Physical Practice Challenges @LATechFB Wednesday
Aug. 12, 2015
RUSTON, La. - Louisiana Tech held its first practice session of fall camp in shells Wednesday afternoon as players donned shoulder pads for the first time this fall in a two-hour practice on the grass practice fields.
In addition to the challenge of added contact with shoulder pads being worn, the players were also challenged with practicing through the hot weather as the heat index climbed over 100.
"First day in pads today and there were goods and bads," head coach Skip Holtz said. "Like I have talked about all week, we are going to learn a lot about when we get in pads of where we are. There were some good things and some bad things on both sides of the ball. We have been lifting, running, doing ball drills, doing all that all summer. What we haven't been able to do is play football. This is where the game is played, when you put on shoulder pads. It was a good first day [in pads]. We got an awful lot of film, we'll watch it and get better. We will get a good evaluation on a lot of the underclassmen and get a great idea of where we are."
With the added physicality of the practice, Wednesday's focus was on the offensive and defensive lines and fullbacks showing what they could do. The NCAA requires the first two practices of fall camp to be done in helmets and shorts only, limiting the physical contact allowed early on.
"We are too high right now," Holtz said of the offensive and defensive lines. "I will have to watch the film but is it more technique or is it more the movement our defense is giving us. Vernon Butler comes free one time, I am looking at the point of attack and he comes free on the back side, did the guard step under himself or was it the movement of the defense that created the opening. Those are the things I have to look at it. Other than a first impression, they were physical, didn't quite have the energy that I wish we would have had but we went in the middle of the day and it was a 101 heat index. We threw a little adversity their way and we learned a little bit about how they handled it."
Over the course of the practice two newcomers stood out in terms of their physicality and not being afraid to attempt to make a play in fullback Bobby Holley and offensive lineman O'Shea Dugas.
"Those are the guys that showed up, especially on the inside run," said Holtz. "Bobby Holley isn't afraid, I will put it that way. I don't know that he knows what he is doing right now, we have to stand behind him and tell him where to go. If he can learn what he is doing, yeah, he is not afraid of contact. O'Shea Dugas is a big, physical player. Right now it is day one [in pads], the defense is out there blitzing, stunting, twisting, it's not like they are sitting status quo. We've talked about this before. I think it helps us. Last year it helped us as an offensive football team, to try and go against all the movements and pressures and those type of things. For O'Shea Dugas, he is still trying to learn how to block a static defense let alone make all the adjustments to one that's moving. He may look bad at times but he's not afraid to put his nose in there. We'll learn a lot more off the film."
While Wednesday's practice focused mainly on power, fullback and two-back sets, the offense will continue to be varied based on the situation and opponent. Last season the Bulldogs were able to find success in multiple looks and formations.
"We will continue to be multiple," Holtz said of the offense. "We have to multiple. We are not going to be just spread the field and throw it every down. We will continue to be multiple. Everything we ran today we ran last year. It wasn't like `Wow, look at that!' We have it, it's just how much of it do you run it? Some games you run it more than others. When we were at ULL, we're backed up, got in that same stuff, ran a power play and went 99 yards with it. We will continue to do all that."
For complete coverage of Bulldog Football, please follow @LATechFB on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.
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