Ada Evening News Sports Writer
ADA - With his club allowed only 15 practices - including the April 24 Orange and White Game - this spring, East Central University football coach Tim McCarty and his staff would obviously like to see their young squad progress from one practice to the next. But even McCarty admitted he was a little bit surprised by the pace of Tuesday's practice - the last before the Tigers put on pads Wednesday.
"One thing Coach (Justin) Deason (ECU's defensive coordinator) said after practice - and I concur with it - was that this was the best practice," McCarty said Tuesday evening. "It was the same tempo as the Southeastern game. We finished Game 11 on a pretty high note as far as competing, and today's practice had that same feel.
"Under normal circumstances, I would say 'yes,' but this is a special group," McCarty said when asked if he was surprised by the up-tempo atmosphere on the ECU practice field Tuesday. "Their expectations and their focus is high, and I think I'll get a full dose of this every day during spring ball."
McCarty said three things stood out during Tuesday's session.
"One, the tempo of practice was exceptional; second, even though we didn't have pads on, their pad level was exceptional - they were playing with leverage; and the third thing was that there is just a vast understanding of where we are."