Despite rain, Blue Raiders have good practice to open spring drills

March 29, 2004 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee football team opened spring practice today in rainy and wet conditions on the turf at Floyd Stadium. The less than ideal weather conditions, however, did not slow the Blue Raiders.

"The weather was unfortunate, but it did not keep us from getting done what we needed to today," head coach Andy McCollum said. "Spring is about teaching and getting players in the right spot and knowing their assignments. We do a lot teaching and working on fundamentals, which we spent a lot of time on today. The rain did not affect us."

New coaches Scott Fountain, Kent Laster and Mark Criner all made their Blue Raider coaching debuts today, while Bradley Dale Peveto began his era as defensive coordinator. Peveto and the rest of the defensive coaches spent a great deal of time introducing the Blue Raiders new 4-3 scheme.

DEFENSIVE UPDATE: Under new defensive coordinator Bradley Dale Peveto, the Blue Raiders spent most of day one teaching the new 4-3 scheme, along with proper alignments and assignments. The defensive coaches also took a lot of time looking at where some of the new guys can help out immediately. "We're going to teach a swarming type of defense and I saw a lot of guys flying to the football today," Peveto said. "We had a few dropped balls and chances to make a few more plays, but overall I was pretty pleased with day one."

OFFENSIVE UPDATE: The Blue Raider offense returns a great deal of experience, so on Monday the heart of practice was concentrating on the players focus and getting down their assignments. But like most spring drills, a lot of emphasis was put on teaching. "Early on we want to just get the kinks out and start getting fluid in everything we do," said co-offensive coordinator Darin Hinshaw. "We have a very up-tempo practice, so the new guys really have to adjust to our speed. When they do, then we will be in good shape."

MISSING IN ACTION: Due to various injuries, the following players will not be involved in any contact drills during spring practice: wide receiver Pierre Ingram, running back Kevin Davis, and linebacker Jonathan Ward. All three should be full-go in August.

NUMBER CHANGES: Since the conclusion of the 2003 season, a few Blue Raiders decided to change jersey numbers. Here is a list: Danny Tolbert (7 to 2), Chris Henry (85 to 3), Pierre Ingram (83 to 4), Jonathan Harris (21 to 8), Jonathan Parks (29 to 42), Christopher Sapp (84 to 55), Germayle Franklin (61 to 73), and Clinton Corder (37 to 80).

TIDBITS: Due to NCAA guidelines, the Blue Raiders will be in shorts the first two days, then shells (helmet, shoulder pads) on Wednesday before getting into full pads on Thursday ... The Blue Raiders will hold their first scrimmage on Saturday morning at 10:30 AM.

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