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Courtesy: ODU Athletics
Release: March 31, 2012
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March 31, 2012

MONARCH MEDIA: Practice #4 Update:

It was the start of spring tackle football on Saturday for ODU Football, as the team donned full pads for its fourth practice of the spring.

With the team in full pads for the first time this spring, the coaching staff had the squad go through the Monarch Pride Drill before any team periods occurred, which was one of the spirited and energized parts of Saturday's practice.

The drill is broken up into interior and perimeter drills, with the o-line and running backs going against the d-line and linebackers on the interior drill and the wide receivers versus the defensive backs on the perimeter drill.

"Every player on the team gets to be involved in a tackle play," explained head coach Bobby Wilder. "The goal of the drills is to get the start of physical contact going before going into a team period and playing live tackle football."

Both sides of the ball spilt the drill, with each side rushing their teammates whenever the defense made a big stop or the offense was able to break through.

The number "104" appeared on Saturday on the nameplates on the defensive backs blue practice jerseys.

Secondary Coach Keita Malloy came up with the idea as a reminder to the team and the defensive backs that the Monarchs ranked 104th in pass defense out of the 125 teams in FCS football.

"That was unacceptable and the players want to improve drastically in that area," said Wilder. "We allowed 242 yards a game passing. The goal of this team is to improve dramatically in a lot of areas, but 104th in the nation needs to change and it will."

As the secondary worked on reading, timing, and adjustments on the pass, Coach Wilder could be heard praising the unit on their coverage.

Playing tackle football for the first time since the second week of the season was corner T.J. Cowart.

Cowart, who led the Monarchs in pass break-ups in 2009 but played only two games last season suffering a broken wrist at Georgia State in week two, doesn't appear to have any lingering affects of the injury.

"The next play is the most important one"

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Spring practice continues on Monday morning.

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