Incoming Campbell coach preaches strength on lines
by Carlton D. White
May 21, 2014 04:00 AM | 2299 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
From the outside looking in, Ryan Brady thought highly of the Campbell football team.

In his time as an assistant at Hillgrove, he felt like there were athletes in the Spartans’ program, but they were lacking a crucial element that allowed Brady’s Hillgrove teams to go 4-0 against Campbell in his tenure.

“At Hillgrove, we won our games on the offensive and defensive lines,” Brady said.

Now that Brady is in charge of the program, having been hired in mid-April, he’s establishing a structure to help improve Campbell’s fortunes and get it back to being a team capable of winning consistently.

“When I got here, the guys were pretty much what I expected,” he said. “I felt like I had to come in and institute a level of toughness, both physically and mentally. There were a lot of athletes, but there hadn’t been a lot of weight room participation. The guys just weren’t tough, and they weren’t strong, so I have to change that.”

Brady saw a lot of improvement from his players during spring practice, which wrapped last Thursday.

“From Day 1 to that final spring game, the guys have shown improvement,” he said. “We did a good job laying the foundation with the plan we have moving forward.

Along with improving the Spartans’ toughness along the offensive and defensive lines, Brady and his assistants are using this time to keep an eye on players who will be needed to fill key offensive roles.

Campbell will lost top receiver Marlon Horne, three-year starting quarterback Ricky James and its best offensive and defensive player, running back and safety Mike Rogers.

“It’s difficult to compare anyone to Mike Rogers,” Brady said. “He was a first-team all-state player, but I’m confident about the number of skill players we have on offense and defense.

“We used the spring practice to just try and institute some toughness at the offensive and defensive lines and develop the talent that we have. I feel like that talent is there.”

Without Rogers, Horne and James, Campbell will need players to execute on the field, and Brady pointed out several rising seniors who have caught his attention so far, including wide receiver Chauncey Werah and offensive lineman Preston Fussell.

Defensively, notable standouts included senior defensive back Cortavion Hinton and defensive end Monty Daniel, along with junior linebacker Kobe Palmer.

“A bunch of these guys are rising seniors, and they’ve shown leadership,” Brady said. “They’ve bought into what we’ve tried to do in laying the foundation. They stood out in what they displayed during spring football.”

Brady was very pleased with what he saw in Campbell’s spring game. Still attempting to round out his coaching staff, which includes himself and eight assistants, Brady hopes to fill one to two more positions before the start of preseason practice.

In the meantime, he and his existing staff will continue to evaluate what they’ve learned about the Spartans over the past couple of weeks.

“The effort was there for the final scrimmage,” Brady said. “They competed and flew around. It was an exciting atmosphere and there was a good crowd.

“There are things to still work on, but the foundation is improving and it will give us an opportunity to be successful.”
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