Aug. 7, 2013
RUSTON, La. - Louisiana Tech endured another day in the extreme heat as temperatures passed the 100 mark with players holding added weight as the team put on shoulder pads for the first time Wednesday.
The team withstood the hot temperatures added with the extra weight of the shoulder pads as camp continued through the third day and the coaches started laying out the playbook with the first of six main installation practices.
"There were some guys that fought through it, about 90 percent of them," Head Coach Skip Holtz said of the challenge of practicing in such heat. "You have to learn to play this game when you are tired. It is not always when you are 100 percent healthy, not tired, fresh and it is the first play of the game. What are you going to play like when it is the fourth quarter during a 12-play drive? How are you going to play when you are tired? I know there were a lot of guys cramping up with the heat and the water weight that they are losing but I saw a lot of guys push through today. It is a process. We have 26 practices left, it is just day three, we have a long way to go and I am looking forward to every one of them between now and then."
A lot of Wednesday's practice was centered around installing the playbook on both sides of the ball. Being so early in practice, and still not able to have a full pads practice yet, the coaching staff believes it is too early to be accurate on who is rising above others in terms of a depth chart.
"There are a lot of guys I have been impressed with but it has only been day one and two in shorts," Holtz said. "The question is how did they pick up the six days of installation? We are doing a whole-part-whole process where we put it all end, we go back and re-teach it in segments then we go back and make sure we have the whole thing done at the end. The game plan is not to be ready today but to be ready on Aug. 31."
Despite the challenge of the high temperatures, the heat is providing an added conditioning element to the players in preparation for the first game of the season at NC State, which kicks off on Aug. 31 at 12:30 p.m. ET.
"That is one of the reason we are practicing at the time of day that we are," Holtz explained. "We have had two or three of the hottest heat index days we have had this summer so far. One of the options we discussed as a staff was practicing at night where we go at 7 p.m. and try and get out of the heat. But if you go to Raleigh and it is 12:30 in the afternoon - I would much rather have to deal with the heat here during camp in Ruston than I would at 12:30 in the afternoon in Raleigh."
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