Spring Update - Practice No. 12 - Coverage in the Lanes

April 20, 2010
By ODU Athletics

April 19, 2010

NORFOLK, Va. -- It's the final week of spring practice for the ODU Football Monarchs and Monday's practice featured more of the two-minute drill and working on coverage with the special teams units.

"We had four very get segments in that two minute drill," said ODU head coach Bobby Wilder.

The defense won three of the four segments.

In the first segment, ODU's No. 1 offense started the drill on their 45 and managed to bring the ball down to the defensive 30. The No. 1 offense got to 4th and two on the defense's own 22 yard line with quarterback Dominique Blackman (Los Angles, Calif.) passing in traffic to Chris Lovitt (Stafford, Va.) who was unable to hold on to the ball to move the chains further.

The No. 2 offense started at defensive 40 and brought the ball down field to the 38. On fourth down, the No. 2 offense brought out the field goal unit, but the field goal attempt went wide left giving another victory to the Monarch defense.

The second segment of the two-minute drill later in practice saw the No. 1 offense notch the win. Starting the drill down by two on their own 25 yard line, the No. 1 offense got down to the defense's 30. Blackman nearly connected with Michael E. Williams (Manassas, Va.) in the endzone, but cornerback Markell Wilkins (Hampton, Va.) was there for the pass break-up. Two plays later the No. 1 offense made their way another 15 yards to the defensive 15 and almost had the drill stop on a fumble, but running back Jamar Parham (Chesterfield, Va.) quickly recovered to maintain possession. At fourth down, the field goal unit was once again called upon with Drew Hareza's (McDonald, Pa.) attempt sailing through the uprights to give the offense its lone win of the two-minute drill.

The No. 2 offense started at the defense's 48. Quarterback Tommy Reamon's (Newport News, Va.) pass to Jamal Johnson (Va. Beach, Va.) brought the offense down to the 25. At 4th and five, cornerback Fred Credle (Chesapeake, Va.) ended the drill with a break-up on pass intended for Nick Mayers (Va. Beach, Va.).

"The only thing I was disappointed with was that we missed a field goal," noted Wilder. "Otherwise, the offense would have won two drills."

"The goal of those segments is to get our kids thinking fast and playing fast, as well as getting them to learn situational football," continued Wilder. "You need to know the situation within the two minutes. If you are on defense, how many yards does the defense need for a first down? That's probably going to tell you what type of play the opponent is going to run. Offensively, we need to be aware of not only down and distance, but whenever we can, catch the ball and get out of bounds to stop the clock and conserve time. Conversely, the defense is trying to tackle in-bounds."

The emphasis on special teams Monday was in what the coaching staff refers to as lane drills with the punt, punt block, kick-off, and kick-off return units.

"Everything was about coverage...lanes and blocking someone in the coverage lane," said Wilder. "That's been a focus since our return units were not particularly a strength last year.

The coverage units worked how to disengage the block and how to leverage the football, keeping the ball on the inside shoulder. For the return unit, they worked on staying engaged and keeping the defense away from the returner.


HELP SAVE A LIFE: The Football Monarchs will again sponsor a Marrow Donor Registry Drive on April 22nd from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Hampton/Newport News room in Webb Center. The Monarchs have once again partnered with the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) to add ODU students, faculty and staff and the Norfolk community to the bone marrow registry, where they can potentially capitalize on the opportunity of a lifetime - the opportunity to save a life. On any given day, more than 6,000 men, women and children are searching the NMDP Registry for a life-saving donor. The test is a simple cheek swab, no blood or needles are involved. There is no cost to be tested and the procedure takes no more than 20 minutes. For additional information on the ODU Football Bone Marrow Drive or the NMDP, contact Jackie Barrow at jbarrow@odu.edu or 757-683-3359.

The Monarchs have just two practices left this season, culminating in the annual spring game on Saturday, April 24th at 1:00 p.m. at Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium.

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