Offense shows up for Taggart at the start of week two

WKU players run drills during spring practice last Friday at Houchens-Smith Stadium. Head Coach Willie Taggart said the defense was the better unit during the first week of the spring, but that the offense impressed Monday.

Emily Patton

Last week, it was the WKU defense that showed the most to Head Coach Willie Taggart.

But at the start of week two, it was a different story.

“Offensively, we got more stuff in and shifted and moved around a bit, and I don’t think (the defensive backs) were ready for that,” Taggart said Monday. “The offense got a one-up on them today.”

Regardless of who is leading the show, Taggart said the Toppers have impressed him thus far in spring practice.

“Very, very impressive week two,” Taggart said. “Usually after the first week, you have that first scrimmage that Monday is a little sluggish, but our guys came out with a different attitude. It is real exciting. It is like our guys understand how to practice now.”

Hampton fitting in with DBs

New defensive backs coach Alonzo Hampton said because his young players gained experience from last year, it has been an “easy transition” for him as a coach.

Hampton, who was previously the defensive coordinator at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, joined the Toppers after former defensive backs coach Clayton White left for Connecticut.

“They have been taking to it well,” Hampton said of his players. “Good days, bad days. But we have more good days than bad days, and that’s what we are fighting for.

“It is fast paced, trying to get to know the players and their strengths and weaknesses and just trying to see what they do best, and trying to put them in the best situation so they can be beneficial to the team.”

Taggart first met Hampton during an internship with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles in 2005 and said what drew him to hire Hampton later was his desire to work at WKU.

“He always wanted to be here,” Taggart said. “He is a good motivator. Our guys need a good motivator and more importantly, he is a good mentor. Those are things that stood out to me.”

Injury Updates

Taggart said after Monday’s practice that there had been a few notable injuries on the roster, most notably sophomore running back Antonio Andrews’ fractured hand.

Taggart said Andrews had pins put into the hand and should be back to practice in a couple weeks.

Andrews served as the primary backup to starting running back Bobby Rainey in 2010.

Taggart also said junior wide receiver Maurice Bullard has suffered a concussion and should return soon.

Also, sophomore wide receiver Will Adams fell on his shoulder last week before the Toppers put on full pads and is projected to be back by the end of this week or early next week.

But Taggart said the players are motivated to return to practice, like junior defensive lineman Kenny Martin, who got hurt last week but practiced again on Monday.

“Before I got here and guys got hurt, they went on vacation,” Taggart said. “Our guys really want to be out here. They really want it. Guys are starting to play through pain to get back out here. I think our team is coming closer together and don’t want to let their teammates down.”