Aug. 14, 2012
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
After taking a break from practice on Monday, the Army football team returned to the field on Tuesday morning to continue its preseason preparations. The Black Knights, who donned full pads for the second consecutive session, worked out on Howze Field and inside Foley Athletic Center.
Army's freshmen took part in March Back on Monday, and head coach Rich Ellerson elected to give the entire team a break from the grid iron to rest and recover.
Army practiced for approximately two hours and 30 minutes on Tuesday morning. The Black Knights worked out for about 70 minutes before taking a 10-15 minute break to simulate halftime. The team then returned from the locker room and practiced for another 70 minutes.
Notable players wearing the red "no contact" jerseys included junior DE Jarrett Mackey, senior DB Waverly Washington, sophomore RB Trenton Turrentine and sophomore WR Chevaughn Lawrence. Turrentine and Lawrence both started practice, but were injured during the course of the session.
The Black Knights' punters practiced outside on Howze Field under the watchful eye of head coach Rich Ellerson during the individual portion of the session. The punters then moved indoors and worked with the entire punt unit. The team went through a series of live reps against the punt block unit.
Assistant coach Clarence Holmes put the defenders through a drill where each player fought off a pair of blocks before scooping up a loose ball.
The quarterbacks and running backs worked on the mesh and on pitches during the individual portion of practice.
Junior LB Colby Miller and senior LB C.J. Shelley both registered big tackles during a one-on-one drill versus offensive players. Miller came up with a couple of bone-rattling hits that drew tremendous reaction from his defensive teammates.
Sophomore QB Angel Santiago caught fire near the middle of practice, lofting a 30-yard pass to senior WR Patrick Laird down the left sideline and then finding sophomore WR Chevaughn Lawrence for a 25-yard touchdown on a seam route. Near the end of the workout, Santiago connected with junior WR Scott Williams on a 25-yard corner route. Williams caught the ball in the deep right-hand corner of the end zone for a touchdown.
Senior QB Trent Steelman also looked sharp throughout the practice. He found Laird with a 25-yard pass down the right sideline early on. He then hooked up with junior WR Ejay Tucker for a pair of 30-yard strikes. Steelman and senior WR Malcolm Brown also hooked up twice during the practice. Brown's second catch, which came near the very end of the workout, was especially noteworthy as the converted running back had to adjust to a ball thrown just a hair behind him and made a spectacular finger-tip grab.
Junior DB Jordan Crockett made a highlight-reel interception, jumping up high and laying out in order to snag an errant pass. The interception drew rave reviews from teammates and defensive coaches alike.
Sophomore RB Stephen Fraser showed off his speed at times during the practice, getting around the left side untouched on at least two occasions.
Freshman QB A.J. Schurr completed several passes throughout the workout. One of his finest passes went to senior RB Brian Austin on a 15-yard comeback route.
Junior QB Trent Steelman
(Ref.: early impressions of the offense)
"We're picking up speed day by day, and that's what we need. Everyone is getting settled in and we're learning. The ability to learn and the ability to fix mistakes quickly will be a big thing for this team. We're coming out and proving that we can be a veteran squad and a talented squad as well."
(Ref.: the pace of practice through the first week of camp)
"The tempo in practice has been unbelievable. We're constantly moving and constantly getting after it without too many breaks, and that's going to pay off come game time when the fourth quarter rolls around. We're going to be so well-conditioned that it's not going to faze us."
(Ref.: targeting San Diego State)
"San Diego State is our main focus right now. We want to get the season off to a good start and our first target is San Diego State. Everything after that will come, but right now we are focused on our first game."
(Ref.: approaching his senior season)
"It kind of feels different, but it's just another football season. I have to have the same mentality as I've had heading into every season, and that's to win ballgames and lead the team. It's been a fun ride, but we have a long ways to go."