Playing “smart” football pleased Rhoads at recent scrimmage


Coach Paul Rhoads put his team through its final scrimmage of fall camp Saturday night and he came away pleased.

 “Effort and physical play (stood out),” Rhoads said. “It was a much cleaner scrimmage than the first one.”

 When Rhoads talks about the “cleanliness” of a scrimmage, he’s invoking coach-speak for playing intelligent football.

 “In the last 48 hours, we’ve become a smarter football team,” Rhoads said afterwards. “And, it’s been dramatic.”

 How does the fifth-year Cyclone coach define playing “smart” football?

 “Stay deeper as a defensive back than the offensive player,” Rhoads said. “Stay outside the block as a defensive player or take the appropriate steps and look the ball into your hands (as a receiver).”

 Rhoads is looking for simple gains.

 “When a game that is played as physical and violent and fast as football – and you’re younger – it’s hard to (play smart),” Rhoads said. “I think we’ve really improved in that regard and it is very encouraging.”

 Play fast… play hard… play physical… and play smart.

 That’s a recipe that any coach would like.


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