SOUNDS OF BULLS PRE-SEASON PRACTICE – AUGUST 28
By Leo Haggerty
Caught up with USF as they chose to beat Mother Nature and get out of the rain and lightning on campus. So the Green & Gold loaded up the buses and headed to One Buc Palace where the Pewter Pirates were gracious enough to allow South Florida to use their indoor facility.
The good news is that I was able to procure four interviews after practice. They were HC Charlie Strong and QB Blake Barnett along with RB Jordan Cronkrite plus DE Kirk Livingston. Check below for the commentary from those four individuals.
The bad news was, because the practice was closed, we have no new sights for you. Just sounds but we’ll make up for that on Friday night when Wisconsin comes to Raymond James Stadium to take on the Green & Gold. Enjoy.
LH : Last weekend you said this was a make-or-break week. Did you get accomplished what you needed to do?
CS : Yes we did. The thing we have to do is work around the weather. Had a good day on Monday. Had a good day on Tuesday. On Wednesday, we went out and then we had to bring them back in and then take them back out and bring them back in. It was bad on Wednesday. Overall, the way we worked on the first two days and then we had a good day on Thursday.
LH : There’s a line in the movie “Independence Day” when Will Smith flies the alien spacecraft for the first time and says, “I have to get me one of these.” Do you have to get you one of these practice facilities at South Florida.
CS : We going to eventually get us one and I remember that line from the movie. We’re working to get it and I know the fund raising is going good. This facility does allow us to get our work in and stay dry. We got in the number of plays that we wanted and got in some good work.
LH : Normally, you don’t want to play on a wet track but Raymond James Stadium may be the best field in the National Football League for drainage. How much does a wet field effect your team?
CS : We haven’t had a chance to work out at Raymond James yet. We’ll get in there next week. I just hope we have some good hot weather. Some good steamy weather.
LH : Do you want the weather to work on this big guys from Wisconsin?
CS : I hope it will effect them a little.
LH : If the weather doesn’t want to cooperate next week, is the Bucs indoor facility an option?
CS : I don’t know if they’ll let us come in here with all the fans that will show up. Who knows what the forecast is going to be. We just have to get ready to play rain or shine.
LH : This has to be better than trying to deal with a wet track. How’s the footing out here?
BB : It’s really nice coming into this facility. Had a chance to see the rest of the facility as we drove in. The turf in here is really nice. We didn’t get a chance to go into the rest of the facility but it looked really nice.
LH : It has to be mentally draining to keep going out and coming in due to the weather. Does that effect how you practice.
BB : It is tough to regain momentum. Every time we had to come in, when we went back out we had to stretch again. An indoor facility would give this program a better opportunity to success. Still, we are doing everything that we possible can to make this work. It’s not holding us back from anything. Right now, it’s just an annoyance but it was awesome coming out here to this facility.
LH : Does coach give you the ability to change the play?
BB : I can’t give away secrets.
LH : The Wisconsin game is going to be the first time in a long time that you’re going to have all your offensive weapons on the field. How nice is that?
BB : You know, I haven’t really thought about that. There’s a lot more guys that are coming back that couldn’t play last year that can make a big impact.
LH : When I talk to WR Coach Williams, his philosophy is if you can touch it you can catch it. Do you subscribe to that theory?
JC : Yes sir. I learned early that if the ball hits your hands there’s no excuse for dropping the pass.
LH : Is it nice to see all the weapons in the offensive huddle?
JC : There’s a tremendous amount of weapons. The tight end, the receivers, the running backs in my room and the quarterbacks. It’s a good feeling knowing that everybody can make plays and there’s not the pressure of just one guy doing it.
LH : First play of the spring game, a 75-yard touchdown pass. Does coach have some plays up his sleeve for Wisconsin?
JC : You’ll just have to wait and see. Like I said, we have a lot of weapons on offense. Your going to have to wait and see because your guess is as good as mine.
LH : This is going to be like playing Georgia Tech with bigger bodies coming at you. How are you going to fight that off?
CL : We’ll start really breaking down film next week. We have seen that they have some really big guys. Anywhere from 6’4″ to 6’6″ between 310 and 335 pounds. It’s a big challenge for us but I think we’ll be up for it.
LH : Have you played against a running back like Taylor before?
CL : Oh no. He’s a great back. He’s always making plays and not just in the running game. In the passing game too.