Thursday, April 3, 2008

Practice Report - 4/2

Late in Air Force's Wednesday practice, freshman defensive end Rick Ricketts and freshman fullback Ryan Southworth got into a brief scuffle after a play.

In preseason – and to some degree, in spring sessions – coaches sometimes like to see fights. Some won’t admit it, others will come right out and say that it shows players are getting after it and playing hard and with emotion.

So after Wednesday’s practice, I asked Troy Calhoun what he thought about the dust-up.

“We’ve got competitive guys,” he said. “And they’re physical, and they’re going to be active, so every once in a while that’s going to happen. I think the key is this – you play extremely aggressively, and yet you’ve got to have poise too. You ever cross the line, that’s 15 (yards) against us. Our guys are pretty good about that. You don’t see it very often, but you certainly see them flying around.”

Calhoun sent Ricketts, who appeared to be the aggressor, off on a disciplinary run around a far goalpost following the scuffle.

But I think the coaches liked that their players were fired up during a spring session.

Other Thoughts:
-While quarterbacks Eric Herbort and Shea Smith were extremely sharp and receivers made great catches in traffic during Tuesday’s practice at Falcon Stadium, there were some errant throws and drops on Wednesday. Ty Paffett, in particular, dropped a high yet catchable ball on a deep post.

-It will be interesting to see what Brenton Byrd does at cornerback during the last few practices of spring, specifically scrimmage situations. Wednesday he showed the speed and athleticism to stay with receivers, but he’s still learning the coverages. He's had just four practices at the position.

-Freshman tailback Chase Wilke seemed to run hard and show some burst.

-The hit of the day belonged to sophomore inside linebacker Justin Moore, who laid a shoulder into Z receiver Kyle Halderman and elicited cheers from his defensive teammates on the sideline.

Note: I’ll be out of town this weekend but will file practice reports to the blog after each of the Falcons’ last three spring sessions – next Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (the controlled scrimmage).


Anonymous said...

Thanks, Jake. Keep the information coming, it's pretty good to be looking ahead with some optimism this year.
Does it look like we're going to see more passing this season? I know the team has been recruited and designed for the option, but do you think there is enough speed and QB talent for a legitimate passing threat in the MWC and elsewhere?

Anonymous said...

Great stuff, Jake---
So glad to see you back in BlogShape and hitting your stride.
I guess we'll forgive the weekend trip, but only in exchange for insightful, detailed, in-depth coverage of the remaining three practices when you return. It's a very long time between mid-April and early August, and we need something to tide us over until the late summer practices begin. I have every faith in you to provide just the right juicy tidbits. No pressure.

Anonymous said...

Brenton Byrd needs to be on the field someplace.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the information you provide in this blog, Jake. Being out of town and out of state, this blog is a daily "must-read" for me, just in case you've posted something new. Can it really be five more months until kickoff?!

jake.schaller said...


Thanks for the kind words. I'll make sure I post quite a bit this next week, as these will be the last few official practices until August!
As for the passing game, I think we'll eventually see more passing, but I think this next year (in large part due to the inexperienced QBs) there won't be much more than last year. I also think that coach Calhoun realized last year that AF's bread and butter should be running the ball.
In short, look for a lot of zone runs, some option and then some play-action off both.

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