Thursday was the last day the South Dakota Coyotes’ football team got to practice out of pads as head coach Joe Glenn prepared to amp things up on Friday.
After the four required practices that players not be fully suited up to go, the Coyotes will set on the DakotaDome turf on Friday with a little more weight on their bodies and a lot more oomph.
But Thursday left a plenty good impression on Glenn as the squad eased into the next stage of the preseason.
“Kevin Earl continues to be a rock for us (at quarterback) and he is making good decisions,” Glenn said. “He’s making the throws he can continue to make and he is getting his percentages up. He seems to be picking up from where we left off last year and seems comfortable in what we are doing.”
It hasn’t hurt that Earl’s big go-to guys are surrounding him.
“He’s got some guys back that he didn’t have in the spring so some of his weapons are back,” Glenn said. “He has a full contingent of running backs. He has his teammates’ back that can help him get better too.”
Now USD football will move to pads, but the coaching staff will remain pragmatic in its approach to preparation.
They also will aim to keep their players from being too zealous which could cause unnecessary injury.
“This is a continuation of spring practice where you go (the required) practices against the same guys and it can get really old,” Glenn said. “We will put the pads on but we won’t beat up on USD. You have to make sure the guys are focusing on their techniques.”