The sound of football was back in the air Tuesday afternoon as Matt Wells and the Red Raiders returned to the practice fields located at the Football Training Facility.
Wells and his staff put the Red Raiders through a roughly two-hour workout, their first of 15 allocated practices this spring and the first of two in only helmets, jersey and shorts. The Red Raiders will be able to transition to full pads Saturday following another helmets-only practice Thursday.
"Fast practice. Good energy. Normal day one energy," Wells said of the first practice. "It looked a lot better than last year day one I know that."
YEAR TWO IS BETTER THAN YEAR ONE
One topic Wells pointed out Tuesday was how different the Red Raiders looked compared to a year earlier when Wells and his staff were still learning the tendencies of their team, all while installing new schemes on both offense and defense.
Wells and his staff pointed out several times during the 2019 season that most student-athletes play at their highest level in their second year in a particular system due to their familiarity with the scheme but also due to how familiar they are with the day-to-day goals of the program.
Needless to say, it hasn't been lost on Wells through one practice.
"We're starting to learn how to do things right off the field," Wells said. "We are learning the value of hard work in the weight room, seeing how to eat right, lift, all of that stuff. We're a lot further ahead a year later, not where we need to be. And then obviously you're also a year deeper into the schemes, so you understand a little bit better."
GET THE ICE READY
Texas Tech enters this spring with three quarterbacks on its roster in sophomore Alan Bowman and redshirt freshmen Maverick McIvor and Logan Greene, which will allow Wells and offensive coordinator David Yost a chance to continue to develop a young position room.
Wells said Bowman and McIvor will split reps throughout the spring with the starters, meaning they can look forward to throwing the ball quite often each week.
"We will need to ice their arms," Wells said jokingly. "They are going to get a lot of reps both of them. They took basically every rep of team today and (skeleton drill). They need it. They need it not only for experience in this offense but they need it for confidence in themselves. Guys can gain confidence through their play and through their success, so both of them will get a lot of reps."
FIRST DAY FOR TWO NEW STAFFERS
While Tuesday's practice marked the start of Wells' second season in Lubbock, it was the debut for two staffers in associate head coach Derek Jones and linebackers coach Kevin Cosgrove.
"I think Derek (Jones) and Coach Cosgrove both fit in well, fit in quick," Wells said of his two new assistants. "It actually seemed pretty seamless."
In addition to the two new staffers, several other new faces donned the scarlet and black for the first time Tuesday as well in December signees Ja'Lynn Polk, Krishon Merriweather, Brandon Bouyer-Randle and Reece Azam.
The Red Raiders will host another closed workout in only helmets Thursday before donning the shoulder pads Saturday. Tech will practice a total of five times prior to Spring Break, which is March 16-20.