Buffs Increase Physicality In Fourth Spring Practice
BOULDER - The University of Colorado football team continued with spring practices Saturday, once again from the confines of the team's practice bubble as snow continued to fall in the area. It was the third of four practices thus far to be completed in the bubble, and the first to include full contact hitting and scrimmaging.
"We got a lot of stuff accomplished," coach Mike MacIntyre said. "I thought the defense in one week's time has got a lot of stuff together and is doing well there, and offensively I think they are making plays there, too. I thought today was a good hard practice."
This is MacIntyre's third spring with the program and he feels that continuity is paying dividends in the effectiveness of each practice and how it translates to developing players. Particularly, this spring has been even more effective due to recent changes in NCAA legislation that allows coaches contact with players prior to spring practices beginning.
"Practices just keep getting smoother and smoother," MacIntyre said. "I've been pleased with how the defense has been able to learn as much as they've learned. The meetings we had before we started (spring practice) were good, because of that new NCAA rule we can meet with them, so that helped our guys get prepared for spring practices, especially on defense."
About half of Saturday morning's practice consisted of contact drills and tackling, including a scrimmage at the end. Thus, players were able to display more tenacity than any previous practice.
"Yeah, it was physical," MacIntyre said. "Our inside drill was physical, I thought the scrimmage was physical at times, especially when there were physical parts that needed to be done like coming off the ball offensively and defensively. I thought the physical part was pretty good."
Unfortunately, the increase in hitting led to some injuries as walk-ons Joey Tuggle and Devyn Grimes both left practice early due to knee ailments. MacIntyre is unsure of the extent of Tuggle's injury, but said he believes Grimes suffered a sprain and should be back soon.
The Buffs are scheduled to practice again next Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with a scrimmage set for Wednesday.
LIUFAU MAKING PLAYS
MacIntyre was asked about his impressions quarterback Sefo Liufau, and the coach said he has liked what he's seen from his incumbent starter thus far.
"He's looked good," MacIntyre said. "He made some plays today. I thought he's done some good things, moving around well, I know he is moving better this spring than he was last spring."
MacIntyre said Liufau appears to be in better shape which has allowed him more mobility and play-making.
BOWLING WITH THE BUFFS
Saturday afternoon the Buffs visited Fat Cats bowling alley in Westminster to take on former players in a round of bowling.
Former CU All-American and John Mackey Award winner, Daniel Graham, has been organizing a group of about 40 former players that are trying to get involved with current players in a fun and different way than simply attending practices. MacIntyre is a big proponent of the idea.
"I think it will be a lot of fun for (current players) to meet guys they've read about, heard about, and then guys tell stories and tell them what it's about and what their future is about," MacIntyre said. "They'll probably tell them, GÇÿWe hated spring practice too, but it's a necessary evil' and all of those sorts of things."
MacIntyre said all players will be divided by position and have competitions between position groupings. In the future, more events are expected to be planned including community service efforts involving both the current and former Buffs.