By Rob Patrick
Enthusiasm can be infectious and, whether it was head coach Paul Calley’s enthusiasm that[more] rubbed off on his team or his team’s enthusiasm that rubbed off on him, the Bryant Hornets’ first day of fall practice in pads today was full of fire.
It didn’t hurt either that it was overcast and a little less intensely hot on the Bryant Stadium turf.
“It was wonderful,” Calley said. “They were ready to get after it. The weather was perfect. The execution was — well, it wasn’t flawless but we’re getting there.”
The practice unfolded pretty much the same as it had been.
“We’re flip-flopping offensive and defensive groups during the first half of practice,” he reported. “Then we’re going inside drill, then we’re going pass skel, then it’s like a scrimmage period with a limited number of plays. We’re going four plays then getting a different group out there just trying to keep from getting too hot. But it really wasn’t that hot this morning.”
Practice also began at 7 a.m., instead of 8, the start time the previous three days.
Asked if anyone caught his attention during the workout, Calley said, “Well, of course, Dillon Winfrey. He’s going to get your attention. Karon (Dismuke) had some good runs. Defensively, Marshall Everett and Tyree Reese at linebacker. They’ve got to be real active and so far they have been. They’re all over the field. I’ve been pleased with those guys.
“In the secondary, Aaron Bell,” he continued, “actually on both sides of the ball. He’s looked really good at receiver.
“The offensive line, we’re not where we want to be but I love their effort,” the coach mentioned. “And they’re giving me everything they’ve got to get better. On the defensive line, they’re not real big but they’re playing really hard, the whole group. They’re giving us a pass rush.
“I told the team today, if you’ve got work ethic and you give effort, you’ve got a chance to win,” Calley concluded.
The Hornets will practice at 7 a.m. on Friday and again on Monday and Tuesday. Due to in-service for the coaches, practice will be moved to the late afternoon/early evening on Wednesday and Thursday of next week. Saturday, Aug. 13, is Photo Day along with the first Fan Fest from 8 a.m. to noon.