Aug 15, 2013
NASHVILLE - Midway through preseason camp, Vanderbilt Head Coach James Franklin likes the way his Commodores are preparing for the season opener.
After another brisk, two-hour workout Thursday at the John Rich Practice Facility, Franklin said the Commodores' level of competition is about where he wants it as the squad approaches its second scrimmage on Saturday and turns its attention to preparing for the August 29 home encounter against Ole Miss.
"It's pretty competitive right now," Franklin said. "Early on, the defense was getting after the offense pretty good just like always. Now, the offense has caught up and you're seeing more playS being made. Right now, it's competitive out there."
The intensity might go up a notch later this week. The squad faces two crucial days ahead: its last two-a-day session Friday and a stadium scrimmage Saturday that should help determine depth chart positions.
On Thursday, Franklin pushed the squad through an energetic workout despite limiting full-contact drills. The squad focused on red-zone and two-minute drills, while also working on special teams, scheme development and 11-on-11 drills.
Coach Sees Quarterback Corps Improvement
Franklin acknowledged that quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels has been playing at his highest level in a Commodore uniform. He also said candidates Josh Grady, Patton Robinette and Johnny McCrary are improving by the day.
"Austyn might be having a better camp than I even anticipated," Franklin said. "I also like what Josh, Patton and Johnny are doing. Each of those guys have improved a great deal."
Where is the source of those innovative plays
Franklin's answer might have surprised the reporter who asked him to explain how he comes up with deceptive plays.
"Little league, the CFL, the NFL, colleges, about anywhere. You might be drawing up a play at a table downtown, or get something from a coach at (AFCA) convention," the coach said. "We had the Brentwood Blaze out here the other day... they might have given us something."