Boise State coach Chris Petersen said the Broncos’ first practice after spring break Tuesday was “average at best,” and could be seen a few times on the Bronco Stadium turf a bit miffed at what he was seeing.
“We’ll have to maybe re-think our spring break plan, if we take a spring break in the middle,” Petersen said. “… it wasn’t terrible. It was average — that’s not what we’re trying to get done at practice, being average.”
The team practiced March 22 before going on spring break, and had a free day Monday before getting back to practice Tuesday. Linebacker Blake Renaud said most players didn’t stick around town.
“It wasn’t that good of a day,” Renaud said. “… I’d rather do spring break after the whole spring ball thing.”
The Broncos will be back to practice Thursday in helmets after going in helmets and shoulder pads Tuesday.
After practice, Petersen said freshman receiver D.J. Dean, an Eagle High graduate, tore his ACL and likely wouldn’t be back practicing until next spring.
Dean had grayshirted last season.
Petersen said there were no other major injuries of note.
Coaches from Hosei University in Japan are back in town to watch practices for a sixth straight year. Petersen said each year, the group brings a DVD of their prior season, and he typically is able to sit down and take a look.
“They look much different than they did a couple years ago, they’re continually evolving and they stay up with the times,” Petersen said.
Petersen, who grew up playing tennis, but admits he hasn’t “in a long time,” said he hopes to attend the Davis Cup this weekend at Taco Bell Arena. He said being able to host the event is “awesome” and credited Boise State coach Greg Patton for his efforts.
After a four-year hiatus, the stars have returned — the Broncos are putting star stickers on their helmets for accomplishing certain goals, as per their position coaches’ criteria. The team did it in the spring of 2009, and Petersen decided to bring them back.
“I like them — each coach has a different grading scale, but it’s a very simple (criteria), what they’re trying to emphasize, one to two to three things, no more than that,” Petersen said. “If (the coaches) see that on the practice field, they give them a star.
“It kind of makes us all focus in on the one to three things that coach wants to get better, there are so many things we want to get better at, but there’s always got to be a few core things that it’s all about.”
PRACTICE NO. 8
Type: Helmets and shoulder pads
Player spotlight: Junior linebacker Blake Renaud is all the sudden the aged veteran of the linebacker corps, though he has not been on campus for two years. After playing sparingly as a true freshman, he had 46 tackles last season as a sophomore. Now, he has the most game experience at the linebacker position on the roster.
“I’m going to put that pressure on myself, try and be that leader, be one of the top guys on defense,” Renaud said.
The 6-foot-2 Renaud has put on about 10 pounds since last season and is now playing at 250 pounds, which he says is the playing weight he prefers.
Play of the day: Sophomore safety Darian Thompson just always seems to be around the ball. After he had three interceptions and a fumble recovery offseason, he’s continued to be a ball hawk in practices this spring. Thompson intercepted Grant Hedrick after Hedrick’s dart of a pass glanced off tight end Kyle Sosnowski’s hands into Thompson’s awaiting arms.
Notes: During the same set of team drills as Thompson’s interception, Eliot Hoyte recovered a Jack Fields fumble after the running backs was stuffed behind the line of scrimmage and stripped. … Both Nick Patti and Jimmy Laughrea had some nice, long scrambles out of the pocket after protection broke down.
Next practice: Thursday (helmets)