Football Opens 2013 Spring Practice
March 21, 2013
Bronx, N.Y. -
Despite Mother Nature making it feel like it's still winter, the calendar on Wednesday read March 20th and that meant it was the first day of spring and time for the beginning of the 2013 Fordham University spring football practice season.
After an offseason in the weight room, the Rams took to Murphy Field on Wednesday as they attempt to build on the successes of 2012, a season in which Fordham finished with a 6-5 record, a five-win improvement from the 2011 season, tying the Rams for the second best turnaround in the NCAA FCS.
Unlike last year when a new coaching staff had to concentrate on installing different offensive and defensive systems, this year head coach Joe Moorhead and his staff are looking to take the next step in the team's development, striving to become more consistent in its execution as the 2013 Rams look to rise to the top of the Patriot League and battle for an NCAA at-large championship berth.
"I think Coach Perlak and his staff did an excellent job with our guys in the offseason program and winter conditioning," said Moorhead. "It's great to be back on the field and run around a little bit and look for chances to improve the team. We've got 15 chances this spring to improve and we look forward to using them."
Similar to last year, the pace was fast but controlled as the team moved from drill to drill with a sense of urgency, a key to practices under Moorhead. But unlike last year, the players seemed to make smoother transitions from period to period as they have a year of experience with Moorhead's structure.
"With it being year two, aside from guys changing position and the news guys here, there shouldn't be as many mental errors," said Moorhead. "We've talked about developing more consistency and a big thing we spoke about prior to practice was finishing and being able to close the deal."
The day featured the return of some players who missed part or most of the 2012 season due to injury, including quarterbacks Mike Nebrich, who was injured in the Cornell game last September which forced him out of action for the rest of the year, and Griffin Murphy, who sat out the entire 2012 season with an injury. Also back on the field was sophomore tight end Phazahn Odom, who was injured in the first scrimmage of 2012 camp and sat out the season.
Along with the return of the injured players, the Rams also welcomed a couple of transfers to the field, including wide receivers Tebucky Jones, Jr., who played at Connecticut, last year and Marcus Jones, a transfer from ASA in Brooklyn.
The practice ended with placekicker Michael Marando making three straight field goals, the last from over 40 yards. The kicking position will be a key for the Rams in 2013 as they graduate 2012 consensus All-American Patrick Murray, who showed up at the end of practice to work out as he looks to continue his career in the professional ranks.
The session on Wednesday was the first of 15 NCAA allowed spring practices. These 15 practices must be completed within a period of 34 consecutive calendar days with only 12 spring practices allowing physical contact, but none earlier than the third practice session. Tackling is allowed in eight of the twelve contact sessions and up to three of the eight tackling sessions may be devoted to 11-on-11 scrimmages. The 2013 Spring Game counts as one of the three scrimmage days.
The spring practice season will continue through Friday, April 26th, when the Rams hold their annual Spring Game on Jack Coffey Field at 7:00 PM.