Bulldogs Hit Stride in Second Fall Practice


 

 

Aug. 6, 2013

RUSTON, La. - Louisiana Tech's football team got the first-day jitters out of its system and practiced with a renewed sense of purpose and smoothness in the squad's second practice of fall camp Tuesday.

The Bulldogs withstood the heat for two hours Tuesday afternoon in their final helmets-only mandated practice of fall camp. The NCAA mandates the first two practices of fall camp be helmets only with the third and fourth practices be shells or uppers (helmets and shoulder pads) only.

"We were much better today," head coach Skip Holtz said of Tuesday's practice. "I don't know if there was just a bit of anxiety during the first day with a lot of new guys not knowing what to expect. I thought practice was much smoother today. It had a much more upbeat positive tempo to it and a lot more energy. I like what we came out here and got done. Right now we are just teaching and putting everybody in the right position so we can start making the evaluation in pads."

The smoother practice made it appear that several players made improvements from day one but just grasping the concepts of the drills in practice and what the coaches expect out of the players makes a marked difference.

"Really they seemed just more comfortable in knowing where to go and what to do," Holtz said of the newcomers. "It wasn't so much about all the plays being made as it was that I thought it ran smoother with more energy. It's just shorts, the energy level has been tremendous, they [the players] understand what we want and what the expectations are on the practice field."

Looking at the defensive secondary, the players are already responding to defensive coordinator Kim Dameron in bringing a heightened level of tenacity and aggressiveness to the field.

"They are progressing very well but until we can evaluate those young guys with the lights on it is very difficult to evaluate them," Holtz said of the secondary. "I do think we are making progress and making strides. There is good and bad when you say we have an entirely new secondary but when you look at our pass defense from a year ago, changes aren't always a bad thing. I am excited to watch some of these guys step up. They are going to have a great challenge and a great opportunity at the same time."


 

 

Louisiana Tech returns to practice on Wednesday at 3:45 p.m. on the Tech Practice Fields as the players don shoulder pads for the first time this fall.

Louisiana Tech will open the 2013 season at NC State on Saturday, Aug. 31 at 11:30 a.m. CT/12:30 p.m. ET in a game that will be televised on the ACC Network and simulcast on ESPN3.

Season tickets and tickets to the Heart of Dallas Classic (Sept. 28 vs. Army) can be purchased by contacting the LA Tech Ticket Office at 318-257-3631 or emailing techtickets@latech.edu. The Tech Ticket Office is located in the Thomas Assembly Center and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Fans can also purchase tickets at www.LATechSports.com.

For complete coverage of Bulldog Football, please follow @LATechFB on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.

 

 

QUOTES

Head Coach Skip Holtz

"We were much better today. I don't know if there was just a bit of anxiety during the first day with a lot of new guys not knowing what to expect. I thought practice was much smoother today. It had a much more upbeat positive tempo to it and a lot more energy. I like what we came out here and got done. Right now we are just teaching and putting everybody in the right position so we can start making the evaluation in pads."

On today's attitude:

"There is a breeze blowing today and I think that definitely helps. I think it was Vince Lombardi that once said, `Fatigue makes cowards of us all.' You get out here in this heat and it will zap your energy. It is kind of like the first day of spring practice where we came out and nobody knew what to expect, where to go or what to do. [During spring] day two was so much smoother, so much more positive and upbeat. It was the same thing today. I thought with as many freshman and junior college transfers and just overall newcomers that we have to this football team, yesterday was just about the newness of it all. Today it seemed to go much smoother than it did yesterday."

On the newcomers standing out:

"Really they seemed just more comfortable in knowing where to go and what to do. It wasn't so much about all the plays being made as it was that I thought it ran smoother with more energy. It's just shorts, the energy level has been tremendous, they [the players] understand what we want and what the expectations are on the practice field. We had two good days in shorts and are relatively healthy. Andrew Guillot sat today after having a little bit of a collision yesterday so he will sit for a day or two. For the most part we are healthy and this goes back to the players coming back in pretty good shape."

On the importance of Le'Vander Liggins being a leader:

"Very much so [it is important] and he is young. Sometimes you lean on your seniors and we don't have a senior in the back end. You start looking around in that secondary and there are not a lot of seniors that have played a lot of football for us but I do think there is some talent back there. That is going to be the challenge for Kim Dameron and Ronnie Bradford - to get a lot of young guys ready to play and somebody is going to have to step up nad lead. It is pretty obvious that a guy like Le'Vander Liggins with experience would be the guy to fill that roll. I think Le'Vander is very comfortable [in that role] and has worked very hard and he looks really good. I am excited to continue to watch him develop as long as we can keep him healthy."

 

On the secondary playing with more aggressiveness:

"They are progressing very well but until we can evaluate those young guys with the lights on it is very difficult to evaluate them. I do think we are making progress and making strides. There is good and bad when you say we have an entirely new secondary but when you look at our pass defense from a year ago, changes aren't always a bad thing. I am excited to watch some of these guys step up. They are going to have a great challenge and a great opportunity at the same time."

On Xavier Woods:

"I think there is definite opportunity [for Xavier Woods]. One of the reasons he is here is because he wanted the opportunity to play. When you look at our defense and what we are doing right now, there is a huge hole there which you say. You bring in a young guy in here like that with his talent, athleticism and ability; I definitely think he has a great opportunity. I am hoping he makes the most of it. He is rolling with those ones right now but he is still going to have to earn it once we put on those pads. But what I have seen so far I have been impressed."

On D.J. Banks:

"I think D.J. has had a great camp. He had a great spring, he had a great winter, he is a senior and he has really been leading that group out there. You have Paul Turner and D.J. Banks - both of them from West Monroe [High School] - coming over here, I think they are two of our more talented wide receivers but D.J. is definitely the one stepping into a leadership role. He has a great personality but you are hearing him start to talk, start to encourage and you are starting to hear him be more of the vocal leader [on the field]. We have a lot of new guys on the field, especially at that receiver position, when you talk about a young Carlos Henderson, a young Trent Taylor, Eddie Johnson and some of those new guys coming in. It is nice to have the leadership, the seniority and a guy with that type of experience."