As the time for full pad practice draws near, Cleveland football is taking a bit of a different approach to the grueling two-a-day practice routine. First-year head coach Ron Crawford had more or less switched to one longer practice as he and his staff instill a new line of thinking into the Cleveland Blue Raiders.
“Really, it was just kind of one long practice. With school starting so early our two-a-days are about gone. We are going to extend it and have more of a two-a-day. We are going to lift and just have one long three-hour practice. That is kind of how we handled it today. But it is what it is at this point,” he said.
As the practices season progresses, Crawford admitted he is still laboring a get to get his new organization organized in the manner he envisions. He said the team is evolving as individuals and as a unit, but he still is looking to streamline his operation.
“Things are going well. It’s new stuff and things are a little different,” he said. “I feel like I’m not as organized as I would like to be. It feels like I’ve kind of scrambled to get out and get everything ready. I’ve just got to get myself organized and I think I’ll feel more comfortable,” he said.
“But, the kids are doing a great job with their attitude and effort.”
The attitude of the Blue Raiders is very positive according to the coach who said as Monday and full pads draw closer, the Raiders might become a bit more anxious to suit up and go full speed. Until then, he said, the team knows where it is and is in full learning mode.
“I think they understand we are in a learning mode. I hope they do. I’m sure they are anxious. I think they will be more anxious toward the end of the week to be in pads than they are right now. We are throwing a lot at them,” Crawford said. “So, right now not being in pads is probably is simpler for us.”
Crawford will take the Blue Raiders to Signal Mountain this evening for a final 7-on-7 scrimmage at 6 p.m. against whichever teams happen to drop by.
“I don’t know how many of us are coming back from the original one that was scheduled,” said the coach.
The Raiders will return to the practice field at Benny Monroe Stadium Wednesday and Thursday for extended practices before a Friday morning practice in front of a long weekend. Cleveland will be in full pads Monday.