After a dozen practices this spring, Rocky Mountain College football coach Brian Armstrong believes the Battlin’ Bears’ defense is ahead of the offense.
“I think our defense is playing pretty fast and with some confidence,” he said.
Fans of Rocky will get a chance to judge for themselves during the Bears’ annual Green & White intrasquad scrimmage, which is set for Saturday at 1 p.m. on Herb Klindt Field.
The controlled scrimmage, involving around 80 players and likely lasting for about 75 plays, will pit offense against defense, with some special teams work included.
Admission is free.
“I’d like to see us play with some enthusiasm and have fun,” Armstrong said of the scrimmage. “And, again, just show some good, fundamental consistency ... blocking guys up offensively and tackling well defensively.”
Armstrong said his Bears have had a productive spring overall, despite being frustrated by periods of cold and snowy weather and injuries on offense, especially to linemen.
“I think, thus far, the defense has been ahead of the offense, but we’ve had good exchanges back and forth,” he said.
“We’ve got a long way to go,” Armstrong added. “We’ve got to get some work done this summer. We’ve got to have a great fall camp. I think we’re going to have a good group of guys sticking around this summer, so that will be critical to any success we might have going forward.”
Armstrong said the performance by the defense this spring has been highlighted by the play of the line, along with the performances of returning safety Kyle Mai and redshirt linebacker Anderson Otuafi.
Offensively, he also commended the play of backup quarterback Chase White and wide receiver Kalen Reed, who saw some action last fall as a true freshman.
“There’s some bright spots,” Armstrong said. “We need to develop a lot more consistency, for sure.”
He said the Bears “definitely got the pieces” to build on last year’s 8-4 record.
“Again, we’re going to have to depend on a few new guys, as we do every fall, that aren’t here yet,” Armstrong said. “We’re going to have to continue to develop some young guys.
“We’ve got a pretty good group of 15-16 seniors coming back, a lot of them are fifth-year guys that have been really good players for us.”
Rocky is slated to launch fall camp on Aug. 10. The Bears open at Dickinson State on Aug. 30.
“I think we’re going to be very competitive,” Armstrong said of the coming season. “Now what does that mean? This whole (Frontier Conference) is very competitive.
“I have no idea what that means as far as the win and loss column. We’ve got a lot of work to do before we start worrying about the win and loss part of it.”