August 14, 2009

Practice Notebook: Intensity increases as A&M dons pads

Texas A&M had its first day in full pads Friday at the Coolidge Practice Fields adjacent to Kyle Field on the A&M campus. And with full pads came much more intensity and aggressiveness throughout the ranks.

In the end, however, it was the Aggie running back that shined the brightest with a number of big runs, broken tackles and nice plays.

"It was about what I expected. I thought in the first half they were just getting used to having their pads on, and then later they were more comfortable in the second half," said A&M head coach Mike Sherman. "The most impressive thing I thought today was our running backs. I thought they ran hard and ran physical and made plays after contact, which I thought was more impressive than anything else."

The most surprising thing is the fact that the running backs had such a great day with top back Cyrus Gray on the sideline with a tweaked hamstring. Gray has been the most impressive performer in camp thus far, but the other running backs certainly made their extra reps count Friday.

"It's even more significant that Cyrus, who has been outplaying that whole group, hasn't been out there," Sherman said. "It gave these guys more reps and a chance to shine, and I think it's just going to make for a stronger group and I think that's what we needed."

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