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Football Odds and Ends

Published: March 3, 2010, 11:18 pm, by admin

After tomorrow’s practice (at Falcon Stadium at 3 p.m.), Air Force will be two-thirds of the way through its spring football sessions.

Among the Falcons’ biggest concerns heading into the spring was how they would replace the five seniors who started on the offensive line in 2009. So far it seems the Falcons have made reasonable progress.

“The thing that you do notice is they play a little bit quicker,” Air Force coach Troy Calhoun said of his linemen. “They’re a bit more sudden off the ball than they were during the first two or three practices, but they should be too.”

The Falcons on Wednesday used the same five players as their first-team offensive line as they have throughout spring. From left tackle to right tackle: Freshman Jason Kons, junior Tyler Schonsheck, sophomore Michael Hester, sophomore A.J. Wallerstein and junior Chase Darden.

Still, Calhoun said “you can foresee that that might not be the same five as you go, day in and day out.”

-I wrote for tomorrow’s edition of The Gazette about the Falcons’ tailbacks. And while Asher Clark has established himself as the starter, freshmen Cody Getz and Darius Jones both have emerged as potential contributors. Both are tiny guys, however, who need to put on muscle in the weight room.

“I think after spring will be huge for them, weight-wise, because they’ve got a lot of time from when we finish until we get into the fall,” running backs coach Jemal Singleton said. “So they’ve gotta get stronger.”

-Getting stronger always is an offseason initiative. But Calhoun said it’s especially important for this group of Falcons.

“I think the number one area that you see, and it’s probably not just offensive line but across our entire football team is physically, we have to get stronger,” he said. “If you’re going to play guys a little bit early, then what they’re going to have to do is they’re really, really going to have to make some gains in the weight room. And I think that’s one of the things, as soon as we conclude spring ball, you’ve got right around five-and-a-half, six months, where we’ve got to see our guys in their legs or in their back sides where they really, really gain some strength, and then their upper bodies, obviously, too.”

-Erik Soderberg looked sharp today kicking field goals. Calhoun said he wants the Falcons to make better than 80 percent of their field goals and that he’d ask kickers to do more as far as placing the ball on kickoffs.

As for whether Soderberg will kick off, Calhoun said: “I think that’s too early to say. (Freshman) Danny Compton’s been pretty good on kickoffs too. And kickoffs might be where he might break through. But we’ll see. Could be a freshman too.”