CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern strapped on the shoulder pads for the first time in the 2017 spring season on Friday afternoon as the Buccaneers completed their third day of practice in the Mark Tucker coaching era at CSU.
For the players and the coaching staff, it was a long time coming for the first contact of spring after spending the first two days in helmets and shorts on the Buccaneer Field turf.
"It was exciting to trade some paint today," CSU Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Zane Vance said. "The players were looking forward to it and so was I. Primarily, our focus every day has been installing a new defense this spring, so we've been talking about block recognition and instruction, taking good angles, and tackling well. Those things will not change throughout the 15 days of practice we have this spring."
The Buccaneers opened the practice segment with an Oklahoma-style drill as the linemen, linebackers and running backs, and wide receivers and defensive backs paired off inside the circle for the first hits of spring.
For head coach Mark Tucker, the first day of shells and the early contact was a welcome sight.
"Today was very good," Tucker commented. "The players were anxious for contact and tired of running around the past few days in shorts. It's good to see things moving with the offense. The advantage is more toward the defense when you don't have pads on, to a degree. It was time to hit and we were looking forward to it.
He continued, "We had to make sure we were in the right mindset today. We understand it's a progression in practice and we're ready to go play tomorrow."
The Buccaneers close out the first week of spring practice tomorrow morning as CSU puts on the full pads for the first time. Practice is set for 10 a.m. at Buccaneer Field.