MSU Spartans
Rotating image
Preseason Camp Update: Spartans Practice in Full Pads for First Time
 
 
 
Coach Dantonio led the Spartans through their first practice in full pads on Wednesday.

 
Coach Dantonio led the Spartans through their first practice in full pads on Wednesday.
 
 

Aug. 7, 2013

Practice Report

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Players and coaches have repeatedly cited the intensity of the first few days of preseason practice.

But it was raised to another level on Wednesday, as the Michigan State football team practiced in full pads for the first time this season. The pre-preseason camp is officially over.

Heavy rain showers forced the Spartans inside for an early portion of the morning practice, but a majority of the team's fifth workout of camp was held outside on the new turf field.

Following the two-and-a-half hour practice, head coach Mark Dantonio and several freshmen spoke with the media about the first week of camp.

The Spartans will conduct their first two-a-day practice on Thursday.

Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio

Opening Statements...
First day of pads, I think, is always good. There are always some things you want to improve on a little bit. We went live about 40 snaps or so we'll get an idea of who's doing what a little bit, in film, so I'm pleased with the effort.

On what stood out during practice...
I thought our running backs looked really good. I thought (Riley) Bullough looked good, (Nick) Hill, (Jeremy) Langford. I thought the two freshmen, Delton Williams and Gerald Holmes, looked good as well. All five of those guys, I guess, looked pretty good. It looked like we were getting on people up front, that's a physical thing, we went goal line, and we went short-yardage situations. We went some third down situations. So we tried to get situational things in, but guys played hard and defensively we did some things as well, obviously. That's what stood out.

On the importance of the time for the running backs...
I think for the young guys, you just look to see if they're in the mix. Are they going to be in the mix? And based on what I saw, yeah, they're going to be in the mix. They're physical, they run behind their pads, and, you know, this is a man's game, so you've got to be prepared for that because there are big people out there that they've got to run through.

On freshman R.J. Shelton...
We moved R.J. to receiver yesterday just to give him reps. He really performed well yesterday. He's got great ball skills, he ran into his cuts, and he's played a variety of positions in high school so he adapted well. We just want to make sure that he's getting reps. He' s a good tailback as well so he can give you those runs and things of that nature, I think from the receiver position as well. Right now, we just moved him out there based upon a couple guys getting nicked up, things like that, and just trying to get reps. I think we've got to keep him at wideout for a couple practices and see, but he's exciting to watch.

On the receivers' performance...
I think our receivers were crisp. They caught the ball very well; they've been doing that for four days. I think they looked good.

On Mike Sadler...
Mike's good, looks good. We've got a little bit of a new ball out there that we're using so there's a little bit of a difference there, but he's bombing them.

On whether the quarterbacks will be working live...
Well, they got hit a couple times today, but I think we've got to try and protect them. At the same time, they've got to have the opportunity to create too because that's something we constantly talk about. We've got to keep them safe so I don't see making them ultra-live.

On freshman quarterback Damion Terry...
We're throwing a lot of stuff at him every day. You know, he's got to turn the ball loose a little bit. He's very gifted though; he's got a strong arm. He's in, really, his first day of pads. There's blitzes coming at him, there's hot reads, and there's different things he's got to do so he's just learning. He's just adapting right now to the speed of the game.

On Demetrius Cooper...
Demetrius is very athletic. He's not the heaviest guy right now, but he reminds me a lot of Julian Peterson when Julian was young. You know, Julian came here with two years of (junior college) ball in him. He's electric. He can move; he flashes. It's too early to tell, but I think he flashes as a player. I'm very excited about our freshmen.

On the freshmen linebackers (Shane Jones and Jon Reschke)...
Both of them will contact you; both of them will hit. Again, they're behind some guys with a lot of experience, so there's a learning curve I think. I'm very excited about both of them. They'll bring it.

They could be candidates on special teams, but I think it's important that we don't just use them for a couple plays. If they're on all the special teams, then we're going to use them.

On the comparative progress of the offense and defense...
I wouldn't say it's noticeably different, maybe yesterday's practice, yes, but today, not so much. I thought goal line and short-yardage our offense did some great things. Behind their pads, they ran the football effectively. So, what side are you looking on? Really, it depends on where you're standing. There are positives and if you're looking from the defensive perspective, you want to be a little better. We've got a good defense. We'll play; we can play. So, I thought it was encouraging.

On the running backs...
I thought the running backs did a nice job today. They ran through some tackles.

On Connor Cook and Andrew Maxwell...
We're splitting their reps, letting them have equal opportunities here and getting everybody ready. Tyler O'Connor gets a lot of reps as well. We move Damion (Terry) in there some as well, so we're trying to get reps and spread them around. The quarterback is so much about decision making. It's over a longer period of time that we make that decision.

On Delton Williams and if he'll stay at running back or work some at linebacker as well...
Right now, with the way Delton ran the football, he's a tailback. I think he was exciting to watch.

 

 

SHOP NOW

at the official
Online Store