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.
-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).