Position Battles Keeping New Diana Coach Brett Ratliff Busy
First-year New Diana head coach Brett Ratliff said Thursday afternoon that the Eagles' two-a-day practices have featured a couple of position battles so far.
The quarterback spot in New Diana's new pro-I base offense and a starting cornerback job have been the most competitive, Ratliff said. While a hand full of Eagles are playing for the role in the secondary, two players have separated themselves in the fight for the QB duties.
Sophomore Cameron Taylor (6-0, 190) and senior D.D. Hill (5-9, 165) have gotten the most reps so far.
"It's going really well right now," Ratliff said. "They're both very athletic and they're going to help us on the field at some capacity somewhere. I would say D.D.'s a little stronger passer and a little better finesse player. Cameron probably has a stronger arm, though, and he's definitely our more physical quarterback. He's like a tailback or a fullback."
Garrett Barton, who played some quarterback in 2011, will move to tailback, Ratliff said.
"He's an ultra-dynamic player," Ratliff said. "I look for huge things out of him this year."
Ratliff has liked the aggression and enthusiasm he's seen from his team, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Switching from former coach Roger Adams' run-heavy wing-T offense to the more balanced pro-I has been a bit more difficult, but Ratliff said the Eagles are starting to catch on to the new coach's brand of instruction.
Before next week's scrimmage against Big Sandy, Ratliff wants his players to be more vocal.
"I want to see communication," Ratliff said. "Communication is key for everybody. I'm starting to see some leadership develop but we need to progress more. We need to see some quality leadership on the field."