The opening week of practice is always the most optimistic week of football season. 105 Division I athletes are competing in shorts and no pads, and they all look the part. Well, except for the kickers and punters.
Towards the end of the first week, the pads go on, and that’s when the worries begin. On the first day, it’s “Man, Nick Acree is a manchild!” And then when the pads go on, it changes to “Oh boy, Acree has a lot of work to do!”
The media was allowed to observe the first six periods of Monday’s practice (about an hour). In subsequent weeks, that drops to two periods (which makes it not worth attending, because that’s only warmups). In short, outside of the two open scrimmages, there just isn’t any time to form many opinions.
I thought some guys looked very good in the hour of practice I watched on Monday. I thought Logan Thomas looked sharp. I thought Ryan Malleck really looked smooth running his routes and catching the football. There are some impressive looking physical specimens up front, such as Brent Benedict , Laurence Gibson , Andrew Miller , Corey Marshall , etc. Oh, and newsflash: Demitri Knowles can burn any cornerback in college football in man coverage.
Of course, football without pads is not really...
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