Nearing the halfway point of spring football practice, Northwestern State stages the first fullscale scrimmage this month Saturday morning at 10 in Turpin Stadium.
The Demons will scrimmage throughout the seventh of 15 spring sessions, with another scrimmage planned next Saturday before the 30th Annual Joe Delaney Bowl Saturday afternoon, March 30, caps the slate.
Second-year coach Brad Laird expects to run about 80 snaps in live competition with tackling.
“It’s a good opportunity to evaluate in all three phases,” he said. “We’ve had one live situation in our first six practices, so this will be a big one. Live reps are so important. We’ll see situations that they haven’t faced in live competition to this point in spring practice.”
While the series will begin in different locations on the field, they will follow a normal game flow, he said.
“We want our guys to get into how the game will unfold. We’ll start at different segments on the field, but each segment will be a move the ball situation. Each group will get a limited number of snaps, and if it’s time for them to come off, the next group will come out and carry on the series.
“We want to make it as similar to a game as we can. It’s a lot easier for us to evaluate in that way,” said Laird.
Segments will start near the goalline and in the middle of the field, with various scenarios to replicate game situations.
The first six workouts since March 7 have pleased Laird and his coaching staff.
“It’s been good. The first day in pads could’ve been better,” he said, “but overall, I’m really proud of the attitude. They approach each day to get better. We talk about being better today than you were yesterday, and we’ve done that individually and we’ve also done that as a team.”
When the scrimmage wraps up, capping the first of three weeks of four practices, Laird and the coaches will hurry upstairs to their offices in the George Doherty Wing of the fieldhouse to immediately review tape of the workout.
“Can’t wait to get in there and watch our guys compete,” said Laird. “We’re going to make mistakes, and that will start at the top with me and go on through everyone involved. But we want to see players compete and show great effort, and get better from start to finish.”