Embree pleased with coaches' week

Colorado football coaches have been pushing players through brutal workouts each morning this week as the program prepares to kickoff spring ball next week. Coach Jon Embree said he has been proud of his players' performance thus far. Get inside for more.

The Buffs report to Balch Fieldhouse each morning this week at 6 a.m., for workouts that last approximately 75 minutes.

Coaches push the Buffs through eight different stations, running stadium stairs, agility drills, lifting ropes, cone drills, bag drills and more. The sessions are a cap to the winter strength and conditioning program and provide a gauge to coaches of how tough -- both mentally and physically -- each player is.

"This has been a real good coaches week," Embree said. "There has been a lot of focus. Real good competition. A lot of guys different days raising up and you can see some leadership really starting to develop on this team. There has been a lot of good things that have come out of this week so far."

Coaches' week lasted two weeks last year, but Embree cut it back to one this year. The Buffs will wrap it up Friday morning.

"I expect that to be our best day, and if it is our best day, I'll be really pleased with how this week has gone for us," Embree said.

Embree said a core group of players has shined consistently all week, including safety Ray Polk, defensive lineman Will Pericak, Chidera Uzo-Diribe and Juda Parker, wide receiver Paul Richardson, linebacker Derrick Webb and tight end Nick Kasa.

"Every rep they go like this is their last one, it's the only one," Embree said. "It's great that they have that mindset and it's starting to spread to other guys."

Embree said coaches' week was called something different when he was a player at CU under coach Bill McCartney in the 1980s. He changed the name to keep it a little more politically correct. He said the goal of coaches week is to push players beyond what they believe they can do. It prepares them to be able to fight longer and harder in the season.

"Just pushing them as far as you can from a mental standpoint and them learning to fight and compete when they're tired," Embree said. "Learning to follow directions when they're tired. Learning to think and all those things when you're under duress. You're just trying to put them in those situations in different ways at each station to see who can and who can't do those things under pressure."

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