Energy, Compete Level Raised on Day Four

Aug. 7, 2014

WEST POINT, N.Y. - Another sunny afternoon provided the Army football team a perfect day of weather on its fourth day of preseason practice on Thursday.

The Black Knights continued in uppers for the second-straight day. The first portion of practice was going through assignments for both offense and defense as well as going through special teams drills with the punt and kickoff units.

Following special teams work, the team split positional groups with the secondary and linebackers working on ball recognition and zone defense. The pass rushers worked on their footwork and hands as well.

In addition, the running backs took on defensive backs 1-on-1 in a passing drill as the safeties and corners worked on covering out cuts from the backfield and also from the wide out position. The day ended with 11-on-11, which saw a lot of intensity despite having just helmets and shoulder pads on. Head coach Jeff Monken mentioned in the final breakdown that he was pleased to see the compete level raised during the final team drills.

Tomorrow the Black Knights will put on full pads for its 4:30 p.m. practice at Howze Field and Michie Stadium. Saturday is the first double session of the preseason with the opening practice at 9:30 a.m. with the second session coming at 4:30 p.m. in uppers.

Head coach Jeff Monken had the team working on punt and kickoff coverage at the start of practice with drills to work on staying in lanes on coverage ... Quarterback Angel Santiago got rid of the blue jersey for the first time in camp and was not limited in contact ... Santiago connected with Tony Giovannelli on a nice pitch and he broke through the defense for a big gain in the first full-team session ... Fellow signal caller A.J. Schurr saw his first action of camp, but he was limited in the blue jersey ... he threw passes throughout the afternoon and looked good for his first day ... Schurr made a nice throw to Lane Holmes down the sidelines between two defenders for 30 yards ...  The top defensive line unit featured Mike Ugenyi and Richard Glover, while Joe Drummond and T.J. Atimalala switched out throughout team drills ... Atimalala had the highlight of the first full team period with an fumble recovery behind the line of scrimmage ... secondary and linebackers came to play at practice as Jared Rogers got a big cheer from the sidelines after picking off an attempt on an square out ... Bayle Wolf did the same after dropping to the outside from his linebacker position to intercept a pass in the flat ... Larry Dixon had the highlight of the last 11-on-11 drill with a leaping move on a touchdown run that drew some reaction from his teammates.

Head Coach Jeff Monken
(ref.: On A.J. Schurr back on the field)
"He is limited and can't do much. We are being cautious, but it's good to have him out here and I know he is glad to be back. He will help in the locker room and with leadership with the young guys."

(ref.: What do you see out of the defense so far)
"We are learning as we are putting in a new defense and still learning to play it. We need to learn to play at a high tempo in order to be successful. Our guys are getting better and the competition was better today than it was the other day. It's the same on offense. We need to play a lot faster and a better sense of urgency."

Junior QB A.J. Schurr
(ref. being out there for the first time)
"It felt good to get out here. I have been watching film and just good to get out here and work on it. I am getting back into it and I was out here in the spring, so it's not like I haven't been working at it. It's just like riding a bike again and it's good to get snaps with some of the new guys and the teammates I worked with in the spring."

(ref.: feeling comfortable with your receivers)
"I felt good and the freshmen are doing a great job, but for them it's like drinking through a firehouse because stuff is coming at them fast. I remember coming in as a rookie and I think we are doing a lot more now than in the past. We have some players and good athletes out here."

Senior DB Hayden Pierce
(ref.: what have you seen so far from your defense)
"We have been doing a lot better in terms of getting lined up and doing the right assignments. It's the same stuff that we had done in the spring so seeing it for the second time makes a big difference."

Senior RB Terry Baggett
(ref.: What you and your teammates bring to the backfield)
All three of us bring the power aspect and myself and Maples can take the ball either inside or outside and we can both catch the ball out of the backfield. However, most of all, we have a lot of guys behind us, like Joe Walker and Matt Giachinta, that can do that same thing we can. It is not just us. It is the entire backfield that brings it every day."

Tickets for the 2014 can be purchased by clicking here, by calling the Army Ticket Office at 1-877-TIX-ARMY or in person at Gate 3 of Michie Stadium.

Single game tickets are available for just $32 for the Buffalo contest. The Rice game is priced at $35, while Ball State and Fordham tickets are $49. Air Force tickets start at $50. Tickets for the game at Yankee Stadium start at $30.

Season tickets are also available with prices beginning at $116 for the spirit zone. Sideline, end zone and upper level seats are available for just $187.

Three-game mini plans are also offered with prices ranging from $91-$113 depending on which games fans select.

Fans will also have the option to purchase parking in advance for $15. Parking is $20 on gameday.

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