Snow Pushes Buffs Inside Bubble To Open Spring Drills
BOULDER - The University of Colorado football team opened spring practice Monday morning inside its practice bubble, where the Buffaloes went through a 120-minute non-contact workout.
Coach Mike MacIntyre left the practice feeling positive about where his team is after the first of 15 spring drills leading up to the annual spring game on March 15th (2 p.m., Pac-12 Network).
"They had a good day, they got after it in here," MacIntyre said. "It looked like to me that they were all moving around well and doing some good things."
MacIntyre's first-day focus was on the team working through injuries that will keep some players sidelined and replacing the 22 lettermen the Buffs lost.
Nowhere is the team dealing more with setbacks than at the running back position, which hasn't been at full strength since prior to last season. Junior Michael Adkins II and sophomore Phillip Lindsay, two of the team's three leading returning rushers, both began the spring on the disabled list.
"Phil is a little bit farther ahead than Michael and it's just a turf toe so you have to see how that goes," said MacIntyre. "It'll be day-to-day with Phil. Some days he'll be able to go a little bit but if it's too sore, we'll have to back off.
"With Michael, his knee is fine, he just had a bone bruise which is really tender so we have to make sure that heals up. That takes a little bit longer but he'll be back here hopefully by the middle of the spring."
As a result of both injuries, a number of players from other positions have been working out at running back in order to compensate for the loss.
"We've moved a couple of guys over there" MacIntyre said. "We do have to be creative on what we're doing there to make sure we don't bang them up."
One of the players looking forward to getting more playing time is redshirt sophomore Devin Ross.
"I think this is really big for Devin," MacIntyre said. "This spring, I'm looking for Devin to step up and be a good football player for us. I think he has the athletic ability to do it."
Meanwhile, on the defensive side MacIntyre is looking towards sophomore Chidobe Awuzie, among others, to pick up some of the slack created by the departure of three key defensive backs who have graduated. Cornerback Greg Henderson, and safeties Richard Yates and Terrel Smith were each significant contributors in 2014 and Awuzie might be needed to fill in at a number of spots while many of the newcomers adjust to their roles.
"We have him in all three spots and we'll figure out where that fits and what we're doing on defense," MacIntyre said. "He's a very good athlete, he's very physical and we have to find out the best place for him to help us in all phases of the defensive game."
The team will return to work on Wednesday morning for its second practice.