Coaches gauge learning by scrimmage

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 18, 2007

DEMOPLIS &8212; The Tigers wrapped up their spring practice with a scrimmage pitting the first team squads against the second.

The scrimmage, which coach Causey said would resemble more of a practice than a spring game, allowed both sides of the ball a chance to put what they have learned under Causey&8217;s news systems to work. Working off base schemes, Causey was able to analyze where his team stands following their late spring training.

Causey said the quarterbacks put out their best performance of spring practice during the scrimmage, but noted that there could have been some better reads during the practice. Though the group is coming along well, Causey said they still have much to learn before next season.

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The scrimmage was significantly run oriented, but Causey said that was the plan. He said he has been working with the offensive line on run blocking and wants to establish the run game before moving to the pass.

Though Causey said the group has only learned around a quarter of his system, the practice was highlighted by play action and misdirection as a cornerstone of the offense. The running game is based around the option, allowing a number of players to run the ball.

Accordingly, the group new to such an offense fumbled a good number of times during the scrimmage and at one point threw out three in a row. Causey said the fumbles are expected at this point but that they should decrease as players become more comfortable in their roles.

When the misdirection run was executed though, it seemed to work well. The defense did a good job stopping up the middle, but several sweeps, option looks and a hand off to a wide receiver took advantage of the blocking and speed advantage over the corners and safeties.

The secondary did shine when it came to pass coverage, though the opportunity came rarely. Of seven passes on the day only two were caught, both screens behind the line.

Causey&8217;s belief in hustle and grit were also apparent at the practice. Players were made to run on and off the field during the scrimmage, and backs put their heads down and feet grinding after contact picking up yardage after contact.