Colorado head coach Mel Tucker has been pleased with the tempo during spring practices.
Matthew Jonas / Staff Photographer
Colorado head coach Mel Tucker has been pleased with the tempo during spring practices.

First-year Colorado head football coach Mel Tucker likes his team to play fast, and he’s been pleased with the tempo to this point in his first spring.

Tucker wants actual data on the Buffs’ speed, however. On Wednesday, the Buffs went through their fifth practice of spring and their second with pads. It was also the first time this spring that the players wore GPS units.

“I felt like they played fast,” Tucker said. “We’ll see what the units say once we get the report this afternoon. I was fired up with what I saw today. Good days’ work.”

Intensity and high energy have been common themes so far this spring, and Tucker said that continued Wednesday as the Buffs put the pads back on.

“They were fired up when they came out,” he said. “Obviously when you put the pads on, you get a chance to strike guys and knock guys around and guys get excited about that. I thought it was good work. We had good tempo, it was a physical practice. I expect them to get more physical as we go.”

Of course, the Buffs would like to avoid injuries, too. Tucker said the Buffs do that by “thud” tackling and staying off the ground.

“When we’re not scrimmaging, we thud,” he said. “You have to learn how to thud. You have to learn how to practice in pads and take care of our teammates. You can be physical without being on the ground. If guys stay off the ground, we won’t have injuries.”

Personal touch

CU’s roster is filled with players who have big personalities, such as receiver KD Nixon, quarterback Steven Montez, and more. Tucker said he’s enjoying getting to know the personalities of the players.

“I’m starting to see the personalities of the team, just getting to know the guys on the field and off the field,” he said. “That’s one of the best parts of my job, of coaching, is just being out there with the guys and getting to know the players and what makes them tick and the different personalities.”


Tucker said the Buffs’ offense “came out fast” on Wednesday and very productive. “A lot of explosive plays in the run game and the pass game,” he said. “That was very good to see.” … There’s been competition at every position, Tucker said, and the coaches don’t have a depth chart, but “a rep chart” as players battle for positions. “Guys are going to move up or move down based upon production,” he said. … The Buffs are off Thursday and return to the field Friday.

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