Cumbie, staff pleased with progress

Courtesy of LA Tech Athletic Communications

With two weeks of Spring practice under their belts, the Louisiana Tech football staff continues to focus growth and development that comes with installing and learning new systems.

“The main goal through six practices so far has been to get our system installed and have the players be able to feel comfortable with what we are asking them to do,” said defensive coordinator Scott Power. “Things like how to get themselves lined up, how to communicate with each other, who is doing what, and we’ve been able to get that accomplished.”

“I’ve been pleased with how things are flowing from a structure standpoint in practice so far,” said Head Coach Sonny Cumbie. “Everyone is getting a feel for how we practice, the organization, where we go, how to move around, and as we get into the next two weeks of Spring that should continue to flow faster and even quicker.

“Overall, we’ve seen a ton of growth. The group has been very willing, the energy has been great, and the guys have been attentive in meetings. We just want to continue to build, climb and accelerate through this thing. We aren’t trying to get to a point and then just level off. We have to keep pushing and keep pushing together.”

There are still a lot of unknowns, and a lot of competition at several positions, but that is exactly what Cumbie and his staff want. They consistently preach looking for players who want to do things the right way, the hard way, the Bulldog way.

“Showing up and paying attention is the bare minimum,” said Cumbie.

The Bulldogs got a chance to put on the pads today and participate in some live-action which is something the staff was excited to see how their players would handle.

“It’s nice to have film from six practices and live competition now so we can start to evaluate and use that to see where we are and find those areas for improvement,” said Cumbie. “Anytime you scrimmage you have to think about why you’re doing it. Are you there just running plays or are we using that time to evaluate a group to see where we are? Our objective is to take this as an opportunity to evaluate everyone and see what we have.”

“Today was our first time to see our guys in a live competitive situation,” said Coach Power. “When things are unscripted it gives us a chance to see some different situations like when you use a certain defense at this time and why, and we will get a chance to come back from the film and use that to teach.”

“We were excited to see in a game setting what type of running backs we have on this roster,” said running backs coach Peter Hopkins.  “Today also gave us an idea of the type of back we have to work towards.”

Coach Hopkins also talked about the importance of learning to attack within the offense.

“We want our backs to play with an attack mentality,” said Hopkins. “We want you to hurt every play when you play the Bulldogs. We talk a lot about BYOB, ‘be your own blocker’, so we want guys who when needed, can make a play and run you over or make you miss.”

The importance of building depth, not just on the roster, but in a player’s skill level as well has been another priority so far this Spring.

“Our biggest area of growth so far has been the ability to recognize the blitz,” said Hopkins. “Not just how to pick it up but, but also when it isn’t coming. That way we can release and get into our routes. We want guys that can run between the tackles and help with the blitz, but we also have guys that can catch out of the backfield and make plays in space. We want guys that have fun, play fast, and don’t flinch.”

Perhaps the most important aspect of the first two weeks has been players and coaches simply spending time with each other.

“Relationships are built on time and trust,” said Power. “We have been able to spend a lot of time with each other, getting to know each other, and getting a feel for all the different personalities. It is important that someone spends time with guys in other position groups, like a guy on the defensive line spending time with guys in the secondary. We have grown so much in that area and are excited to see that strengthen over the next three weeks.”

Tech will hit the practice field three more times next week on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday afternoons while they continue to prep for the April 23 Spring Game at 11:00 a.m inside Joe Alliet Stadium.


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