SYRACUSE, N.Y. - As Week 2 of Orange Spring Practice unfolds, a new element has emerged on the field. No it is not the fact that the offense wears orange helmets, or that the defense puts on the blue hard hats. It is the return of full pads on both sides of the ball. This weekend the squad transitioned from shorts and loose fitting jerseys, to pads and game like attire. The additional gear adds to increased focus and detail, as stressed by Head Coach Dino Babers and his staff. The Babers regime has the team ready to think about their goals in preparation for the season just a handful of months away. Here are some take aways from the Ensley Athletic center this morning:
- #OrangeIsTheNewFast: This theme is still very prevalent as there is never a lull in the energy and enthusiasm by either the players or coaching staff. There is a strong flow and pace to practice now that the team is becoming used to the style of drills and schemes.
- It is still an adjustment for the quarterbacks such as Eric Dungey and Zack Mahoney, however you can see an improvement when working with receivers on hard cuts and short routes.
- Steve Ishmael looks explosive in drill work and his hands have been on point thus far as he learns the nuances of expectations at the receiver position for this staff.
- Offensive line worked on bursts out of their stance. They start underneath the stationary tents and plow right into their linemates holding dummy pads. The line seemed to be getting a good push albeit not against a defensive unit.
- The defensive line always focuses on their stretching and agility routines in the early portion of practice, but today included a lot of set up and instruction from the coaching staff before going at game speed. Hard to point out individual growth when so much is done as a team right now.
- As mentioned previously, full pads brings a new element to practice in terms of game like focus and intensity.
*Note: View the video playlist for the sights and sounds of the morning session.