Me, Russ and our new pal Max enjoyed the second open practice for the 2007 BYU football season. While Trevor slept and Ross worked, Russ and I left the corporate world behind to catch a glimpse of our beloved Cougars.
For me, simply being there was incredible. On Monday, Trevor and I were relegated to sit field-level, but today Russ and I arrived early enough to snag prime spots on the Student Athlete Center balcony. As we leaned over the rail, the players below us ran to their specific assignments and practice was underway. I looked out over the practice field at different groups of players, and I couldn't help but smile. Some were hitting, some were running and cutting, others were throwing. It was a good feeling, my friends. Football season is upon us.
The practice itself was enjoyable. My favorite drill of the day was the one-on-one offensive line vs. defensive line. Travis Bright, who is fast becoming one of my favorite players, simply smashed his opponent into the ground. It was a pancake like dear ol' dad used to make. Sete Aluai also had his moments, and so did Dallas Reynolds.
Later, in the 11-0n-11, the defense really stepped it up. Max Hall did throw one TD pass to Manase Tonga, but the defense really didn't let anything fly. The corners - especially Ben Criddle - had a great practice. This is encouraging. Even though I always want to see the offense do well, I know that our defense should be nasty this year, and it's reassuring to see them step up.
One final nugget was was when past and present fused together into one. I speak, of course, of Bronco Mendenhall's post-practice debriefing with none other than LaVell Edwards.
Oh to be a fly on the wall at that conversation!
Anyway, next open practice will by Friday at 10 a.m. Let me know if you want to meet me there.