With only three days of camp under their belts, the Walker Valley Mustangs got their first taste of what the they might see from opposing football teams in 2013, in their first 7-on-7 competition of fall camp Thursday at “The Corral.”
“The purpose of 7-on-7 is to help quarterbacks as far as reading coverage and help our defense as far as pass coverage,” said Walker Valley coach Glen Ryan after the two-hour scrimmage with the Hixson Wildcats, who were picked to finish first in District 6-AA by media and coaches. “It’s getting the timing down in the throwing game, and it helps quarterbacks read coverage and make sharper decisions instead of always throwing on air. It also gives our defense a chance to work on different offenses they are going to see during the year.”
Stepping under center for the first time under game-like conditions, Mustangs quarterback Cory Cook got his first glimpse at some of the defensive looks he could see when the season kicks off.
“It gives the quarterback a chance to get different defensive looks, as opposed to what he sees against us every day. We run our defense against our offense during practice. It gives him a chance to see different coverages and go against different people,” said Ryan.
“We didn’t pick up a ball until Monday and we’ve had basically a day and a half of working on putting routes in, and I thought overall they did a pretty good job considering.”
The Mustangs will pick it up a notch competition-wise next week, when the Boyd-Buchanan Buccaneers visit “The Corral.” Ryan said there is a lot of work to do before Boyd arrives Thursday.
“We’ve got Boyd-Buchanan coming in next week and they will be even better than what we saw today. We’ve got to sharpen our game,” said the coach. But, I thought our first group did a real good job and did some really good things. We also had some young mistakes, too. But, everybody got in and got a lot of work.”
Offensively, Ryan saw typical first scrimmage miscues and early camp miscommunication, but was otherwise satisfied with the effort shown by the Mustangs.
“Offensively we need to work on our quarterback seeing the field a little bit better. I think he was a little bit late on seeing things. We will also work on his mechanics a little. He was underthrowing some deep balls tonight to guys who were wide open,” he said. “But, he also did some good things. He made some nice throws down here around the goal line. He also did some nice stuff early on, and I think he got a little tired.”
When the Wildcats were on offense, Ryan liked what he was seeing from the seasoned defensive unit.
“Defensively, I was really pleased overall. I think we had about five interceptions. They got to see a lot of stuff thrown at them and they did a good job of making adjustments. I felt really good about our defense. We had a couple of breakdowns, but overall I felt they played well,” said Ryan.
“I feel like our defense is our strength going into this year because most of them are back. Offensively, we are starting from scratch again. We have very few back. But, they are coming on. We’ve just got to keep working and keep pushing. Hopefully we will be ready by game one.”