If it wasn’t for the fact that the Bradwell Tiger football team now is practicing in full gear, it would be hard to differentiate first-year head coach Adam Carter from the players.
Carter, who said he prefers the hands-on approach, usually can be found right in the center of practice, running from drill to drill, tweaking techniques, demonstrating tackles and passing with perfection.
Carter said he enjoys being in the middle of the action.
“I love the game and I can’t be a walk-around micro-manager. I have to be in there with the actual practices and the kids like that, and they respond to it,” Carter said, adding that his presence lets the players know it’s time to get down to business. “Sometimes, when I am not there, their intensity goes down, so I am that guy for them.”
Thursday marked the first day the players could wear helmets, gear and full pads, but the weather forced them to wait out some lightning strikes. Friday afternoon’s heat threatened to delay training, but Carter made sure the boys practiced on a shady area of the field and granted them frequent water breaks. When the whistle blew, though, the athletes understood it was time to move.
When the team broke into defensive drills, Carter stepped in and showed a player, one-on-one, the correct technique in driving back an opposing tackle or block.
“I am a coach. I have to get in there and teach them what I know. That way, we know what is going on and what my expectations are,” he said.
Carter will take on a dual role this year as the head coach and the defensive coordinator.
The Tigers gave up 256 points last season, something Carter would like to avoid this year.
He said the Tigers plan to run a 3-5-3 defense to utilize the squad’s strength.
“Our goal is to put as much speed as we have on the field,” he said. “We are not blessed with any big or huge defensive linemen. Everything comes down to having as much speed as possible. We will get our best possible athletes on defense and build our team on defense, and our defense is designed to continuously bring pressure from different spots. We will bring people in and put pressure on them.”
The coach said he has a great crew of linebackers.
“They are all athletes and they like contact, so I am really pleased with them,” he said.
Cater said the defensive front is shaping up. He does have one younger player on the line, but, he pointed out, the kid has size. Carter said the defensive ends are explosive, which will help in placing pressure on the opposing quarterbacks.
After another water break, the team got back to work and the coach ran from station to station. Carter called out a few orders and the players quickly moved into action. Checking on a defensive technique, the coach ran toward the players and disappeared into a huddle of young athletes looking to soak up his knowledge.