Offense Responds in Louisiana Tech Practice Friday

Offense Responds in Louisiana Tech Practice Friday

Louisiana Tech held its first full pads practice Friday afternoon in a hot and humid session that lasted over two hours on the Tech Practice Fields.
Louisiana Tech held its first full pads practice Friday afternoon in a hot and humid session that lasted over two hours on the Tech Practice Fields.
 
Friday’s practice in full pads allowed Bulldog players the first real opportunity to deliver hits and make tackles. The session also allowed the offense to rebound from a sub-par performance on Thursday.
 
“It was the first day we started using long counts and hard counts and we were jumping offsides as much as the defense,” head coach Skip Holtz said of Thursday’s miscues by the offense. “Those are just focus things and those are things that upset me – fundamental mistakes, effort mistakes, things like that. It wasn’t a physical mistake where a guy got beat, I can deal with that, but it was the fundamental things. If you are going to play center, you have to be able to snap a football. Period. There is no choice, you have to be able to snap a football or they call you a guard or tackle. If we are going to have our centers play center, there can be no ‘My bad,’ they have to get it done. I thought we stood up and did a much better job today.”
 
With far fewer offsides and false starts, as well as very few bad snaps, the offense was able to reclaim some pride during skelly and team drills.
 
“I thought the centers did a much better job with the snaps today,” Holtz said of Friday’s practice. “We had a bit of a resemblance of a football team. I was proud of the way they bounced back today after a hard day yesterday.”
 
A full pads practice also allowed another level of emotion and intensity to be brought to the field which, at one point, resulted in a scuffle during an offensive line versus defensive line drill.
 
“I don’t like the fight but I love the emotion,” Holtz said of the minor scuffle. “I don’t ever want to take emotion out of this game because you can’t play this game without emotion or passion. Now we have to be smart with what we are doing. Sometimes a little tousle gets into a push-and-shove and it is good for the morale of camp. If it turns into fighting, then that is not healthy for our team morale.”
 
As the first week of practice wraps up, Holtz noted that several freshmen are standing out among in the 99 players that reported for fall camp.
 
“There are about seven or eight guys right now that have a chance to play as freshmen from what I have seen in a few days. Now, we are still three weeks away from the first game and we are going to hit a physical wall and we are going to hit a mental wall and then we are going to see how they fight through it and how they come back if they are going to be ready to play in year one.”
 
Among the several freshmen that Holtz mentioned as having stood out, one was Price Wilon who is engaged in a competitive battle for the quarterback position.
 
“I didn’t but it is hard to see everything on tape,” said Holtz when asked if thought Wilson was as good as advertised. “Tony Petersen had a chance to watch him live and he came back and he told me that [Price] throws it like Zeus. He said that he has had a couple of first round draft picks and he hasn’t had a quarterback that has had that type of release. Now he is still a freshman and just like when he had Pennington and Leftwich, those guys as freshmen weren’t what they were as seniors. But when you look at the raw piece of clay you are working with and the talent and skills that he has as far as his quick release and the way he can throw the ball, he is going to be a really special player.”
 
While Friday’s practice marked the first in full pads, Saturday will serve as the team’s first two-a-day.
 
For complete coverage of Bulldog Football, please follow @LATechFB on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.
 
 
Quotes
 
Head coach Skip Holtz
 
“First day in pads and I loved the intensity. We flexed and then in period one we went right into team work. We got into a fast start; the players had some intensity, flying around with a lot of jabber going back and forth which creates a lot of emotion. I thought it was a hard-fought day. There were some plays where the defense got the best of the offense and there were some where the offense did some good things. The thing that frustrated me with the offense is jumping offsides, bad snaps, going backwards and doing things you can’t execute whatsoever. I thought the centers did a much better job with the snaps today and we had a bit of a resemblance of a football team. I was proud of the way they bounced back today after a hard day yesterday.”
 
On what he attributed yesterday’s bad offensive performance too:
“Young centers – we don’t have a center that has taken a snap in a game – and it is hot, it is day four and you are losing your focus a little bit. It was a little bit of all of that. It was the first day we started using long counts and hard counts and we were jumping offsides as much as the defense. Those are just focus things and those are things that upset me – fundamental mistakes, effort mistakes, things like that. It wasn’t a physical mistake where a guy got beat, I can deal with that, but it was the fundamental things. If you are going to play center, you have to be able to snap a football. Period. There is no choice, you have to be able to snap a football or they call you a guard or tackle. If we are going to have our centers play center, there can be no ‘My bad,’ they have to get it done. I thought we stood up and did a much better job today.”
 
On a scuffle occurring during an O-Line/D-Line drill:
“I don’t like the fight but I love the emotion. I don’t ever want to take emotion out of this game because you can’t play this game without emotion or passion. Now we have to be smart with what we are doing. Sometimes a little tousle gets into a push-and-shove and it is good for the morale of camp. If it turns into fighting, then that is not healthy for our team morale.”
 
On the quarterback battle:
“There are some guys really doing some good things. I think Ryan [Higgins] has improved tremendously from where he was even in spring practice and I thought he was much better in spring practice than he was a year ago. When I look at Cody Sokol who has had this offense for this summer but really this was his fifth practice on the field, he is picking some things up and doing some good things. I like the way Taylor Burch has responded, Alex Woodall is doing some good things and I think Price Wilson continues to impress with the way he can stand back there and read defenses and the release that he has and the way that he throws the ball. What a difference a year makes. I’ll just say it that way because there are five quarterbacks that have talent to play here.”
 
On if he expected Price Wilson to be as good as he has been so far:
“I didn’t but it is hard to see everything on tape. Tony Petersen had a chance to watch him live and he came back and he told me that [Price] throws it like Zeus. He said that he has had a couple of first round draft picks and he hasn’t had a quarterback that has had that type of release. Now he is still a freshman and just like when he had Pennington and Leftwich, those guys as freshmen weren’t what they were as seniors. But when you look at the raw piece of clay you are working with and the talent and skills that he has as far as his quick release and the way he can throw the ball, he is going to be a really special player.”
 
On Wilson’s report with the team:
“It has been excellent, with all three of those quarterbacks – Cody [Sokol], Ryan [Higgins] and him, they have all done a really nice job of coming in. We’ve really got a much closer football team than we did a year ago. Those guys do a lot of things together, really talking about eliminating the selfishness and getting rid of the ‘I’ syndrome that has infected our society where everyone wants to talk about me and me and me; giving up your own individuality for the good of this team, encouraging each other and bringing each other along. You can hear the banter and talk throughout the course of the day and I think we have some really great leaders on this team in just listening to the first five days. When things start to drag, they are picking it up. We challenged the heck out of our offense after yesterday in meetings this morning. They came out today and responded and I think those are all positive signs. Tomorrow the defense will sit in here and get challenged and [it will be about] how they respond. That’s the give and take and that is how you get better as a football team when both sides at the end of the day are going out there to compete and win out there on the practice fields. That is what today was all about. I thought today was a big-time practice.”
 
On Carlos Henderson:
“From what I saw last season on the scout team, yes [I expected that improvement]. From what I saw when he first came in here, no [I didn’t expect it]. There are some players, like we talked about with Price [Wilson], there are some players that come in and they are a little bit better than we thought they were. Through five days, I feel that way about Jarred Craft from Haughton. He is a really special player with some of the things that he has done the last three days in pads. Tywun Walters is really doing some good things and I have really been impressed with him. We’ve talked about the quarterbacks already. I really like Marcus Gaines and what he is bringing to the receiving group with his speed and athleticism. I like what Russell Farris is doing. I like what Jaylon Ferguson is doing. I like what Cedric Cooper is doing. There are about seven or eight guys right now that have a chance to play as freshmen from what I have seen in a few days. Now, we are still three weeks away from the first game and we are going to hit a physical wall and we are going to hit a mental wall and then we are going to see how they fight through it and how they come back if they are going to be ready to play in year one.”
Page: [[$index + 1]]
comments powered by Disqus