Rice football spring practices continue to move along. On Monday the offense had one of their better showings of the spring.
Monday was a “catch up” day for Rice football on the practice field. There were no new schemes installed, rather all units drilled in on the concepts they’d already been tough through the first several practices of the spring. The results, for the most part, seemed encouraging.
“You saw football slow down for these guys,” Bloomgren said with a smile. “There motors and ability to play fast on the field sped up.” It was a noticeable step forward for the entire unit.
Offense takes a step forward
Wiley Green, Aaron Cephus and Cam Montgomery had stellar days. The defense is probably still a step or two ahead as a whole, but the offense showed sparks on Monday. One of those somewhat surprising jolts came from linebacker-turned-running back Ari Broussard.
Broussard had a strong scrimmage on Saturday, breaking off some big runs with plenty of yardage after contact. He used every inch of his 6-foot, 210-pound frame, plowing through defenders and picking up hard yardage. With the departure of Emmanuel Esukpa as a grad transfer this spring, for the moment, he might be the Owls’ biggest bruiser in the backfield.
He was one of several guys who looked more at ease in the offense. Clay Servin said getting reps with some of the same guys up front on the offensive line made it “a lot easier to see things,” adding “This offense is very complete and it only gets easier with experience and time.”
Servin, along with Shea Baker and Cole Garcia have shown continued progress this spring. Bloomgren cited grad transfer Nick Leverett as a big winner on Monday. All in all, this unit is coming along well.
Defense remains consistent
As the offense comes into the picture, the defense has stayed strong. Bloomgren called the defensive line “the biggest surprise” of the spring, saying they’ve collectively “worked their butts off and caused a lot of problems up front.” Cam Valentine is back from injury and has had some nice moments. So has Anthony Ekpe, who slid from his linebacker post to rush end this spring.
Blaze Alldredge and Antonio Montero have been two of the most impressive performers. Montero attributed his experience in the fall to a portion of his success. “I feel a lot more confident in the scheme and where I need to be.,” he shared. “I have a real feel for the physicality of the game, that all comes with experience.” Experience, plus low numbers at his position have given him opportunity. He continues to rise to the occasion.
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