Wolverines ramp up intensity with pads on
BENTONVILLE — The biggest difference in West’s second week of preseason drills was the ability to get more aggressive during practice, which comes with being able to put on pads.
“The first week, with no pads, kind of eliminates some of the things you can do,” Wolverines coach Bryan Pratt said. “So we took care of special teams and some of the fundamental stuff. When you get the pads on, you can start tackling.
“I think that’s our emphasis. We’re now having competitive parts in our practice where we go goods-on-goods. It’s been good for us, and we couldn’t do this last year because we couldn’t platoon. It’s been good for us to compete and good for our kids.”
Unlike the summer workouts, when West suffered some serious injuries, the Wolverines have just a few minor bumps and bruises after the more aggressive workouts. Linebacker Hunter Swoboda, meanwhile, is out of the walking boot after his summer injury, and it looks more promising that he can return for the season opener against Pryor, Okla.
“The bumps and bruises, we can live with that.” Pratt said. “We know we’ll have those, and we’ve talked to our kids about getting treatment, and our trainers do a phenomenal job. Right now, we’re doing OK with injuries. I’m hoping they will stay away.”
Pratt said West will begin to get more into a game-week situation when practice resumes Monday as students head to class.