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Flames Enjoy Successful Friday Practice to Open Spring Season

March 23, 2007
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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The Flames work on the punting game during Friday afternoon's opening practice of the spring season at Williams Stadium.

The Flames work on the punting game during Friday afternoon's opening practice of the spring season at Williams Stadium.

The Liberty Flames football program opened up its annual spring practice session, Friday afternoon, at Williams Stadium with its first of 15 scheduled practices during the season. 

"I think today's practice went very well," remarked head coach Danny Rocco. "We had a very good first day. Just like I thought coming in, we are so far ahead of where we were at this point a year ago." 

On a warm, sunny day in Lynchburg, Rocco and the rest of Liberty's coaching staff spent much of Friday's two-hour session working with several specific points of emphasis on offense, defense and special teams. 

The quarterbacks focused on throwing the ball downfield more often, and the offense also worked on the two-back running game for situations when Zach Terrell and Rashad Jennings are on the field together. 

Defensively, the Flames took a lot of reps in their base 3-4 set and the Cover 2 pass coverage. The punting game was the special teams emphasis of the day, including both punt protection and punt blocking. 

The coaching staff was pleased with the way quarterbacks Brock Smith, Spencer Landis and Stephen Oehlschlaeger were throwing the long ball on the opening day of practice. Rocco was also excited about the physical shape his players are in after winter conditioning. 

"Our kids are in good shape and kept a good tempo throughout practice," explained Rocco. "Our redshirt freshmen showed up well, and I expect to see a lot of competition this spring." 

The Flames return to the FieldTurf at Williams Stadium tomorrow morning for their first of four Saturday morning workout sessions during the spring. The spring season's second practice is scheduled to begin at 10:50 a.m. and should conclude around 1 p.m.