March 2, 2012
Watch Practice Report
WEST POINT, N .Y. - The Black Knights completed the 10th workout of their 15-practice spring schedule on Friday morning inside the Foley Athletic Center. The 90-minute session was conducted in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts.
While there was very little contact on Friday, Army was able to get quality team work in during the practice. As part of the preparations for next week's Black/Gold Game at Fort Benning the team has been divided into the two squads that will compete against each other. There are still some roster moves to be made, but today's workout had the first-team offense on one side and the first-team defense on the other.
"We came into this initially just trying to make sure we recognize personnel," defensive coordinator Payam Saadat said. "Personnel are the pieces to the puzzle. I think we've done a good job of that. There are some guys that are out here, like (DT) Robert Kough, who are trying to get their reaction systems back. We know he's a piece to the puzzle. There are other guys competing for jobs. That's another factor that's going on that we really like."
Several players appear to be on the mend. At the beginning of the week more than 20 players were decked out in red jerseys signifying they could not participate in practice, but on Friday a number of them were in blue jerseys which mean they can participate without contact.
Running backs Lawrence Scott, Scott Williams, Tony Giovannelli, Jared Hassin and Brian Austin were upgraded from red to blue. Trenton Turrentine and Terry Baggett remained in red jerseys.
The first-team offense, which wore black helmets on Friday, consisted of Ben Jebb (LT), Frank Allen (LG), Ryan Powis (C) , Steve Shumaker (RG), Daniel Whitaker (RT), Trent Steelman (QB), Larry Dixon (FB), Julian Crockett (RB), Raymond Maples (RB), Patrick Laird (WR) and E.J. Tucker (WR).
The first-team defense, which sported gold helmets on Friday, was made up of Zach Watts (DE), Robert Kough (DT), Richard Glover (DT), Holt Zalneraitis (DT), Corey Watts (Whip), Geoffery Bacon (MLB), Justin Trimble (Rover), Hayden Pierce (Sam), Josh Jackson (FC), Tyler Dickson (BC) and Ty Shrader (FS).
Julian Holloway also mixed in with the first team at the whip spot.
The next practice is Saturday, March 3. There is a scrimmage component currently scheduled for tomorrow's workout.
Defensive Coordinator Payam Saadat
(Ref.: the focus on forcing turnovers)
"The other big piece for us was turnovers. There are a lot of guys making that a part of their reaction system so when we go to the football, we're trying to get it out. That was an Achilles heel for us last year. We weren't able to do it enough on defense. Those aspects have certainly shown themselves in the last 10 practices."
Sophomore FB Larry Dixon
(Ref.: the offense's progress during spring practice)
"It feels good. We have a lot of returning guys in the backfield so we have a lot of chemistry back there. I feel like we're working really well together. It's coming together nicely."
(Ref.: having spring ball so close to the end of the regular season)
"We might have had a little rust in the beginning, but it only took us one or two practices to get back in the groove. Everyone is running smooth."
(Ref.: the mindset as the spring game approaches)
"It's starting to click in. As we come in tomorrow and go live against each other and then when they split us up into teams, it's going to get really competitive."
(Ref.: the offense's main focus of the spring)
"We have to hold onto the ball. We led the nation in fumbles last year, and that just can't happen."