Thursday, August 19, 2004
NASHVILLE --- After the initial scrimmage of the Tennessee State Tigers football preseason camp, head coach James Reese is looking for improvement from his offensive unit. The Tigers had their first major contact work of the camp on Wednesday afternoon. Reese and his staff put his charges through an 80-play scrimmage. "The defense played great and with a lot of enthusiasm," said the Tigers coach. "Six (turnovers) are way too many for our offense and that is definitely something that we have to avoid to be a successful football team." The scrimmage gave the Tiger coaching staff an opportunity to look at newcomers and veterans who are in the battle for positions and spots on the depth chart. All-American running back Charles Anthony was held out of Wednesday's scrimmage, giving an opportunity for several players to receive playing time. "We have to have someone step up and give us depth at running back and also someone to step up and be our fullback," said Reese. Redshirt freshman Maurice Young, who played on defense last season, along with true freshmen K.J. Austin-Bruce, Javarris Williams, and sophomore redshirt Andre Davis all saw duty carrying the football. Davis had entered camp as a defensive back, but is getting a look on offense after originally signing with TSU as a quarterback from nearby Pearl-Cohn. The defensive effort featured a long interception return for a TD by senior Justin Williams. The play of true freshman Dominique Rodgers has gained the early praise from the Tiger staff in the secondary. The Tigers are completing their first week of practice. TSU had its first two-a-day sessions on Tuesday after getting into full gear for the first time Monday afternoon. The Tigers have a pair of practices scheduled Thursday with a lone session scheduled for Friday afternoon. The team will hold its annual "Picture Day" Saturday beginning at 11 a.m. outside of Kean Hall which will be sandwiched between a pair of practices.