Notes: Locked and loaded

Strapped up in full pads, the Boilermakers returned to the Mollenkopf Center indoor turf on Thursday for their sixth practice of the spring. Boiler Sports Report offers detailed notes and quotes straight from the sidelines.

-- When the Boilermakers returned to the practice field on Thursday—fresh after an off day—they were back in full pads. Nearing the halfway point of spring drills, Purdue put in two hours of work inside the Mollenkopf Center.

-- With the full pads on, you begin to see the action become more real. Rather than just going through the motions and teaching technique, each drill is run at 100 percent speed. The offensive linemen worked the sleds as they would in live-game action.

-- Offensive line coach Jim Bridge, the newest addition to Purdue's first-year coaching staff, runs a fast-paced practice with his group. The linemen must run between drills and be ready for each rep. Their work is loud and grueling, but it's all about building a nastiness, as guard Jordan Roos explained on Tuesday.

-- Roos has been one of the standout on the offensive line, working in with the first-team offense at guard. The same can be said for Jason King, who is also seeing time rotating at guard. There's a strong possibility that both could win starting jobs.

-- Senior linebacker Will Lucas is wearing 46 on his chest, as his usual No. 45 practice jersey is lost. Lucas explained what makes the approach of the new coaching staff different from before. "These coaches are coaching fast," Lucas explained. "But we're picking it up really quickly."

-- In the running backs drill, Coach Jafar Williams directed his group through cones as they worked on agility and vision. Later on, they worked on juking through a set of pads in a drill which focuses on reading gaps. Williams is a tremendous teacher who has a smooth approach. It's evident that his players are very comfortable with him.

-- Each day I watch Austin Appleby, I believe more that he will be the starting quarterback in Cincinnati. His vision and accuracy are phenomenal and he appears so much more comfortable as a leader. Appleby is matching abilities with intangibles.

-- True freshman Danny Etling continues to impress, too. All of the skills are there for Etling—footwork, arm strength and accuracy—but for him and any freshman, it's just about growing more comfortable. Still, there is much to like about what Etling brings to the table.

-- Linebackers coach Marcus Freeman met with the media, speaking for an extended period of time. One of the most interesting things the former Ohio State standout discussed what was he takes from his time in Columbus. "We don't accept losing," Freeman said, speaking on behalf of former OSU assistant Darrell Hazell as well as himself. "That's the biggest thing, is the mentality that we're not going to settle for average."

-- Senior linebacker Sean Robinson spoke highly of Freeman, and also discussed the new coach's approach with his unit: "He's intense. He demands a certain out of you, and he's going to get it out of you."

-- The Boilermakers return to the practice field on Friday for their first spring scrimmage. Stay with Boiler Sports Report for continued updates of Purdue spring practice.

Chris Emma has covered recruiting, college athletics and professional baseball for FOX Sports Next since 2009. Emma covered the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Northwestern Wildcats, and currently covers the Purdue Boilermakers. A Chicago native, he resides in West Lafayette.
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