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Eagles have a lot to work on at Paulson scrimmage
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Georgia Southern kicker Graden Bozeman, a former Statesboro Blue Devil, lets one loose before a scrimmage on Saturday, April 3, 2010 at Paulson Stadium. GSU coach Jeff Monken says the kicker position is up for grabs.

            It’s back to Paulson Stadium today at 9 a.m. for the Georgia Southern Eagles, as they prepare for the second of three spring scrimmages.

            This time around, the main thing the coaches are looking for is to see if the team can avoid playing like it did at Thursday’s practice, where nothing seemed to go right.

            “We didn’t do a great job on defense playing the play-action pass,” said GSU coach Jeff Monken. “We need to do a good job playing the pass. We did a good job playing the run, but we didn’t do a good job playing the pass. Then we came back to the team period on defense, and we tried to throw a couple of play-action passes and they covered us, but we got the ball off the 2-yard line a couple of times because we didn’t play our assignments on defense.

            “We just had one of those days where guys weren’t focused, and it was disappointing. It was the first day this spring that I was really disappointed in our whole team. We just didn’t have a very good practice, so I hope (today’s scrimmage) will be better.”

            At the first scrimmage last weekend, the coaches were on the field throughout, giving instructions before and after plays were run. This time, in preparation for next Saturday’s annual Blue/White game, the coaches will stay on the sidelines to represent more of a live game experience.    

            “We’re signaling defense and running plays in from the sideline, so next Saturday during the spring game, it won’t be the first time we’ve experience that,” Monken said. “We’ve practiced 11 times now, so I hope our guys can line up and run the plays, run the fronts and coverages without somebody having to tell them where to line up.”

            While the final draft of the spring depth chart is far from being finalized, perhaps the biggest question out there lies on special teams. There will be more of an effort at this scrimmage to get the kickers on the field to see what they can do with a live rush.

            “I’ve got a real question mark at kicker, who’s going to handle kickoff duties or extra points,” Monken said. “I know those duties were handled by different guys (last season), but we’ve got to strengthen that part of our game. We’ll (kick) extra points (at the scrimmage) and if we’re in field-goal range, we’ll do it with a live rush.”

`           The only difference in approach at the spring game on April 17 will be the way the teams are set up. It will be a live game with two separate teams. The offensive ones and defensive twos will be on one team, while the twos on offense and ones on defense will be on the other. The rest of the team will be split up to keep the numbers even, and score will be kept.

            Today’s scrimmage will not be scored.


            Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9408.