There was plenty of opportunity for all 105 Northwestern State players to make a good first impression Wednesday as new coach Brad Laird split the ranks and staged a pair of practice sessions.
The Purple unit worked in the morning for 90 minutes, and the White group went for the same duration in the afternoon practice. There was a blend of starters, second-teamers, squadmen and newcomers in both workouts.
“It’s a good mix. Everybody’s getting equal reps, so they’re not walking off the field thinking they didn’t get their share,” said Laird. “The newcomers get to see how the veterans go through the paces and that helps.
“They will be smoother tomorrow with the plays, the schemes, in all three phases, and also, running drill to drill, and knowing where they need to go in practice. We learned today and we’ll be better tomorrow,” he said.
NSU has 28 practices to go before it kicks off the season Thursday, Aug. 30 at Texas A&M, but the Demons won’t spend time on the Aggies for a while yet.
“Right now, for the next couple of weeks, we’re just focused on Northwestern State,” said Laird. “It’s a very basic process this first week. We get it on film, learn from it, correct our mistakes and get better. There’s competition at every position, every day.”
NSU will wrap up the split squad workouts Saturday, then begin full-roster practices Monday afternoon. Full gear makes its debut on Monday in the 3:40 workout at Turpin Stadium.