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FAU coaches using hands-on approach

As we've noted this week, FAU's spring football practices have a different look and feel than in years past.

Here's another example: FAU coaches, including head coach Carl Pelini, are actually part of the drills. The photos show Pelini working with defensive linemen during a drill on Wednesday. (Head coach working with the defense is another change.)

Talking with players following the first day of practice they kept referring to tempo and energy. The coaches are trying to ensure practices have those traits, and they intend to lead by example.

When the players sprint to a new drill, the coaches are right there running with them. Some of the coaches are even taking reps right along with the players.

“That's pretty fun,” wide receiver DeAndre Richardson said.

When Pelini put together his staff, more than a few of us were surprised at the relative youth and inexperience of the assistants. Some of the advantages of youth include mobility and hunger. These coaches look like they are dying to strap on the pads.

Pelini has talked about wanting to remake the Owls – essentially restarting from scratch. At least in the early parts of practice, that's meant teaching (or re-teaching) what Pelini and the staff believes are basic football techniques.

Will that change as the spring rolls on? I suspect they might cut back on those kinds of drills to make more time for installing new schemes. Will the coaches be running the plays during practice? We might find out.

For the time being, though, it's interesting to get a glimpse of the coaches getting down on their knees in the trenches – even if it's only a quick look-see.

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March 22, 2012

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