RUSTON — Louisiana Tech continued its playbook installation as it practiced for two hours during another hot afternoon on the Tech Practice Fields in Ruston Thursday.
The playbook installation – slated to occur over six days – continued as day four came and went with the second day in shells. Day five, set for tomorrow, will be the first in full pads with full tackling available.
“We now have about 90 percent of our installation in and we feel really good about it,” head coach Skip Holtz said after practice. “We only had about 15 days of spring. After we start breaking down, we will start emphasizing a little more and making sure we get everything evaluated like we need it to be. I am pleased with the way they are working, but we will find out how we develop as we fight through some of these tough days we are going to get into here in the next week.”
The importance of the slow playbook installation is mainly for a defense that is revamping itself under new defensive coordinator Kim Dameron.
“We are doing so many different things on defense that I know [Kim Dameron] wanted to install it at a much slower pace because of some of the confusion,” Holtz explained. “I thought it was really important we get it all in and they hear what we are going to call during the season during the first four days. Let’s put it all in and then we can come back and reteach it all.”
“Right now, we have a lot of time with them from meetings in the morning, walk-throughs in the morning, practices and meetings at night. We are getting probably two and a half, three hours a day for position meetings and that is a lot of time. So right now, we are doing multiple things, but I have been pleased especially with the way the guys that have been here are picking it all up.”
Dameron’s group is working towards installing a new scheme and improving on last year’s efforts that were hampered by injuries and prone to allowing big plays. Many of the new players on the field have already shown the athleticism to make big plays; it is just grasping the fundamentals and scheme concepts and putting them to work.
“I have seen some great things [defensively],” said Holtz. “Like I said, the versatility and what we have out there right now and the way some of those guys are playing – I think one of the groups I have been most pleased with the entire camp has been the linebackers just because there were so many new faces there at the linebacker position. I have been pleased.”
Friday’s practice in full pads – which begins at 3:45 p.m. – will be the final full practice of fall camp open to the public.