Bulls use ‘camp mentality’ during bye week
Published: Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 09:10
If the USF football team hopes to turn around a tough 2012 season, changes will have to be made. The Bulls used their bye week to do just that, but no definite changes have been made.
Coach Skip Holtz said all positions were open for competition during the week, and said the team had a “spring camp mentality.”
“We’ve graded every rep over the last week,” Holtz said. “Most guys probably got about 60 to 70 team reps over the last week, so we’ll look at all of those reps and formulate our depth chart. We have to find productivity on the field and find guys that can bring the passion. ... That will help us get a win.”
Though the re-evaluations were a result of the team’s four-game losing skid, offensive coordinator Todd Fitch said they are also general practice at the midpoint of a season.
“We had some rotations along the offensive line,” he said. “Every year in football you do a self-scout of your team at the halfway point. You look at where the most successful runs are, what part of the protection is giving up the most sacks or pressures, so that’s something we’re looking at.”
He also said the offense is looking to change the level of involvement in particular players, rather than wholesale personnel changes.
“We’ve looked at some of the personnel as far as number of touches is concerned,” he said. “People who we need to get more involved like Deonte Welch, and Lindsey Lamar who is getting more and more touches every week. But it’s more about looking at what will give you a more efficient offense schematically rather than just the personnel.”
On the defensive side of the ball, the Bulls will look to increase the depth in the linebacker spot with the return of freshmen Tashon Whitehurst and Zack Bullock from injury. Holtz said the bye week was big from the standpoint of injury recovery.
“It was great to see those guys running around, full speed,” Holtz said about Whitehurst, Bullock and senior safety Jon Lejiste. “This open date has been very good as far as getting some of the bumps and bruises, going through a long camp and then six straight weeks. Having an opportunity to get refreshed mentally and physically is a huge thing for us right now.”
Bullock said he was motivated by the idea of an open competition for a chance to play an increased role in the linebacker corps and that playing defensive end in high school made him more comfortable in his role with the Bulls.
“I just been following the plan, trying to learn the defense. Of course the open competition motivates you,” he said. “I’m most comfortable at the ‘Sam,’ the strongside linebacker. It’s kind of like playing defensive end, and I played defensive end in high school.”
Though the coaching staff spent the team’s bye week evaluating the depth chart, Holtz said the final depth chart for USF’s game against Louisville on Saturday is not complete.
“I’d still say it’s a work in progress,” he said. “There’s a couple of guys we moved around, but I can’t say any of them are definite, things that will show up Saturday. Right now, there’s not enough definite to say we’re doing this or that.”