Cushing provides update on football practices

Adam Tumino, Editor-in-Chief

It has been a busy few days for college football, between another slate of games on Saturday and the news that the Big Ten would begin an eight-game season on Oct. 24.

There was also news for the teams that are not playing games this fall, as they are allowed to move ahead this fall as if it were a normal spring semester.

“Exactly the model that was put in place was to literally just lift and place the spring ball model over to the fall,” Eastern head coach Adam Cushing said. “It’s every single rule that applies to the spring, when it comes to the number of helmet practices, the number of full contact days and opportunities, number of days that can actually be scrimmage based, all that.”

Starting Monday, the Panthers can start to ramp up practices in that spring ball model, so Cushing said that last week’s practices were more restrained on the field with more of a focus on training.

“We want to get a great squat in the weight room,” he said. “That was the whole priority that we’ve been talking about all along. What does this make possible? It’s having a great strength cycle.”

Cushing also said that part of the spring ball model is allowing the team practice more, but also giving them more time to complete strength cycles.

“Going back to our main priorities, and number one being getting bigger and stronger, it’s allowing us to accomplish a major goal while still practicing football,” he said.

Once the team begins practicing in full pads, Cushing said that player health will be a priority since it has been a long time since many of the players have participated in full-contact football activities.

“We’ve got to do the right things from a health and safety standpoint. Obviously we’ve been talking about health and safety form a COVID perspective for so long, but there’s an enormous health and safety perspective for football coaches all the time, but certainly in a time when you haven’t had contact,” Cushing said.

“You can’t just say, ‘okay, here we go. Let’s have two hours of a contact practice.’ So we’re going to use the first couple of weeks to go shorter practices, especially in the contact portion.”

Cushing said that the shorter practices will also allow for more work to be accomplished in the weight room for the players.

“It’s giving us an opportunity to be able to do both. Having tha shorter practice also allows us to go get a great lift,” he said. “So when we go a shorter practice in duration, the player load is lower, it allows them to have enough energy to get a great lift.”

 

Adam Tumino can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]