Written by Nathan Comp
· Consistent improvement and having tangible goals for what to work on when the spring session is complete were the focuses of practice today.
· Nick Westbrook returned as a full-participant to practice.
· Micah McFadden and Raekwon Jones returned as full participants at practice today after having been banged up during last week’s scrimmage.
· Coach Wommack has adjusted the blitz packages the defense will run. Has focused on making them simpler and more efficient.
Coach DeBoer Quotes
· On what he hopes to see from his offense during Friday’s spring game: “What I want to see is just consistent improvement. We don’t need to be perfect…yet. We’re striving for that, but for me right now it’s still about going through the process. As long as we’re consistently improving, I’ll feel good about the direction we’re going.”
· On Jack Tuttle, who will not be available for the spring game: “The guy is a go-getter. He’s gonna be 30 minutes early for a meeting, literally. He’s gonna put a lot of work into knowing his plays, knowing his reads. There’s no way you can question any of the effort he ever puts in. And I love those guys. You win a lot of football games with those guys. He’s got a big arm. I think he understands the game. There’s some things that instinctively happen for him pretty naturally.”
· Regarding Michael Penix: “We’ve been trying the last five practices to ramp up the reps he’s getting. He’s getting considerably more reps than any other quarterbacks in 7 on 7 situations. You can tell that while we’ve gone through the spring, he’s paid attention to the details.”
· Regarding Stevie Scott: “You see what the potential is for him when he gets the ball in his hands. He’s gonna make some plays.”
· On the offensive outlook for the summer/fall: “We know who we can be, and we build the offense around our personnel.”
· The offensive line: “We’ve improved in the run game especially. We’ve done a better job every day of communication, both in the run game and our protections. I know they have a lot of ownership. You can tell that there’s a few upperclassmen that have put a lot of time into this program and it means a lot.”
· On the big-bodied Caleb Jones: “I try to put him in some spots in the screen game to where I can see if he can get out and run and move. I thought he did a really good job.”
· “Understanding the why. Why are we doing this? Why are we doing that? So that way it makes sense when it comes to them having to make decisions when the bullets are flying. That’s a big part of what we do. Educate our guys on why, so they know how.”
· “You can tell who the veterans are. The challenge is to try to bring up those guys that haven’t played as many snaps.”
Coach Wommack Quotes
· “If we keep playing fast, like we’re playing, we’re a pretty good defense.”
· In terms of altering blitz packages: “If it doesn’t spread joy, we don’t call it. We’re keeping things efficient and simple. And our guys are playing really fast because of it. You just see athletes go play fast.”
· On the benefit of experienced youth: “When you look at your group and you’ve got a couple older guys that are doing a great job like Raekwon, Andre Brown, and Brandon Wilson, doing a phenomenal job. But then, the meat of our team, are redshirt sophomores, true sophomores, and redshirt freshman. And you think, dang man, these kids can really do it. That’s where we get excited. We’re actually starting to build depth the way you have to in this league.”
· On Cam Jones: “It’s my responsibility as a coach to take the athletes we have and utilize their full skillset. We brought him here to showcase what he can do. Help us, and help him. He’s special in terms of his athleticism, but where I’ve been impressed is just his natural instincts. He just loves to play a violent and fierce style of game.”
· On last year’s new redshirt rule: “It doesn’t matter whether it’s special teams, whether it’s defense, just getting in a game and feeling the speed of it and that pressure, it just makes you different. It makes you more confident because you’ve at least seen it, you’ve at least been out there on the field.”
· On building depth: “Tom didn’t come here to build a one-and-done and go out and move to the next place. He’s made it very clear that we’re building this system for the long-haul. Have we taken some lumps in the first couple years because of that? Sure. But we’re building this thing for the long-haul, and now we’re hopeful to see the fruit of some of that labor.”
Mentioned: Jack Tuttle, Michael Penix, Caleb Jones, Nick Westbrook, Ty Fryfogle, Donovan Hale, Peyton Ramsey, Raekwon Jones, Andre Brown, Brandon Wilson, Cam Jones