The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)
Bulldogs working on timing in preseason
About halfway through a monthlong preseason after a yearlong absence from football games, Yale coach Tony Reno said the Bulldogs have spent practice time working on their timing.
There are the obvious combinations that need to make sure they’re on the same page: quarterbacks and receivers, offensive linemen getting their blocking schemes down, defensive backs coordinating their coverage.
But even minute details like substitutions benefit from repetition.
“Things we haven’t done in a while,” Reno said.
He expects to see some rust the first couple of weeks but hopes some of that gets knocked off in scrimmages before Holy Cross visits Yale Bowl on Sept. 18 to start the Bulldogs’ season. The Crusaders will have two games in already, including Saturday’s game against UConn.
“I love the energy the team is playing with. I love how the guys are so invested in each other,” Reno said.
“It’s a lot of fun to be part of. I’m very impressed with the leadership of the seniors, and the juniors, too. ... They’ve done a really good job bringing the young guys along. I’m interested to see how it’s going to unfold.”
The coach has seen steady improvement. in these couple of weeks. He said the players have been intentional in their work.
“It looks like a normal camp,” Reno said. “There’s great competition at every position.”
It’s a great change from last year. The Ivy League shut down sports with most of the rest of the world in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. There has been no league play since.
“Last fall, there were only freshmen on campus. The rest took a semester off to recapture their eligibility to play a full four years at Yale,” Reno said.
“In the spring, we had about 70 guys, upperclassmen. It was a regular spring practice. Everything was normal except fans at the spring game.”
The prospect of changing that last part this fall has Reno excited.
“You hear that sound coming down the tunnel,” Reno said, “you really appreciate it.”