Practice Number 3 Full Pads

Oh the refreshing sounds of pads popping, coaches yelling, and finally in Huntington, birds chirping. Marshall took the field on a perfect spring afternoon for their first day in full pads. As has been the case the first two days of practice, the session was a brisk, well planned, practice that made the most of every allowable minute.

It was good to see what some of the newer players looked like fully padded up, it was also nice to see that wide receiver Devon Smith is just as fast in pads as he is not in pads. Smith can cut on a dime and then explode. If he gets into the open field, he most likely will not be caught.

As I have noticed the first two days, practice is completely different than the last few years. The drills are different, and the times in which they are ran is different, it seems like a welcome change for some of the guys who are entering their 3rd, 4th, and even 5th years.

The offensive lines and defensive lines went at it in multiple drills. The team split up into nine on nine inside drills early and had some spirited battles. I will post a couple explosive plays inside the forum that will be attached at the bottom of this article.

One thing that I noticed today that I really liked was the team work that I observed throughout practice. The team seems to finally be gelling together as one unit instead of a unit of Mark Snyder players and a unit of Doc Holliday players. They are all Doc's players now and it shows.

One shining example was in an interior running drill. The offensive line was going against the defensive line. The battle was between the second units. The second team center was greyshirt freshman Tyler Combs. Combs struggled on about six straight snaps. The offensive line starters were standing in the back of the endzone. Rather than just standing there, or demeaning their teammate, they did just the opposite. "Come on Tyler," "That's alright Tyler, " and "lets go Tyler's" were heard throughout the unit. They did so in a way in which you could tell in their voices they wanted their teammate to succeed.

I only point this out because as a fanbase, Marshall fans have seen this for the past decade. The departure of Bob Pruett and the arrival of Mark Snyder saw two distinct cliché's throughout the team. This showed on the field as well. Then when Snyder left, the same thing happened when Doc's players hit the field.

The level of talent that is over in the Shewey Building today could be like none the Marshall fan base has ever seen. The depth at literally each position is something the Herd has not experienced. Sure, the 1999 team was loaded, and had the best 22 player team in school history, but from scholarship number one to number eighty five, this could be the best collection of talent the Herd has ever seen.

Read more, and go through my practice nuggets now at The Letterman's Club.

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