Colorado coach Jon Embree said he was pleased with the Buffs' first practice of fall camp Thursday night because veteran players picked up where they left off in spring ball for the most part.
The Buffs practiced for nearly three full hours in shorts and helmets before the sun set and it became too dark to continue. During an interview with the Camera in the offseason, Embree was asked if he could add one thing to the program immediately what it would be.
"Lights on the practice field," he said.
The Buffs won't don full pads and begin hitting each other in earnest until Monday.
"It was actually good,' Embree said. "There was a lot of carry over from what we did in the spring. The older guys got it figured out. Now when we intermix the younger guys, we're getting some mistakes in there, but this is also their first time. I felt like it was a really good tempo practice."
Several players returned from injuries that ended their 2010 season last fall. Embree said it was good to see safety Anthony Perkins back in the secondary.
"I told (secondary coach Greg Brown) I noticed a big difference," Embree said. "We we're lined up. We'll start with that. Guys were in the right spots for the most part. So it was definitely noticeable to me seeing him out there."
Cornerback Parker Orms suffered a torn ACL in the season opener last year and left the field with team athletic trainers at one point Thursday favoring his surgically repaired leg. He returned later and Embree said he was suffering from cramps.
Embree said he expects competition at most positions will extend through the first 18 practices of spring. He said after the second scrimmage coaches "have to know" which players are capable of helping the team early and which are likely redshirts or reserves.
Redshirt freshman Cordary Allen is playing tight end after spending his first season in Boulder last fall at running back. Embree said Allen has the physique for tight end and coaches believe he can adjust to the position because there are some similarities to a blocking back.
"We feel like there is a chance for him to help us there," Embree said.
Why all the shouting?
Embree was asked about the decibel level at which he and some of his assistant coaches interact with players on the field, whether they are correcting a mistake or praising a good play. Embree said he wants players to know where they stand and he wants their teammates to know, too.
"I don't want a guy in the locker room saying he ain't playing cause the coach is screwing him over," Embree said. "When they hear somebody getting called out three or four times, they know why he's not out there playing."
Several veteran players have changed jersey numbers this fall, including Orms who is now wearing No. 13 and Perkins who is No. 7. Linebacker Doug Rippy is wearing No. 3 and fellow linebacker Derrick Webb is now in No. 5. Cornerback Jered Bell switched to No. 21.