Mark Hudspeth On Ragin’ Cajun Fall Practices [Video]
Head Ragin' Cajun Football Coach Mark Hudspeth met with the media to shed some light on a few position battles and give an update from Fall Practice.
Due to some injury issues, the Cajuns only ran a light scrimmage (only 70 plays), and they completely held off on the tackling. With a lot of second and third string players on the sideline, it's hard to ramp things up into high gear.
"You can't scrimmage unless you have two offensive lines to put out there," Hudspeth said.
Hud was very direct whenever speaking about the obvious negative effects on not getting to see as much live action with the pads on and chin straps tightened. He said he was concerned about the team's tackling at this point in time, but health comes first in situations like this.
"One loss could have been critical for the remainder of the season," Hudspeth said.
Speaking of health, Hud and his staff have made sure to take care of their offensive gem, Elijah McGuire. They've monitored his reps and kept him out of a lot of contact drills, to prevent any major catastrophes. In Hud's words, "Eli doesn't have to prove to us that he can play."
In terms of tightening nuts and bolts to have the ship ready to sail for week one against Kentucky, Coach Hudspeth shined the light on a few position battles. The quarterback shenanigans with Brooks Haack and Jalen Nixon continue, and the defensive lines and backfields are pretty much wide open.
Hudspeth named five different cornerbacks (Christian Goodlett, Jeryl Brazil, Jevante Watson, Savion Brown, Troy McCollum) that could possibly play opposite Simeon Thomas, who is the clear shutdown man on the outside. The defensive line is much more up in the air. As many as nine players could see time in the rotation, and Hudspeth admitted that there is no true filler for the loss of Justin Hamilton and Christian Ringo.
The linebacking situation appears to be more clear, as Hudspeth said he will play five linebackers. He named Dominique Tovell at weakside linebacker and Tre'Maine Lightfoot and Otha Peters in the middle, which leaves the other two spots conveniently open. Even light observations from camp indicate those two other men will be Darzil Washington and Kevin Fouquier. Nice try, coach.
Overall, Hud feels like the communication is getting better on both sides of the ball. There were major issues at the start of camp, but they've taken measures to heighten the intensity and he feels like the squad has responded. He said communication isn't an issue anymore.
"We've piped in a lot of crowd noise," Hudspeth said. "I know Kentucky's fight song word for word."
To come full circle, Hudspeth gave another health update. When it comes to Jamal Robinson, Hud didn't like what he saw at first.
"He started off very slow," Hudspeth said. "I could tell he was a little uncertain about his health."
The uncertainty is starting to buff off as he shines up his game with more live reps, and Hud continued to say that his star receiver is almost completely back to form. A healthy Robinson is a nightmare for secondaries to plan for. Even double-teams aren't enough sometimes.
The most surprising quote of the day came when Hudspeth was asked about the construction of the new weight room, which he referred to as a "huge distraction." He went on to clarify that it's a good distraction; but nevertheless, spending a ton of time with contractors and men off the field isn't exactly Hud's idea of how he wants to spend the summer.