"I was really proud of the way they worked. We had a long long scrimmage on Saturday. Coming off of a scrimmage like that you never know. Will they come out with some enthusiasm and some energy or will they be going through the motions? Did the coaches have to lead? No. The players led. It was a good practice. We got a lot of work done and I'm anxious to go watch some tape because it sure looked like we improved out here as a team today," said McCarney.
Saturday's scrimmage was highlighted by some forced turnovers by the defense but all in all it was a very solid test for both sides of the football.
"There was a lot of good stuff. There weren't a lot of penalties which you like to see. Offensively there were a couple of turnovers, one with the 1's and one with the 2's. We got a real good start defensively. In the end it was a very competitive scrimmage and we definitely improved as a football team," said McCarney.
One interesting thing is how McCarney and his staff evaluate spring practices and scrimmages. Here's what McCarney had to say about that on Monday.
"I go through up and I go arrow up or arrow down on who won on offense or defense. Who won it? I go through and grade all of those things. Honestly from beginning to end through the whole thing it was pretty even which I think is a credit to our defense with a lot of new starters in there."
Chemistry is key in every sport but especially in big time college football. It's something that Dan McCarney keys on and this year he's got a good feeling about the chemistry of his ball club.
"I like it. It's a daily process. It doesn't happen just because you say ‘hey we've got to have chemistry.' It's a daily thing. You build it throughout the winter. You go through the spring; you go through summer workouts, through camp," said McCarney.
"We've got 30 more guys coming who have got to be a part of that chemistry. What I've seen so far of this team is that they've picked up right where the left off of winter workouts. They get after each other's butts. It's a team that enjoys playing and has fun doing it. I think the chemistry so far is darn good."
The coaching staff moved former defensive back Houston Jones to wide receiver on Monday. Here's what McCarney had to say about the move.
"He's not in the two deep in the secondary. We're trying to see if he might be able to do that at wide receiver. With Jon Davis's injury it really opens the door even more. Flynn has missed some time, he got back today. We're looking long range rather than can he star tomorrow. No that's not going to happen on either side of the ball. We're going to give him a shot at wide receiver. Being a high school quarterback, he's been working as a punt return guy. We know he's got good hands. We're going to take a look at him."
The Team's Progression This Spring
As always, Coach Mac is relying on his upper classmen to be leaders during spring ball.
"Your seniors and your juniors better lead. The work ethic and the attitude and the approach to spring ball, because if they come out here bored or if they come out here going through the motions, we can't get better and we can't be successful in the fall. Those guys have been doing a good job of that. They light the fire pretty good and when you get guys like Matt Robertson, who enjoy the game as much as he does, and Brent Curvey, and DeAndre Jackson. Those guys can pull some of those freshman and sophomores and elevate their game."
The Importance of Coaching
Dan McCarney has assembled some of the best assistant coaches in American and this spring they are showing why.
"We've got to continue to do a really good job of coaching. We're not going to go out there with a bunch of first and second rounders in the fall. We haven't in the past either and we've shown that we can be very successful but it's the little things. Don't beat yourself, be physical, understand the system, don't have a lot of mental errors, be relentless with your effort and handle success and adversity," said McCarney.
team will be practicing again on Wednesday and CN will be there to cover it.