Hornets settle into second week of pre-season practice

By Rob Patrick

The second week of fall football practice is usually a little different than the first.

“We’ve been sluggish at times,” allowed Bryant Hornets head coach Paul Calley after Tuesday’s workout and film session. “But, usually, when the newness of the pads wears off, then everybody’s a little banged up and bruised — there’s still that excitement when they get out there but when they’re off to the side, they’re off to the side, they’re not paying much attention to what’s going on.”[more]

It’s really nothing that doesn’t happen every year.

“We’ve got to get through the mental block,” Calley said, “the heat, the fatigue, the bruises. And we’ve got to keep moving forward.

“We’ve gotten better,” he asserted. “We’ve done some things a lot better. We’re still making little mistakes that need to be eliminated. And, I guess we’re not the only ones. I’ve been watching the Cincinnati Bengals training camp on TV and the coaches are preaching the same thing we’re preaching. They’re making the same mistakes and doing little things wrong. I guess it’s that way everywhere. You’ve just got to keep working, keeping moving forward and keep a positive attitude.”

Calley continued to emphasize the value of getting video of the practices as a teaching tool for his players. Ahern Rentals has provided the coaches with a scissor lift that is parked beyond the end zone so that video can be shot from a high angle encompassing the whole field.

“It is instrumental in our ability to show our guys what they’re doing and what they need to correct,” Calley mentioned.

The team has scrimmaged during every practice in pads so far.

“We’ve been going one versus one then one versus two a little bit yesterday,” Calley said. “Both groups of ones, offensively and defensively, are pretty good. The second group is no match for them on either side. So, we’re going to have to go back to one versus one.

“We had some people get hurt, guys that were playing on both sides of the ball and it kind of threw a kink in our plans,” he added. “Hopefully, we can get those guys healed up by the end of the week.”

Calley mentioned that there were four starters banged up and held out of practice. Senior offensive linemen Landon Pickett banged up a knee and Colby Maness has been dealing with a breathing problem. Senior defensive lineman Matt Jones hurt a shoulder and senior quarterback Blake Davidson continues to be limited by a sore shoulder.

“We’ve been fortunate the last two years,” Calley commented. “We haven’t been bitten by the injury bug like we have in the past. I certainly hope we can stay away from it.

“We’ve got to get back in the weight room,” he added. “The good thing about our guys is that a lot of them work out on their own. We don’t have to make them. They want to go to the weight room. But then there’s some of them that we have to accompany in there and make sure they do what they’re supposed to do.”

Wednesday will be a lighter day for the Hornets.

“We’ve spent a lot of time in practice and a lot of time in the film room but we’re going to slow down a bit Wednesday,” said the coach. “We’ll go in shorts and shoulder pads and go back to teaching a little bit, trying to correct some mistakes.”

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