By Jason Pugh, Northwestern State Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations
NATCHITOCHES – As the Northwestern State football team prepares for Saturday’s first full-scale scrimmage of the spring, one word is on coach Brad Laird’s mind.
“Consistency,” Laird said. “You want to see the consistency. We talked about it (Thursday), as we continue to install and move forward throughout the spring, we ought to see us get better each day. We don’t want to see the same mistakes in Scrimmage 1 that we saw in Practice 2. That’s what we’ll look at.”
Laird’s Demons will go through about 80 plays – some in situational work, others in more of a typical game flow – starting at 10 a.m. inside Turpin Stadium. Fans are encouraged to attend
The scrimmage comes a week ahead of the April 9 Joe Delaney Bowl spring game, which caps spring practice.
Saturday’s scrimmage folds in referees for the first time this spring, giving the Demons more of a true gameday feel as does the format, which features live tackling throughout the duration.
“We did a little live tackling (Thursday) in full pads,” Laird said. “The whole scrimmage will be live with officials, which it’s always good to have those guys out here. It’s one thing to thud and stay up, and our guys have done a great job with that, but it’s another thing to do live tackling on both sides. Yes, the defense tackles, but the offense has the ability to break tackles and extend plays. I look forward to seeing the difference in a thud practice and what we see in a live scrimmage.”
The Demons returned to practice Tuesday after Spring Break ended, continuing to adjust to the schemes of first-year coordinators Cody Crill (offense) and Weston Glaser (defense).
“As we’ve divided up with five practices before Spring Break and coming back, we’ve had two good days of practice (this week),” Laird said. “One was in full pads and we were able to tackle a bit. Our guys have shown a lot of consistency day in and day out. The execution hasn’t always been consistent, but you expect that in spring, especially when you look at how different things are schematically. I appreciate the commitment of our guys showing up and being dedicated to getting better every day.”
Aside from seeing consistent effort and execution, there is one additional target for the Demons on Saturday.
“It’s spring, so you want to stay healthy,” Laird said. “We’ve had guys through eight practices who have shown us what they’re capable of doing. The installs are in, and there’s still a lot of thinking, but you want to see consistency on both sides of the ball.”
— Featured photo by Chris Reich, NSU Photographic Services