PHOTO: Arkansas State
After having a whole week to think about the spring game last week, I can safely say the Blake Anderson era (however long that may be) should be a fun and entertaining one. I noticed quite a few positives during the game and on the sidelines last week, and I think we’re in for a treat this year. The offense looked very fluid, the defense was outstanding, and more than anything else, I think the players and the coaches have developed a relationship in their short time together that might rival the one that Coach Hugh Freeze and his players had in his year here. If so, I think we have ourselves a recipe for success, Red Wolf fans.
The offense looked like they were very comfortable, and as I mentioned, very fluid. I was very impressed with how comfortable Fredi Knighten looked at the QB position, and how comfortable he looked throwing the ball. With that said, I would like for him to read through his progressions a little more quickly on some of those deep routes, and there were a couple of balls that floated up there a little bit too long, but it was his passes on short routes that impressed me, throwing with velocity, quickness (held the ball for just over 2 seconds before releasing on most routes), and accuracy.
How about the defensive side of the ball though? What a scary beast that will be once all of our players arrive for summer workouts. Rocky and Artez showed much improvement in this short time and our secondary could be as good as it has been in the past 5 years. I think its safe to say that a big part of this is Coach Trooper Taylor, and right along with that is the relationship that these coaches and players have already developed.
When is the last time you saw guys playing at a spring game look like they were having that much fun? To me, I think the youth and the personality of this coaching staff has rubbed off on our players, and that could translate to one of the most fun, exciting, and talented teams that we have ever seen at Arkansas State. You can tell that these players and coaches are on a level of understanding with each other and that they have truly bonded in this short time they’ve had together.
Obviously there will be some things that need to be figured out down the road before our first game of the season – who will the starting QB wind up being? As good as Fredi looked, there is a lot of time for Birse, Hogan, and the incoming James Tabary to step up and take charge. In addition, all the players that have yet to arrive on campus are sure to make some sort of impact on the offensive and defensive lineups. One thing is for sure, all the Red Wolf fans that showed up last Friday got a treat, and we found out first hand that this will be a fast, fun, and violent year for Arkansas State. #HowlYes