After weekend scrimmage, Troy holds competitive Tuesday practice

Published 11:52 am Tuesday, April 16, 2024

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Coming out of Saturday’s scrimmage, the Troy football team came out and competed just as hard – and competitively – on Tuesday, April 16.

Any time a football team holds a scrimmage, there is concern over a letdown in the next practice. Gerad Parker and his coaching staff made sure that wouldn’t happen on Tuesday.

“We had a very spirited team meeting to help promote that not to be the case,” Parker emphasized. “I tell you what, Troy Football did just that. They went after it well and competed with each other and got after each other. We designed the practice to help with that and they got after each other in a really cool red zone scrimmage type situation that we stayed ‘thud’ in.

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“It was good to see our guys attack practice and go out and compete coming out of a Saturday scrimmage and get some good things done.”

In the final 11-on-11 part of practice, both the offense and defense made highlight reel plays. Senior receiver Landon Parker made a leaping touchdown grab over a defensive back’s head and then junior linebacker Terry Thomas made an interception in the end zone to end practice.

Parker said that there was good and bad from both sides of the ball during Saturday’s scrimmage, as well.

“I think the best part of it for us was the offense took care of the football,” he said. “They honored the football and any time you don’t turn the ball over on offense you have a chance to play efficient football.

“On defense, there were some ebbs and flows. We were really good on third downs and really good in the red zone forcing field goals, but we just gave up too many explosive plays on early downs.”

The Troy coaching staff offers incentives to foster that “honoring the football” mentality that Parker emphasizes.

“That’s called incentive based learning, my teaching background would say,” Parker said with a smile. “All turnovers (on defense) get a ride on the cart (to the locker room) and a PowerAde. We let them ride in and cruise in good because turnovers are good for the defense. When we’ve had really good ball security on offense, we’ve also found ways to give the offense incentives, too. We have fun with it.”

The Troy offense is having to play with just two quarterbacks this spring, something that Parker said he’s never had to deal with but is something the Trojans have no choice in either.

“I’ve never had to deal with anything like it but I always remember asking my dad, when he broke his jaw in a car wreck, how did he eat through a straw,” Parker remembered. “He said, ‘Son, when you don’t have a choice it’s what you have to do.’ It really hasn’t been that difficult (to play with two quarterbacks) because we don’t have a choice in the matter.

“We have two and we’re playing with them. They haven’t moved, faltered, waivered or complained at all. We just play because we don’t have a choice. We’re operating and being smart when we need to be smart with them and we’re doing a good job with arm maintenance through our weight room.”

Parker has also seen good things from both quarterbacks, Goose Crowder and Tucker Kilcrease.

“I’ve seen two guys that have grown in an offense that they’re learning,” said Parker. “That’s to be expected. Goose has certainly taken a huge step over the last four practices, when has been good to see. Tucker has made some strides in his footwork.

“He has some deficiencies we’re addressing with his footwork to keep him on time. So, every live rep- every real rep – he gets will help him do that.”

Troy is back on the practice field Thursday morning.