Eagles catching on to Gulf Coast offense

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 3, 2005

When Fort Dale Academy tailback Tim James found out that coach James "Speed" Sampley was going to change things up offensively, it made James anxious.

James rushed for more than 1,000 yards in his junior year in leading the Eagles to a playoff berth and looked to do the same in his senior year.

Sampley said James will get his touches during a game, but it won't be in the conventional style out of the power I formation. Typically a fullback would pave the way for James. Now with the Eagles new Gulf Coast offense, sophomore quarterback Casey Weston will be the lead blocker.

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"He's a big kid, so I hope he will do a good job," James said.

But Weston won't just be a lead blocking back in the offense. Weston will be putting the ball in the air up to 20 times a game, according to Sampley.

So that means the last few days of practice have been spent working on the passing game.

Monday morning's session was not one of the Eagles' best though.

"Up until (Monday) morning we looked OK," Sampley said. "We got in plenty of repetitions, but our guys just couldn't catch the ball for some reason. It probably was more (my) fault since I had them out there on a wet field."

While James and Weston are adjusting to the new offense, so too are the offensive linemen.

Senior tight end Matt Black said that the blocking schemes have changed.

"In the old offense, we would block down on the person in front of us," Black said. "With this offense, you have a different assignment

with each play. Everyone has a job, and everyone has to do the job to be successful."