Camp Notebook: Second day with shoulder pads brings some hitting, more focus
By Rob Schabert, Assistant Athletic Director for Sports
Video by Tom Hollander, Video Coordinator
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Tuesday was Tennessee Tech's second day on the field in shoulder pads and helmets, and the Golden Eagles did a little bit of hitting during their position drills. Even though it wasn't being defended, the offense moved the ball with alarming speed, and on the other end of the field the defense was focusing on technique and fine-tuning the system. Defenders appeared to be getting to all the right places quickly and efficiently against the scout team.
What Happened Today: The Golden Eagles worked through two hours of practice drills in shoulder pads and helmets on Tuesday morning...the four quarterbacks were really on target throwing deep and short passes on the money, and receivers were making most of their catches, but still had a few dropped balls...punter Jonathan King put several of his kicks into the clouds.
Best Offensive Play of the Day:
Junior wide recevier Neil Gannaway finished his pass route with a pair of brilliant moves, and left the defender all alone as he crossed the goal line and hauled in a 35-yard touchdown pass from Trent Thompson.
Best Defensive Play of the
They Said It:
"Flips the hips, keep your feet moving. Open and close your hips That's the way to dance." - Assistant coach Pat Donohoe in giving instruction to the Golden Eagle defensive ends while running a "hips" drill.
Honorable mention: "Beautiful throw. That one had eyeballs on it." - Head coach Watson Brown to QW Darian Stone after a completion to Willie Davis.
It's time for full pads. The team will don full uniforms and pads Wednesday for the first time this fall, and spend about two hours on Overall Field beginning ay 9 a.m. An area that will get plenty of attention will be kickoff coverage and kickoff returns.
Coach Watson Brown sees consistency from his players, but knows "it's not anywhere that it's supposed to be."
"I told them (players) yesterday after practice that I thought it was a really good practice, but the consistency is not quite there, but if they had that right now they don't need us (coaches). If we want to get paid, that's our job to get them there. They will."
Updating the depth chart
The Golden Eagle coaching staff came into camp with a depth chart that only included players who participated in spring drills, and none of the newcomers are included. Now that the coaches have had a few days to observe the entire 95-player roster, including numerous new faces, coach Watson Brown expects those names to begin popping up on the depth chart.
"I'd like to think that by the end of the week we'll have our first depth chart. It kind of goes up-anddown right now every day. Somebody does better, we put them up, next day the other one does better and we out him up. By the endo fo the first week you start with your first true depth chart."
A pair of former players have changed their roles within the program, following injuries that forced them to miss playing despite the fact they still have eligibility remaining.
Parker Teeter, who was the starter at tight end last year and will be serving as a graduate assistant in the College of Education during the fall, is serving as a volunteer during his off hours while shadowing Casey Kramer, director of the Athletic Performance Center, to learn about the strength and conditioning profession. Teeter received his degree in May in Lifetime Wellness. He caught 10 passes for 94 yards in 2013. A product of Friendship Christian Academy in Lebanon, Teeter spent his first two years on campus taking classes but wasn't a part of the football team. A friend of former TTU quarterback Lee Sweeney, he was encouraged by the record-setting passer to think about football, and he earned a spot on the team during 2012 spring drills, and woud up playing in 21 games in his two seasons.
Price Patrick, who was a redshirt receiver last year, is serving as a student assistant coach and working with the receivers. A product of Baylor High School in Chattanooga, Partrick spent the 2010-11 academic year at The Citadel, but sat out the football season as a medical redshirt. He spent the 2011-12 season at UT Chattanooga rehabing his shoulder injury, then came to Tech for the 2012 spring drills but did not participate because of the injury. He was on the team last season but did not see any playing time.
"Both of them are injured and their careers are over," Brown said. "They're both great kids, and we'd love to have them both back playing but both of them had career-ending injuries and they're moving forward with their careers and I'm proud for them."
Get your season tickets
The Golden Eagles will host six home football games during the 2014 season, opening against Kentucky Christian on Thursday, Aug. 28. After that, Tech will welcome Murray State on Saturday, Oct. 4 (7 p.m.), Eastern Kentucky on Saturday, Oct. 18 (7 p.m.), Eastern Illinois on Saturday, Nov. 1 (1:30 p.m.), Southeast Missouri for Homecoming on Saturday, Nov. 8 (1:30 p.m.), and Chattanooga on Saturday, Nov. 15 (1:30 p.m.).
For season ticket information, contact the Tennessee Tech Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center or call 931-372-3940. Tickets are also on sale online at TTUsports.com.
And sign up for this year's Women's
For the second straight year, Tech football's annual Gathering of Eagles will feature the "Now You Know" Women's Football Clinic. Beginnng at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 16, head coach Watson Brown will host the event for the second season in a row. The women's clinic is free but space is limited. The first 100 participants to sign-up (by calling 931-372-3940) will receive a specially desiged tote bag and an opportunity to tour the TTU athletic facilities.