March 28, 2012
Lights, full pads, action!
The University of New Mexico football team worked out for the first time in full pads on Wednesday night on the practice football fields south of University Stadium. Coach Bob Davie again lauded his team’s work effort as the players barely had time to get off the field and eat dinner before they come back early Thursday morning for team meetings.
“First of all, this is as good as it gets,” he said. “It’s 9:35 (p.m.), we’re getting them off the field. We’re going to go up there and feed them a little bit. They’ve got to be back here at 6:30 (a.m.), Man, we’re spoiling them. We’ve got them out here late on Wednesday night – nothing but football.”
After stretching to begin practice, Davie gathered the team together in a circle, and called out players two at a time to square off against each other, sumo-style, in the middle of the pack.
"My first coaching job was at the University of Pittsburgh in 1977, Jackie Sherrill was the head coach and Jimmie Johnson was the defensive coordinator,” Davie said. “We started out with the entire team in a circle, called out a couple guys and went one on one. We had guys compete. It’s a good way to set the tempo in practice. It’s fun; it’s what guys want to do.”
During individual drills throughout practice, coaches were a little more animated, stressing to the players to be more consistent as they simulated plays at full speed.
Davie said everyone showed a little extra excitement with the team donning the pads for the first time during practice.
“Tonight, we put pads on, and I think everybody’s energized by that – players and coaches,” Davie said. "It’s good to be out here hearing some collisions, just having fun. It’s a start.”
Some of the standouts Wednesday night included senior quarterback B.R. Holbrook, who fired a couple of complete passes downfield, and senior cornerback Destry Berry, who had a pass breakup and an interception.
But what has impressed Davie the most throughout the first three practices, he said, was his team’s attitude.
"Probably the biggest thing I’ve learned is they want to please. Man, they want to please,” Davie said. "It has not been a perfect process, by any means. There’s been bumps in the road; I don’t want to mislead anyone. It’s been kind of a dramatic transition for the players. By and large, they want to please; they want to do things right and get this thing turned around.”
Tight end Andrew Aho will miss all of spring to recover from a knee injury. Fullback Chris Biren will be limited with a pelvis injury. Linebacker Joe Stoner still is recovering from appendicitis and is expected to rejoin the team next week. Linebacker Javarie Johnson will wear a yellow jersey as he continues his recovery from a torn ACL that he suffered on the first play of the 2011 season. Defensive lineman Brad Maestas also will miss the spring session because of a knee injury.
HELP WANTED: The Lobos are seeking student volunteers to assist with the football team practices and other activities involving the program. Please contact Jacque May at 925-5551 or firstname.lastname@example.org.