April 23, 2009
True football fans won't be sitting in front of the TV this Saturday afternoon watching the NFL Draft, they will be at Yale Bowl for the 2009 Spring Blue-White Game. The Yale Football team concludes its spring practice sessions at 2:00 on April 25 with the annual spring scrimmage, which is open to the public and free.
The Bulldogs will do some drills for the first 30 minutes before getting into more of a live game look. However, no score will be kept. The coaches will have their own point-scoring system for evaluating each performance.
It is very noticeable when watching the team practice this spring that every player is getting an opportunity to win a starting job. Every healthy player is getting snaps and feeling like they have an opportunity to earn playing time.
"Everyone gets a chance to compete and there is a competition at every position on this football team," said Tom Williams, the Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach of Yale Football. "When everyone is competing, everyone gets better. It also creates more depth on our team."
Saturday marks the 12th and final spring workout date for the 2009 Elis, who will next gather in late August to prepare for the Sept. 19 opener at Georgetown.
"I think the players have embraced the practices. They seem to enjoy the tempo and the different style of coaching. They have been given an opportunity to get better. This spring's workouts should make them more optimistic about their own ability to succeed and the prospects for the team this fall," said Williams, who took over the Yale program in January.
"Spring ball has been very productive this year. We have installed a good amount of the offense and defense as well as starting to foster our team identity," said Yale captain Paul Rice. "This entire spring has just flown by, but great strides have been made."
The Bulldogs will practice today from 4 to 6 p.m. and Friday morning at 7. There were four early morning practices scheduled for this spring, the rest ran from 4 to 6. Very few were in perfect conditions. The Yale players are happy to put the finishing touches on the session on a hot, early Saturday afternoon in Yale Bowl.
"The Spring game should provide a stage for the players to be further evaluated by the coaches, and also for the players to just let loose and play some ball. We've had a few scrimmages this spring, but none to the extent of what will take place Saturday. I think the entire team is looking forward to finishing of the spring with a competitive scrimmage," said Rice, who moved from corner to linebacker over the winter.
Release filed by Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD & Sports Publicity Director