Practice blog: August 3

It seems every Army returning slotback is a step or two faster than last season.

Senior Pat Mealy agrees.

“Definitely,” Mealy said. “Me personally, I did a lot on the treadmill to work on my pure speed. I have great explosion but I’m trying to get the speed down for some big runs.”

Senior middle linebacker Stephen Anderson was urging freshmen Reggie Nesbit and Ryan McCollum to step up their tempo during a pass-defense drill. Anderson is almost like having another coach on the field.  At one point, co-defensive coordinator Payam Saadat, who was working with the rovers, got Anderson’s attention and shouted a pointer for him to look for in a drill.

Sophomore wide receiver Kyler Martin was working with juniors Davyd Brooks and Austin Barr with the top receivers. Brad Kelly alternated with Anees Merzi at left tackle and Mike McDermott worked in with Jason Johnson at right tackle.

Sophomore quarterback Trent Steelman missed on his first pass on a quick drill against the first-team defense but completed his next three passes to Mealy, Martin and Brooks.

Senior Chip Bowden took the next snaps and connected with sophomore receiver Ryan Mumma and slotback Raymond Maples.

Speaking of Maples, here’s offensive coordinator Ian Shields’ take on the freshman: “He’s a tremendous talent. He’s got to learn the system and find his way within the system. There’s no doubt as a talent he’s going to add something to the party.”

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