Calley: ‘We’re ready to play somebody’

Saturday was picture day for the Bryant football teams. (Photo by Rick Nation)School had yet to start and their pre-season scrimmage was still over a week away and Bryant Hornets head football coach Paul Calley declared, "We're just ready to play a game."

The Hornets are scheduled to finish up their four-hour (or so) practices this evening. With school starting on Wednesday, they'll start to get into their fourth-block routine.[more]

"We've been through six months of practice through to spring," Calley noted. "Then you go through the spring, the summer, then you have to go through a month (in the fall) before the first game. These guys are ready to play somebody. They need to play somebody."

The scrimmage is set for Monday, Aug. 24, against Pine Bluff. The first game is Sept. 4, in the Salt Bowl against Benton at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.

Calley said it's time to adjust the practices. "We've done so much work we don't have to practice for extended periods," he related. "You try to let them know that ahead of time, to know that, if they practice hard, you'll cut conditioning down and we're not going to be out there very long. Of course, if you don't get done what we need to do, then we're going to extend it and we're going to stay out there until we get our goal accomplished.

"They understand that," continued the coach of his players. 

But it still becomes a grind, he acknowledged, and it's tough to keep the intensity.

"It's tough to do," he said. "Like Thursday, I went out and yelled and screamed, ranted and raved, and jumped and kicked and all that stuff. And I can do that one day a week but I can't do it every day. It loses its effectiveness and it gives me a headache.

"I told the seniors (Friday), I tried to be more laidback and the practice just didn't flow," Calley explained. "I don't want to have to go out there and yell and scream every day to get them motivated. That's where the seniors have to pick up, the emotional part of it. They have to show these other guys what it means to practice with an intensity level that helps you get better. If you don't do that, then you're just going through the motions and you're not going to get in shape. Everything you do, you've got to be moving. You can't walk around. If we blow the whistle and tell you to get somewhere, you better get there. If you walk, we're going to put you on the line and we're going to condition and we're going to start all over again.

"We've just got to make sure we keep the practice periods short, make sure you keep the practice moving," he concluded. "If you stay in one place too long, it just gets stale.

"Right now, the thing that helps us more than anything is scrimmage time, the actual scrimmaging. We can do all the drills you want but then you've got to be able to carry it over and we have to see that on film and use that as a teaching tool. Which means we have to do a lot of scrimmaging and that puts people on the sideline for extended periods which takes a little away from practice."

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