The Tennessee Tech football program began a new chapter this week. March 15 marked the first spring practice of the Marcus Satterfield era.
Head coach Satterfield and the rest of the Golden Eagles’ coaching staff continued the process of transforming Tech into the most physical team in the country.
The first two practices [Tuesday and Thursday] were without pads and were mainly focused on improving player’s fundamentals, technique, and discipline. The intensity will increase Friday and Saturday when pads are added to the mix.
“ A lot of people are going to look better than they really are in this atmosphere as when it gets a little bit more physical, so I am anxious to see these next two practices.”
The first year head coach plans to use the increased physicality of the practices to decipher how players will handle contact.
“ We are trying to be the toughest team in the country. In order to be the toughest team in the country you have got to love contact,” said Satterfield. “ You have got to be able to excel ,not just survive, but excel through the contact and the physicality.”
Tech’s assistant head coach and defensive coordinator Shawn Quinn explained the style of football the Golden Eagles are going to play.
“ We play a very old school style here, much like some of the coaches we have worked under, coach [Phillip] Fulmer and a lot of those guys,” said Quinn.
“ You win running the football, playing great defense and playing great special teams, so that is our thing.”
A focus of the coaching staff early on , besides physicality, has been to improve the team’s competitive drive. The staff has utilized competition within the squad to accomplish this task. Following both practices, the Golden Eagles competed in contests. Offensive and defensive players took opposite sides to compete for bragging rights. For example, tug of wars and an interesting linemen “ kick catch” competition were part of Thursday’s practice. Tuesday’s practice included one on one competition during tire wars.
Satterfield acknowledged becoming closer as a team is an important part of becoming a championship team.
“ I think it is great [ the team atmosphere], said Satterfield. “ I think they are learning how to love each other and they are learning how to interact with each other other than just being football players.
“ I think they genuinely like each other which is the first step. If we are going to win championships, we have got to be able to be teammates, be great teammates.”
Highlights of the Golden Eagles spring practice schedule include: a scrimmage at Alcoa High School April 2, a Friday night lights event April 8, and the spring game April 14.