GREELEY, Colo. – After the first full practice for the University of Northern Colorado in shells took place, senior offensive guard Tim McGraw sat down with uncbears.com to talk about the upcoming season, the reformed offensive line and the newly renovated Butler-Hancock Athletic Center.
Several times during the remainder of fall camp, a senior or leader at each position will answer some questions about the upcoming 2010 season. If you have any questions you’d like to see answered by a student-athlete, please forward those questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday was the fourth scheduled practice of the season as Friday and Saturday were in helmets and the Bears had a day of rest on Sunday. On Monday the team only got about 20 minutes of practice in before the rain and lightning forced an early conclusion to drills.
The team will practice in full pads for the first time on Wednesday, Aug. 11 at 2:00 p.m. and the practice is open to the public.
Q: With the rain yesterday and practice being cut extremely short, today was really your first practice in shells. How did it feel to have contact drills again?
A: I think that’s kind of what all football players live for is these first days of contact. You can only do so much, especially on the line, when you’re not full padded up and now that we’ve got some pads on and can get cracking a little bit this is a time – especially the linemen – we love.
Q: How has a new offensive scheme changed your focus so far in camp?
A: I feel like we’re paying a lot more attention to detail. This is more of a complicated offense than we ran the first time so every single play we really have to be focused on exactly where we’re supposed to be lined up, exactly what our assignment is and what we’re supposed to do. If we execute this offense, we’ve got a good chance, I think.
Q: What did you and the rest of the offensive line do to improve this summer?
A: The majority of the offensive line was in Greeley all summer working with Joe (Schaffer), the strength coach. We were running and lifting really hard and also, we did some in-house quarterback arranged activities. The offensive line was all there working their tail off trying to get better any way we could.
Q: What is your main motivation for 2010?
A: Obviously for me being my senior year, this is my last crack at things, my last go around. I’ve been here through some pretty tough times, in my first three years we won three games and my main motivation is I don’t want to be sent off like we had to send off all the seniors. We’ve made a lot of progress in the last few years but it’s time for all the hard work we’ve put in these last four years to start paying some dividends.
Q: Do you have any games highlighted on the 2010 schedule?
A: Obviously Michigan State will be a big game. You always love playing in front of a crowd like that. Other than that, Montana is always a big game for us and any Big Sky Conference game is what we have highlighted because we want to compete for a Big Sky Championship. In order to win a Big Sky Championship, you have to beat the Big Sky teams.
Q: You already touched on this a little, but what are your expectations for this season, both personally and for the team?
A: I think the sky is the limit for us. I think as long as we stay focused and we execute our game plan I think we can go as far as we push ourselves. The sky is definitely the limit.
Q: What do you do with the little down time you have in fall camp?
A: During camp it gets pretty busy but for me personally I go to my house and relax on the couch. I sleep, sleeping is probably the main thing a lot of us do to get through the day.
Q: Do you have any advice for young players?
A: My advice is to give all you’ve got. Every day you should go out and give the best possible effort you can give and that’s all you can do. Even if you’re not the most talented, if you keep giving the effort day-in and day-out you’re going to get better and see improvements.
Q: What is your favorite part of the New Butler-Hancock Athletic Center?
A: I think my favorite part has to be the new locker room. We’ve had some questionable facilities the last few years and this is really state-of-the-art. It’s the best I’ve been in, in any college I’ve ever been to and it’s pretty impressive in there.