Louisiana Tech opens fall practice - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Louisiana Tech opens fall practice

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[Information provided by Louisiana Tech]

RUSTON, La. (Aug. 3, 2012) – Louisiana Tech hit the practice fields Friday for the first time this fall as the Bulldogs began preparations to defend its 2011 WAC Championship.

Tech practiced for almost two hours on the practice fields Friday in the first of 26 practices before the Bulldogs open the season against Texas A&M on Aug. 30 at Shreveport's Independence Stadium.

The team started strong in the first practice of camp and the team showed it is out to win another conference championship.

"Day one was good," said head coach Sonny Dykes. "I was pleased but we have got to keep getting better. Our intensity was there, but I thought we lost our focus towards the end and got a little tired. We probably need to get into a little better shape but I liked the look of our team, I think we're hungry.  I liked our attitude today, I thought we worked hard; we just have to keep grinding. It's the start and like I've told the guys it is not about how you start, it is about how you finish. We just need to keep improving and putting good practices together. I thought today overall was a good start."

Several different players had good moments in the first session on the field but the overall impression of the day was the depth the team now has at several spots, especially receiver.

"We had a lot of guys who looked pretty good today," Dykes said. "We have some depth, some guys made some plays. We've got to get some guys who have been in the program for a while; they've got to make more competitive plays than they did tonight. I was a little disappointed with a couple of guys, in just their ability to make plays when they had tight coverage. They've got to be able to start making those plays. But overall I was pleased with our group."

The running backs showed their speed but time will tell how the two new backs, including Arkansas product Kenneth Dixon, will adjust to the collegiate game.

"I thought Kenneth [Dixon] did well, but it's hard to tell with running backs [with no pads on]," explained Dykes. "The offensive and defensive line and the running backs are kind of that way.  Receivers and defensive backs can come out here in their underwear and run around and catch balls and look fine. For the running backs we will know when they put the pads on, when he's getting popped and see how he can pick up the blitz. All that stuff the running backs have to do. As far as running around catching the ball and looking good, I thought he looked fine."

The addition of several quarterbacks to the roster gives the Bulldogs some much needed depth to lead its offense.

"We definitely have some depth," said Dykes. "We knew we needed to add some depth and get some of that fixed. That has been an issue around here and going into our third year we don't have an excuse not to get it fixed. Luckily we've got some guys that we feel good about and there is going to be great competition for the second, third spot and first spot and that's exciting because those guys are making sure we're better."

Most of the quarterbacks in the red jerseys got off to a good start as the coaching staff got its first real look at the signal callers.

"Colby [Cameron] picked up where he left off," Dykes said. "As you can see Zach [Griffith] improved over the summer and continued to improve from where he was in the spring. We got a chance to see a little bit of Scotty Young today which was nice and he can obviously can throw the ball. Andy McAlindon did some good things as well. I was really pleased with Ryan Higgins - kind of pleasantly surprised honestly - for a young guy he's got a little pop in his arm and really I liked his attitude and his mentality. I think he's got some toughness, something to him, so that was an impressive first start for a young quarterback."

Louisiana Tech returns to the practice fields on Saturday, Aug. 4 for the team's second practice of fall camp. The Bulldogs will practice at 6 p.m. in helmets.

For complete coverage of Bulldog Football, please follow @LATechFB on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.

QUOTES

 

Head coach Sonny Dykes

 

"Day one was good. I was pleased but we have got to keep getting better. Our intensity was there, but I thought we lost our focus towards the end and got a little tired. We probably need to get into a little better shape but I liked the look of our team, I think we're hungry.  I liked our attitude today, I thought we worked hard; we just have to keep grinding. It's the start and like I've told the guys it is not about how you start, it is about how you finish. We just need to keep improving and putting good practices together. I thought today overall was a good start."

 

On the quarterbacks:

"Colby [Cameron] picked up where he left off. As you can see Zach [Griffith] improved over the summer and continued to improve from where he was in the spring. We got a chance to see a little bit of Scotty Young today which was nice and he can obviously can throw the ball. Andy McAlindon did some good things as well. I was really pleased with Ryan Higgins - kind of pleasantly surprised honestly - for a young guy he's got a little pop in his arm and really I liked his attitude and his mentality. I think he's got some toughness, something to him, so that was an impressive first start for a young quarterback."

 

Quarterback Depth:

"We definitely have some depth. We knew we needed to add some depth and get some of that fixed. That has been an issue around here and going into our third year we don't have an excuse not to get it fixed. Luckily we've got some guys that we feel good about and there is going to be great competition for the second, third spot and first spot and that's exciting because those guys are making sure we're better."

 

On receivers who stood out:

"I thought John [Greenwalt] did some good things today, it was good to see him out there. He had a really good spring game so I was anxious to see how he was going to bounce back and respond so I was pleased with him. I thought R.P. Stuart did some good things today; he obviously hasn't played for a while. I liked some of the things he did. Richie Casey I thought looked good and has improved."

 

"We had a lot of guys who looked pretty good today, so that was good. We have some depth, some guys made some plays. We've got to get some guys who have been in the program for a while; they've got to make more competitive plays than they did tonight. I was a little disappointed with a couple of guys, in just their ability to make plays when they had tight coverage. They've got to be able to start making those plays. But overall I was pleased with our group."

 

"I think Jaydrick DeClouette is going to be a good player for us. I think he has a chance to maybe play a little bit, we will see how it plays out. He has some skills, a good ball sense and a good route runner and can make some plays on the ball. Overall I was pleased with the receiver group."

 

On freshman running back Kenneth Dixon:

"I thought Kenneth [Dixon] did well, but it's hard to tell with running backs [with no pads on]. The offensive and defensive line and the running backs are kind of that way.  Receivers and defensive backs can come out here in their underwear and run around and catch balls and look fine. For the running backs we will know when they put the pads on, when he's getting popped and see how he can pick up the blitz. All that stuff the running backs have to do. As far as running around catching the ball and looking good, I thought he looked fine."

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