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Buffs Picture Improvement

Mar 19, 2007

BOULDER-As University of Colorado football players laid silently on their backs around head coach Dan Hawkins after Monday's practice, they started to visualize things that would make them better football players.


"We have them doing several mental exercises each day," Hawkins said. "When we don't have practice it's kind of on their own, but I kind of lead them through that too. We are doing it more and we are doing a variety of other things with it as well."


The Buffs began their second week of spring drills Monday afternoon, returning to work after seeing their first live action in pads on Saturday.


"We're definitely getting a lot better," Hawkins said. "Were doing a lot of little things way better. The kids came in and watched the [Saturday practice] video afterward and they were texting me ?Coach, man we are so much better that we were last year. I'm psyched.' That's the beauty of it, just being able to master the little things and we are making strides."


            Hawkins attributes his team's improvement to experience in the system with players knowing what they are supposed to be doing and where they are supposed to be going.


The team is also way ahead of last season in the leadership department. Senior linebacker Jordon Dizon, junior linebacker R.J. Brown and senior quarterback Bernard Jackson were named captains for the 2007 season before spring practices began. Last season, captains were not chosen until fall camp.


Hawkins has also started a "Leadership Circle," which is comprised of about two players per position who have demonstrated their potential and willingness to lead.  


"We're doing it more this year with a little more intensity to it and involving some more guys as well," Hawkins said. "I meet with them once a week to go over some stuff. Everybody thinks that leadership is about setting an example. That's part of it, but there are so many other components to it that I am trying to educate those guys about."


Practice Notes: Redshirt freshman wide receiver Scotty McKnight will likely miss the remainder of spring practices after breaking his ankle in Saturday's drills. The Buffs will practice Tuesday from 5-7:30 and will scrimmage Thursday at 5:00 before taking a week off for Spring Break.