COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- In shorts and helmets, the Tennessee Tech football team took the field Tuesday for the first of 15 days of spring drills, and two elements were obvious -- experience and energy.
"They're excited," said coach Watson Brown. "They've been lifting weights for four months, and they're anxious to touch a football. I hope they keep that level of excitement through the next 14 practices."
Experience will be a huge plus for Brown's seventh Golden Eagle squad. Tech has an unprecedented 32 returning starters in spring drills.
"This really didn't look like a first practice because we have so many returning players," he said. "We did a lot of things, and we didn't have a lot of people that looked confused or out of place."
Two new assistant coaches were also involved in their first action with the team -- offensive line coach Dewayne Alexander (in photo) and Don Landholm, who will coach inside linebackers and serve as special teams coordinator.
The team will return to the field Thursday and Friday at 3 p.m., and Saturday at 1 p.m. to wrap up the first week of drills.
Brown will put his team through a scrimmage on Saturday, April 13, with the Purple/Gold Spring Scrimmage set for Saturday, April 20 at 1 p.m. The Golden Eagle Sports Network will produce a live webstream of that event on the OVC Digital Network.
Comments after Tuesday's practice from redshirt quarterback Jared Davis and head coach Watson Brown: