The Western Kentucky football team practiced Saturday morning at The Houch, the team’s eighth workout of the spring season. Comments here from coach Jeff Brohm.
Scrimmage: “I thought we came out and had pretty good energy. Defense started out well, playing hard. Did a good job of creating some turnovers and creating some stops and the offense finally got some things going. I like that we were able to identify some playmakers and they showed up today.”
Quarterbacks: “We wanted to try and use as many as we can. Gotta have everybody ready to go, you can’t just have one guy – and those guys need a lot of work. Each of them kind of have different talents, some are throwers, some are runners, some can do both, so we gotta make sure that we have the stuff in so they can utilize it and execute effectively. I think we’re working on that right now.”
Is the team where you want them to be? “I think we’re making progress. I think the key, offensively, last year we turned the ball over too much and red zone execution and goal-line situations we weren’t very good. So we’ve got to get better at that.
“We made some strides at that today, but we still had a few turnovers. Just really silly turnovers that we can’t have. If you don’t have a turnover, you have a chance to win.
“Defensively we’ve just gotta find a way to get off the field on third downs, create turnovers, and really in today’s age, especially in Conference USA, there’s gonna be a lot of tempo teams that are playing fast. We have to not wear down, get lined up properly and still execute and play as fast as you can.”
Standouts: “We’re trying to really develop the receiver position. That has to become a strength for us. We signed two junior college guys that are coming in and making strides and made some catches for us.
“The true freshmen who played last year in Taywan Taylor and Nic Norris are getting better. Even guys like Lonnie Turner is making strides, Willie (McNeal) has to be a strength for us, Joel German has to stay healthy – all those guys. You’d like to play a handful of guys, but they’ve all got to improve and push each other and right now we’re trying to give them all good looks and get ‘em ready to go.”
Defense: “I think our guys have worked hard. Right now we may not have the playmakers we had last year. I think we have some depth at those positions, we do have some guys that are dinged up right now, but we’re trying to develop depth, trying to develop guys that play hard and smart and can overcome, maybe, their lack of experience just by knowing the defense since they’ve been in it before, playing fast and doing things very well.”
Defending the option: “Yeah, that’s important for us. Those two games against Army and Navy that we were able to win, really, was the difference between 6-6 and 8-4. You’ve gotta practice stopping that attack, otherwise it’s gonna score a lot of points.
“We did a great job last year against Navy on defense, really held them to their lowest point total all year, did a tremendous job. And against Army did a tremendous job. So those are things we are working on. We spend every part of practice defending that and I think we have a good plan for it.”
Team ahead at this point this year? “I think so. I think they’re familiar with both schemes on both sides of the ball. There’s a few changes here and there, but basically the same terminology is being used and our guys feel comfortable with it.
“We got some key guys on offense that have experience. We gotta get ‘em better and keep ‘em healthy. Then we’ve gotta get the young guys ready, like I said, and develop some depth at positions where we can’t just be one-dimensional.
“We have to be able to run the ball with more than one running back, we have to be able to throw the ball to more than one or two guys. That’s what we’re trying to do.”
Spring surprises: “Not really today. I think we need to develop depth at receiver, I think some guys stood up there. At the tight end position, I probably didn’t get them the ball enough, I think they have to be a strength for us because we have some athletes at that position and some experience.
“At running back it’s about developing depth. Leon (Allen) has to be ready to go, he’s our No. 1 guy, but the other guys have to all play a part. They all have some special things they can do with the ball and we have to see how much depth we’re gonna have there.”