Day 5 of practices. Helmets, shoulder pads, shorts and no tackling.
Today was the first time the Buffs practiced outside. The weather was nice and sunny (65-70 degrees), with some wind coming out of the West. The advantage for the players and coaches in practicing outdoors is that they are more spread out, and capable of having more room for drills, as opposed to being bunched up in the dome. The disadvantage for spectators, like myself, is that it is twice as hard to see everything that is going on.
Nonetheless, here are some observations from practice:
- Players, coaches, and fans were greeted with a big banner that read “PASSION” when walking through the gates onto the practice field–a reminder of why these student athletes play this game.
- The Defense looked very sharp throughout most of practice.
- Defensive coordinator Ron Collins has shown various formations, which has given the defense the ability to bring pressure from all over. Marquez Herrod, Marcus Burton and Patrick Mahnke all recorded sacks, and Mike Sipili batted down a pass. Continue reading
Day 4 of spring practice in the bubble.
The $3 million facility has been getting a lot of use by Hawkins and the Buffs, and why not? With Colorado weather being so unpredictable, I don’t blame the fourth year coach for holding practice in a controlled environment. Also, the soft playing surface in the bubble is a lot more forgiving than the thawing ground of the outside practice fields.
After the weekend, the young CU team was in full pads again today, picking up where it left off on Friday.
Here are some of my observations from practice:
- The Buffs didn’t mess around today and went to an 11-on-11 no huddle, two minute drill immediately after team stretches.
- The offense moved the ball well, and Markques Simas made a nice grab (approx. 20 yards) down the field for a TD on one of the plays. Continue reading
Day 3 of practices. Again in the bubble. First day of full pads.
Here are some observations from todays practice:
- If I were to place a theme on today’s practice it would be special teams and urgency.
- Like they’ve done all spring, the offense worked out of a huddled offense. However, there was a sense of urgency in breaking the huddle and sprinting to their spots for a quick snap.
- Special Teams have been an emphasis all spring, and today was no exception. Hawk has also made it an emphasis to get the best players on the field as much as possible. Point in case: Nate Solder (6’9″) and Ryan Miller (6’8″) lining up on the field goal blocking team. Miller showed off his size as he was able to get his hand on a field goal attempt from Aric Goodman. To Goodman’s defense, it could have been a kick from Mason Crosby, and Miller still would have blocked it with the penetration he created. Continue reading
Day 2 of spring practices in the bubble. Shorts and helmets.
Here are a few observations from today’s practice:
- I’ve only seen Denver Johnson (the new offensive line coach) twice in action, but I already love the guy. I don’t know what fires me up more about him–his high white socks, or the fact that he stands on the blocking sled during drills. He seems like a very good hands on, technique kind of coach.
- It’s a great sight to see the 14 healthy offensive linemen participating in drills this spring. It’s hard to believe that two springs ago, we only had 6 offensive line to work with.
- I think it is safe to say that Rodney Stewart and Brian Lockridge are healthy. They both are making good cuts and show no signs of setbacks. I remember last season, Coach Hagan saying that Speedy is the type of guy that could make you miss in a phone booth. It’s good to see B-Lock going at full speed…in fact, I’ve determined that the guy has 2 speeds: stop, and really fast. Continue reading
January 8, 2010, Pasadena, California. Book your flight, reserve your hotel room, and buy your tickets. The Buffs are going to the National Championship.
D-a-r-r-e-l-l S-c-o-t-t make sure the sophomore’s name is spelled correctly when he’s handed the Heisman in December.
Dan Hawkins: unanimous choice for National Coach of the Year.
I hope Jimmy Smith doesn’t go pro after winning the Thorpe Award.
Ok, so maybe I got a little ahead of myself…after all, it was just the first practice of the spring.
The 2009 season will be the 20th year that linebacker coach Brian Cabral has been a coach for the Buffs, and 19th as a full-time assistant, which is the most in CU sports history. In his time at CU, he has coached seven All-Americans:
- Alfred Williams (’89-1st team, ’90-1st team), Kanavis McGhee (’89-1st team), Matt Russell (’96, 1st team), Jordan Dizon (’07-1st team), Chad Brown (’92-2nd team), Jashon Sykes (’99-2nd team), Ted Johnson (’94-3rd team).
Heading into the 2009 season, the linebacker position is arguably the most talented on the team. As Spring practices approach, the Buffs will return 2 starters from last years team, and will look to replace 3 year starter, and 2008 sack leader Brad Jones. Ten scholarship athletes, and six walk-ons will compete for three available positions.