Aug. 9, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - One day after holding their first two-a-day practice of preseason camp, the Tulane University football team headed back to the New Orleans Saints Indoor Facility for their eighth practice Friday morning.
The Greenies wore only helmets and shoulder pads on Friday, following a day in which they held a scripted, live scrimmage during the first practice of the day.
"I thought the offensive line played really well today," said Tulane head football coach Curtis Johnson. "I thought they got after the defensive line really well today. I thought the receivers caught the ball the best I've seen in fall camp. We had some spectacular catches today from Xavier Rush and Ryan Grant. Sydie (London) and Rob Kelley were both back today (after minor injuries), and they both played well. Overall, I thought the offense did well."
The indoor session started with the special teams going through a walk through, while the quarterbacks and offensive lines worked on the quarterback-center exchange. After stretching, the student-athletes worked with their individual coaches before the team split to work on running plays on the north side of the facility, while the opposite red zone housed a group of players working on passing routes.
Before their first break of the morning, the wide receiver corps worked in one-on-one situations while the rest of the team squared off in 7-on-7 packages. Once the squad ended their break, the coaching staff got a first-hand look at the punt and punt return teams. A variety of receivers, defensive backs and running backs took turns on returning the punts from five different punters.
The entire team took part in running red zone plays in the middle of the practice with the coaching staff mixing the play calling and personnel throughout the session. The 15-play period was highlighted by an outstanding catch by redshirt freshman wide receiver Devon Breaux on a ball thrown by fellow redshirt freshman quarterback Devin Powell just over the outstretched hands of a Greenie defensive back in the corner of the end zone.
Both the offensive and defensive lines met for some one-on-one practice while the skill players worked more on routes. After another quick break, the special teams took the field again, this time focusing solely on PATs. Once that session ended, the team took part in some more 7-on-7 situations before calling it a day.
After a short break upon returning to campus, the team convened for meetings Friday afternoon. On Saturday, the team will return to the New Orleans Saints Indoor Facility for a closed practice in the afternoon in which the team will scrimmage for the second time in three days. The team was originally scheduled for a two-a-day on Saturday, but potential inclement weather has pushed the team indoors.
Tulane will kick off the 2013 on Thursday, Aug. 29, when the Green Wave play host to Jackson State at 7 p.m. in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. For ticket information, contact the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office at (504) 861-WAVE (9283). Season ticket packages start as low as $100 for adults and $70 for youth.
The Tulane Ticket Office is located on the first floor of the James W. Wilson, Jr. Center and is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For additional information, log onto the official website at www.TulaneGreenWave.com.
QUOTES FOLLOWING EIGHT PRACTICE OF TULANE PRESEASON FOOTBALL PRACTICE
Head Coach Curtis Johnson
On the overall feel of the practice ...
"I thought the offensive line played really well today. I thought they got after the defensive line really well today. I thought the receivers caught the ball the best I've seen in fall camp. We had some spectacular catches today from Xavier Rush and Ryan Grant. Sydie (London) and Rob Kelley were both back today (after minor injuries), and they both played well. Overall, I thought the offense did well."
On if anyone has stood out during the first week of camp...
"I think the quarterbacks have been impressive. All four of them (have played well). The secondary is doing well, also. (Lorenzo) Doss, (Darion) Monroe, (Jordan) Batiste, (Parry) Nickerson and (Richard) Allen have all been playing well. We've got some young kids that are coming along."
Senior Center Zach Morgan
On the first week of fall camp...
"It's going great. Everybody is flying around and studying their playbooks. There is a lot of competition, which is great, because everyone is getting better with the competition. The first week has been great. We have a lot of things to improve on. We aren't where we need to be, but we will get there."
On coming back after missing last season...
"I am 100% healthy. It's great to be back. It's great to see all the familiar faces, as well as the new faces on the offensive line. It's great to have that brotherhood. We are all taking those extra steps to get where we need to be. We are all working hard as an O-line as a whole, and we are trying to take the mantra that we will be big, physical and nasty all year long."
On the offense...
"The offense is phenomenal. You have to give credit to the great wideouts and the running backs and the tight ends. As a whole, there are a lot of good looking guys, fast and physical guys who are very determined to get the job done. I am very pleased to see where we are going, but we are still nowhere where we need to be."
Senior Cornerback Derrick Strozier
On the first week of fall camp...
"Things are going pretty smooth, both offensively and defensively. Everybody is just working and competing out here."
On playing both defense and special teams...
"I've been playing both sides of the ball all of my life. I have the freedom to just make a couple of more plays. For the most part, I'm just trying to do whatever I can on special teams. Whether it's coming off the edge, or returning, I'm there."
On special teams ...
"We try to put an emphasis on special teams. We have a lot of starters that play on special teams. That's where it really shows if you want to play out there. Everybody who is playing on special teams is playing because they want to be there, not because someone put them there."