After seven practices and one scrimmage, one thing has stood out to coach Mike Kramer and that is that Justin Arias, Luke Austin and Cameron Richmond have established themselves as leaders of the 2013 Bengal football team.
"It is obvious that Justin Arias is going to be one of the premier players in this conference," Kramer said on Tuesday afternoon the team’s seventh practice.
"Cam Richmond and Luke Austin give us extremely veteran leadership and I bet no other team in this conference has as many combined catches as those two guys. They make the world of difference."
Richmond and Austin combined to catch 113 passes for 1,350 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2012.
The Bengals had a controlled 38-play situational scrimmage during Tuesday's practice.
"It was very controlled and lethargic in terms of hitting but efficient in terms of young guys being able to play for the first time at full speed," Kramer said.
Players scored three touchdowns during the scrimmage. Riley Sessions threw two touchdown passes, one to Braeden Mitchell and another to Josh Cook. Xavier Finney also scored on a three-yard touchdown run.
Kramer added that offensively the pass protection, "sagged a little bit and we allowed too much penetration. The entire day was spent in the red zone and in the red zone we cannot give up sacks or allow penetration. It is something we have to take a look at."
On defensive play Kramer said, "We played a little more on top of the offense then we have shown to date."
After seven practices, Kramer said that overall the defensive front is still a work in progress and that the linebacker and secondary positions is a big carousel of "who is playing and who is playing well.”
Kramer singled out Cameron Gupton and Jon Davidson as the two guys who have played every day in camp.
"I like what they are doing," Kramer said. "We just need to solidify what more guys are doing on defense."
On offense, Kramer said he likes the progress the offensive front is making and feels like that unit is starting to come together. He added that he hopes to continue to see improved play from Aaron Prier and Xavier Finney at running back.
"They have not yet played with the type of toughness and physical stamina that we need to have," Kramer said.
Idaho State opens the season Sept. 7 vs. Dixie State at 3 p.m. in Holt Arena.