North Alabama Practices in Full Pads

FLORENCE, Al —  Five days into the 2013 preseason practices, University of North Alabama Head Football Coach Bobby Wallace said his Lions are making progress and are ahead of schedule.

“We’re farther along than I thought we would be,” Wallace said. “We have most of our schemes in by the fifth day. Now we will go back and refine what we’re doing. We are moving pretty quick.”

Wallace said the Lions first and second units had picked things up and were doing a good job.

“We have really helped ourselves with the addition of Gabe Poe at linebacker and our defensive front is much improved,” he said. “We also have good depth at safety and our offensive line is much bigger and more agile than last year. We’ve still got to learn how to play together but the talent is there.”

In the Lions’ first day in full pads, Wallace had scheduled a 30-minute full speed scrimmage to evaluate the new players but that session was cut short after freshman linebacker Logan Ezzell sustained a possible season-ending injury.

“You hate to end practice that way but once you have an injury like that it’s hard for the players to go full speed without getting tentative,” Wallace said. “We’ll pick back up and scrimmage again in the morning. “

Wallace said finding the balance between full speed work and avoiding injuries is hard to do.

“You have to be able to go full speed with the new people to find out if they are football players,” Wallace said. “You have to see if he can run and hit and tackle. But once you’ve done that, he doesn’t have to prove it over and over every day on the practice field. We can find that out in other drills where we go full speed instead of scrimmages where people pile up and fall on you.”

“I would rather be healthy and a little rusty when we start playing than to get a lot of guys hurt,” Wallace added.

The Lions will have their first two-a-day practice Monday with a full pads workout in the morning and shells in the afternoon.

Courtesy: UNA Media Relations

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