backup full back in college so Coach Perry got his chance to play because of special teams. Some people do not think that much about special teams and coaching special teams and can almost belittle them. But your good coaches know and acknowledge that specials teams can and will make or break a game.

Continuing on about special teams, Coach Jones said he will have players that are not allowed to play on any specials teams at all. Then some players can be on some special teams but not all of them. One reason is to prevent game fatigue. One example was a wide receiver that just ran a 55 yard fly route and then has to come right back and play the gunner position on the punt team. That is a lot of energy expended in two consecutive plays.

Talking about punt returning, getting a good punt returner, like Javier Arenas at Alabama, is pretty rare. But when a team blocks a punt, that team typically wins about 95% of the time. So Coach Jones said he may not emphasize the punt return as much, but he will definitely emphasize getting pressure on the punter trying to block a punt which could yield maybe 20 yards instead the average of 8 or 9 yard punt return if he is pressured and not blocked.

Talking about the Senior Bowl possibly moving to Tampa, Coach Jones said he was sad to hear that news that broke yesterday. After 59 years in Mobile, he hopes that they don’t leave for the tradition, for Mobile and for the USA Football program.

Practice next week will be in pads for the first time. Monday will be a weight training day. Practice will be held from Tuesday through Friday from 2:30-4:45pm. Once warmed up they will start hitting, some one-on-one drills and other drills. Coach Perry says he was pleasantly surprised with group of running backs at USA. Some speed guys and some grind it out and hard hitting guys. But it’s easier to look good in shorts but when they get pads on and the holes get smaller they will really see how good they are.

Coach Jones Adds Two To Coaching Staff

February 13, 2009 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

South Alabama head football coach Joey Jones has put the finishing touches on his coaching staff by hiring two assistants. On Thursday he announced the additions of Greg Gregory as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach and Tommy Perry as running backs coach and special teams coordinator.

Coach Gregory has been a head coach for two years. He has also been an offensive coordinator at four schools with 15 years experience at that position. His last two years were at South Florida guiding them to 17-9 over the last two seasons, including a win in the inaugural St. Petersburg Bowl last season.

Those who are familiar with college football know the name Matt Grothe, the quarterback for USF. He was among the top 30 in the nation in total offense over the last two seasons while Mike Ford and Ben Williams combined for a total of 18 touchdowns in 2007. Also, the Bulls produced record numbers in total offensive yard with 5,383, yards per game with 414.1 and 34.7 points per game in 2007. His previous two seasons at USF, he coached the tight ends helping to lead them to the Meineke Car Care Bowl and the Papajohns.com Bowl.

Coach Jones stated, “Greg wants to be a part of something new, and he brings a wealth of experience.  He’s an excellent football coach that I’m excited to bring to USA,”. He further commented about the USA and USF programs, “South Florida has built their football program from scratch and we are modeling a lot of the things we do based on what they have done.”

Prior to USF, Coach Gregory was an OC at Ohio from 2001-2003, previous to that he was OC at Richmond where the Spiders won the Atlantic 10 championship with a 7-1 record and 10-3 record overall. He was head coach at Missouri Southern in 1998 and 1999. He took over a team that forfeited all of its victories the prior year. At Army in 1982 he worked with the receivers then in 1984 he moved to coach the tight ends and was the junior varsity coach. In 1985 and 1986 he coach the teams running backs. Then in 1987 he shifted to quarterbacks coach and finally in 1989 he became offensive coordinator. In 1991 he was promoted to associate head coach in addition to his OC duties.

In total he spent 16 seasons with Army where they won 93 games and advanced to four bowl games which are the only ones in the program’s 109 year history. They also won 10 of 16 games against Navy during his time there. Ron McAda was one of his quarterbacks during his time there which was the only Army QB to be selected in the NFL draft. Coach Gregory was honored as being a commissioned officer with the rank of captain from 1982-1985 as well.

Coach Gregory was quoted about joining the USA staff, “It’s always been a goal of mine to be part of a program that is starting from scratch. This is a great opportunity — USA is in a hotbed of football from a recruiting standpoint and the athletic director is fully behind the program.”

Coach Tommy Perry has spent the last three seasons in various roles on staff at Alabama under both Nick Saban and Mike Shula. His first two seasons saw Alabama go 7-6 one year under Shula then the next under Saban. Then in 2008 he saw the tide go 12-0 in the regular season then two consecutive loses in the SEC championship game and the Sugar Bowl to finish 12-2 and finish 6th in the nation.

Perry began his coaching career at Texas in 2004 as assistant strength and conditioning coach as well as being an academic advisor. Later that year be became a linebacker and strength coach at Texas A&M-Commerce then moved to running backs and kickoff return duties in 2005. Three of his running back earned all-Lone Star Conference honors that year. Including a player who ran for more than 1,000 yards in 10 games to be selected first-team honors. Also part of his duties at A&M-Commerce as to assist recruiting in Northeast Texas and Northern California.

Perry also has experience in the NFL’s Europe’s Amsterdam Admirals in 2006 as a special teams assistant and head strength coach. His team competed in the World Bowl and posted a 7-3 mark.

Perry graduated in 2003 from Texas A&M and played two seasons, lettering in 2003 for the Aggies at fullback, inside linebacker and defensive end while participating on various special teams units. He was one of four players on the team who served as the program’s 12th man as a senior. He came to TAMU from Tyler Junior College in Tyler, Texas as an inside linebacker.

Coach Perry was quoted saying, “There’s a lot of energy here in Mobile, everyone I have talked to knows about the program and is excited about it.” He continued,  “The Mobile area and the Florida Panhandle have a lot of talented players, and there is a lot of momentum behind the program.  I’m excited to be a part of this process.”

Coach Jones remarked about Perry, “I think Tommy gained valuable experience working under Nick Saban. We expect that he will be able to contribute a lot of things to USA football based on the knowledge that he has gained and things he has seen working at Alabama.”

The Jags will start their first-ever spring practice on Monday, March 9th.