Snyder happy with workout

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 6, 2008

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — During the first few spring practices, players have a lot thrown at them and a lot to learn.

There’s one thing Marshall head football coach Mark Snyder hopes his team learned in Saturday’s first contact practice.

“We have to learn to carry our pads,” said Snyder. “There was a nice crowd here and I would have liked to have done more, but we have work we need to get done.”

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A spirited team period helped players adjust to carrying their pads, but most of the practice was devoted to drills and learning the new offensive and defensive system installed by the new Herd coordinators.

Rick Minter has taken over on the defensive side while John Shannon runs the offensive play calling. As is the case, the defense is ahead of the offense.

“The defense was throwing the kitchen sink at (the offense) all ready,” said Snyder with a grin. “We have to temper them down.”

The offensive system will not only be new, but the triggerman as well. With three-year starter Bernard Morris gone, the quarterback position is wide-open between Brian Anderson, Wesley Beardain, red-shirt freshmen Chris Smith and Mark Cann, and Georgia Tech transfer Jonathan Garner.

Snyder said it will take some time before he’ll be able to separate the quintet and pick a starter.

“I like them, but they’ve all got a long way to go. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. They’ve got to keep developing and they’re learning a new system,” said Snyder.

The Herd had two practices earlier this week in shorts and helmets. They are scheduled to practice four more times this week including next Saturday at the University of Charleston’s stadium.

So far, Snyder has been pleased.

“The players are working hard and we’ve shown a lot of enthusiasm the whole time. We need to keep working hard and get better,” said Snyder.