The San Jose State University football team is back in action preparing for the 2016 season. Head coach Ron Caragher split the squad's first practice session into two based on returning players from spring practice and an array of newcomers on the field for the first time in a Spartan practice jersey.
The Spartans continue this pattern through Sunday, August 7 before gearing up to the first full day of padded practice on Tuesday, August 9.
"I was very encouraged. There was good energy on the field. The team was running around. The most fun part is the chemistry of the new players coming aboard and how they interact with the older players. I was encouraged, all in all, from top to bottom. I thought the team had good energy," said the Spartans' head coach.
"I saw some guys take a big step from where they were in spring practice. They hit the ground running. Overall, it was a good day one. We have some work to do, but that's why we have 25 or 26 practices remaining before our opening game against Tulsa.
"I think it is important to slow it down with the young guys from a teaching standpoint. We're (the coaching staff) able to slow down the implementation of the plays, the formations and coach our guys up. When they are in a long line with 10-to-12 other guys, (practice) seems to go at such a fast pace. That's why I split the practices. That's why I think it is a good opportunity. We film it and get some good work in."
The scheduled 2.75 hours of practice consists of three parts with strength and conditioning work in the Koret Athletic Training Center included.
"We go with the veterans first, then the special teams. So, we overlap. That's when the entire team is out there for that 25-minute period. Then, the vets leave, go hit the weight room, while the first-year guys start up on their practice," Caragher said.
"Take another step. On day-two, coach up some of the mistakes we saw first day out and shake off some of the rust since being off since Spring practice. I told the guys, `Every day, if we improve just a little bit, we're going to be the team we want to be.'"
The August 6 practice will mirror the first day with the veterans on the neatly manicured practice field first followed by special teams work and the newcomers going through their paces.
Tickets for all San Jose State football games are available at sjsuspartans.com.