Before Malcolm Cyrus even lined up for the first play in Tuesday’s practice, the Alabama State running back knew the Hornets were in trouble.
“It was the worst practice we’ve had the whole spring,” he said. “We couldn’t even block a simple inside zone. We’ve got a lot of stuff to work on and we need some offensive leadership from someone. Somebody’s going to have to step up and say something.
“First, we need to get in the film room and correct our mistakes. It starts there. And more energy. If we would have taken the field with a more aggressive attitude, taking the field looking as if we wanted to play, maybe something good would have happened. But when you go out there lazy, lazy stuff may happen when things don’t go your way. That’s first off. Then everything else just falls into place.”
The 10th practice of the spring was almost predictable. After 11 days off for spring break, the Hornets looked like they could have used a 12th day before resuming practice.
“It showed today that they enjoyed themselves (on spring break),” ASU coach Reggie Barlow said. “Obviously, these are young men and you’re going to frustrate yourself if you expect them to come back in great shape and their minds right. Now there were some guys that showed up today and practiced with genuine enthusiasm and competed at a high level but obviously there were a lot of them that still have the spring break cobwebs.
“Marcus Owens did some good things today and our defensive line was very combative – Chris Terry and (Edward) Mosley, those guys all came and competed well. I thought the defense came back with the right mindset but the offense was a little lethargic.”
That, Barlow said, was a sign of leadership. Or, rather, a lack of leadership.
“We’ve got to identify on offense some guys that want to have that leadership role and is going to put their positive peer pressure on their teammates to perform and compete and take the field the right way,” he said. “You’d like for it to come out of your quarterbacks, but if not, someone who has experience.”
That would be Cyrus, although the Autaugaville senior points out he isn’t that type of player.
“I could do that, but I lead by example,” he said. “I’ve never been a spokesperson so it would be a new thing, but if I have to step up and be the person to do it, I don’t mind putting it on my shoulders and doing it.”
ASU resumes practice Thursday before holding its second scrimmage of the spring on Saturday morning at Markham Football Complex.