Spring Football Update (3/30/04)

Greg Jennings

Broncos Illustrated takes another look at the progress of the Bronco football team in the third Spring Update of 2004. Spring ball is really starting to show which players are making a move forward, and at quarterback the race for the starting job is still up for grabs.

Tuesday afternoon Greg Jennings put on a show inside the Seelye Center during practice. Catching passes one-handed, accelerating past all defenders and finding the end zone more that any other player Jennings showed why he was one of the top receivers in the MAC last season. Jennings also spent time working on shorter routes and catching quick passes on the slant.

Also shining on offense was the entire running back corps of Trovon Riley, Daniel Marks, and Nick Saad. All three broke open for long runs and showed a good ability to read the defense.

The quarterback race is still up for grabs as Blayne Baggett and Ryan Cubit each spent time with the first and second team offenses, while Robbie Haas and Alex Engram both spent equal time with the third team offense. All four quarterbacks played well and each had their own strengths and weaknesses show Tuesday.

An area of concern in 2003 for fans and coaches alike was the ability to get plays called and the ball snapped before the play clock ran out or a time out had to be called. During full contact drills Tuesday that very issue was one of the focuses for the offense.

The play clock was set at 38 seconds and started as soon as the previous play had ended which forced the offense to get plays called and executed quickly under the watchful eye of head coach Gary Darnell. The usually observing Darnell went hands on with the offense at times challenging them to make plays quickly and to be very mentally quick in their decisions.

Adam Anderson didn't get too many chances to practice his punting during drills, but when he did get his chance he took full advantage. Punting to James Ellison, Anderson sent the ball over 50 yards from scrimmage.

On defense Jack Gitler and Mike Giorgianni shined once again making several tackles each. Also making good plays were Darryl McFadden and Josh Behrens at linebacker. Paul Moersch and Greg Bryant also threw their weight around at the nose guard position.

To end practice Darnell had some fun with the team pitting running back Trovon Riley against linebacker Mike Giorgianni to see if Riley could make it past Giorgianni into the end zone. Riley made it twice earning the offense the right to watch while the defense did some extra workouts.

Following practice Broncos Illustrated caught up with Offensive Coordinator Brian Rock and Defensive Coordinator J.C. Harper. Look for both interviews to be published in the next few days.

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