On day two of Camp Jones, the players seemed to have a little more bounce in their steps. It could have been the earlier start, the slightly but not all that cool weather, or it could have been the fact that the boys didn't have to run an extensive conditioning routine before practice.
Whatever the reason, the players seemed to enjoy today's practice more than yesterday, and it seemed as though much more was accomplished.
On the offensive side of the ball, the quarterbacks and receivers continued their repetitive route running and timing drills, but this time for only a little over an hour. It is important to have the timing down between the quarterback and receivers in any offense, especially the Run and Shoot. Coach Jones is not making light of this fact either. He knows in order for his team to be successful, the timing and cohesiveness of the quarterback and his receivers must be impeccable.
As day two rolled on, all five of the quarterbacks on the 105 man Mustang roster were taking an equal amount of throws with no regard to class year or team experience. The competitive spirit is certainly there and there also seems to be a sense of camaraderie between the five of them. True freshman Braden Smith told PonyStampede.com after practice, "I think the competition is great for all of us. Whoever emerges as the starter against Rice on the 29th, the other four are going to be on the sideline encouraging him. We all want to see SMU succeed. We would all like to be the one on the field, but if we're not, it's our job to encourage the one who is."
The most important difference from the Phil Bennett era to this year is that the players are having fun while improving as a team. If the players aren't having fun, it makes it nearly impossible for the coaching staff to teach them what they want to teach, and the players aren't nearly as receptive to learning new plays, schemes and techniques.
"The coaches have us out there throwing the ball so much during practice, which for me is the dream of being a quarterback. During the summer I was throwing quite a bit too so my arm is in good shape right now."
All of the quarterbacks have been making good throws in these first two days of practice, and it's going to be tough for Coach Jones, Coach Morrison and the rest of the staff to make a decision on who will be under center for the first game.
Smith added, "The five of us have led a team in high school, so we know how to lead once were on the field and be the field general. That ultimately is the quarterback's job, and I think all five of us are ready to do that."