“We’re still getting the basics down, but we have two weeks left, so that’s a good thing, ” says ULM Offensive Coordinator, Rich Rodriguez. “I like the attitude. I think the guys have been really attentive to what we’re doing. We’ve got a lot of work to do.”
Time’s nearly running out for practice, until the real thing begins. ULM football will start the season, September 4th at Kentucky. Depending on who you ask, there’s still some tinkering that needs to be done.
“Still too many mental errors, ” says ULM Defensive Coordinator, Zac Alley. “And, guys just not aligned correctly. Just do our job. Got too many guys wanting to do everyone else’s job. And, not enough guys just focusing on what they need to do per play.”
Off the field, nowhere close to negative. There have been bonds formed between Coach Alley and his players.
“You have a coach at that age or in that age frame as the players, it’s a lot better because not only does it focus on football, but we can go talk to them about any other life problems, as a man, or up and coming, ” says Traveion Webster, ULM linebacker. “And, coming as needing to be a husband or whatever it maybe.”
For some, this offseason has been a welcome change.
“In 30 years this is our first time having a real shot, ” says Jabari Johnson, Ouachita High School alum and ULM safety. “And, me personally being from the hometown to be a part of this is special. I’m just happy to see a change in the effort that’s put in on a daily basis from the coaches, to the front office, to the trainers. Everybody is held accountable.”
In 2020, ULM averaged 3.1 yards per rushing attempt, which was second to last in the Sun Belt.
“I tell you what, I’ve been here for four years and I’m still not in shape, ” says ULM offensive tackle, Blake Lodes. “And, this tempo is one that is definitely fast. And, I think fast is an understatement.”
And, for some of those on the offensive line, protecting potential starting quarterback, Rhett Rodriguez will be a task.
“That guy is the most poise guy I’ve ever met in my life, ” says fellow offensive tackle, Evan Henry. “It’s nothing like when you take the field with somebody that they want to score. I just feel like I can grow and I have grown, because he knows the offense like the back of his hand.”