March 26, 2012
In some respects, University of New Mexico football head coach Bob Davie's message to his team was a bit ironic, considering the quickened pace of spring practice he has established his first two days:
"Never let 'em see you sweat."
The Lobos finished their second practice of the spring season Sunday evening, moving to the indoor practice facility for the final one-third of the session. The team literally ran through a second straight two hour and 20 minute session in as many days.
"It's tough; I would never choose to do it. I would never choose to practice two days in a row (during the spring)," Davie said. "I would never choose to practice on Saturdays and Sundays for the coaches or the players because it's a long, long season and I hate to take away their weekend. Because of class scheduling, we had to do it."
What Davie doesn't want his players to sweat about - at least openly - are the little things that go wrong in practice, such as an errant throw, a dropped pass, a missed assignment.
"We spent a lot of time talking about body language," Davie said, "how you react to good things and to bad things. They're doing everything we ask them to do, and it's a constant education process."
If a quarterback misses a target, Davie doesn't want him to him to grab his helmet. If a wide receiver drops a ball, he shouldn't pound the ground.
The coaching staff wants them to get ready for the next play.
"We want to make to make sure they know exactly what we want them to do, exactly what's expected," Davie said. "And then we're going to be pretty intense and demanding that they do it."
The Lobos will take a couple days off from practice before gathering again on Wednesday night. The first 30 minutes are open to the public. When the team returns to the field, the players will don pads for the first time.
"It's finally time to play some football or at least see where we are," Davie said. "You always expect guys to be excited about putting the pads on. We've tried to be as close as we can to be realistic without pads but that's when you really start finding out."
UNM must practice one more day without pads, and that will take place Saturday, but the team will be in full gear for the rest of the 15 spring dates. Davie said the team still has a lot of work ahead, but he has appreciated the team's work ethic.
That will help the Lobos in their quest to build a solid foundation.
"I put a big picture of an armadillo up there because the key is to have a tough skin," Davie said. "There's no way to do this easily, I want guys to understand I've got a responsibility to be dead honest, a responsibility to try to get them better and that's all I'm interested in right now."