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March 2, 2014

Holgorsen's Take: Spring Practice 3-2-14

West Virginia were greeted with snow and blustery conditions as the Mountaineers opened spring drills Sunday afternoon, but head coach Dana Holgorsen said that both the coaches and team just couldn't wait any longer to get things started.

As Monongalia County was hit with a passing snow-storm, the Mountaineers went to work inside the Caperton Indoor Facility with their first non-padded practice of the spring focused around fundamentals and individual drills.

"I asked all the coaches and they were probably more eager to start coaching so we decided to go ahead and get started," he said.

As far as coaching assignments, Holgorsen confirmed that Tom Bradley will take the defensive line as well as assisting him and helping to game plan with defensive coordinator Tony Gibson.

"Tom has coached everything," he said. "He's been in this profession for 35-years and has seen a lot."

Damon Cogdell will make the move from defensive line coach to linebackers and Gibson will assist on the front end, while Joe DeForest handles safeties and Brian Mitchell will work with the corners again this season.

The Mountaineers return around 80-percent of their roster from last season and enter the spring with around 70-total players, the largest group during Holgorsen's tenure in Morgantown. However, this is actually the first off-season for many of those players and it will be important for their development over the course of the next several weeks.

The Mountaineers will hold two more non-padded practices this week before the final 12 sessions after spring break.

"We'll teach them for three days and then we'll get into the physical nature of the game, toughness of the game," he said.

Unlike last season with so many new faces, the focus this year won't necessarily be focused as much on the actual teaching of what to do, instead on how to do it properly, Holgorsen said. That also means that the team will be treated much less patiently than they were a season ago.

The rest of the practices this week will be closed to the media with opportunities to speak with coaches and players Tuesday and Thursday. West Virginia will host the annual Gold-Blue Game April 12 with the time to be determined.


Holgorsen confirmed that Travis Bell has been suspended since early January, but remains on scholarship in order for him to finish school. For now the suspension is considered indefinite.

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