Fired up for football season

Published 1:49 pm Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Minicamp gives Packers a jump-start on the football season

The high school football season doesn’t kick-off until September, but first year Austin head coach Matt Schmit already has started the learning process for his team.

The Packers are holding a volunteer team minicamp this week to get them prepared for the upcoming season, which opens with practice Aug. 16.

Schmit is introducing his squad to a new style of offense, which appears to involve a lot less shot gun and spread formations, and a little more misdirection.

Email newsletter signup

“We’re doing things a little differently and the terminology is different,” Schmit said. “The kids are working really hard and they’re picking up on it, which is good.”

Returning senior safety Cole Adams said that the minicamp helps players learn plays and work on execution. He’s also chomping at the bit to put on the pads when the season gets underway.

“I am pumped and I can’t wait for the season to get going,” Adams said. “I love the new coaching staff.”

While Adams will be an anchor on defense, the offense for will look very different for the Packers, who graduated the majority of their play-makers, including running back Jerrad Ryks, who ran for over 1,000 yards the past two seasons.

On Tuesday, it was Blas Estrada who was getting the majority of reps at halfback and he showed a good burst of speed.

“I’m going to try my best and I’m going to work hard every day to be as good as (Jerrad). (Watching him) was a big motivator for me,” Estrada said. “(The new offense) takes some time to learn, but as you get going you pick it up.”

While his team is learning his new system, Schmit has been especially pleased with the attitude the players have shown so far.

“The kids that have come out have had great attitudes and that’s fantastic to see. You improve that much faster and learn that much faster like that, and the kids are that much more fun to be around,” Schmit said. “In years past, we’ve had great players, but this year we have a number of people wanting to take a leadership role and that’s been nice.”

While there’s still plenty of time to work out any kinks on both sides of the ball before the season opener at Red Wing Sept. 3, Schmit said his team’s biggest need is consistency.

Quite simply, the Packers won’t be able to afford too many penalties or negative plays.

“We’re going to have to be about execution and doing things perfect,” he said. “We’re not going to dominate teams, so we can’t give up big plays on defense and we want at least three and a half or four yards every play offensively.”

The minicamp, which is held at Wescott Complex and runs until Friday, has drawn about 60 players