JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Red Wolves opened a new week of fall practice on Monday with the results of a scrimmage under their belt to spring board off of. That didn't necessarily mean the team changed their practice routine.
"It was all set in stone," said Head Coach Blake Anderson when asked if the practice plan changed after what they saw in the weekend's simulated game, "We were going to do what we were going to do today regardless because we have stuff we've got to work on."
Keeping the plan in tact didn't mean the Red Wolves were moving on from what happened over the weekend. Anderson was not pleased with several things he saw. "I challenged them. I didn't think their energy level was where it needed to be Saturday," he said, ". After watching film it was confirmed that our effort level and energy level wasn't high enough."
On Sunday, Arkansas State didn't have an on the field practice but used it as a recovery day for their bodies. A-State still used the day to get better. "They got some hard coaching yesterday," said Anderson, "They responded, we had a very good practice today." In fact, the coach felt that Monday's workout was above average. "Today was one of our best practices," Anderson added.
As a result of what they witnessed during Saturday's inter-squad game, some players were switched around the pecking order. "We moved some guys around," Anderson told the media after Monday's practice, "They got bumped down from first huddle to second huddle just to see how they would respond." Anderson said he felt the results of putting pressure down were positive. "They all responded the right way and fought today," he said.
Saturday's scrimmage wasn't all bad. Some players stood out in a positive way. "You know a guy who really stood out was Justin Clifton," Anderson said, "He moved up to the first huddle at nickel in front of (Charleston) Girley." Girley had been an early favorite for the nickel spot on defense but Clifton made several plays during Monday's practice. "Girley's got some work to do," said Anderson.
The nickel position may not be cut and dry. Money Hunter is also a factor at that slot but Anderson said he was limited with an injury he sustained during the scrimmage.
Anderson also added the Chris Murray was another player that stood out. "He's going to be more utilized," said Anderson, "I don't know if he's going to necessarily go to the first huddle but he's going to be more utilized."
According to the coach, there are some competitions playing out on the lines of the offense and the defense for A-State. "(Jake) Swalley and (Robert) Mondie, those guys are fighting," said Anderson, "There's a couple of things going on with the offensive line with Daniel Keith and Steven Stevens."
The competitions are a far cry from what the Red Wolves had at times last season, forcing true freshman to play and not having nearly enough depth. "It's all helping us," Anderson said after Monday's workout, "Guys are battling which always helps when you compete every day."
The Red Wolves will workout on Tuesday, have a recovery day on Wednesday, before resuming on the field workouts Thursday through Saturday with a fan appreciation scrimmage taking place this weekend.