Football Odds and Ends

Published: February 25, 2010, 5:08 pm, by admin

I’m heading off to Falcon Stadium momentarily to watch Air Force’s sixth – yes, sixth – spring practice.

Here are some odds and ends from the first third of spring drills:

Connor transition: Junior Bradley Connor still has “a ways to go,” Air Force coach Troy Calhoun said, to settle in at offensive guard. Connor was moved to the offensive line from nose guard prior to the start of spring practices.

“Great work ethic, a guy that loves playing football,” Calhoun said of Connor. “Skill-wise, there are still some things he’s got to pick up as far as being an offensive guard. He was a heck of a wrestler in high school, so just the natural body control he’s got. You want to see him be more sudden coming off the ball. He’s got to get where he knows what to do so well that he’s a little quicker coming off the football. Right now he’s a little bit late coming off the ball.”

Replacing Geyer: One of the Falcons’ biggest graduation losses was Brandon Geyer, Air Force’s punter last season and its holder the last three seasons.

Calhoun said there’s “probably a good chance” junior Ben Cochran will take over as the Falcons’ holder.

“He was the backup holder last year, he’s a baseball player, he’s got great hand-eye,” Calhoun said. “That part of it you really, really like.”

As for who will step in at punter, that’s a long ways from being resolved.

“We look good in pregame, we hit the ball really well in warmups, and then as soon as we get in drills – not even close, just very, very inconsistent,” Calhoun said.

“We’ve got guys that are capable – really, really capable. But nobody’s stepped forward at all. Even getting a 35-yard punt doesn’t happen that often right now. And even when they’re 29- and 30-yard punts, they’re flat, line drives.”

No. 2 Tailback: Unlike last year, when Asher Clark spent spring practice playing quarterback, Clark is working at tailback.

But the Falcons should have some depth at the spot. Freshmen Cody Getz and Darius Jones both have shown some spark early in spring drills.

“Cody’s probably a bit ahead of Darius right now,” Calhoun said. “Especially with ball skills. Just the ball doesn’t go on the ground quite as much, either catching a pitch or running it. But both of those guys, they’re intriguing guys. I think spring ball for them is significant in terms of what they do over these next 10 practices.”

Calhoun said if the Falcons were to play today, Getz would be Clark’s backup. The number three tailback would be either Jones or junior Savier Stephens.

Coming in tomorrow’s edition of The Gazette: A look at the massive hole in the middle of the Falcons’ defense left by the departure of Ben Garland.