At the start of his first spring season back at the helm of the Montana Grizzlies, head coach Bobby Hauck knew there would be a learning curve for the team he inherited as they take on new offensive and defensive schemes.
By the end of spring ball, he was quick to point to the progress his squad made during that short span.
They should have improved … that was the easy stuff.
Following the Grizzlies’ eighth practice of fall camp on Thursday, Hauck once again complimented his team for their improved execution of the offensive and defensive game plans as they move from football 101 to senior-level studies.
“In the spring we improved and executed our offense and defense better, but that was pretty elementary and simplified. As we’ve gotten more intricate and put more of the offense and defense in, it’s been good to see the guys pick it up and be able to run it fairly well,” said Hauck.
“We’re starting to do some of the little things better. The early part of it was the attitude and the effort, now it’s more about refining and executing, and we get that.”
The increased execution was evident on both sides of the ball at practice eight, with plenty of highlights to go around.
Quarterback Dalton Sneed continued to impress, hitting an outstretched Samuel Akem for a 50-plus yard gain on a post route. Sneed also hit freshman receiver Malik Flowers deep down the left side for a score, with both receivers making plays on the ball.
Running back Adam Eastwood barreled his way to a touchdown during the final team run, taking a handoff through a gap on the right side and bouncing off defenders for 20 yards and a score.
Defensively, Jed Nagler had a nice day, blocking yet another pass as an edge rusher and getting in on a sack with freshman Eli Aflord.
But as the Grizzlies inch closer to their first scrimmage of the fall season on Saturday, Hauck and his staff aren’t yet worried about what the depth chart will look like. They are still in the process of refining the details.
“It’s a long season, and we’re going to have a lot of guys that need plays, so I don’t think that’s real important at all right now, we just need to get a lot of guys plays and get better throughout the team,” said Hauck.
“We just need some live college football plays. We don’t really have much of a deal other than to get some plays in, getting some guys some live tackling and blocking and get some game experience.”
The Grizzlies will scrimmage behind closed doors on Saturday before taking Sunday off to rest bodies. They will then begin the final week of fall camp on Monday before going into the game-week routine starting Monday, Aug. 27.
Redshirt-junior Cy Sirmon has always been one of those guys who will do anything for the team, including switch positions if that’s what the coaches ask of him.
Since arriving at Montana in 2015, Sirmon has played in 21 games, and held three different positions, starting at linebacker as a freshman, moving to defensive end and bumping to the defensive interior after bulking up.
This week, Sirmon’s name got called again to help the team out, making a move to the offensive line where he will take reps as a guard. His fourth move comes with a change of jersey too, now wearing No. 66.