Posted Aug 9, 2003 11:22:29
Bulldogs Show Potential at Tight End
RUSTON - Saturday morning brought the first session of two-a-days for the Louisiana Tech football team as head coach Jack Bicknell and Co. hit the practice fields in day No. 6 of fall drills.
Despite a frequent breeze, clear skies brought a little more heat than what the Bulldogs had experienced during the first five nights of practice, but Bicknell said he thought his team still got in some good work during the hour and 40 minutes.
"We're starting to get into the dog days, and the guys really have to concentrate," Bicknell said. "They have to push themselves through being tired and sore, and I thought they did that for the most part."
One of the new additions to the Tech coaching staff this year is tight end and special teams coach Jeff Reinebold, who actually joined the team prior to spring practice. The 20-plus year veteran of the sidelines inherits a group of tight ends that Bicknell said has plenty of potential.
According to Bicknell junior Aaron Capps will enter the season No. 1 on the depth chart after seeing action in a reserve role the past two years behind the graduated Major Richmond. Behind Capps, the four other tight ends are all battling for playing time.
"Aaron Capps is an experienced guy that has played a lot for us," said Bicknell of Capps who caught 14 passes for 115 yards and one score as a sophomore. "He is a big, strong guy and seems to have lost some weight and is running better.
"Behind him we have some good players but it is wide open right now. We are waiting to see who will seize the opportunity and become the second team guy. All of them are doing okay, but someone has to step forward. They all have talent."
Seniors Steve Brown and Myron Hawthorne, and sophomores Jamie Spigener and Anthony James all enter fall camp with a total of only two career receptions among them, both by Brown. Hawthorne is a converted linebacker who moved over to tight end during the spring, while James sat out last year to concentrate on academics.
When asked if the Louisiana Tech tight ends would see more passes thrown their way in 2003, Bicknell had a simple answer.
"We are going to throw the ball to the guy that is open," Bicknell said. "It is important for the tight ends to get open. We are just not a tight end oriented passing team; that is what it comes down to. Now they become very important depending on what defenses do against us coverage-wise.
"It's not like we never get them the ball, but our general philosophy is to get the ball into the hands of our speed guys and hopefully a small play becomes a big play in a hurry."
Tech will be off Sunday before returning to the practice field Monday at 7:30 a.m.