Spring is in the air, and so are the footballs at Troy football’s practice facilities.
Troy football has completed half of the 15 allotted spring practices this semester under new Head Coach Chip Lindsey.
Any time a new coach is introduced — especially in football — it takes time for the current players to change to the new coach’s system.
Lindsey said his players are starting to get in rhythm.
“We still got a lot of work to do as far as execution goes,” Lindsey said. “But I think our players now are getting an understanding of the schemes on offense, defense and special teams.
“We’ll start building toward the scrimmage next weekend.”
Troy’s first scrimmage will take place this Saturday.
On Thursday, the team will hold a student-appreciation practice at 3:30 p.m.
The team returns 15 starters on offense and defense from last year’s 10-3 team.
However, among the losses from last season include seniors Sidney Davis, Deondre Douglas and Damion Willis. All were wide receivers, and each receiver made an All-Sun Belt team last season.
Incoming wide receivers from this year’s recruiting class are looking to take their place.
“Khalil (McClain) and Reggie (Todd) have brought a really nice presence,” Lindsey said. “Right now, as a group, we’re still trying to find our best eight guys.”
McClain was ranked as the fourth-best junior college wide receiver by 247Sports last season, and Todd was ranked 17th.
Senior quarterback Kaleb Barker said the relationship with the new receiving core is improving and will get even better as workouts continue.
“It’s something you’ve got to work on over time,” Barker said. “I think we’ve got some good guys coming in like Reggie and Khalil, and some older guys like Luke making plays.
“I’m excited for what we got. In the summer, we’ll grind out some extra time to get that timing down.”
Last season, Barker went down with a knee injury suffered against Georgia State.
Thankfully, the senior signal caller said he’s recovering.
“I’m doing great,” Barker said. “I’m getting better each day and just trying to take it easy and come back 100%.”
Last season, Barker claimed the record of passing percentage in a single season by a Troy quarterback at 73% for the year.
Lindsey and Barker both said the team suffered from too many penalties; however, the players are making plays and are getting more consistent.
On the other side of the ball, defensive coordinator Brandon Hall said his defense is improving through spring practice.
One point Hall emphasizes is that he wants all 11 players on the field to get to the football.
In January, Hall was promoted to defensive coordinator after coaching outside linebackers and special teams last season, his first stint with the Trojans.
“We’re going to make mistakes,” Hall said. “We’ve changed the name of a lot of different things.
“A lot of times guys get a little bit confused, so they’re going to make mistakes.”
Troy will continue to hold practices each Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday in April leading up to T-Day, which will be held on April 20.