In his first season as coach of the Colorado football team, Mike MacIntyre says there were times when he watched a play unfold and thought the reason CU wasn't successful was because of a lack of strength.
MacIntyre vowed to completely remake the physical condition of his players in 18 months when he was hired away from San Jose State in December 2012. He is now 13 months into the process with strength and conditioning coach Dave Forman and he said the rest of the offseason is pivotal.
"This January to Aug. 5 when we start is huge for our program," MacIntyre said. "We have got to get stronger on the field. There were a few teams we just weren't strong enough against.
"I know everybody talks about speed, and I think our speed is getting there, but sometimes your speed kind of gets negated on the line or linebackers if you can't get off blocks and be strong and pound them some. That could be a big difference for us this next fall."
In the past, Forman would have had to get the majority of his strength work done in a few short months in winter and spring. An NCAA rule change that goes into effect this year allows football coaches to spend eight hours a week working with players in the summer months just as they are able to in the winter prior to spring ball.
The NCAA made a similar rule change for basketball several years ago. In the past, summertime always has been a time when players participate in player-run practices and strength and conditioning work on a volunteer basis.
The eight hours are meant for film study and strength and conditioning work and cannot be used for running plays or throwing sessions. Two of the eight hours are allowed for film work.
"That is gigantic," MacIntyre said.
Eager for spring
Spring football is a little more than six weeks away and MacIntyre is excited because he believes much more learning and developing within the system will take place this year.
In his first spring after being hired last year, MacIntyre and his staff spent half of spring ball trying to get to know players and dividing repetitions equally among all players.
"It will be a lot different in the fact that the first half of spring (2013) was truly just evaluation," MacIntyre said. "Now, we've evaluated ourselves over the season, pros and cons, and when we head into spring we'll be able to start right from Day One improving.
"Most all the kids will know everything we're doing. Now we've got to get better at the little things and change a few things that we feel is best for our personnel because now we know our personnel better. So I think we should make a bigger jump as far as being more exact on different things that we're doing."
Spring practices at CU will begin March 7 with half of the 15 sessions scheduled before spring break and half after players return. The spring game will be April 12 and will be televised by the Pac-12 Network.