Georgia State coach Bill Curry was not pleased with his team’s first full-pads practice of the spring on Monday.
“I thought we were picking up things well the first few days, but we put the pads on today and we regressed a little bit,” Curry said. “I guess that’s to be expected to some extent, once the bullets start flying, and I expect us to be much sharper tomorrow.”
Curry said the team dropped too many passes, had too many instances where players weren’t paying attention, and missed too many tackles, to highlight the list of issues.
The Panthers are installing a new 4-2-5 defense with a new coordinator and working to improve the pace of the offense this spring as they prepare to play their first season in the Colonial Athletic Association.
“We have to push every period, every day to get consistent,” he said. “Spring practice is all about fundamentals.”
Curry said there will likely be some position changes after he watches film of Monday’s practice. He declined to say what they could be.
Curry wants a faster offense because he said that is what’s working well in college football today.
Quarterback Kelton Hill said he loves what they are doing, but the team needs to continue to pick up the tempo, which means they need to get into shape. He said he’s about an 8 out of 10 on conditioning, and wants to improve his strength and endurance.
Hill, Bo Schlechter and Ben McLane shared snaps on Monday.
“I’m anxious for one of the guys to take hold of the mantle and be the leader, be the man who executes the offense, complete 70 percent of the passes because that’s what people do in games, get all the checks because that’s what successful teams,” Curry said. “We are operating much faster than we ever have before. It will be a tremendous advantage for us.”
New defensive coordinator Anthony Midget wasn’t pleased with what he saw from the defense, either.
“We took a step backward today,” he said. “The key is how we respond.” The Panthers will practice again on Tuesday.
There were some good things. Midget said he liked how the players were flying to the ball, but he wants to see more consistency.
“We only have 15 practices so we have to make them count every day,” he said.
Cornerback Demarius Matthews and inside linebacker Robert Ferguson have caught Midget’s attention. Ferguson was moved from outside linebacker to the inside linebacker in the 4-2-5 scheme and Midget said they are giving him more responsibilities.
With Midget’s promotion from special teams coordinator, Jason French was promoted to that position. He will continue to coach the inside linebackers.
The Panthers’ special teams had numerous issues in all phases last season.
“Last year was disappointing,” he said. “We can get better.”
French said they are going to work on improving their fundamentals during the spring. He said they are still evaluating the personnel. Until that evaluation is complete, he said there won’t be any changes to the key personnel.
– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu