Rattlers remain confident

It’s been nearly two weeks since cornerback Curtis Holcomb snagged two interceptions against Delaware State. But the freshman starter is hoping to add to that number against the Howard Bison this week.

“I had two interceptions in the last game, and I’m looking forward to Howard passing alot.” Holcomb said. Howard admits he has grown a great deal as a player since his debut last season.

“College football was more fast-paced than what I was used to, but I know the game more and I’m ready now,” Holcomb said.

Preparation seems to be the theme of this season for the Rattlers. Head coach Joe Taylor says the team doesn’t wait too long after games to look ahead to the next game.

“After each game we review the film as a team, and grade each guy on their overall performance,” Taylor said.

Forcing each player to realize his faults, Coach Taylor enforces a strict cardio routine of running and weight lifting.

“Fatigue will make a coward out of you,” Taylor proclaims, justifying his tactics.

Taylor says the teams (1-1) record is due to strategic plays of special teams and discipline on both ends of the football.

“We are leading the conference as the least penalized team, and I’m very proud of our special teams,” Taylor said. “But I do believe we could become more cerebral, and minimize the occurrence of little mistakes.”

The team seems to share Taylor’s optimism.

“The plays will be better executed, defense will stop passes and the offense will handle the ball better than before,” said Alvis Graham, a 19-year-old linebacker from Orlando.

Taylor expects big games out his team.

Taylor also confessed his admiration for 21-year-old Anthony Collins who has anchored a formidable offensive line. The Rattlers have allowed 3-27 sacks this season.

“If everybody enjoyed life the way Collins enjoyed life the world would be a better place.” Taylor said.

Collins, a sociology student, was hurt during the Howard game last season.

“Last year against Howard I was injured during the third quarter, but we had a well enough lead before halftime to pull out a win,” Collins said.

Taylor said he has enjoyed teaching and becoming a member of the Rattler family.

“I call my move from Hampton expanding my neighborhood.” Taylor said with a smile. “I want to minister and touch the lives of the young men I coach.”

Taylor emphasized to the team that performance off the field is just as important as making strides on the field. “I stress that they attend class, take care of all responsibilities and make good decisions.” He said.

With a team of 99 egos and different personalities, Taylor humbles them all with his ideals. “You can’t just be a champion on game day, but everyday,” he proclaims.

This Saturday the team is looking to rebound after the Delaware State loss when they play Howard University in Washington D.C.