||HEADLINE NEWS - Team Note Book
Tuesday - 5/29/2001
By: Sixto Lopez
The following is a recap of events that took place in Cancun, Mexico, on May 23-24.
For more than two hours on Thursday afternoon, Mike Smith, defensive line coach of the Baltimore Ravens, taught the basics of defensive football to a group of 15 kids (7-14 years) who play American Football on four of the teams in Cancun, Mexico.
Also teaching kids at the clinic, held on the football field at La Salle School, were defensive tackle Larry Webster and strength and conditioning coach Chip Morton.
After the clinic, Smith spoke with Mexican journalists: “I think the young players here in Cancun have a very good basic understanding of football, and it’s been quite encouraging to see the way they have been able to accept our coaching advice.”
However, the Ravens coach admitted: “The language barrier was somewhat of an issue at the beginning, but once we got on the same page they understood what I was saying.”
Asked about what to expect for the second day of the clinic, on Friday afternoon, coach Smith said: “I hope we’re going to do it even better. We will try to play face to face, with defensive players against the running backs and quarterbacks.”
During the clinic, Smith held blocking exercises with about five players, including linebacker Sebastian Gonzalez of the Troyans of Alexandre team and Jorge Adrian Rodriguez, a defensive lineman from the Jaguars of the Duini School team.
Talking with kids after the first practice of Thursday afternoon, defensive tackle Larry Webster sent a very special message to the kids: “I’m proud to be here today with you because, as a kid when I was your age, I would have loved it if I had a recognized sports athlete talking to me and other kids.”
The Ravens defensive tackle also said: “I hope to help you be better not only in football but also in school and at home with your parents.”
During two and a half hours on Wednesday morning, Ravens’ Director of College Scouting Phil Savage talked about the fundamentals of offensive football to 14 head coaches and assistant coaches of the four American football teams of Cancun which play in the Yucatan Peninsula league, called OFASE (South East American Football Organization).
During the football clinic to the coaches, Savage talked about how the quarterbacks have to handle the ball from the center’s snap until they throw a pass.
During the clinic at the conference room in LaSalle High School, Savage also explained how the quarterbacks hand off the ball to the running backs.
Also, with help from Jose “Pepe” Romero, head coach of the Cancun Hurricanes team, Savage showed how coaches teach their wide receivers (WR’s) to catch the ball
FOR COMPLETE COVERAGE IN SPANISH ABOUT THE RAVENS EVENTS IN CANCUN, MEXICO, PLEASE VISIT www.historiaprofootball.com"