“It was a good first day. We had really good energy, and it was good to get back out there. After eight weeks of offseason, lifting and running, it was good to get back out there and take advantage of working with them from a technique standpoint and assignment standpoint. The bottom line is that it was the first day and without pads, but from an offensive perspective, it was where we were a year ago defensively,” Holgorsen said. “From a defensive perspective, it’s where we were offensively a year ago. The roles have been flipped. We’ve got a long ways to go on both sides.”
The Mountaineers’ head coach Dana Holgorsen stood at midfield for much of the 30 minutes that the media was let into practice. He was not involved in the offense, as new offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson conducted much of that part of practice.
“I didn’t do that at all last spring. Throughout camp, I trusted these guys on the offensive side, which is why we hired them. It was easier,” Holgorsen said. I understand the scheme a little better now, and the coaches a little bit better, and I understand the players a little bit better now. It’s more productive for me to go watch a drill or a segment.
In addition, new defensive coaches took over for the first time. Defensive line coach Erik Slaughter, linebackers coach Keith Patterson, safeties coach Joe DeForest and cornerbacks coach Daron Roberts spent much of the first 30 minutes of practice walking through drills.
Those coaches will be busy getting to know their players for the first few days of practice. Both DeForest and Slaughter seem to be the more intense of the new coaches.
“They’re all hoarse right now. I actually have my voice right now. I usually can’t talk in these press conferences after practices. They’re the hoarse ones now,” Holgorsen said. “I just talked to all of them, and they couldn’t talk. We go so fast in between practice and in between plays that they don’t have a whole lot of time to coach, so they’ve got to yell. They’re hoarse.”
WVU will practice again on Tuesday. Temperatures are expected to remain in the 60s this week, which should make for enjoyable weather for the Mountaineers in their first week back.
“It was a beautiful day. It was awesome. We didn’t have one day like this last year. There was a big ole cloud above our head for a long time. It’s good that it is gone, and it was good to get out there. I didn’t think this weather existed here in March or April,” Holgorsen said.