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March 24, 2013
The phrase that fans kept repeating who were in attendance at the 2013 USF Spring Practice was, 'this is nothing like last year'.
Fans were excited to see the intensity in practice, which, indeed, was missing last year. This year's practice, Coach Taggart invited former USF players to this year's spring practice to meet the new coaching staff, and to visit the new facilities.
Before practice began, Head coach Willie Taggart did say a few things. When asked about who is impressing, "everybody is impressing right now." Taggart also stated that everyone is doing a good job, and they are having fun at what they are doing.
During the first stretching drills, DE Julius Forte was immediately the one that stood out to get everybody pumped up for practice.
The very first drill that started practice was a certain blocking drill in which three different sets of blocks were going on downfield in a 15 yard span. Running backs had to then cut in between each one, and avoid getting tackled. This really set the mood for what the players were in line for.
The defensive line drills were among the most intense out of the practice. Defensive line coach Eric Mathies had the players going and playing hard.
Taggart mainly worked with the offense throughout practice, and more specifically, with the quarterbacks.
They practiced mainly four receiver sets. He didn't spend much time with the defense. Defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan mainly worked with the defensive line with shifts, and looking to pat balls at the line of scrimmage.
11 on 11
During 11-on-11 drills, Taggart was mainly in the middle of the offensive huddle. During the drills, the defense overshadowed the offense, not letting up too many big plays. The defense did a nice job reading plays, as they were happening, reacting quickly. Forte did show he is getting quicker and getting to the quarterback faster.
The main focus of the 11-on-11 drills though was running plays. Running backs Marcus Shaw and Michael Pierre received most of the snaps, with Willie Davis getting some as well. Quarterbacks Bobby Eveld and Matt Floyd took the majority of the snaps.
Shaw showed he is improving cutting between tacklers. He had two 20-yard runs. Pierre showed he could break tackles. Pierre did not go down after first hit a lot of times. Davis was the last running back to get reps, and he did break some tackles as well, and also showed great downfield running. All three running backs look to be more power runners, which should fit perfectly on what Coach Taggart wants to implement.
WR D'Vario Montgomery did turn a 10-yard catch into a 70-yard touchdown. Montgomery did get open a lot during passing plays during 11-on-11 drills, showing great signs of route running.
The last drill that ended practice was field goals, in which one was blocked, and then returned for a touchdown. The field goal units were only practicing from 10-20 yards.