March 7, 2013
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
The Army football team held its penultimate spring workout on Thursday morning inside Foley Athletic Center. The Black Knights will conclude spring practice with the annual Black & Gold Game on Friday afternoon.
Army practiced in shells today as the Black Knights donned helmets, shoulder pads and shorts for the 70-minute practice. Windy conditions greeted Army's coaches and players as they began the workout at approximately 6:50 a.m. A light snow began to fall shortly after the practice got under way.
Friday's Black & Gold Game will start at 12 p.m. Due to projected weather and field conditions, Friday's scrimmage will take place inside the Foley Athletic Center. There will be limited viewing opportunities. Food and drink will not be permitted.
Army began practice by running through its normal routine of warm-up, position and team drills.
Near the very beginning of practice, Alex Tardieu punted on Howze Field under the watchful eye of head coach Rich Ellerson and special teams coach Luke Thompson. Tardieu worked on punting the ball to the left sideline while Army punt returners fielded the kicks.
Justin Trimble, Lyle Beloney, Richard Glover and Lawrence Scott were among the notable Army players wearing red "no contact" jerseys on Thursday. Angel Santiago, Kelvin White and Stephen Fraser were among the noteworthy Black Knights donning blue "limited contact jerseys. Santiago, White and Fraser were full participants, however, since Thursday's practice did not involve tackling.
General Raymond Odierno, the Chief of Staff of the United States Army, made an appearance at this morning's practice. A 1976 West Point graduate, Odierno observed the Black Knights for approximately 35 minutes before departing.
During the position drills, Army's wide receivers practiced catching passes near the sideline, while keeping their feet in bounds. Wide receivers coach Tucker Waugh zipped passes to the wide outs, who ran out patterns to the sideline.
Army's defense worked extensively on defending the option.
The Black Knights' quarterbacks threw a variety of passes to wide receivers and running backs. Santiago lofted a perfectly thrown pass to Justin Newman in the back left-hand corner of the end zone. Later in the same drill, Cody Jackson tossed a deep fade pass to Deandre Bell, who caught the ball in stride.
At the end of the abbreviated practice, Ellerson spoke to the team for approximately 20 minutes, going over specific in-game situations and explaining to the players what tomorrow's Black & Gold Game will consist of.
Quarterback Angel Santiago
(Ref.: the opportunity to progress within the system following the graduation of Trent Steelman)
"Every one of us learned a lot from Trent (Steelman). He was a good person to look up to when it comes to running this offense, but I think we, as a group, has progressed a lot since last year."
(Ref.: what he has improved the most during the spring)
"I would say my throwing ability has improved immensely."
(Ref.: what he's looking forward to most in Friday's spring game)
"Honestly, I'm looking forward to the competitive atmosphere. This is the first time that the quarterbacks haven't been wearing gold jerseys, so it'll be fun to have everyone flying around and hitting one another. It's going to be a fun time."
(Ref.: what he would like to improve upon during the summer months in advance of the season)
"I'll continue to work hard in the weight room, getting stronger and faster. I will also prepare my mind mentally; I think that's the most important thing."