Grambling State head football coach Broderick Fobbs put his team to the test Saturday morning as the Tigers held a limited-contact intrasquad scrimmage played in high temperatures at the GSU practice field.
And for the most part, Fobbs was pleased with what he saw even though the heat took its toll as the practice went deeper and deeper.
“Fatigue will make men out of all of us,” Fobbs said. “I thought we did a really good job initially, but you could tell it was the first scrimmage because guys started getting a little winded, a little tired.”
One difference in this scrimmage as compared to past years was the lack of big hitting that could result in injuries.
“We didn’t want to take each other to the ground,” Fobbs said. “ We’re trying to protect each other. But we still have to make some work happen, so I thought we did a really good job of staying off the ground overall. There were times we did go to the ground but that’s to be expected when you’re trying to play as hard as you possibly can.
The scrimmage gave some younger Tigers a chance to showcase their skills and bid for playing time in the upcoming season.
Scatback Darqueze Bruton danced through the GSU defense a few times, using his stop-and-go, quick-cutting ability to jitterbug his way for significant yardage more than once.
Wide receiver Jeff Perry used his 6-5 frame to go up and snag a couple of long scoring strikes and showed he might deserve the opportunity to have a few balls thrown his way this fall.
“Toward the end I thought we tailed off,” Fobbs said of the scrimmage. “We’ve got to do a better job of getting lined up, getting the play in and running the play. They got tired, but that’s to be expected. It was a good first scrimmage. We have a lot to work on, which is good. We got a lot of film, which is good. We’ll be fine once we get to September.”
All in all, Fobbs said he’s pleased with the progress made so far through preseason workouts while adding there’s still much work to be done ahead.
“I think we’re showing some really good spurts,” Fobbs said. “There is at times a little lack of focus we need to work on. But that’s going to happen. It’s a new (offensive) system with new guys. It’s part of the growing process. But we’re further along at this point than we’ve been in the past. We feel really good about us. We just have to continue getting some guys back healthy. We’ll get a lot of guys back on Monday and be ready to go.”
Fobbs has also reminded his team about how costly penalties at key times can be for a team and a game’s final outcome.
“Those are the little things that can cost you a game,’ Fobbs said about penalties. “Any time you’re in the early part of camp there’s going to be some miscues and jumping offsides and things of that nature. But we’ve gotten a lot better at it than we’ve been in the past. Focusing on that helps us on both sides of the ball.
“The defense has done a good job of seeing the ball and waiting to go until the ball quivers. Offensively we’ve done a much better job of staying on course and waiting for the snap count. But I wanted them to see that the reason we lost today offensively is because of us not executing and jumping early. We’ve got to stay on course, because we made enough plays to win today versus the defense, but the penalties matter. And you’ve got to make sure you focus on that. … We’ll get better.”