Having all the veteran players back helps with the younger guys in Owens eyes. "It definitely helps with the younger guys because they can see the coaching and see the older guys do things correctly."
While he still notices what's going on at his former position, his focus now is squarely on the A Backs. One of those backs that he's watching is newcomer BJ Bostic. The staff wanted to find a way to get BJ on the field and A Back is the position they've chosen for him to do that. "BJ is a young guy and he's anxious to get out there and contribute," said Owens. "He's getting better every day but we're just taking it one day at a time."
Owens also has returning backs Embry Peeples, Marcus Wright, and Roddy Jones to work with. In addition he has two bigger backs in Orwin Smith and Chris Jackson. In Owen's eyes size will not be a determining factor. "Size is not important to us; it's about the heart and the will and the ability to make plays." Owens challenge to the retuning players is to step it up to the next level now.
One of the older players is Roddy Jones. Roddy is trying to balance spring football with playing on the baseball team. "Roddy is a very mature young man and he's handled the balance well." The coaches have asked that when he‘s on the football field that he takes care of his business. Things with Roddy are like the coaches expected them to be. "Honestly I don't even notice that he's playing baseball because he's over here doing everything that we ask him to do."
Jones is starting spring practice not having to be behind as he was last year in pre-season camp. He comes into the spring healthy and ready to go. "It's a huge difference and coming out last season with the wrist injury was real frustrating." Jones is playing with confidence and having a lot of fun.
Playing with a new coach, Jones feels that everyone is starting from scratch. "Coach Owens is new and he asks us sometimes how we did it last year," said Jones. Owens does ask the older players for their opinion but all in all they're all starting from scratch.
Jones feels the adjustment for a player like Bostic will not be an easy one. "It's a big adjustment coming out here and getting thrown into the fire." Jones feels that Bostic will get a lot of reps this spring and that will be exactly what he'll need.
Coach Owens saw some good things from the A Backs in the opening scrimmage but like all positions, he feels that the A Backs need to do a better job of finishing plays. That will be their goal this spring.