Spring Practice Recap: Making Progress

Angel Santiago

Angel Santiago

Feb. 25, 2013

WEST POINT, N.Y. - The Army football team resumed its spring practice on Monday as the Black Knights conducted a spirited workout inside Foley Athletic Center and on Howze Field. Monday's practice marked the team's seventh of the spring season.

Mondays's Notables
• A snow-covered Howze Field greeted the Black Knights as they made their way across the frozen tundra to Foley Athletic Center just before 6:50 a.m. Army associate athletic director Ben Russell jumped in a miniature snowplow and cleared the field so that the team could utilize the outdoor playing surface.
• Monday's session, which concluded with Army's kickers practicing field goals, concluded just before 8:35 a.m.
• The Black Knights began practice by going through their usual warm up and individual position drills. Tucker Waugh, who has taken over as Army's wide receivers coach, had his charges working on footwork and blocking during this portion of practice. Defensive players rotated through a series of drills that focused on, among other things, rushing the passer, getting a good jump off the ball, fending off blocks, tackling and forcing fumbles.
• Army's quarterbacks, fullbacks and running backs worked on the triple option during the individual position drills potion of the workout, going through a series of handoffs and pitches. The quarterbacks also threw a series of passes to the wide receivers. Mike Parros made an impressive one-handed reception during that drill.
Kelvin White and Dan Whitaker both donned red "no-contact" jerseys and did not actively participate in today's practice.
• Army's offensive skill position players, including quarterbacks, participated in a one-on-one tackling drill where the offensive players were out in space near between the numbers and the sideline and had to try to make a defender miss in space. Colby Miller made the most impressive tackle during this drill, delivering a crushing hit on Terry Baggett and driving him to the turf. Ross McDonald made one of the nicer offensive moves during the drill, eluding a defender miss with a nifty shoulder shake.
• The Army coaches utilized the JUGS machine to send long fade passes down the left sideline with defensive backs in coverage.
• Three plays stood out during seven-on-seven drills. A.J. Schurr connected with Patrick Laird for a 40-yard touchdown. Gino DeBartolo made a pass break-up from his linebacker position. Trenton Turrentine came up with a good reception out of the backfield.
Angel Santiago took the majority of the first-team reps during the Army vs. Army portion of the practice, which lasted about 30 minutes. Cody Jackson also worked with the first unit.
• Several plays stood out during the Army vs. Army drill. Thomas Holloway nearly intercepted a Santiago aerial, but settled for the pass break-up. Robert Kough made great penetration into the backfield on one option play, forcing the pitch deeper and allowing Hayden Tippett to tackle Baggett behind the line of scrimmage. Anthony Stephens made a pretty diving catch on a 30-yard pass from Santiago. Geoffery Bacon made a huge hit on Turrentine as he sprinted in unblocked and tackled him in the backfield. Jackson lofted a 20-yard fade pass to Laird, who made a terrific play catching the ball in tight coverage. Chris Carnegie broke up a similar pass on a subsequent play.
• Army resumes spring practice on Wednesday morning.

Monday's Quotables
Junior FB Larry Dixon

(Ref.: working with new quarterbacks following the graduation of Trent Steelman) "I think it's working fine. We got a lot of reps during the summer, and we're getting a lot of reps now. It's a lot different because we had a four-year starting quarterback, but we have a lot of talented guys ready to step up."

(Ref.: goals for the spring)
"I just want to continue to get better at the fundamentals. We always go back to that because that's really what leads to our success. We are also looking to form good team cohesion. We lost a lot of key seniors last year, but now we have a new group of guys, and we're starting to come together."

(Ref.: getting back on the field)
"It's always good to get back on the field, especially after that kind of loss (to Navy). All you want to do is get back on the field and get better. Just 186 days until Morgan State!"

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