Spring Practice #5
“We had a good practice. Of course we can always get better and we’re never satisfied with the way things go but we had a good upbeat practice. Hopefully tomorrow we’ll get a little bit better,” said Hatcher. “As the week progresses maybe some of the positions that are up for grabs will start playing out more as we head into spring break.”
Much like every practice, the team worked out 7-on-7 then finished with some 11-on-11 work. The third year head coach is pleased with the defense’s progress.
“I saw it was about even today. However, the defense has definitely been ahead of the offense and that’s the way it should be. The past couple of years it has been the other way around so that’s a good sign,” said Hatcher.
Now a third of the way through spring drills, he noted that the team is right on track following their plan put together during the off-season.
“We have a chart we put together before we go into spring ball that each day we are going to work to install this, install that and then repeat that and add to it as we go. We’ll start and really work hard on the fundamentals, but also we’re heavy in installing and making sure that we got our offense, defense and special teams schemes in. So once spring ball is over we can go back and evaluate on things we need to work on more and things we are pretty good at that we can hang our hat on heading into summer camp,” said Hatcher. “We have got a lot more continuity, we have a lot of guys coming back. But also we are still in that rotation where we’re counting on those freshmen to come in and play again this season like we did last season. Hopefully this will be the last season we really have to count on that whole class to get ready to play. We’re ahead of the game as far as knowing what to do, knowing how we do things compared to last season.”
Georgia Southern returns to action Tuesday morning.
LINEBACKERS: The Eagles might have the youngest group of linebackers in the Southern Conference, but a group who has seen a great deal of playing time. Sophomores Dion Dubose, J.B. Shippy, Tavaris Williams and Marc Thomas all saw playing time last year. They are joined by seniors Terrione Benefield and David Lewis and JUCO transfer Calvin West. Filling the shoes of All-American Chris Covington will be no easy task.
Dubose started four times last year, including the finale at Furman in which he was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Week’. The starting middle linebacker made 32 tackles, including four for a loss and two sacks. He and Shippy were named to the SoCon All-Freshman Team. Shippy started nine times and finished with 41 tackles, 5.5 TFL and two fumble recoveries.
Benefield and Lewis are both fifth-year seniors with a great deal of experience. Benefield was third on the team making 57 tackles. Lewis saw action in all 11 games as well.
Williams and Thomas were standouts on special teams and they along with West will challenge for a starting role on the outside.
“That’s probably the deepest position we’ve got with Dion, Shippy and Terrione Benefield. Those three guys have the most experience. We’re really high on Marc Thomas who played a lot of special teams for us last year and Calvin West (GMC transfer) has really looked good in preseason drills,” said Hatcher. “So there’s five guys there who we’re really counting on, and it would be really be nice if David Lewis would step up and push Dion Dubose at middle linebacker. But I’ll tell you who’s really been a big surprise for us Tavaris Williams. He had a great special team year for us and we expect big things from him as well.”
Returning Letterwinners: Terrione Benefield, Dion Dubose, Justin Krueger, David Lewis, J.B. Shippy, Marc Thomas, Tavaris Williams.
Letterwinners Lost: Chris Covington and Quentin Taylor.
2009 Spring Practice Schedule
Tuesday, March 10
Thursday, March 12
Friday, March 13
Tuesday, March 24
Thursday, March 26
Friday, March 27
Tuesday, March 31
Thursday, April 2
Friday, April 3
Saturday, April 4 Annual Blue-White Game, 1 p.m.
- Category: Football
- Published on Monday, 09 March 2009 00:18