Practice Blog No. 18: Focus On Special Teams

Jon Crucitti will be heavily involved in the return game this season.

Jon Crucitti will be heavily involved in the return game this season.

Aug. 25, 2011

WEST POINT, N.Y. - Army completed its second-to-last preseason practice on Thursday afternoon inside the Foley Athletic Center. Thursday's workout lasted roughly an hour and 15 minutes and consisted mainly of special teams work.

Thursday's Notables -
• Thursday's practice was deemed a "special teams" practice. Army worked out in helmets and shoulder pads, and after some instruction, took two or three half-speed repetitions of kickoff, kickoff return, punt and punt return.

• In addition to be an option behind Josh Jackson as a punt returner, Jon Crucitti was back deep on the first-team kick return unit. Crucitti was partnered with Raymond Maples on the first rep. Brian Austin also took turns as one of the deep men.

• The Black Knights installed their "hands" team to defend against on-side kick attempts. The squad included Max Jenkins, Malcolm Brown, Jackson, Jared McFarlin, Jared Hassin, Crucitti, Maples, Chevaughn Lawrence, Justin Trimble, Davyd Brooks and Patrick Laird.

• Army did approximately 15 minutes of offensive and defensive team work after the special teams portion.

Will Wilson was back with the first team at center on Thursday. Michael Kime and rookie Ryan Powis took the first-team reps on Wednesday.

Thursday's Quotables -
Sophomore SB Jon Crucitti

(Ref.: his defined position)
"I'm a running back. Which part of the backfield I'm playing in isn't quite determined yet. I'm a running back for now, and I'm looking to help out the special teams anywhere I can."

(Ref.: the anticipation in the locker room with the opener just over a week away)
"I guess the one thing you could say is just pure excitement. There are a lot of guys, a lot of experienced guys, and we're ready to push the ball and push the tempo. On the defensive side, I really can't say much because we don't see those guys a lot during practice, but I can imagine it's the same."

(Ref.: the Corps of Cadets reponse so far this academic year)
"There is a lot of buzz down in the Corps with all the rumors about what Army football is going to bring to the table this year. We can't wait to play in front of them against San Diego State. We obviously have to worry about Northern Illinois first, and we can't wait for that first game."

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