Valdosta Daily Times

August 22, 2013

Blazers prepare for second scrimmage

Samuel D. Logan
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — With the offensive woes from their first scrimmage behind them, the Valdosta State Blazers seem prepared for their second intra-squad scrimmage. The scrimmage will be held 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, at the team's practice facilities.

Last week, the defense shined in the scrimmage, constantly seeming to fluster quarterback Cayden Cochran.

“I didn’t play well at all. I made a lot of mental mistakes and have to improve. I was proud of what the other quarterbacks were able to do though,” said Cochran.

Going into the scrimmage, Blazers Head Football Coach David Dean expressed a few concerns that he and the team have spent the past week working to improve.

The chief concern is not forcing injuries. A few players for the Blazers are a little dinged up but no serious injuries have been reported thus far.

“We have a few guys nicked up. Obviously, we don’t want anyone injured coming out of the scrimmage,” said Dean.

Another concern is stopping mental mistakes. The team had a couple of mistakes in last week's scrimmage, including a couple of fumbles that could have cost the Blazers the game, if it were a real one.

“We have to eliminate mental mistakes. We need to correct those and get those out of our system. The team gives great effort, but the mistakes could cost us in the regular season,” said Dean.

What seemed to be a major concern coming into camp this year was the offensive line.

The team lost all five starters on the o-line last year to graduation. This season, the o-line has made big steps to improve since the start of camp.

“They're getting better every day. They are well critiqued and are a work in progress. They are getting better at pass protection and even open some holes on some big third downs,” said Dean.

Cochran mentioned the improvement of the offensive line. “The communication is working well with them."

The receivers are poised and ready for the scrimmage. The Blazers' top two threats at wideout are Seantavious Jones and Regginald Lewis, who have been very impressive in camp.

“I feel good about the receivers. The top guys are doing very well. One thing we can be more consistent with is catching the ball. We seem to make some spectacular catches, but we let some easy passes go,” the coach said.

Overall, the Blazers are looking forward to working on specific situations inside the scrimmage. Short yardage, goal line, and quick scoring scenarios will be used in the scrimmage to assess different areas of the offense and defense.