After day one of Camp Jones, there are only two certainties that lie within the SMU football team. The first is that Coach June Jones will, as expected, throw the ball on any down, in any situation. The second is that the coaching staff has no idea who the starting quarterback will be on August 29th in Houston at Rice.
Jones brings his modified version of Mouse Davis's Run and Shoot offense to the Hilltop this season, but still doesn't know who will be at the helm of that offense.
The Mustangs are guaranteed to put up numbers this year, and a lot of them. To start off training camp, Coach Jones had the quarterbacks and wide receivers working on their timing patterns for the entire practice, while the running backs were working with the offensive line on their pass protection schemes.
The emphasis for quarterbacks was their footwork in their 3 and 5-step drops, and the emphasis for receivers was sharp and timely route running.
After practice, Junior wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders said, "We are what we repeatedly do. That's what Coach Jones hammers into our heads every day and every night. He said we need to know these things so well that we dream at night about running routes. When it comes to game time and its 4th and 1, that's when the repetitiveness comes into play. Everything has to be natural."
As far as a quarterback, all 5 quarterbacks on the Mustang roster had their share of reps today.
"I thought all of the quarterbacks threw the ball pretty well for their first time out. For the next two weeks their heads are going to be swimming. Logan (Redshirt freshman Logan Turner) is the only one who has been through spring ball, so I got 4 other quarterbacks who it's all new to them," Coach Jones said in the post-practice press conference. He added, "Its wide open, the best guy is going to play…. Historically I've always been a one-quarterback guy. I told them all last night that the best guy is going to play and I try to hang with that guy as long as I can. I played that position and you don't want to be looking over your shoulder the whole time you're on the field."
The first day of practice saw four plays installed, with the remainder of the offense to be completely integrated in the first two weeks of practice. The coaching staff will implement new plays every other day, so it will be fast-paced learning for veteran players and newcomers alike.
Sanders said, "The coaches are very relaxed, and they use positive reinforcement. They know their system very well, and they teach it well, so it makes it simple for us players to learn and get a grasp of. We put our faith in them that if we listen, we will score points and as an offense, that's what we're gonna do."