The Falcons practiced in helmets and shoulder pads for about an hour and a half today.
While it was a lighter day (there will be scrimmaging tomorrow), coaches got after players to keep their intensity and pace at high levels.
“Just because you’re not wearing pants doesn’t mean you can’t practice well,” one shouted.
Who Stood Out: SS Chris Thomas.
He made some nice breaks on balls today, and I liked watching him on blitzes. I think he’s got a chance to be a terror for the Air Force defense this season.
Lasting Image: Defensive players dropping what seemed to be sure interceptions.
Cornerback Kevin Rivers let one bounce off his hands. So did linebackers Justin Moore and Andre Morris Jr.
Whenever I’m watching football with my buddy Gav and a defensive back drops what could be an interception, he always says, “That’s why he’s not a wide receiver.”
Air Force, however, does have talented guys with good hands on the defensive side of the field. So maybe it was just a bad day. But the Falcons will need to hang onto potential turnovers if they want to have a good season. Turnover ration was a big key in 2007.
QB Corner: For the second straight day, both quarterbacks looked sharp. Senior quarterback Shea Smith hit sophomore receiver Kevin Fogler in stride down the sideline on a deep pass. And junior quarterback Eric Herbort floated a really pretty touch pass over a defender to senior receiver Spencer Armstrong for a big gain.
I’ve got to say that both guys look a lot more settled now that they are getting most of the practice reps.
Also – and I’m not quite sure about this yet, but I’m throwing it out there – maybe they both feel a lot more relaxed now that Calhoun has said he’s going to play both of them. Ever since Calhoun said that he wasn’t going to name a starter because it’s not like “you crown the homecoming queen,” both guys seem more comfortable. Something to watch during the next week.
Quote to Note: “Don’t be afraid to catch that.” – Air Force defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter after one of the aforementioned drops by a defensive player. Reminds me of one of my favorite coachisms. A friend of mine told me that his head coach, whenever a receiver would drop a pass, would yell, “Way to knock those down, son.” I’ve got about 1,000 other funny coachisms that I’ll try to sprinkle through the blog. Football coaches are hilarious – much of the time when they’re not trying to be. I seriously spend a lot of practices just chuckling to myself about what they say.