08/06/10 — Eagles benefitting from experience

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Eagles benefitting from experience

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on August 6, 2010 1:46 PM

Robert Britt had mercy on his weary football team Thursday.

After three days of conditioning in the hot mid-day sun, the Rosewood Eagles' head coach let his guys leave the field after their workouts without running sprints.

The 43 potential players appreciated the gesture.

"But don't get me wrong," Britt quipped as players scattered. "We are going to get right back to running the next two days. You can count on it."

Four days into fall practice, Britt and his coaching staff have been pleasantly surprised by where the 2010 Eagles are in their development. After three days of donning just helmets, the team put on shoulder pads for the first time on Thursday which allowed players to hit the blocking sleds and the tackling dummies.

"We have a lot of guys back from last year and I think that has really put us in a good spot for this first week," said Britt. "With 30 returning players, there are more guys that know the routine and can help lead by example."

The Eagles will go back to conditioning over the weekend and then break out in full pads for their first full-contact practice of the year on Monday.

"That is when we get to see what kind of mentality some of the younger guys have," said Britt. "All freshmen look awkward and nervous early in the practice schedule, but when the hitting starts that's when some of them will be able to stand out."

The last hour of Thursday's practice was spent with linemen working on blocking assignments, backs and receivers running the pass skeleton and defensive players running a loose ball drill to work on fumble recoveries.

Those drills will certainly increase in intensity as the hitting begins next week.

"The first day of hitting is the day that everyone looks forward to," said Britt. "There is an extra edge to every exercise when there is the chance that a player may get hit."

Rosewood will continue morning practices for the next week before transitioning to an afternoon schedule once classes begin. The Eagles open their season Aug. 20 at home against Wake Christian.