Wednesday's Practice Focuses on Defense

Defense was the focus of Wednesday morning's football practice.

Aug. 8, 2012

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Fall practice continued for the UAB Blazer football team Wednesday, as the squad spent about two hours in full pads at the practice field working on a number of drills that focused on the fundamentals.

"This is a grind, and it's supposed to be," UAB defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Reggie Johnson said. "This is the only week we have them without classes, so it's a big work-week for us. The guys are doing well. They're working hard and we've had good focus from them. It's a process, and our goal is to get better every day."

Johnson cited an importance on having the team focus on the fundamentals, especially when it comes to the proper stance, speed off the ball and proper progressions.

The linebackers also continued to make strides during the morning practice, according to Johnson. The first-year defensive coordinator is pleased with newcomers' eagerness to get on the field and take hits, especially freshman Chris Rabb.

"You see his natural instincts take over when he's in the pads," Johnson said. "He's a natural, contact guy, and he wants the contact. You see that whenever he puts on pads. He's a guy whose motor is running constantly."

Rabb isn't the only linebacker on the team who craves contact, as his cohorts are equally eager to don the pads and take the hits.

"I'm pleased with the linebackers," Johnson said. "I have some athletic young guys. I have guys that want to tackle and I just have to get out of the way and let them work. I'm just teaching them a couple things to help them beat blocks and how to read blocking schemes, but the rest; they'll do because they're a bunch of physically gifted guys. They can run, have length, they're strong, so I'm expecting a lot out of them."

The UAB football team opens the 2012 season on Saturday, September 1 hosting in-state rival Troy at Legion Field with kickoff scheduled for 11 a.m. CT.