Blue Devils preparing for 7-on-7 competitions

Published 4:55 pm Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Escambia County Blue Devils will play in their first 7-on-7 June 28 at Robertsdale High School.|File Photo

With the Escambia County Blue Devils in the midst of summer workouts, the weightroom is not the only thing that will be occupied by them this summer.

Along with conditioning and weightlifting,, the Blue Devils skill players will take part in several 7-on-7 competitions in this month and July.

A 7-on-7 game consists of seven players on offense and defense progressing or defending the passing game.

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For the Blue Devils, using this summer will be crucial to breaking in new starting quarterback Chris Johnson. Johnson, a sophomore, will become the full-time starter for the Blue Devils after starting several games during the 2010 season.

Blue Devils head coach Mark Heaton said working out his team in a 7-on-7 is an environment to help them learn the ins and outs of the passing game.

“It gives us a chance to compete at a competitive level,” he said. “That helps our defensive guys learn their coverages and our offense to learn more about our passing game. It’s a good atmosphere for team work.”

When it comes to the defensive side of the ball in a 7-on-7, the focus for the players is learn their roles in coverages whether it is in a man defense or a zone.

Heaton said he wants his defense to know their positions well and what they are being taught in practice.

“We look for them to learn everything about their position,” he said. “Once they k now about their position, we want them to learn and understand what we are trying to teach them when it comes to pass coverage.

Offensively, the name of the game is to move the ball down the field and a steady passing game can help move the ball in a number of ways.

Whether its progressing through the air or using the passing game to open up the run game, the Blue Devils offense needs to know the right plays to call.

They also need to put in the work needed to be successful.

Heaton said his objective for the offense during 7-on-7s will be to get as many snaps as possible work out any kinks.

“On offense, we want to get them a ton of reps,” he said. “We really everyone to be comfortable with the reads and progressions that are being made on the field. We need them to know where they need to be, so we can succeed.”

The Blue Devils first 7-on-7 is scheduled for Tuesday, May 28 at Robertsdale High School.