Last year, it was little more than drills that ended up in defensive players tagging off. Not allowed to tackle, the actual physical contact during scrimmaging situations was close to nonexistent.
This year, it's been almost completely the opposite, players having had more actual scrimmage time and physical drills in just six days than they had all of spring and fall practice combined.
That along with the familiarity the players have with the coaches has as defensive coordinator and linebacker coach, Kevin Cosgrove said, has made for a different attitude all around. "I think it's obvious that there is a different attitude out here," Cosgrove said of this year versus last. "The kids have a better feel for us (coaches) and they have a pretty good trust in us."
The rapport that has developed certainly can't be understated, but for defensive players especially, what also shouldn't be underestimated is the power that real contact has over the morale of the team. Tagging off was essential in making sure players were at least in position last year, but this year, now it's finishing things off. "There's times you have to do that," Cosgrove said of tagging off. "It puts you in a good football position."
"But, then there's more than that. There's the ‘club up' and having a base ready for contact – I think we are forming pretty good habits by doing what we are doing right now."
"We're just going to try and get better at what we are doing right now."
The scrimmage that will take place is going to go for an undetermined amount of snaps, but as Cosgrove stated, the team will work as much as they can in within the approximate two and a half hour practice.
There is expected to be little if any contact allowed on the quarterbacks for the scrimmage. While the green jerseys have not been employed this year, there has been a structure set up that the defense will know when the quarterback is "live" or not, that indication coming from head coach, Bill Callahan.
- Offensive lineman Lydon Murtha continues to make his way back, going the entire practice today. Murtha has been seeing steadily increasing time in practices, still recovering from a hamstring injury incurred before spring practices began.
Running back Brandon Jackson did not practice today, but there was
nothing indicated as to his official status. Two days ago,