Riverside works out in pads for first time in fall camp

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 11, 2005

Delaneuville continuing to impress as Rebels have their fair share of adjustments to first day in pads


Sports Editor

RESERVE-It may be their second week of fall practice, but the Riverside Rebels are starting over.

Well, sort of.

The Rebels donned the pads for the first time Monday morning in the intense South Louisiana heat.

While several Rebel players seem to have their moments where they succumbed to Mother Nature, the backfield duo of senior quarterbacks AJ Delaneuville and Jarid Caesar continues to be impressive.

One of the best returning tailbacks in the area, Caesar is hoping to avoid a “sophomore slump” after a phenomenal freshman campaign.

Meanwhile Delaneuville has looked very impressive in practice and seems to have a firm grip on what the Riverside coaching staff is trying to get the senior quarterback to accomplish in 2005.

“You could see it out there,” Riverside head Coach Mickey Roussel said. “We were sluggish. We went out there for three consecutive hours. We didn’t break it up like we did last week. Last week we went out for two hours and took a break. Right now I am trying to get them acclimated to a two-and-a-half hour workout, which will start taking place once school starts. At some part in time you have to stay out there for two to three-and-a-half hours to practice.

“Hopefully as we get to the end of the week it will get a little bit better for us. This week you have a little more contact, your tackling drills become a little more intense, so you are exerting a lot more energy than when you were just in shorts and helmets. This is hell week. Everybody is in the same boat. You put those pads on for five days and you are not playing anybody, you are not going to scrimmage anybody. Once you get through this week, it will get a little easier as the time goes on.”

Despite his team’s sluggish start, Roussel is not worried about how his squad will adjust.

“No, No, No, No, No,” Roussel said. “It was about what I expected today. “Maybe I thought that we could bounce around a little bit more, but it is going to get better as tehy days go on based on past experience. Everybody looks good in shorts and helmets without any contact.

“Now it is a little different. We are able to go a little bit faster now in our drills because we are able to hit people. You expect to be a little bit sluggish.”

Two players who showed very little signs of sluggishness were Delaneuville and Caesar, something that did not surprise the Riverside head coach.

“They (Delaneuville and Caesar) did it for 11 games last year,” Roussel said. “Some of the things we did last year was new, but nothing is new this year.

“With those two and you can add Lee Haydel to this when he comes back from a baseball tournament, we expect them to be precise and sharp. When we get our whole backfield back, their attention and execution should be very good.”