Aug. 18, 2012
Storms in the area may have delayed the start, but the Rice Owls were able to wrap up their 2012 Fall training camp with a final practice on Saturday night at Rice Stadium.
The Owls had just completed their stretching and head coach David Bailiff had just gathered the team together when lightning detectors alerted the football trainers that the team needed to leave the field. Some 40 minutes later the team was able to return and complete what Bailiff continues to characterize as a great two weeks of practice.
"We had a great camp," Bailiff said. "Every member of this team came over here every day and were enthusiastic. You walk out on to the practice field every day and see the passion in their eyes. They've set their goals high and you see the older guys taking the time to coach the younger guys when they are on the sidelines."
The lightening delay allowed the coaches to flip the night's schedule. Conference USA officials, who were in camp to officiate the live periods and then discuss rule changes with the team, gave their presentation to the team while waiting for the storms to pass.
After the presentation and an all-clear from the training staff, the Owls completed the work that had been scheduled.
"We had a special teams script that we wanted to get through with some live and got through that, Bailiff noted. " We wanted to pound the ball with four minutes on the clock and some two minute drill got through that. We shortened it a little but accomplished the things we wanted to get done. It was a pretty good night," he added.
With the close of two weeks dedicated entirely to football, Bailiff and staff now face the task of making final squad evaluations. For some, the decisions will place them in the rotation for potential playing time. For others, their daily assignments will shift to becoming scout team players, helping the Owls hone their skills in advance of the opener with UCLA in less than two weeks.
"We have number of talented freshmen who are not obvious candidates to redshirt because they are that good," Bailiff stated. "They're ready to go and we have a lot of decisions to make. It's not so much about who will be the starter, but where the depth will come from and who is going to play special teams."
"We got a little time left before UCLA and there are a lot of little things we need to improve," Bailiff noted. "We just need to keep getting better."