Defense Steps Up on Day Two of WMU Football Camp
KALAMAZOO, Mich.- Win! A simple three letter, one syllable word that is being drilled into the minds of the WMU football players. That was the feel on day two of WMU's Fall Camp as the individual and team drills continued with more intensity and focus.
Coaches from each position were consistently making sure that their players knew they needed to win their battle. As the practice went on you felt the intensity pick up as both sides of the ball wanted to gain the bragging rights for the day.
"Everybody was very good, very hyped, excited and ready to go today," said senior defensive end Freddie Bishop.
The defense was the key to today's practice as they were swarming the receivers in the 7-on-7 drills and making the offense and quarterback Alex Carder look uncomfortable at times. However the defensive and offensive lines hooked up in a one-on-one drill where the offensive line picked up the winning feeling getting the best of the defensive line.
"It's a man drill," Bishop said. "The spotlight is on you and you got to show that you are more dominant."
Though the defensive line struggled in the drill, defensive line coach Lou Esposito preached the word "Win," over and over again. The d-line, fueled with their coaches burning passion, stepped up in the second part of the drill and showed their strength and quickness.
During 7-on-7 and team drills, the secondary worked on the young receiving corps, disrupting routes, glueing themselves to their man.
"We may have got in their heads," said sophomore safety Donald Celiscar. "But we're helping them get better."
One moment where the offense should its strength, literally, came during a team drill between the match up of Josh Schaffer and Garrett Smith. Carder had a good throw on the seam route. Smith had tight man coverage and got his hand on the ball but Schaffer took it and kept it away for the reception, winning that battle for the 50-50 ball.
The goals of the defense are not only to stop Carder and his potential potent offense, but to make sure that the rest of the MAC will not be able to drive the ball down the field on them as well.
"We want to be the best defense in the MAC," Celiscar said. "We want to be the best defensive back corps in the MAC, especially after last year."
The defensive secondary had a very successful day at practice, not giving up big plays in 7-on-7 and team drills and really tempered the potent arm of Carder. Celiscar had a highlight play moments into the 7-on-7 when he shut the receiver down and intercepted a pass from Carder, which ignited the entire defensive unit.
"We're all working hard, and watching film, doing everything together to get better," Celiscar said.
As for day two, the story was the defensive side of the ball and the playmaking abilities that they can potentially bring to the table as a unit. Only one more day remains until the pads get strapped up and contact begins, much to the delight of the defensive players.
"I cant wait, I'm like a 12 on a 1-10 scale of how excited I am," said Bishop. "You find out what your team is about when the pads are on."
Additional WMU Football Camp Notes
- Michigan State transfer John Deyo commented on joining WMU after Monday's practice:
On getting back onto the field - "It feels great with the new team, new scenery. It feels good to strap up the cleats, get the helmet on, get on the field and get to work."
On opportunity to play a fifth season after graduating from MSU - "I'm overloaded with excitement. I spent four years at MSU, earned my degree and was a part of that team for four years, but due to the NCAA rule I am able to finish out my playing career and I feel very fortunate."
On building comeraderie with his new offensive linemates - "It's so important. The offensive line is a family within a family. I'm slowly getting to know the guys and trying to getting used them just like they are getting used to me."