"We still have a long ways to go as a football team but the players are beginning to understand what it takes to be a championship football team," said Kelly, CMU's first-year mentor. "We have increased their work capacity and they've responded. The conditioning has gone well so far.
"But, it's not just the 28 practices we have prior to the start of the season. It's a 365-day process."
Kelly and his staff welcomed 105 football players to campus on Aug. 11, when CMU began drills for the season openers at Indiana (Sept. 4) and at Michigan State (Sept. 11). The first Chippewa home game is set for Sept. 18 against Southeast Missouri State.
"We've made progress," Kelly said. "I want to be a lot better by November, and as long as we continue making progress, we will be."
The Chippewas capped their first five days of one-a-day practices on Sunday with a scrimmage, and had two practices on Monday. The annual Media Day is set for Tuesday.
Junior tailback Mike Pryce had a few anxious moments over the weekend as Hurricane Charley made an unexpected right turn and tore through his hometown of Punta Gorda, Florida.
While his parents, Heraldo and Olive Pryce, were okay, his home did suffer some minor damage.
The Chippewas have lost five players from their roster -- sophomore wide receiver Obed Cetoute (academics), junior college transfer Jason Cooper (academics), senior cornerback Derrick Holoman (medical), senior defensive tackle Kalani Muragin (quit) and junior cornerback Fabrice Raymond (medical).
Senior Jacob Brown, a wide receiver with eight receptions for 133 yards in 2003, has moved to drop linebacker and will redshirt this season.
Redshirt freshman Eric Tunney, a 6-3, 262-pounder, has moved from defensive end to defensive tackle.
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