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Light Walk-Through Spotlights Final Tune-Up

April 17, 2009  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Mike Brown was one of several players head coach Danny Rocco spotlighted during today's review of the Flames offensive players.

Mike Brown was one of several players head coach Danny Rocco spotlighted during today's review of the Flames offensive players.

Just like the Flames would do for a normal in-season contest, Liberty held a "walk-through" practice Friday afternoon, under near-perfect conditions on the turf at Williams Stadium.

In just their practice shells and under 70-degree and brightly sunny skies, Liberty roughly ran each of its scripted plays for tomorrow's spring game, as part of today's two-hour workout.

"I think the preparation for the game this week has been good, as our focus has been sharper," commented head coach Danny Rocco. "In everything we do, we talk about finishing strong, and this week is the finishing part of this segment of spring practice.

"I've talked to my players this week about building momentum leading into the summer," continued Rocco. "But in order to have some momentum, we are going to have to play well tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to watching them play.

"We haven't had a lot of long scrimmages this spring," added Rocco. "We've had a number of 20, 30 and 40-play scrimmages, as that is how I chose to do it this year. Tomorrow will be the first extensive go at a full-on scrimmage. We should have a nice crowd out here tomorrow, and we should have a beautiful day. I'm expecting my team to play hard, with a lot of energy and emotion, plus I'm hoping we can play with a lot of efficiency. We are certainly looking forward to getting it cranked up tomorrow."

In preparation for tomorrow's scrimmage, the Flames focused on three main areas as part of today's practice plan – special teams, an organization phase and a review of base plays, which will be part of tomorrow's spring game plan.

During the special teams part of practice, Liberty focused on several areas of the kicking game that the Flames had not previously covered during the prior 13 practices this spring.

As part of the organizational phase of today's workout, Liberty's coaches reviewed with their younger squad some of the basics on substitutions and personnel signaling.

During tomorrow's annual spring game, the Flames will use a unique scoring system to determine a "winner" on the day.

The game rules will proceed as follows:
- The game will be conducted as offense vs. defense.
- The game will consist of four 12-minute quarters. A running clock will be utilized and will stop only for changes of possession and on timeouts.
- The only exception to the running clock rule will be during the final two minutes of each half, where the game clock will function as it typically does during a normal contest.
- Each team is allowed three (3) timeouts per half. - All game situations are "live," including plays involving the quarterbacks.
- The coaching staff will determine the administration of penalties as well as starting field position for each series.

The offense will be awarded points based upon the following situations:
First Down - 1 pt.
Extra Point - 1 pt.
Two-Point Conversion - 2 pts.
Field Goal - 3 pts.
Touchdown - 6 pts.

The defense will be awarded points based upon the following situations:
Stop on Downs - 1 pt.
Pass breakup – 1 pt.
Tackle for a Loss – 1 pt.
Missed Field Goal - 2 pts.
Fourth-Down Stop - 2 pts.
Sack - 2 pts.
Two-Point Conversion Stop - 2 pts.
Takeaway - 3 pts.
Three-And-Out Series - 3 pts.
Touchdown - 6 pts.
Note: "Sacking" of points will not be allowed. If multiple scoring situations occur during a play, the situation with the highest-point value will be rewarded.

Under the same similar scoring system last year, the offense shined during the annual spring game, rolling up 612 yards on 83 plays, averaging 7.4 yards per down en route to a 45-25 victory.

At halftime, Liberty will honor many of those who helped the Flames offense soar during last year's spring game, as the program will honor its 22-member senior class. During the break, Liberty will also name its Samkon Gado Award (most improved) and Luke 2:52 Award (whole-person development) winners, as well as head coach Danny Rocco's captains for 2009.

The contest is the centerpiece of a full day's activities on Liberty Mountain. Yesterday, LibertyFlames.com reviewed all the other festivities … please click here to review that story.

Just as a reminder, the annual spring game kicks off at 1 p.m., and gates at Williams Stadium will open at Noon. The event is free of charge to all fans.

A spirited Liberty Flames sprinted off the turf after Rocco broke the post-practice huddle with the team's usual "Big South Champs" cheer, as today's football-related activities did not end with practice.

Returning members of last year's squad, along with the coaching staff and the 22-member senior class on the 2008 Big South championship team descended upon the Kirkley Hotel in Lynchburg for the squad's annual spring awards banquet. Several team and individual honors will be handed out, along with the presentation of the Big South championship rings.

Coach's Corner with Head Coach Danny Rocco
As part of LibertyFlames.com's coverage of spring practice and its amped up coverage leading into the annual spring game, the web site has been sitting down regularly with head coach Danny Rocco, reviewing each facet of his squad.

Following Tuesday and Thursday evening's practices, the web site had the three-time Big South Coach of the Year review his special teams and defensive units. Today, Rocco will give us his thoughts on his white-clad offensive players, one of the youngest units on the upcoming 2009 squad.

"I think one of the things that got us this spring was a rash of injuries. We have been thinned out at a number of positions, which has made it hard to gauge the offense as a whole, because each day it seems like our lineup was changing.

"Despite all that, I can certainly acknowledge the improvement of a number of players on the offensive side of the football. I definitely feel at the wide receiver position Chris Summers, Jimmy Eden and B.J. Hayes really had solid springs.

"Mike Brown came on real strong at the end of spring practice at quarterback, earning him the starting role in Saturday's game. I also thought that Spencer Landis looked solid throughout the spring.

"On the offensive line, I'm very pleased with the progress of Josh Weaver and Bryan Mosier, as both have become better for us, as they had very good springs.

"I think the run game right now is a little bit of a question mark, as we are still trying to I.D. our go-to back. Danny Broggin held the job most of the spring, but Terron Lawrence has gotten a good bit of repetitions, while we have also tried B.J. Hayes there some, as well.

"Overall, I still think we are trying to find our identity offensively, which is just a fair and honest opinion of where this part of our squad stands right now. As we get through the spring game tomorrow, I'm hoping that a couple of the guys really shine, just so we can go into the summer knowing, in fact, they can produce under pressure.

"I challenged these guys last night that anyone can come out here and have a good day, but in order to be someone you can count on, you have to be able to perform under pressure. Tomorrow will be a good opportunity for some of those guys to do just that."