"It was an enthusiastic practice. It was one of our best practices, I thought," said Leach. "We had a little contact with our defense. We worked on tackling and that was an enthusiastic effort, not just by the defense, but by the offensive scout team guys that got to go and lock-up with people. I think there's a fine line between balancing how much contact without over-taxing some people. I thought it was good and I thought it was a good job by Ruffin, the first hours on the job."
After Setencich stepped down, all the coaches met and discussed what they could do to help be a better team. One thing that came out of those discussions was to have more aggressive practices.
"I think we all agreed [to tackle in practice]," explained Leach. "I think it was pretty apparent. You don't do it (tackling) the whole practice as far as how much time. If your practice lasts two hours, we're not going to practice for an hour and fifty-nine minutes. We'll hit some Tuesday and some Wednesday."
Players respond differently to different coaching styles, which is one thing Coach Leach mentioned after the game. Leach just didn't feel like the players were responding to Lyle Setencich anymore, which ultimately lead to the coaching change. Coach McNeill and Coach Setencich both have similar styles of defense, but the way they coach is vastly different.
"It's kind of the same it's just that Coach Ruffin is going to get in your face and he's going to yell at you a little bit more and make sure you do it right," said cornerback Chris Parker. "With Coach [Setencich] it was more of that he would just expect you to know it. He would talk about things a lot during the meetings so when you went out there he expected you to know it."
One of the best things after a tough loss is to get back out on the field and compete again. The Red Raiders will get that chance on Saturday against Northwestern State. They aren't the most formidable of opponents, but it will be a good gauge to see if the intensity level has risen on the defensive side of the ball.
One thing is for certain- If the player's intensity level doesn't rise, Coach McNeill will find players whose intensity will.