The start of Dartmouth's spring practice is still 12 days away but "mat drills" have begun.
I can almost hear you. "Huh?"
After a little research four years ago, I discovered the purported origin of the name "mat drills":
"They are called mat drills because originally they were conducted on old wrestling mats in the weeks leading up to spring football. Lou Holtz and Bobby Bowden are considered the founding fathers of workouts like these that get players ready for action, and help in team-building."You saw Day One of mat drills at the top of this post. Here are scenes from Day Two:
In case you are wondering, in talking with a few graduating seniors the other day I learned (not in the least bit surprisingly) that while they will miss a lot about their Dartmouth football experience, they will not miss mat drills ;-)
•Dartmouth's Sept. 17 opener against New Hampshire is going to have some intriguing storylines, not the least of which will be the return of former Big Green head coach John Lyons to Hanover as the UNH defensive coordinator.
Dartmouth, too, will have a staff member who might find the game a little awkward.
Joining the Big Green staff for the 2016 season is offensive quality control assistant Steven Thames, a former cornerback at UNH. Under Lyons.
Thames spent last fall as a football intern at CAA co-champion James Madison, where his responsibilities ran the gamut from assisting with recruiting letters and evaluating potential recruits to film breakdown.
Thames, who graduated from UNH with a sociology degree, grew up in Fort Washington, Md. In the 2013 NCAA semifinals at North Dakota State he returned an interception 38 yards for a touchdown. He was named to the All-CAA third team as a senior.
Find an NFL Draft Diamonds Q&A with him HERE.
•And finally . . .
Wide receivers coach Jerry Taylor is "mic'd" up at mat drills: