USFNation.com- What have you seen from the players' first day in pads?
Coach Franks- I think that everybody had a good time. They came out with a great attitude, throwing guys around, so it was fun seeing the first live action. It happens it spring ball, when one side does good, the other side gets upset so when you are playing against yourself you can never win. Overall, both sides had some good things happen to them today but they both have plenty of stuff to work on. This is the first day of pads, there are plenty of practices to go and see where we can improve
USFN: How did the running backs respond to the new tweaks in the offense?
Franks: Those guys have been around here for a while so they are pretty savvy with the exception of Demetris Murray because this is his first spring. Mike Ford and Moise Plancher both had nice days out here today. Richard Kelly is practicing real hard out here; no one probably works harder than him. I am very fortunate to have those guys to coach.
USFN: How are the backs responding to the extra reps they're getting?
Franks: Good, but they are ready for Jamar Taylor to get well (Laughs). Anytime when you really have four guys you struggle. We had Joel Miller come in from defense to give us a little bit of depth so. They are ready for Jamar to get back and the new guys to come in. There is a little pressure there but you get more reps. It's a give and take but we need as many reps as we can get and to learn that we have to be physical every play, we have to be dominated and make sure we are reading the right keys on run plays. There is plenty of room for improvement.
USFN: Do you see any difference in Mo Plancher as a senior?
Franks: Mo so far has had a great spring. A few years ago he was our starter then he had the knee and elbow injury so. Last year he really started to come back to the same ability level before he got hurt and now he is doing great. He has had four real good days of practice. He's got great feet, good vision and I have been extraordinary please with the way he has come back so far.
USFN: How has Mike Ford looked this spring?
Franks: Ford is a little lighter so hopefully it's going to make him a little bit quicker and we will continue to get him in the weight room and get him running with the same force that goes along with his body. He is working on body lean and the way he runs with the ball. He needs to be a little bit more physical at the point of contact. But he has proven before that he can do that. The big thing is that he has to continue to get into the weight room and be a dominant runner to go along with his size.
USFN: What are your impressions of freshman Demetris Murray's first spring?
Coach Franks: He is really getting into the offense for the first time and he is making some mistakes but he is learning from those mistakes. He had some good runs today. He has got some quickness, he is a tough runner. He just has to continue to learn how to keep his shoulder pads down so that people are not getting shots at his body but he had some good goal line runs for us too.
USFN: Do you have the backs compete in board drills?
Franks: Oh yea they all get in there just like everybody else and go at it. Ford and Mo do a good job in there and of course Richard Kelly, he has a little extra weight and he lowers his hips, and flips them, so he does a real nice job.
USFN: How does competing in board drills help the players, and the coaches?
Franks: In board drills your hands have to be inside, underneath the other guy and your feet have got to move in a hurry once you make contact. It's great for us because it teaches us our power angles. Your power angles are everywhere your body bends, including your knee, your shoulder, your hip, you elbow and even your wrist. Those angles are all in a straight line so you have got some great force on the defender. You take one of those and turn it and get it out of line, you lose a lot of power so that is something that we are always talking about when we are running, run blocking, pass blocking and using those power angles, so board drills work on that.
USFN: What do you want to accomplish in the next couple of weeks with the backs?
Franks: Improving in everything that we did, improving on pass protection because we worked on that a lot. Two of those days we just did helmets and we worked a lot on the fundamentals of that, so we will continue to work and improve. We need to get the new wrinkles out of the new offence and improve each day
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