Aug. 14, 2009
Practice Photo Gallery
LEWISBURG, Pa. - After four consecutive mid-afternoon practices, the Bucknell football team had an early wakeup call Friday morning as its morning workout session began at 8 a.m. inside Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium. The practice was also the first of two scheduled for Friday, marking the first of four two-a-days for the Bison during preseason camp.
Friday's second practice is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on the grass practice field outside the stadium.
"I'll be looking at how quickly these guys can bounce back," commented seventh-year Bison head coach Tim Landis near the conclusion of the two-and-one-half hour morning workout. "They should get plenty of rest since we don't hit the field until 7:30 tonight. The upperclassmen will probably handle it well, but it will be a test for the freshmen. It is training camp and they will be sore, but I have high expectations for tonight. We will shorten the time we are on the field, but we want to get quality work in."
The Bison accomplished quite a bit of skill work during Friday's cloud-covered morning session, just the second in full pads during the six preseason practices so far. Early in the workout, the offense and defense were working on skills in stations on opposite sides of the field. The defense was particularly upbeat, thanks to encouragement from defensive coordinator Andrew Cohen.
After the skill stations were complete, the team was called to the sideline and some running and tackling drills were performed in advance of the offense working on running formations against defense. At that time, the quarterbacks and receivers were performing passing drills on the south end of the field.
Option drills and controlled offense vs. defense scouts followed. To conclude practice, Landis had the offense run approximately 10 live plays against the defense in a 3rd-and-3 situation. Among the highlights of the segment was an interception of a Marcello Trigg pass by Rob Gerlach that elicited cheers from much of the blue-shirted defense.
Practice concluded with a grueling 15-minute conditioning segment where the players went around to different stations that included sit-ups, push-ups and other calisthenics and footwork drills.
"We are at the point where they are feeling the effects of camp, but I am pleased with their effort," said Landis. "We can get better (with our effort) and we are going to, but if we want to be in the race in October and into November, we need to be in great shape and to be a tough football team."
One item Landis has been especially impressed with six practices into the 2009 season has been leadership, especially from the upperclassmen.
"It's apparent that we have a number of veterans because we are practicing better, more efficiently and crisper than in the past," mentioned Landis, who has 19 seniors among the nearly 90 players on the roster. "The senior class is doing a great job leading. They really want to win. The junior class is a mature group as well and they recognize leadership is very important."
Bucknell's weekend practice schedule includes a 3 p.m. practice on Saturday and two sessions on Sunday at 8 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Notes: The Sept. 5 season opener at Duquesne is 22 days away ... temperatures during Friday's session were comfortable and in the 70s ... the temperature is expected to reach 85 in the afternoon, but should cool to below 80 by evening ... Hesham Abdelaal, Isaih Bell and Kyle Hoppy were on the preseason roster, but are no longer with the team ... Bucknell's Sept. 12 home opener against Robert Morris marks the latest home opener for the Bison since 2004 ... team photo and headshot day is scheduled for Aug. 19.