RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Day one of football camp at some schools is about getting comfortable, going three-quarters speed, learning the ropes. In other words, it’s soft.
However head coach Adrian Jones and the Shaw Bears came out of hibernation Sunday taking the field with a take-no-prisoners passion and grateful to be back it.
“I just like being out here. That was the biggest thing — being out here with our guys and being able to blow the whistle,” said Shaw University head football coach Adrian Jones. “The intensity and the effort we had today is one of the things I liked about my guys.”
“I expect that because we got a lot of veterans on the defense,” said linebacker Devon Hunt.
The Bears return a bunch of key veteran pieces to their squad on both sides of the football. At different times the defense and offense showed the skills that helped the Bears achieve a 5-2 record in 2019 but neither side dominated the entire day.
“Last night we talked about offense winning some and defense winning some,” said Jones. “We didn’t want it to be lopsided, so that’s what we like to see. If the offense makes a mistake they come back and correct it and score on the defense and vice-versa.”
“That’s a good thing because it’s something we don’t have to correct later on down the road,” said Hunt. “It’s already right now so that helps us out a lot and there’s also plays we left out on the field also.”
With over a year to get ready, the Bears are fully healthy. None of the players are recovering from off-season surgery or dealing with nagging injuries. The off-season weight program paid dividends as well but there’s just one nagging thing.
“All in all it’s just the attention to detail. Attention to detail to everything,” said Jones. “If we say get on the line and put your foot on the line on the sprints, that’s what we expect you to do. It’s just the little things right now that we are trying to focus on. That’s why I have that little black book and I’m dotting my i’s and crossing my t’s to make sure our guys are ready.”
He’s not kidding. Jones literally has a little black book he takes notes in all practice. The immediate consequence of making the book is more running the next practice.
The long-term impact of a coach taking notes is best summed up by Devon Hunt.
“This year when you see the Shaw Bears you’re going to be like that — a great football team on both sides of the ball,” Hunt said.
The Bears open up on the road at Wingate University Sept. 2. Their first home game is Sept. 19 against Central State University.