The shoulder pads came on for the first time as the St. John’s football team practiced for two-and-a-half hours at a sun-baked Clemens Stadium Friday afternoon.
A crowd of about 50 – many of whom had attended the team’s annual Kickoff Luncheon earlier in the day (read that story here: http://www.sctimes.com/article/20130816/SPORTS04/308160034/St-John-s-football-luncheon-goes-2-Johns-missing) – was on hand to watch a practice that ended with about 10 minutes of 11-on-11 action pitting the offense against the defense.
“I think the tempo was rolling pretty well on both sides of the ball,” senior linebacker Ricky Davis said. “Our running backs look fast. Our defensive backs look fast. Everybody is playing really aggressive.”
The pace of practice has been a lot quicker the past few days, and there is a lot more noise than in past years.
“That’s what this tempo is,” Davis said. “Everybody is on a roll. Everybody is talking. We’ve picked up the pace a lot.”
* Sophomore guard Ben Kuhr, who is returning after a season-ending knee injury last season, started practice Friday, but was forced to the sideline with swelling. He said his status will remain day-to-day.
* The team also worked on the punting game during Friday’s practice.
* Practice is again scheduled from 2:30 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.