By Rob Patrick
Progress is what a football coach wants to see from his team at this point in pre-season practices and progress is what Bryant Hornets head coach Paul Calley and his staff are getting. Calley indicated that Friday’s final morning two-a-day workout may have been the best so far.[more]
“We executed better by far than we have at any time the last two weeks,” he stated. “It was a lot more crisp. It was cleaner, the best as far as breakdowns, best on mental mistakes, the best on physical mistakes.
“It was that way for the offense in the first half,” Calley said. “Then after we took a little break and the emotion was gone and the excitement was gone, we came back the second half and the defense pretty much whipped us.”
Defensive coordinator Steve Griffith mentioned one change on the defense with ends Ben Seale and James Kidd switching sides as a positive plus the addition of some more stunts in the front seven.
“They got a lot of penetration, put pressure on the quarterback, got in the run lanes,” Calley noted. “Like I said early, it’s like Coach Griff’s in the (offensive) huddle listening to the play.”
With each side of the ball having its turn at excelling, the result was a pleased head coach.
“I was very excited and pleased with the offense in the first half of the scrimmage and then as equally pleased with the defense in the second half,” Calley asserted.
Calley mentioned there were still some key players out due to injuries but he said none of them figure to be long-term.
“We hope to get all of them back by next week,” he said. “That’ll help.”
The Hornets have been practicing every morning from 7 until 10 or so then gathering in different rooms of the fieldhouse to go over video of their respective positions.
“We’re tweaking some things here and there,” Calley said. “We’re moving some people around and trying to get them in the best position possible to get them on the field to help. That slows them down a little bit. When you try different combinations and you don’t play the same people side by side for a long period of time, there’s still some adjustments to be made.
“But we’re starting to settle in with the ones that we think can play on Friday night,” he added. “They’re going to continue to get a lot of reps and will probably get more reps than our younger guys because we’re going to be cutting our practice time down.”
With teacher in-service each day until 3 or 3:30 p.m., leading up to Thursday’s first day of classes, Calley said that initially the team will come in and go over practice video before hitting the field around 5 or 5:30 p.m.
“I figure it’ll be much hotter so we’ll add another break in there and cut our practice time down more,” he said. “We’ll practice two special teams a day instead of all of them and just try to get through this heatwave.”
The Hornets along with the freshman team will scrimmage against Pine Bluff on Monday, Aug. 23.