The Pads Are On. Is The Intensity?

Rudy C. and Lee Roy give us their takes on today's practice, and some special visitors that came out to take a look at some hard hitting

Greg Archuleta came up and asked me, "Really, practice is more fun for you then games?" Yes, Archuleta it is! Today like I said is one of my all time favorite days as the University of New Mexico football team padded up and I was anticipating a full day of Lobo punch you in the freaking mouth football. I wasn't the only one expecting that as the Lobos have had a strong fall camp so far this year.

Obviously I'm not the only one that likes the first day of full contact as men's basketball Coach Steve Alford and newly hired assistant Wyking Jones along with Paul Krebs an Tim Cass also made an appearance to see practice.

With visions of Alex Kirk and the Big Dance in his head!

Hmmm... Can any of these guys play center this year?

One of the guys on the sidelines none of us wanted to see was Sr. Safety Ian Clark with a sling holding his shoulder. Ian was in good spirits and told us the good news that they got the shoulder back in place and that he was scheduled for an MRI on Wednesday. Clark said, "I feel okay, and I will be back." Our prayers go out to you Ian, you are a super guy not only on the field, but off it as well.

While I wasn't dissapointed, it sure sounds like Coach Locks was. After practice coach was talking to a few of the television cameras and he said (I'm paraphrasing here) that around here the Lobos are known for their intensity, but he didn't see it today. Not just ouch, but double ouch!


Mat McBain v. Ben Contreras

First day of pads is supposed to bring more passion and heat and while there were times I saw it, I learned once again that I am not a D-I football coach. "I don't care if it is because of the heat, first day of pads, or whatever else it was," said Locksley. "I want to see more intensity and less mistakes out there."

Now I told you all that the first day of pads for me is all about watching the big guys. I've had my fill of WR's an DB's the past couple of days, let's take a look where games are won and loss... Time to take a look in the trenches.

Reggie Ellis v. Karlin Givens

The infamous "Oklahoma Drill" brought the heat as two pads are laid on the ground, a QB hands the ball of to a ball carrier and a blocker is in front going one on one with a defender. The defenders job is obviously to fight off the blocker and make the stop.

The trio of Erik Cook, Josh Taufele, and Byron Bell went to work and were awesome as their ball carriers were able to blow by untouched. As Mike Cannon and Ivan Hernandez continue to improve the O-line is looking very nice. Fr. Center Dillon Farrell continues to receive props from the coaching staff.

Maurice Mears v. Seth Johannemann

Later it was all about one on one pass rush drills and Bell was a rock once again and Josh once again was right there. On defense it was Ahraya Crespin, Brett Kennedy, and let me introduce "the round guy" Daniel Mena 6-1 315 out of New Caney TX. Dude has the build of a nose guard no doubt.. Crespin had defensive playmaker sewn up as the defensive tackle was all over All-MWC center Erik Cook! Talk about taking on the mountain! Then it was on to scrimmage


Daniel Mena


At that point Jake Carr came alive, where he was getting pushed around a little during one on ones, Carr picked up a pair of sacks during "go time"

Kasey Carrier also had a sweet run right up the gut, all it takes is one swivel of his shoulders, and Carrier was gone.

With Ian Clark out, Bubba Forrest is making the most of his time playing with both 1st and 2nd squads. I know I talked about Bubba yesterday, but I believe he was pushing Clark for that spot regardless of injury.

Coach had James Aho kicking pressure field goals today. It was very simple, make the kick and defense had extra work and running. Miss or have it blocked and the offense has to do extra work. Aho was nails and the offense was able to chill.

 

Rudy C's Cherry Silver Report

 

Nothing like a full pad scrimage to bring out the Lobo Athletic Department. Everyone was there including Lobo Basketball coaches Steve Alford, Wyking Jones, and Chris Monette. Also on hand were Paul Krebs, Director of Athletics, Tim Cass Associate AD, Board of Regents members Jack Fortner, (rumor has it he is comtemplating a run for Governor!), Jamie Koch (former president of the board), Scott Galetti, Lobo play by play announcer... Did I miss anyone?

Click to listen to Josh Taufalele

 

They were all waiting for the first 40 minutes of Black and Decker Drill Central to expire so that Oklahoma Drill could begin. This was, obviously, a BIG deal to the coaches with Cheston Blackshear telling the troops 'This is it this is what you have been waiting for... this is when YOU GO CRAZY!"

 

 For the uninitiated, Oklahoma Drill pits an offensive player against a defensive player, one on one. The defender must defeat the blocker and take down a running back. All of this happens in an "alley" marked with pads to delinate the boundaries that the combatants must remain in. Kinda like the "sumo wrestlers" during time outs at The PIT... NOT! It was FREOCIOUS! If it wasn't a loud collision, then "do overs" were generously handed out by the ever watchful coaching staff.


Mat McBain

 

As everyone had completed at least one rep, and the drill was winding down, Coach Locks said "Five" and five of the best from each side of the ball lined it up to see who was going to garner "Drill Supremacy" for the day; Offense or Defense? Byron "Ring His" Bell, the BIG, and I mean BIG man showed why he is going to make people PAY for leaving him off the All MWC preseason team. Not that Byron needed any more motivation. He throroughly dominated his man, almost engulfing him in a bear hug that was anything but plesant for the defender. Erik Cook showed the leverage and technique that defines him as one of the premier offensive linemen in all of college football. In fact one person in the know was overheard to say "Erik could start for any team, and I mean any team, in the country." Glad Erik is a Lobo!  Josh Taufalele turned in another dominating performance for the Silver clad "team". If I counted right the "D" won 1 of 5.

Ivan Hernandez v. DeAndre Davis

 

I had to head out to the real world so I did not get to see the rest of practice but I saw enough to say this; UNM will be able to run the football again, no doubt. Especially with the play packages that are being installed, this can be any offense Coach Locks needs it to be. As long as "The Hitmen" keep on keeping on, things will a tad be easier for the skill positions. This is not to say that the defense didn't have it's moments with Kendall Briscoe getting off the block and stopping the running back cold. Pete Gardner also showed good hustle and desire. A big shout out to Johnathan Rainey who also showed he has a good motor, as he was doing everything he could to help his team.

 

Sometimes leadership is just as important when you aren't in a uniform,...still,...a healthy Ian Clark is good for Lobo Football. Bubba Forrest is making the most of the time spelling Ian and is really making a name for himself in the defensive backfield.



Offensive Playmaker

Byron Bell

Don't ask for whom the bell tolls… It tolls for thee!

 Byron is just filthy good! How many players did he put on his back? Ummm… All of them! I love the intensity and today Byron wins the "Golden Spatula" award which we will be awarding daily to the offensive lineman that we see makes the most blocks and flat out pancakes someone!

Defensive Playmaker

DE Jake Carr

Two sacks during live scrimmage as well as pressure… Equals notice from The Red Menace!

Coach Degory talks 1st day of pads

Tomorrow is the first day of two a days and Coach Locks told his players to get a good night's sleep because today's lack of focus means they will be using pads in both practices. Sleep well Lobo Pack as Coach Locks is going to work you in the morning and even harder at night!


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