Aug. 23, 2012
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
The Army football team conducted its first of two specials teams practices on Thursday morning on Howze Field. Special teams coach Luke Thompson, who is in his first season at West Point, ran the workout, which lasted approximately 45 minutes.
Thursday's session marked the team's 13th practice of the preseason. Army will enjoy a day off on Friday before engaging in its second scrimmage on Saturday morning.
Army began the special teams practice by working with the kickoff coverage team. The first group out included Hayden Pierce, Brandon Fusilier-Jeffires, Geoffery Bacon, Zachary Williams, Justin Allen, Thomas Holloway, Tyler Dickson, Kyler martin, Colby Miller and Derek Sanchez. Eric Osteen handled kicking duties for the first unit.
The first punt return group featured several offensive regulars in Raymond Maples, Terry Baggett, Patrick Laird, Anthony Stephens, Stephen Fraser, Julian Crockett and Hayden Tippett. Chris Carnegie, Justin Allen and Zachary Williams rounded out the unit, with Jon Crucitti and Josh Jackson taking turns handling punts.
The first kickoff return team included Brian Austin, Nate Combs, Reggie Nesbit, Terry Baggett, Tony Giovannelli, Ejay Tucker, Patrick Laird, Dan McGue and Hayden Tippett. Jon Crucitti and Stephen Fraser worked with the group as the primary returner back deep.
The practice concluded with Daniel Grochowski, Eric Osteen and Billy Fisher practicing field goals from 42 yards out. Grochowski made all five of his attempts from the left hash mark and finished 9 of 13 overall. Osteen was a perfect 5 for 5 from the right hash and ended the drill 10 of 13. Fisher, meanwhile, banged home 2 of 3 from the center of the field and finished 7 of 13.
Special Teams Coach Luke Thompson
(Ref.: benefit of a special teams practice)
"It's very important to have these special teams practices. Coach Ellerson has always placed a great deal of emphasis on special teams, so that makes my job easier in a lot of ways. When it's important to the head coach, it makes it important to the whole team. We're not able to touch on all of the subtle points and the little details during the course of a normal practice, so it is great when he gives us a block of time to work on all of this stuff."
(Ref.: development of Army's place kickers)
"All three of those guys are doing a good job. We're just trying to figure out who is going to be the most consistent for us right now. They've all had their peaks and valleys throughout the first couple of weeks. We're just trying to get a hold on who is going to be our guy for PAT/field goal in a couple weeks."
(Ref.: what needs to be worked on over the next two weeks)
"We just need to keep getting better on our schemes. We need to keep getting better on our techniques. Those are the biggest things that we're looking for over the next couple of weeks."