Rich Rodriguez and his coaching staff are already leaving an impression on the current roster of Arizona football players. Just two practices in to their first session under the new coaches, the Wildcats are being worked at an intensity level that the program has never seen.
Players are not given any opportunity to be lazy with these new coaches. When a play ends in 11-on-11's, there is no walking back to the huddle – most of the time, the huddle is non-existent. Everyone must hustle back, no exceptions.
The increased ferocity of practice is more of a representation of how the new staff wants their players to perform in real games, according to starting safety Adam Hall.
"The intensity of practice is always based upon the demeanor of how we want to play," Hall said. "Fast, hustle to the ball and not let anyone beat us. So we have to practice like that. Fly around practice; everything's quick. No real break between stuff."
The players are still in the early stages of learning what their new coaching staff expects of them on the field. The one thing that has become abundantly clear is that Rodriguez and his assistants like to keep things moving quickly in practice.
"Football wise, there are only so many things you can do with 11 people on the field," Hall said. "We're breaking down technique and starting from ground one. So right now it's really basic, but we're trying to go into the complexities of what our technique is, who is going to try and attack us where and just break down our defense so we know what's coming on any given play. So, in a sense, it's just football, but the philosophy is just fast paced."
Although it is extremely early, Hall already sees a significant amount of progress from the team.
"From the first day to the second day, communication and running around are looking a lot cleaner," Hall said. "Knowing what we're doing, where we are supposed be, where we are supposed to go during a practice setting - because there are different groups and drills at different times – so, yeah, from one day to the next you see good improvement."
It can be an unpredictable experience when a new staff takes over a group of players who were recruited by the previous regime, but Hall and his teammates see the change as something to take advantage of.
"We take the change as an opportunity to grow as people and players," Hall said. "And let them be the coaches they came here to be and develop us. We have a lot of athletes and our team is really dynamic."
Perhaps the biggest concern surrounding Hall is the status of his health. Missing the majority of the year due to an ACL injury can be a huge setback, but Hall appears to be close to 100 percent.
"I feel great," Hall said. "Running around I feel a little out of shape, but I have long time. Our strength and conditioning coach staff is amazing. I feel healthy; I weigh 217. I feel great, stronger than I have ever been, so I am ready to start."
Hall ready to contribute again
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