Tucker Stadium had a fall feel to it Saturday, March 19. The Golden Eagle football team had its first spring practice in full pads. A brisk, cool wind and the sound of whistles blowing made the stadium feel like it was the middle of September.
Tech began its first spring with head coach Marcus Satterfield March 15. The Golden Eagles added helmets and shoulder pads for the third session of practice March 18 before conducting its fourth practice Saturday in full gear.
Full pads meant a more game like experience for the team and for coaches a chance to evaluate how players will handle the physical part of the game. Satterfield complimented the team’s toughness after being in pads for two practices.
“They did great,” said Satterfield. “There are a lot of times when teams get out here and they start hitting and they start getting stingers. They pull themselves out. Our kids are tough. They are taking hold of the toughest team in the country, and they want to be the toughest team in the country. So, a little contact did not slow them down at all,” Satterfield continued. “It was good to see that they were able to mentally and physically have that toughness to fight on and not only survive, but excel as practice went on.”
Tech’s coaching staff is still in the early stages of implementing their offensive and defensive schemes.
“We are already working it [schemes] in,” said Satterfield. “I think we are very vanilla at this point just trying to teach the foundation ,the verbiage, and the terminology of our offense and defense. As we grasp hold of a certain percentage, we will move on, but right now we are in the very infantile stage of that philosophy. It all goes back to toughness and physicality. I think our guys have done a great job of showing that in the first couple of practices.”
Improving the Golden Eagles’ toughness and physicality has been a focus for Satterfield since day one.
“We will be the most physical, disciplined, relentless, accountable, toughest team in the country. We will throw body blows for four quarters until our opponents quit,” said Satterfield during his introduction as Tech’s twelfth football coach.
The line has become a mantra for the program and is repeated by the team following every practice.
The Golden Eagles will be back on Overall Field Tuesday for a 7 p.m. practice. Tech’s first scrimmage is scheduled for Saturday, April 2 at Alcoa High School. The spring game is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, April 14 at Tucker Stadium.