The last part of the spring, running back Derrick Coleman put some pop into his game. He ran with more explosiveness. He showed more of the speed and power that the Bruins' coaching staff knew was in there, but not always present when he had the football in his hands.
More of it came out on Saturday in the spring game.
Coleman led the offense with 64 yards on six plays, including a 24-yard burst and a 5-yard touchdown. He ended the spring as he started it – as one of the Bruins' top two running backs – but now there is a little more oomph and consistency behind it.
Here are some of his thoughts after the scrimmage:
Do you feel like you showed people something tonight?
‘'You know, it took me a while to show up, but after I saw the defense, saw what they did, I just went out there and executed when I could. Coach always says, it takes four quarters to win a football game. We don't show it at the beginning, but we have to make sure we bring it back.''
The second part of the spring you seemed to step it up. You were a lot more consistent with your runs. Anything happen to spur that?
‘'The competition. The first part of spring, you know, coach had me in the first group and then the competition started rising to bring the best out of people and that's what happened. When I got my opportunities, I took care of it.''
Is that something that you noticed or something that you were told?
‘'They kind of told me, but it took a while for me to actually process it and when I did, you know, this is what happens. I went out there and executed well.''
Do you feel a lot more explosive as a runner now, consistently explosive?
‘'Oh, yeah, and I'm liking this offense a lot better. We've still got a lot of flaws that we have to fix up, but at the same time we're going to get it done.''
It seems like a good offense for a runner with your style …
‘'Yeah, it's more of a downhill. But I can only go as far as my linemen take me, so the line pushes down and I do the rest. I have a whole lot of confidence with this. This is more of a downhill offense. It kind of reminds me of my high school, so I'm just going to go out there and execute like I did before and try to win some games.''
This feels a lot better to you?
‘'Oh, yeah. I feel this is the offense for me. The coaches kept telling me, this is the offense for me. I'm a downhill runner and that's what they want me to do. I saw it and I just took advantage of it. This is the offense for me.''
You feel that's what you do best?
‘'Everybody keeps saying I'm a downhill runner. I have to be more explosive. I've got to let people know I'm out here, and that's the only way I know. I don't know any other way of doing it.''
You have to be wanting to hurt some people, finishing those runs, you know?
‘'I'm going to be working on that, trust me.''