Crisp describes first day of practice

CINCINNATI – It was only the first day and the pads are yet to be donned, but you can see the positives surrounding the Cincinnati Bearcats.

"We completed a 10-minute walk-through session in six and a half minutes," said head coach Butch Jones.

The crispness in the Bearcats' offense can be attributed to their familiarity with the system. It's the second season under Butch Jones and you can tell the players were comfortable with their surroundings.

"Night and day," senior quarterback Zach Collaros said about the first day of practice last season and this season.

Collaros did say that the execution was "sloppy" toward the end of practice.

Familiarity wasn't just for the offense as the defense flew around the Nippert Stadium turf as well.

But evaluating a defense in just shorts and helmets is like anointing a power hitter a Hall of Famer during batting practice.

"We are fine tuning the details instead of learning a new system," said senior linebacker J.K. Shaffer.

Jones added, "We will know more in practices eight, nine and 10."


• J.K. Shaffer and Zach Collaros were named 2011 captains by their teammates.

• The Bearcats will also have rotating co-captains for each game, along with a 15-member players staff. It is a committee of players that will serve as a go-between the players and coaches. Those players were also voted on by the players.

• Coach Jones doesn't expect to name his back-up quarterback until the week of the Austin Peay game.

• The team will be in helmets until Thursday.

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