Looking to Make the Red Wolves more Physical

A look back at Arkansas State coach Blake Anderson’s press conference in the aftermath of the GoDaddy Bowl defeat to Toledo, one word kept coming up in his comments. And that was physical.

“They were more physical than we were,’’ said Anderson, whose team finished 7-6 in his first season in Jonesboro. “We have a lot of things that we have to work on, and that is what offseason is for. We have got to recruit and we have got to build a football team around what we have.”

The Red Wolves have already started on the more physical stage by adding five linemen during the semester break. Robert Mondie, the brother of Red Wolves’ O-lineman, is the latest addition. Mondie (6-foot-2, 300 pounds) was expected to enroll at A-State this semester and playing last season at UA-Birmingham. He joins Waylon Roberson (6-2. 300) from New Mexico Military and Jake Swalley (6-2, 285) from Highland (Kan.) Community College on the defensive front.

On the offensive line, the Red Wolves added tackle Joseph Bacchus (6-3, 285) from Itawamba (Miss.) CC and center Brandon Berg (6-2, 275) from Northeast Oklahoma.

“We are going to get this thing turned around,’’ said Anderson.

“I’m excited about how we did things did year but not never satisfied. We have a lot of work to do. Just the beginning for us. I am coming back and we do have work to do and we are going to get this thing headed in the right direction.

I am proud of how hard are kids played we have just got to get more physical. Our kids will play hard, and they will play for 60 minutes and that gives you a chance to build.”

Anderson said Toledo, with five senior offensive linemen exploited the Red Wolves’ lack of depth and experience on the front line. “I’m looking forward to going to Toledo and playing them without those guys. I think we will match up better.

“We thought we have to be creative and not run the ball right at them. We are not built for that just yet.

“We have a lot of work to do. We got beat by some teams that are just built physically better than we are right now. We played some guys who have never played before and we played some guys that physically aren’t quite ready but we had to. But this is the foundation … I’m not near satisfied with our physical nature. We are not near physical enough. We have got to find a way to stop the run. We have got to be more physical up front on offense. And that is exactly what we are going to do.”

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