Thursday, March 29, 2018

Lafayette FB: A trip to Spring camp

Offensive coordinator John Van Dam works with three qiarterbacks at spring camp./
Twelve players who were in the starting lineup the last time Lafayette’s football team played a game – and a good number of others who saw a good deal of action against arch-rival Lehigh last November – are back for 2018, but earlier this week head coach John Garrett said, “Every year, you have to put the team back together.”

What he means is after losing two dozen seniors and several others who left the program early to seek more playing time elsewhere, and after another 18 rising sophomores are coming through their first winter weight training program, are not the same.

“It’s obvious that you lose the seniors and the (2018) freshmen aren’t here yet, but everyone who’s here is a different person (than last fall),” Garrett said. “They could be 10 pounds heavier; they’re stronger, faster, so they assume different roles, too. We have to identify who can handle that and lay out expectations and challenge them to achieve on one side of the ball or some aspect of the game. They are just a year older and more comfortable with the system. They assume roles – leadership roles within a position or a certain side of ball.”

When I visited Fisher Stadium for the first time on Tuesday, the first thing that struck me was the small number of players in pads for the first time this spring. I counted heads during the pre-practice stretch and got just 18 defensive players in white and 31 others in the offense’s maroon jerseys.