Redbird Spring Camp Report: Offense Starting To Click
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[April 15, 2014]
— The spring football practice session has truly been a learning
experience for the Illinois State offense, as new coordinator Kurt
Beathard and his staff have begun to install new several new concepts
and formations for the Redbirds. After a tough and busy day Tuesday, the
offense seemed to click a bit Thursday afternoon at Hancock Stadium.
"The offense had a lot on its plate Tuesday trying to install some
new schemes, and it showed with their performance," said head coach
Brock Spack. "We expected that a bit and were interested to see how
they would respond after watching the tape and making some
adjustments. I think they responded well and had some success in the
red zone and at the goal line. They still have a lot of time to work
before we kick off the season in September, but I like the direction
they are headed."
The regular practice script was reversed, with
the team session focusing on work in the red zone coming before the
regular 7-on-7 period. Practice began with punt return work, as
Lechein Neblett, Jon-Marc Anderson and Anthony Warrum took turns
fielding kicks from punter C.J. Laros. Individual position drills
followed, and then the red zone work began.
The first-team offense was successful on its first try from the
24-yard line. A 9-yard completion from Blake Winkler to Neblett was
followed by a sack by Teddy Corwin, which put the offense facing
third down at the 20-yard line. Winkler took the snap and completed
a strike to Scott Kuehn for the touchdown, and Nick Aussieker's
extra point was good.
On the next series, the offense needed three plays to get going
but picked up a first down on a 9-yard completion from Adam Pittser
to Anderson. The defense then forced a three-and-out, and Aussieker
came on to boot a 27-yard field goal. The third-team unit followed
and needed just five plays to score on a 10-yard touchdown pass from
Trevor Rea to Gage Beekman.
The ball then moved to the 17-yard line, and the defense forced a
field goal with three quick stops on the first series. Fortunately,
Sean Slattery's 29-yard field goal attempt missed wide right and the
defense came away unscathed. A 32-yard field goal by Aussieker
capped off the next set of plays, but his attempt on the sixth
series was blocked by defensive tackle Cody Cameron. Slattery then
redeemed himself on the seventh and final series with a 22-yard
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A quick goal line series followed, with a touchdown on the first
play from 5 yards out by Marshaun Coprich starting things off. On
the second series, running back James Graham carried three straight
times before eventually scoring from 1 yard out.
Practice concluded with 7-on-7 work, and the Redbird quarterbacks
were very efficient. Winkler finished the drill 13-of-15, including
five touchdown passes, with two to tight end James O'Shaughnessy and
one each to Neblett, Warrum and Michael Clements. Pittser finished
9-for-14 and threw a pair of touchdowns, one each to O'Shaughnessy
and Clements. Kuehn and Anderson each added a pair of catches as
well, and Graham led all players with five grabs out of the
The Redbirds returned to the field Saturday for their first
scrimmage of camp, which was closed to the public.
news release received from
Illinois State University]