Lobos Manufacturing Enthusiasm on Practice Field
April 4, 2013
By Greg Archuleta
UNM Assistant Director of Communications
Never let it be said that Bob Davie isn't willing to tinker and experiment to produce the effects he desires.
During Thursday afternoon's spring practice session, the University of New Mexico football team's second-year head coach raised the intensity level a notch with "the shoot drill" - in which a coach throws a ball to a receiver or running back with one blocker ahead of him and two defenders trying to make the tackle in a designated area of the field.
"It's kind of `the shoot of truth.' That's what we call it," Davie said following the practice session. "There's really nowhere to hide."
Davie said the drill was part of a practice that was the most physical of the spring so far.
"Today was really our first day of what you actually call contact, even though we've been in pads (the last two practices)," Davie said. "Today was the first day we took guys to the ground. That's kind of the first drill we did."
The Lobo boss has talked during the offseason about the team taking the next step in its evolution by developing a personality. He also has allowed the team to conduct its first half-hour of practice with music in the background to help bring some energy to each session.
Director of player personnel Michael Levy has been in charge of putting together the music for the team's new start-of-practice ritual, and Davie says he's seen positive results - for the most part.
"We were going pretty good today with some pre-practice enthusiasm, and then George Strait or somebody came on and took us back down a little bit," Davie said, facetiously. "Tears were welling up with one of those country songs. Chris Edling (a sophomore tight end from Corsicana, Texas) was the only one to appreciate it.
"I think that's the next step for us now. I've talked a little bit about development of style of play. I don't think last year would've been the time for us to go out there and play music and try to get guys having a little more personality. I think now we're at the point where it's part of it now. I trust them that we can go do some things and they can take care of their business once it's time to get serious."
DEPLETED DEFENSIVE LINE: Davie acknowledged that the team is going through some injury issues on the defensive line.
Sophomore tackle Payton Hightower may have surgery next week to repair torn meniscus in his knee. Senior K.J. Atkins, sophomore Dominic Twitty and outside linebacker Richard Winston, who plays the rush position, each are suffering ailments that are keeping them out of practice.
"At the defensive line, we're kind of like we were on the offensive line last spring," Davie said. "But we're pushing through. I told Archie (defensive line coach McDaniel), 'as bad as it looks right now, if it makes you feel any better, just think about how it looked last year.' We're taking baby steps, and overall I think it is a little bit better."