PRESEASON PRACTICE UPDATE: Return of 104
Aug. 14, 2012
Preseason Practice Update #8:
While the veterans were excited to be back at Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium for 29 newcomers, it was their first time stepping onto the field in uniform.
"I was very impressed in what I saw," said head coach Bobby Wilder, "There was tremendous effort on both sides of the ball. There were a lot of positives on both sides. Defensively, I thought our defensive line played really well. They had eight sacks in 90 plays and then offensively, we had some really big plays out of Taylor Heinicke and the wide receivers."
There won't be time to rest on their laurels as the Monarchs have another scrimmage coming up on Friday.
THE HEAT IS ON:
104 IS BACK:
Assistant Defensive Coordinator and secondary coach Keita Malloy came up with the idea as a reminder to the team and the defensive backs during spring drills 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 back in the spring when the jersey made its debut. "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."
"It's a motivation," said cornerback T.J. Cowart of the jersey.
"It keeps reminding them of what the goal is," said Wilder "I'm really proud of the way those guys are working. I see our secondary as much improved right now. There's a lot of pride in that unit to have a much better season this year and I'm confident they will."
Even though there has been much praise for the secondary this preseason, Malloy noted that the jersey will be continued to be used until the pass defense number improves.
T.J. - A WELCOME BACK:
"In the second quarter I was trying to break-up the ball and actually hit one my teammate's helmets," Cowart said recalling the injury. "It was kind of a bummer, but since then I've been trying to work hard."
Returning from the injury, Cowart worked on getting back into shape. In addition to rehabbing the wrist, because "you know you gotta use your hands playing defensive back," said Cowart, it was lots of running and working on his feet.
Cowart, who has been causing trouble for the Monarch receivers this preseason, noted that from Monday's scrimmage that the backs played well in playing man-to-man defense, but mentioned that when the offense managed to break through that it's "all about focus and staying with our man."
TWO-MINUTE DRILL DEBUTS:
FROM THE PROS:
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