By TERRY GROOVER
Jeremy Reed got exactly what he expected out of his players Saturday as the Millers went through an intrasquad scrimmage.
In only the team’s second day in pads, the Millers had an active day.
Initially, they had a light workout in the morning, followed by the team’s annual media day in which they were fully dressed in 105-degree heat for photos.
That was followed by a scrimmage that began at 8 p.m.
Reed said his players were exhausted.
“We had a long week. … To say they were a little bit worn out is probably an understatement,” he said.
However, Reed said he thought the situational scrimmage went well.
“There are a lot of things to teach off of on film, both good and bad. It’s kind of the same song, second verse every year when you talk about your first live action. You teach and teach and teach, and when you get pads on, some things change based on technique,” Reed said.
The issues were not unexpected.
“There is no panic. You have to reset everybody and get back into the flow of things. Ultimately, that’s only the second day that you are allowed to be in pads. That’s pretty quick to expect things to be perfect,” he said.
Overall, Reed said the intrasquad scrimmage gave the players an opportunity to get rid of their nerves and settle into their roles.
“We got a lot of good out of that. But as far as overall execution, it wasn’t what you would like it to be,” he said. “For the most part, we got what we wanted.”
The philosophy from the scrimmage is to begin teaching from film as the team prepares for this weekend’s scrimmage in Stillwater.
There, they will face teams like Ponca City, Norman and Putnam City North.
“It’s always fun to get into pads, because that is where real football is played. We got to see a few things on Saturday night to evaluate,” Reed said.
The focus Saturday was on goal line and the running game.
The passing game had a few issues, but it was something that Reed had expected and is continuing to work on.
“It was hit and miss. That is typical for this time of year. You will show sign of looking really good in areas and then go through a span and go ‘Man, we need a lot of work in that area.’ It was up and down,” Reed said.
The coaching staff will continue to work on those issues throughout the week. And while, the starting lineup is not set, Reed said he does have a general idea of what he wants to see on the field.
He also said there are several players who will be on both sides of the ball, though he would like to limit the number of two-way players.
“I’ve always carried the philosophy of the more kids you can play, the better you are gong to be. So, we’re continually trying to develop depth and find kids we feel like can play on Friday night.
“The hope is that number increases as you go through games in the first game through the third game in the preseason,” Reed said.
The goal this week will be to improve technique and to keep his players safe.
Reed said the team was adjusting its practice schedule because of the anticipated heat.
“Everybody is dealing with it. … That does play a big part in what you are trying to accomplish,” Reed said. “There are a lot of elements in place this week that you have to adjust with and try to get the best out of your team.”
Friday’s scrimmage begins at 6 p.m. for the JV squad and 7 p.m. for the varsity.
Yukon also will host a “Meet the Millers” event on Saturday. It will be an opportunity for athletes in all fall sports to be introduced.
The event begins at 7 p.m. and will include performances by the Pride of Yukon marching band as well as the pom and cheer squads.