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8/24 Practice Notes: New Face at WR, Depth Chart to be Decided Thursday

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Note: This was my day doing post practice interviews for FTRS, and I'll be doing many more this season, so be on the lookout for more posts like this one in the afternoons!

Today I had the opportunity to talk to Coach Johnson, Coach Lamar Owens, AB Isaiah Willis, and C Freddie Burden.

Coach Johnson

  • S Jalen Johnson has been moved to WR. CPJ stated that Jalen was not going to play this year on defense, and wanted to give him a shot on offense since he played WR in high school
  • Coach Johnson was satisfied with the A-back rotation, and thinks the team is good there. He also stated that they are currently practicing with a 6 man rotation. He feels that will be roughly the rotation come the start of the season. The starters right now are still "probably" Ike Willis and Broderick Snoddy.
  • When asked if Broderick Snoddy looks back to form, CPJ replied: "As much as you can in practice"
  • There will be a scrimmage this Thursday, and then the coaches will meet to decide the 2-deep. Expect it to be published on the Athletic Association's official site by Monday.
  • Johnson decribed the WR competition as "a big jumble behind the first 3" (The first 3 being Michael Summers, Ricky Jeune, and Brad Stewart.
  • Johnson praised the strength of Harrison Butker's leg, but said he needed to be more consistent. He also said Butker missed too many field goals in Saturday's kicking scrimmage.
  • On his Philosophy on kicking field goals vs. going for it: "If I think he can make it, we'll kick it, If I think we can get the first down I'll go for it. If the kicker isn't as consistent then I'll have to go for it more."

ABs Coach Lamar Owens

  • Owens felt that Matthew Jordan has an advantage in learning the AB concepts due to his time at QB, but didn't say he was ahead of the other new guys at the position.
  • Owens stated that he starts practice with Ball security each day, stating the Jackets were 10-0 last season when winning the turnover battle.
  • I found it interesting that Coach Owens said that "This year's team hasn't done anything yet." It seems the coaches are trying hard to keep the team grounded after a stellar season last year.
  • Owen's echoed Johnson's statement about Snoddy, saying that he thinks he will be full-go this year.

AB Isaiah Willis

  • Willis felt that the young ABs were coming along well. When asked what makes him say that, he said that they guys were doing a great job of understanding the concepts in the offense, and knew what to do on any given play
  • I asked if the coaches were putting an extra emphasis on ball security this year with all the young guys. He said they were practicing it a bit more since the new guys haven't gotten used to the hits they'll see at the college game, but also said that Coach Owens always emphasizes ball security for players young and old.

C Freddie Burden

  • Burden stated that the offensive line feels responsibility to lead an offense which will have a lot of young and inexperienced players playing this season, even going as far as to say "As we go, the team goes" and "All the pressure is on us." 
  • Burden emphasized a fast start for the OL this year, saying it took time for the unit to get going last year. He said the entire unit is focused on getting back to last season's form early this year.
  • After the nickname "The Goon Squad" was used by the offensive line a few years ago, Burden said that the unit's name is now "The Militia," crediting the new name to Trey Braun. Burden said the name signified a group of guys that can go get the job done and fight for each other no matter what.
That's all for today! I hope to get some of the audio I record uploaded, but I will likely need a better voice recorder to improve the sound quality.