Now that he’s been on the Southern University payroll for a little more than a month, quarterbacks coach Chad Germany said the players and assistant coaches know him now.
“It seems like it’s been a smooth process,” said Germany, officially hired by head coach Stump Mitchell on July 1.
“I think everybody kind of knows everybody, and we get along well. The staff is friendly, and everybody’s helpful. It’s a good thing to be a part of. I’m enjoying it.”
Still, it couldn’t hurt if Germany and his co-workers had some name tags handy.
SU fans who plan on watching preseason practice might need identification, if only to match all the new faces with correct names.
Germany, the former Capitol High coach, is one of four new assistant coaches in place for Mitchell’s second year, and, for what it’s worth, Mitchell likes his new staff.
“We feel like we have a lot more depth now on our football team, and we have the right coaches,” he said. “We have all the ingredients. Now we have to put them together to get the kind of cake we want.”
A brief recap of the offseason coaching moves:
-- Germany replaced quarterbacks coach Ted White, who left to become offensive coordinator at Howard, his alma mater. Gerald Carr, White’s original replacement, worked with the team during spring practice but left shortly thereafter.
-- Receivers coach Jorge Baez, a Miami native who arrived from NAIA Lambuth University, replaced longtime SU assistant Eric Dooley, who took over as offensive coordinator at Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
-- Tayrone Odums, fresh from a three-year stint at North Carolina A&T, has taken over the defensive line. Defensive coordinator O’Neill Gilbert coached the linemen last season.
-- Gilbert now coaches linebackers. He replaced Mike Jones, who became head coach at Division II Lincoln University.
-- Secondary coach Donnie Henderson replaces Otis Flowers, who was dismissed this summer. Mitchell announced his hiring of Henderson this week.
Watching the QBs
Germany comes to SU with a big assignment: Improving the play of SU’s quarterbacks, who completed only 47 percent of their passes last season.
Mitchell said that in his pro-style offense, which utilizes mostly short, safe passes, the completion percentage needs to be near 70.
What, then, is the first trick in Germany’s repertoire?
“We like to start with the mental part of it - teaching those guys the understanding of defensive tendencies and protections,” he said. “I think that’s the trick. If they’re comfortable and confident, I think that’ll help cure the problem right now with accuracy.”
Four quarterbacks return, in addition to J.P. Douglas, a true freshman from Roswell, Ga.
Even though Jeremiah McGinty started most of Southern’s games last season, sophomore Dray Joseph (1,117 yards, five touchdowns, four interceptions) is listed first on the team’s preseason depth chart, followed by Douglas.
“I think it’ll be fair to say it’s open competition, with Dray having a small advantage,” Germany said.
As expected, senior Lee Almanza will move from RT and begin this season at C. ... RB Jerry Joseph, a Ville Platte native who hasn’t played for SU since 2008, reported to camp Wednesday. The addition of Joseph gives the team 27 holdovers from the Pete Richardson era. ... Players will go through conditioning tests Thursday morning, followed by the first practice of the season this afternoon.