Aug. 7, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The UAB football team practiced at Legion Field for the second-straight day on Wednesday. The two-hour workout marked the second day of fall camp for the Blazers.
After practice, defensive coordinator Reggie Johnson addressed the media. Two days into fall camp, Johnson expressed his excitement to work with this year's Blazer defense.
"I think that we are a more mature team," said Johnson. "I like the focus, athletic ability, speed, and size. There are a lot of things that this group has after being with us for a year that they didn't have a year ago. I am excited about coaching this group."
Seniors Patrick Bastien and Calvin Jones are two players that gained much experience last season and will look to lead the Blazer defense in 2013. Bastien started all but two games at linebacker last year, while Jones recorded nine starts at strong safety.
"I don't think we missed a step," commented Bastien. "Usually when you start off the season there's rust. I don't know if it is the offseason program or the comfort level, but we really came out the first day. Practice wasn't really too sloppy, it went by real smooth. It was a good thing."
"I see a lot of improvement," added Jones. "All of the safeties and cornerbacks are improving. We still have a lot to work on. All of them are improving and getting better."
The duo's comments resonated with Johnson's views of the defense. The group's experience and improvement from 2012 will be key factors coming into this season.
"They all played last year," concluded Johnson. "Maybe one scholarship defensive player did not play last year. For those guys to have the game experience that they have, they are not rookies or young, by any stretch of the imagination. They are a seasoned group."
The Green and Gold will practice again Thursday afternoon.
Ticket information for 2013 home games can be found on www.uabsports.com or by calling the UAB ticket office at 205-975-8221.
For the latest news on the UAB football team, as well as all Blazer sports, follow the UAB Athletics Twitter account: @UABathletics.