Guthrie defense: name on chest not going to be good enough
The ghosts of defensive dominance of the Guthrie BlueJays may have spooked the 2012 football squad Thursday evening in the first scrimmage of the season, but defensive coordinator Kelly Beeby quickly jumped in and scared those ghosts away.
Guthrie has the same intentions - year in and year out - of a deep playoff run, and if that’s going to happen it will come down to the 2012 players and not the 2002, 2007 or 2011 teams.
Bishop Kelley came out with some success running the ball, including a 30-yard touchdown run on the sixth play from scrimmage as the Comets seem to being playing with a mission against the defending state champs.
Beeby quickly challenged his team, who graduate four players from a year ago, during and after the scrimmage.
“Just because you have Guthrie across your chest does not mean all those players that have made all those plays and won all those ball games are standing out here,” Beeby told his players. ”You have to be the ones now to win those individual battles and take care of your assignment – that makes the whole thing fit together.”
The coaches instructions seemed to soak in on the final nine plays against the Douglass offense as some of those Guthrie dominating defenses appeared to come through the 2012 team.
The defensive wizard, Beeby, credited the improve play to intensity level and want too.
“On film review and practice reps they will get better, but you don’t have to be a superstar or a veteran to play hard and play fast. Fast and physical we preach it and we mean it and these guys have to understand it. I think this was a great learning opportunity for us tonight and an eye-opener.”
The defensive line returns four of the five positions back, including senior’s Richard Brothers and Vincent Norris and junior’s Trevor Blassingame and Conner Howard. Sophomore L’liott Curry will benefit the line with depth.
Junior’s Blake Finley and Brent Berryhill each took snaps at defensive tackle in the 24-play defensive scrimmage. Beeby was quick to mention he was pleased by the play of Berryhill, who got off the football well and cause two-to-three bad exchanges.
“We have won and lost most of all our ball games by how our defensive line plays. That is a veteran group for us, four of the five return. As they go, we will go defensively,” Beeby explained.
The BlueJays must replace both linebacker positions. Junior’s Blaze Hastings and Andrew Toney shared snaps. Sophomore Beau Davis, younger brother of Luke Davis, appears to have a lockdown on one of the open spots and made a couple of nice, open field tackles.
Senior J.T. McFadden and junior’s Donovan Jordan, Zonte Veasley and Kai Callins make up a speedy secondary. Jordan did not suit up for the scrimmage.
Callins displayed several nice plays in the scrimmage, including a tip interception and knocked down a pass over a talented wide-out from Bishop Kelley.
Veasley came on late in the season and was instrumental in the state semi-finals and championship games in a pass happy offenses in McAlester and Lawton MacArthur.
Defensive coaches were not happy with tackling in the scrimmage, but said that is typically in a first scrimmage with an inexperience ball club against two good offenses.
“That is why we came out here for tonight is to get an evaluation of where we are at also for these kids to see where they are at versus solid, good competition and I think we accomplish those things,” Beeby concluded with.