Impact of Preseason Workouts on Offense Paying Off

As the Cougars completed their first full week of practice today, what is most noticeable is the obvious improvement of the offense. The spring sessions and voluntary 7-on-7 summer workouts appear to have paid off.

The quarterbacks and wide receivers are beginning to look as though they were cast from the same mold. The receivers and quarterbacks are beginning to understand their roles and, more importantly, each other.

Sophomore wide receiver Chris Hale noted the improvement among the receiver corps and offered his assessment on the improving interaction with the quarterbacks.

"We were here just about every day during the summer. When we weren't lifting, the quarterbacks were out here throwing to us, and I think that has helped me personally more than anything."

Hale started as a true freshman under former head coach LaVell Edwards in 1999, before leaving on an LDS mission. He has been singularly focused on his preparation since his return more than a year ago.

"The lifting and running is good for keeping you in shape. But coming out and running with the quarterbacks, getting our timing down, getting used to how they throw the ball, where they throw it on certain routs, has really helped me."

To paraphrase an old cliché, it's a case of the right hand knowing what the left hand is doing. The results are apparent already in fall practice. "Rather than just coming into fall camp and trying to get used to it here, we've been doing it for three or four months now," Hale said. "I understand the offense a lot better and spring has helped me a ton. Last fall, my head was spinning a little bit, but this year things are going really good. I'm very confident in knowing what I'm supposed to do."

The goal now is to use the remainder of fall practice to work on refining their precise route running. He noted they are focused on "just cleaning up and finishing plays.

"Sometimes (before) we'll be in the middle of a play," he said, "and maybe not finish it as much as we should. We are fine tuning it now. We've got all the major stuff down now, and we're making sure we're just crisp on every play and the details are there; just finishing."

The growing confidence expressed by Hale is evident everywhere on the team, encouraged by master motivators Crowton and Bronco Mendenhall.

"We are way excited and we're ready to come out and show people what we can do. We feel like we are going to be a powerhouse," Hale continued. "We've just got to go out and do it now. The preseason doesn't matter, and we are all ready to come out and show it."

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