Southern Methodist University does not play its season opener against Texas State until September 6. Yet Gerald J. Ford Stadium was hardly quiet Tuesday evening.
Part of the reason was the soccer team practicing on one side of the field while members of the football team participated in seven on seven drills.
The primary reason was the defense barking at the offense before and after every play. Junior Bryan McCann was no exception as he and his secondary mates continued telling receivers they had no chance of making a play and barking at the quarterback not to look to their side of the field.
McCann would have it no other way. "You've got to talk to keep it competitive," he said to PonyStampede.com Tuesday. "You start talking and everybody starts to take it a little bit more serious, and it makes everybody get better all around instead of people just out here running around."
Yet the Oklahoma City native said the team remains cohesive in the locker room and upbeat under the direction of new head coach June Jones. "We have fun coming in—it didn't used to be like that." McCann said. "We would really go to class and dread having to come and work out. But we come in, we have a good time and we're getting better at the same time."
That positive attitude has helped the 6-foot-0, 175-pound cornerback improve this off-season after registering 59 tackles and four interceptions last season in which he started all 12 games while playing cornerback and safety.
McCann said he is particularly stronger than he has been in the past after finally working hard in the weight room.
"The past few seasons, in the system we ran, it was easy for me to come in and play around in the weight room and not really focus on getting a lot stronger," he said. "But with the new system that we've got, I, personally, have been more motivated to want to get stronger and to want to be a better player all around."
The junior will need that strength as he has practiced at the nickel corner position not to mention the in-your-face style of new defensive coordinator Tom Mason which he said will have him tackling more than he has in the past.
McCann is probably okay with that though. The offense will certainly be able to hear him from there.