VU springs into football… really

Wednesday, March 17, 2010 at 11:34pm

Coach Bobby Johnson got his first chance to inspect his latest Vanderbilt squad on Wednesday. / Mike Strasinger for The City Paper

Predictably, Vanderbilt’s players had a good time Wednesday in their first spring football on-field workout.

“I don’t think we’ve ever had a first day of spring practice that we didn’t have great energy,” coach Bobby Johnson said. “Really, they did have a good attitude and wanted to learn and try to get better.

“If you don’t have that, you might as well send them back to the dressing room.”

Johnson and his staff did go back to the drawing board in an attempt to make better use of the time available to them this spring than in previous ones.

With 34 days in which to conduct 15 workouts, coaches have spaced out the workouts and tried to create a greater emphasis on classroom time. Instead of four days per week of on-field work [last year they typically practiced Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday] they will do so just three times [Wednesday, Friday and Saturday] most weeks.

NCAA rules allow that coaches can have the players a total of 20 hours per week.

“We will finish right before the 34 days, [but] we will have more days between practices this year so we can discuss what we want to see from them each time,” Johnson said. “Hopefully, that way they will be more focused each time they do go out on the field.”

The Black and Gold scrimmage is set for 10:30 a.m., April 10.

Along the way, players hope to get past the disappointment of last fall, when the Commodores went winless in the Southeastern Conference and 2-10 overall in their follow-up to a winning season and a bowl appearance in 2008.

“We’re kind of trying to forget, and also we’re disappointed,” running back Zac Stacy said. “We’re capable of doing a better job than we did last year. I think we’re more disappointed, but the one thing about last season is that it’s over. We’re looking to rebuild this year.”

Thanks to a new schedule, the foundation will be laid in a different manner this spring.

3 Comments on this post:

By: VanDSIRROM on 3/18/10 at 2:11

Unfortunately, the schedule this season will not be favorable--even though there is a bye week. Count 'em...8 bowl teams on the schedule.

Coach Johnson has done a great job recruiting but the "administrator" making the schedule needs to have his head examined. Maybe we need to let Georgia hire him away, too.

I'm praying for far less injuries this year and I'm confident that the players will 'make some noise' in the SEC this year.

By: richgoose on 3/18/10 at 6:51

I would like to know how many disappointing seasons Vanderbilt has had since Red Sanders left in 1948?

By: wiseguy on 3/18/10 at 9:54

goose - that is easy ... 2009 - 1948 = 61 - 4* = 57, final answer.

4 Non-disappointing seasons are 1955 Gator Bowl, 1974 Peach Bowl, 1982 Hall of Fame Bowl* & 2008 Music City Bowl.

* Some consider HOF a disappointment, I am among them. As I recall Watson Brown announced he was leaving VU just before the game.