Hoosiers Kick Off 2007 Preseason
Aug. 6, 2007
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana football team participated in its first practice of the 2007 preseason on Monday, Aug. 6. The Hoosiers have four weeks of preseason leading up to their opening game, on Sept. 1 against Indiana State.
In addition to working on drills, the Hoosiers participated in conditioning activities, 7-on-7 and full 11-on-11 matchups. Head coach Bill Lynch was pleased, overall, with his team's performance in the opening practice of the spring.
"I thought it went well," Lynch said. "I liked the tempo. I thought assignment-wise, we were pretty good on both sides of the ball. The ball was on the ground a little bit more than you'd like to see it, but that might be a little bit of first day. I didn't see a lot of pre-snap penalties, guys jumping offsides or anything silly that way, so I thought that was positive.
"The tempo of how we went about things, particularly in a practice where you don't have pads, was good," he continued. "I think it's important that guys learn how to practice like that. Guys stayed up, nobody was grabbing jerseys and throwing guys down. So I thought it was a good, productive first day."
Among the highlights from the first day of practice was a brilliant run by Bryan Payton through the left side of the line in the 11-on-11 drill, going untouched toward the end zone. Junior wide receiver James Hardy, who made a brilliant catch-and-run on a post route during 7-on-7 drills, was excited to get back on the field with his teammates.
"I worked pretty hard (over the summer), I feel good," Hardy said. This is probably the best shape I have ever been in. But coming into camp, as a group, we took it up at least 10 notches. So now we have to get used to the fast tempo that we have been going at and try to get on track."
One major adjustment that the players had to make was getting used to practicing in the sun on a 90-plus degree day. Sophomore Kellen Lewis said that most of the players had not practiced in the heat of the afternoon throughout the summer.
"Kudos to Coach Lynch for coming out and getting us fired up today, it was pretty hot," Lewis said. "A lot of us during the summer either worked out in the morning to avoid the sun or if we did work out in the afternoon, it was only for an hour period. So this is the first time we've ever had to play through and endure the sun with a helmet on."
The Hoosiers will be practicing without pads for the remainder of this week before getting in full pads for the first time on Friday. Stay tuned to IUHOOSIERS.com all week for coverage of IU football's preseason.
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