WKU spring practice: Day two

25 03 2010

Just got back from the second day of WKU football spring practice.

The Hilltoppers still weren’t in full pads this morning, but will be for the first time during Friday’s evening workout.

Comments from head coach Willie Taggart after day one were almost exclusively positive – as Taggart was very pleased with his group’s overall effort and intensity.

Day two, not so much. Taggart said he was disappointed by the overall energy on Thursday and maintained that the Hilltoppers still have a very long way to go.

Here are Taggart’s comments from this morning:

“(It didn’t go) like I wanted it to. I think these guys let the weather get to them. We changed practice up a little bit, had a little sudden change and some guys didn’t really know where to go. I told them on day one that if you don’t know where to go, just run. See where everybody else is going, then make a U-turn and get there. Guys just stood around, and that’s how it kind of was here before – and we’re trying to get them out of that. The other day we had a whole lot of energy, we didn’t have that energy today – which was surprising, but we’re going to get it right. We’re going to get them there.”

“It’s a challenge but as coaches it all starts with us, we have to have that juice and energy and we have to show them what we want. We’ve got to show them. Show them what to do and they’ll do it. It’s a process of changing the culture of how things have been done around here before. We’ve just got to be consistent with our preaching and teaching and they’ll get it. Some guys want to go back to their old ways and what they’re comfortable with and we have to get them out of that and get them doing what we want them to do.”

“We’ve got a lot of work to do fundamentally and with technique – it’s far from where it needs to be, but again, it was just the second day. If you make a mistake, that’s fine, just don’t make the same mistake twice. We’re keeping track of that and these guys know what we expect.”

“The whole setup of practice is different, we’re getting a lot more reps done than we did when I was here. The other day we had something like 137 reps, which is like two full games. We want guys to run around more, and they are. They’re out there celebrating and having fun, and we want them to, we want them to celebrate with their teammates. If you work hard to make a play, you should celebrate and do it the right way. The biggest difference is that we’re moving more. Guys are running around and we’re just getting a lot more reps. We’re letting guys just play football, and you only get better by playing.”

“Not everybody’s down, some guys are right there and you see some guys where you tell them they did something wrong and they go right back and do it right. That makes you feel good. We’re getting there but it’s going to take some time. And it’s early. Friday and Saturday I’ll have some great answers for you guys, we’ll put on pads then – then we’ll really see who can play some football. Everybody can look like an All-American in just a helmet – but we’ll put on some pads and find out who can really play.”

••••••••••••

In Friday’s paper, we’ll have a story focusing on the WKU defense – as new defensive coordinator Clint Bowen is in the process of installing a new 4-3 defensive unit for a team that finished No. 118 out of 120 in total defense last season.

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