February 23, 2010

Army Spring Practice Report: Monday, February 22

Army got right back into it on Monday after taking a day off of practice on Saturday. The Black Knights conducted their second session in full pads and got the chance to work in some offensive scheme. Defensively, the coaches were able to work deep into the roster and get a look what younger guys may be able to provide some help this fall.

Army began the session with a number of individual drills, then moved into unit and full team drills.

Offensively, Army continued to work on their option offense. Quarterback Trent Steelman looked very comfortable and crisp behind center, and with a season under his belt looks very comfortable with the offense. Slotbacks Patrick Mealy and Jameson Carter continue to work with first team as they did last season. Mealy looks strong and read the defense well, and Carter showed some very good speed breaking into the open field. Both Mealy and Carter looked good catching the ball out of the backfield as well. Lonnie Liggins, Malcolm Brown, Kelechi Odocha, and Brian Cobbs have all gotten significant reps. All four bring good speed to the backfield.

At fullback, Jarred Hassin looks to be the real deal. His size and strength, and ability to drive at the point of contact will make the fullback position a real threat for Army. CeDarius Williams started to get some reps in at fullback as well. While he is still recovering from off season surgery, a healthy Williams will be a great compliment to Hassin.

At wide receiver, Davyd Brooks seems to have latched on to the starting role. He had a great practice, beating both Antuan Aaron and Josh Jackson in one-on-one drills. He made three very nice catches on the day, two outstretched at the sideline, and one deep down the middle after cutting and beating Jackson's coverage.

Defensively, the absence of Steve Anderson and Josh McNary has given some of the younger guys a chance to get in some good reps. Coach Ellerson made note of that when we spoke to him after practice.

"We still have a handful of guys that didn't get coached a lot in the fall that are just now getting a lot of turns in our offense and our defense at a fast tempo," explained Army's head coach.

Former fullback Kingsley Ehie continued to show progress on the defensive side of the ball. His physical tools and ability to read the moves of the running backs has allowed him to get a significant number of reps with the first team.

Andrew Rodriguez and Steve Erzinger picked right up from where they were last season, with Rodriguez knocking down a pass and Erzinger snagging a one-handed interception.

The defensive line was aggressive in combative drills, with Mike Gann looking strong and AJ Mackey, Jarret Mackey, and Chris Swain getting a number of reps. Justin Shaaf was very solid in drills as well.

At defensive back, Donovan Travis was not active during the second half of practivce and Ty Shrader and Jordan Trimble took a majority of the action. Schrader continued to show a nose for the ball, and Trimble did a very good job with his reads.

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