Spring Practice Report #8
Head coach Chris Hatcher sees his team as anxious to practice on Monday as they did for the first day of practice.
“I think everyone is keeping upbeat. They know we have a long way to go as a football team. We stress to them that everyday they have come out and bring their A’ game. We can compare it to American Idol. If you don’t come out and bring your A’ game you might be sent home,” said Hatcher. “We have lot of people fighting for jobs. We’re trying to get the mentality that every day is a day to get better. If you want to be a championship team you can’t come out here and take a day off.”
Drills during practice were much of the same, finishing with 7-of-7 then 11-on-11 as the team worked out in shells Monday. Hatcher cited the team’s improved play on defense.
“It (Monday) was a good one, we had a lot more competition today between the offense and defense and that’s what we’ve been stressing from the get go. I thought today was the best defensive performance of spring practice thus far,” said Hatcher. “We have a lot of new faces over there that we are trying to work in, even though we have more coming back on that side of the ball. They’re getting better and offensively we’re doing some good things and progressing nicely.”
Hatcher put the Eagles through a physical workout last week. He continues to stress mental and physical toughness to his squad.
“We started a little slow offensively (today). We had a good physical week last week and you can tell we’re starting to get nicked up a little bit. We’ve got to learn to play through that, it’s something we didn’t do very well last year,” said Hatcher. “We’re going to keep the old pedal to them here through the rest of the spring. The big thing we need to do is become a mentally tougher football team. I think we have the ship in the right direction; we just need to leave the docks and keep sailing.”
Practice continues Tuesday morning as the team is scheduled to work out in full pads.
EXPERIENCED GROUP OF LINEBACKERS RETURN:
Senior Quentin Taylor missed out on playing time after suffering an injury during game two, but when he returned he made an immediate impact.
E.J. Webb ranked among the SoCon leaders in tackles last year, one of three freshmen in the league to do so. Webb tallied 57 stops, including 5.0 for a loss, one interception and two pass breakups. Webb, like
Junior Harland Bower saw additional action as the season progressed after he recovered from his off-season injury. Bower made 38 tackles, including three for a loss. Fellow juniors Terrione Benefield and David Lewis also saw significant action. Lewis recorded 31 tackles (4.5 for a loss) while Benefield had 14 tackles and two breakups.
Senior Dakota Walker (37 tackles, team-leading 6.0 TFL) split time between linebacker and defensive end but is expected to stay with the linebackers come fall. Justin Callaway filled in for
Redshirt-freshman Brent Gordon has had an impressive off-season workout and been performing well this spring. Hatcher thinks the Fitzgerald native could challenge for a starting role when it’s all said and done.
“You’ve got E.J. Webb and Quentin Taylor, two of our bigger playmakers, coming back. Harland Bower, Terrione Benefield and David Lewis are coming back; all those guys have been working extremely hard. We moved Dakota Walker back to linebacker so that gives us a big, athletic guy at that position. The guy I think you really need to keep your eye on is (freshman) Brent Gordon. I really expect that guy to make a move this spring and would not be surprised if he didn’t beat someone out and became a starter going into camp,” said Hatcher.
BLUE-WHITE GAME SET FOR APRIL 12: This year’s annual Blue-White game will be presented by the Georgia Neighborhood Ford Dealers. The game is scheduled for Saturday, April 12th at Paulson Stadium. Play-by-play voice Chris Blair and color analyst Terry Harvin will broadcast the game on Eagle 102.9 FM and via the internet at www.GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com. The radio show will begin 30 minutes before the 1 p.m. kickoff. Check with the Athletics Department website for all the latest details of the game and pre-game concert featuring
SPRING PRACTICE SCHEDULE
(dates/times subject to change... all times at 8 a.m. unless otherwise noted)
Tuesday, April 1 (full)
Thursday, April 3 (shells)
Friday, April 4 (full)
Tuesday, April 8 (full)
Thursday, April 10 (full)
Friday, April 11 (shorts)
Saturday, April 12: Blue-White game presented by the Georgia Neighborhood Ford Dealers (1 p.m.)
- Category: Football
- Published on Monday, 31 March 2008 00:05