According to Arkansas State new offensive coordinator Rhett Lashee the Red Wolf Football team was very excited about its first practice this past Wednesday.
"The guys were very excited," Lashlee told AStateNation.com. "We had to hold them back, they got to practice early and couldn't wait to get started. It was great to get a ball in their hand and to be able to throw it around."
One of the top priorities for the Red Wolves offensive unit is to learn the expectations of the new coaching staff, especially when it comes to the new fast past tempo.
"The biggest key for us is to teach them to practice at our tempo," Lashlee said. "It will take some time for them to get use to, they learned a little today on what we expect from them. We hit a wall halfway through practice, we have to understand what we want out of them both physically and mentally."
According to Lashlee an important key for the offense is to get into great physical shape.
"It's very important, we are going to be going at a lot faster pace than they are use to," Lashlee said. "We can't afford to lose anything mentally when we get tired, that's why it's vital they understand what type of shape they have to be in."
Lashlee, who will also serve as the teams quarterback coach, was overall pleased with his signal callers first day.
"Ryan has been great," Lashlee said. "He knew what to do with the football, he threw the ball really well at times. I think he will tell there were some throws he would have wished he had thrown better."
Lashlee plans on spending a lot of time with the quarterbacks as a group, to work on getting the little things right.
"I will spend as much time as it takes," Lashlee said. "I hold these guys to a higher standard. They touch the football on every snap. They have to lead our team, with leadership comes responsibility."
One of the little things that Lashlee plans on working on is his quarterbacks fundamentals.
"We have to work on our feet work," Lashlee said. "We have to throw the ball very accurate in this offensive system. I plan on pushing all of them to be as good as they can be everyday."
Lashlee was also very pleased to get Phillip Butterfield back on the practice field.
"It was great for him to be out there," Lashlee said. "I don't think he was really thinking about the knee at all. He probably threw the ball a lot more than he has been use to lately. Probably all the guys did, something I will have to monitor and watch."
With Butterfield being back in the lineup, the other signal caller that will see action this spring is Zach Davis. Stephen Hogan is going to play quarterback this spring and fall, but is recovering from shoulder surgery.?
"Those three guys, Ryan, Phillip and Zach will get the majority of the reps this spring," Lashlee said. "Stephen is still going to meetings and doing the mental stuff, he just can't throw right now."
Lashlee was overall pleased with the quarterbacks first day of practice.
"There are a lot of things we can get better at," Lashlee said. "We have to work on the little things. I'm pleased with their attitudes and their efforts but we have a long way to go."
Lashlee feels the offense learned what to expect after practice number one.
"They know what we expect of them now," Lashlee said. "We have a lot of work to do."
TURN THE VCR ON FAST FORWARD TIMES THREE
According to senior defensive back Chaz Scales the tempo of the offense is much faster than last year's.
"It's like turning on a VCR and hitting fast forward three times," Scales said after practice. "Coach Malzahn wasn't satisfied with the tempo of practice today and I thought it was so much faster already than last year. Something we are definitely going to have to get use to."
According to Scales John Thompson's defense is very similar to Dave Wommack's defensive attack.
"It's very similar," Scales said. "The terminology is really the only difference. We have a lot of younger guys that have to learn the system, the older guys really just have to learn what everything is being called."
Scales has a lot of confidence in his younger teammates.
"They are going to be really good once they get the system down," Scales said. "They have a lot of talent, just not a lot of experience."
APLIN READY TO ATTACK NEW OFFENSIVE TEMPO
"It's a lot faster tempo," Aplin said. "A lot faster than last year's, it's fast the whole game. It's one speed the entire time. I really thing it will be something that will be very beneficial for us offensively once we get the speed of the game down. It will make things really touch for other defenses."
Aplin also is impressed with his new position coach and offensive coordinator.
"Coach Lashlee is teaching us the little things," Aplin said. "He has already helped me with my feet work. He has done a lot with us already in just a short time."
Aplin is also impressed with Lashlee's accomplishments and knowledge of Malzahn's offense.
"No one knows it any better than he does," Aplin said. "He played in this system and has coached this system for a long time. He did great things in this state running this system in high school as the team's quarterback."
Aplin is also very happy to get Butterfield back after a season ending injury last fall.
"It's great to have him back out there," Aplin said. "It's great to have the competition level back that he brings everyday. It's like getting a missing piece of our offense back."