FOOTBALL: Titan Tempo: Morgan installs Memorial’s system through month

Published 6:25 pm Tuesday, May 15, 2018

May is Titan Tempo month at Port Arthur Memorial.

‘Titan Tempo’ is the new motto — and hashtag, for that matter — for the Titans, who began their contact drills this month under recently hired head coach Brian Morgan.

“We bring more intensity,” senior-to-be free safety Jacob Washington said. “We go real fast, like ‘Titan Tempo’. That’s our new motto. We go fast with everything we do.”

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It could also display how quickly the Titans, who shared the District 22-5A championship and reached the 5A Division I Region III semifinal round last season, have picked up Morgan’s system. They also aren’t waiting until August practices to become familiar.

“Kids are working very hard,” said Morgan, who was hired March 22 to replace Kenny Harrison, who moved on to Humble Summer Creek. “I’ve been very pleased with it. They’re picking up stuff very fast, considering it’s completely new for them.”

Senior-to-be receiver Teajawon Mack said the players still have to think while executing each play, although Titan Tempo is in full effect.

“To move fast and read the defense and think is more important,” he said. “… Without thinking, you’re just running blind.”

Many Southeast Texas 5A and 6A football teams typically don’t hold spring contact drills, electing to begin preseason camp the same week as 1A through 4A teams. By UIL policy, 5A and 6A teams who train during the spring cannot begin preseason camp until a week after the smaller-classification teams do.

Memorial began spring drills May 1 and is spreading 18 practices through May 30. The Titans’ preseason camp will begin Aug. 13 with the mandatory four-day acclimation period and contact activities beginning Aug. 17. Memorial will scrimmage Nederland the next weekend (location is yet to be announced) and begin the regular season at home Aug. 31 against former District 21-6A rival Deer Park.

Morgan has hired coaches for next season but is waiting until June to announce changes to the staff. He isn’t concerned waiting an extra week to practice in August will hinder Memorial.

“For right now, for the situation we’re in, I don’t think so,” he said. “New systems on offense and defense the guys have to learn. We’ve got a chance to practice 16 to 18 times as opposed to a week in the fall. It was a lot for the guys to learn, so that way, when they’re in the summer working on their own, they know what to do.”

The summer is when athletes show who want to succeed the most, Mack said.

“Who wants to be state champions and who wants to be great?” he said. “So, it’s up to you how hard you want to work and how great you really want to be.”

Morgan said the offensive concepts are the same as they were under Harrison, but with different wrinkles to the plan.

“You’ve got the same players and some athletic guys and a quarterback who can throw it,” he said. Senior-to-be Kameron Ladia is the favorite to succeed Tulane signee Keitha Jones under center.

“When it comes game day in August, you’ll see different looks and different formations that haven’t been used in the past, which they’ve been very successful,” Morgan added. “We’re going to do some stuff they’ve been very successful with in the past as well.”

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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