Mentality Plays Pivotal Role as 'Dogs Reach Half-Way Point
Aug. 13, 2014
By: Matt Burkholder
FRESNO, Calif. - As the Bulldog football team navigates through the rigors of fall camp, holding up a strong mentality through the Fresno heat and everyday grind of camp is at the forefront for players as they reached the half-way point of training camp Wednesday.
"The bumps and the bruises start to add up, the installs start to add up," said head coach Tim DeRuyter. "The mentally tough guys, a lot of the older guys that have been through it, can grind though it and still effectively execute what we need to get done. Some of those young guys haven't figured it out yet, and you saw that today."
Wednesday's practice closed with a goal line set, pitting both first teams against one another. On this day, the defense showed it could step and make the stop, holding the one offense out of the endzone.
"You want to go best versus best and see how it plays out," said DeRuyter. "Today the one defense had the upper hand.
"Goal line offense and defense is about mentality, and today our defense had a much better mentality and will to not want the offense to get in [the endzone]. I thought they did a good job attacking, and we got to do a better job on offense of knocking some people off the ball and making guys miss."
An anchor on that Bulldog defensive unit is junior safety Charles Washington, who made his impact Wednesday with an interception and pass deflection on a slant in 7-on-7 drills. Washington has been playing back at his natural safety spot during camp after being moved to cornerback position the end of the 2013 season due to lack of depth because of injury. Washington hopes to use that experience for the better this year.
"Honestly it did," said Washington after being asked if playing corner helped him understand the defense better. "I know where I can be at safety and where the cornerbacks will need help in their leverages. Playing corner helped me a lot - to figure out where schemes can go and what I need to protect from the safety's perspective "
Some youthful talent that is emerging during the second week of camp to build depth at cornerback is freshman Malcolm Washington.
"Malcolm competed on the first team today and had a great day," said Charles Washington. "I try to push [Malcolm] every day to get better. I don't want him to ever be content with himself."
The Fresno State football team will work through their fourth two-a-day Wednesday afternoon before the final double day of training camp on Saturday.
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