NATCHITOCHES – It's a veteran-laden squad, so fourth-year Northwestern State coach Bradley Dale Peveto was not surprised at how much got accomplished Friday morning in the first practice of the Demon football team's preseason camp.
"The average viewer might not have thought that was a first practice. It looked very, very sharp in all three phases, for day one," said Peveto after a steamy two-hour morning session in shorts and headgear at Turpin Stadium. "There was a lot of carryover from the end of spring ball until today.
"Here's a big reason why: we had about 90 guys, 80 percent of our team, here all summer doing voluntary workouts. They ran a lot of 7-on-7, did the things we do every day in practice, because of the veteran leadership we have," he said.
"The whole key to camp is carryover and seeing early where your retention level is. We teach whole, part, whole. We're going to throw everything at them early, then come back and teach part by part, and reteach. We teach very conceptually. It's not rote memory. I think that really plays a big role," said Peveto.
There was no shortage of intensity as the NSU veterans went through the morning's workout, which will be repeated Saturday at 9:40 a.m. in Turpin Stadium.
"Our guys have come in very, very hungry. They've done a great job on their own of staying in their playbooks. They've come back in great shape. We've had two very productive days of preparing them, and they came out with the right attitude," said Peveto. "This team is on a mission. That's how they practiced today."
Associate head coach and offensive coordinator Todd Cooley liked the way the entire squad approached its business, and was quite pleased with the offensive performance, citing veterans like quarterback Brad Henderson and tight end Chris Dever, along with being pleased with the effort and conditioning by the offensive line.
"I saw a great effort. We threw a lot at them and you could tell we were thinking a little more than reacting, which is expected on day one," said Cooley. "Our guys did a good job of going in and out of different tempos, which will help us down the line. They worked hard and had a good time out there."