THURSDAY, AUGUST 16, 2012
First Full-Pads Practice Cut Short Due to Weather
MELBOURNE, Fla. (Football) – Two hours into Florida Tech’s first full-pads practice Thursday afternoon at Panther Field, an incoming storm from the south sent the team into the locker room.
In their fifth practice, the Panthers focused on special teams, tackling, position drills and blitz pickup.
“I wish we would have squeezed the entire practice in, but it was good,” head coach Steve Englehart said. “They were flying around. They were excited to be in full pads for the first time. We’re trying to coach them hard, stay on top of them and hold them accountable, but have fun at the same time. The offense is continuing to get a little better every day and the defense is still making it tough on them. What I like about the defense is they fly around and have great energy when they play at all times. We’re going to be pretty physical as well.
“Overall, I thought practice went well. I’m excited to get back out tomorrow morning since we weren’t able to get the full practice in today.”
Thursday’s full-pads workout was a welcoming sign for the team’s returners, many of whom haven’t strapped on pads in quite a while.
“I was really excited to return to campus and start playing with a full team,” sophomore linebacker Rasheed Oliver said. “It’s really been two years since I put on knee pads, shoulder pads and strapped up. This was probably the first day I’ve put on the equipment since my senior year of high school.”
During what turned out to be the last drill before FIT was called off the field, Aneus Sangster earned a spot on the highlight reel. On the first play of blitz pickup, the freshman defensive back from Lauderhill, Fla. stepped in front of his wide receiver and tore the ball away to return it for a touchdown.
“That was a nice play,” Englehart said. “We’ve run the same exact play the past three days in blitz. [Aneus] has seen that play a couple times and made a great play on a screen. Not only did he score, he fought for the ball since it was still in the hands of him and the wide receiver.
“Those are always great plays. When we’re on the same team and our defense does that it’s a big sigh of relief. I think that’s something our defense can do in the future. As we start play in 2013, I think our defense will be a turnover type defense – maybe a bend, but don’t break defense that gets a lot of turnovers. I’m excited to see how we continue to progress.”
Five days into their fall workouts, Oliver has liked what he’s seen.
“[Camp] has been pretty good so far,” Oliver said. “We’ve had meetings and this was our first day in full pads. We’ve played with intensity on defense and have been a little ahead of the offense, but they’re getting there. The team chemistry is pretty good right now. We’re getting to know some of the newcomers and they’re getting to know us.”
The Panthers will return to Panther Field for two sessions Friday. They will then practice once Saturday and two times Sunday before beginning the 2012-13 school year Monday.
Practices are closed to the public due to the construction around and inside the nearby Varsity Training Center. However, practice updates will be posted to FloridaTechSports.com.