The Big Ten Network's studio team of Dave Revsine, Gerry Dinardo and Howard Griffith rolled into the Twin Cities Tuesday for their annual preseason tour of each Big Ten campus.
It was just the second day of practice for the Gophers. While head coach Jerry Kill would have liked to show the fans in attendance and the Big Ten Network folks a faster pace to practice, the Gophers just haven't progressed to that point in Kill's program yet.
"I don't think we can speed up because we've only had 17 practices with a group of kids," Kill said. "It isn't like we've had veterans for 20 years, 15 and10 years. We've had 17 practices with about 30 new faces out there. We've got every coach working. We've got every player working. We can't go fast right now, not as fast as we're going to two or three years down the road."
Speaking of speed, there was apparently some discussion amongst some of the Gophers as to which player was the fastest. A member of the media posed that question to Coach Kill. The head coach may as well have said, "Who's the fastest? Who cares?"
What he really said was: "I'm not worried about it. I don't care as long as they play on the field."
Kill did say he felt there were a good number of young men on his team who can "really run." Included on that list were cornerback/kick returner Troy Stoudermire, wide receiver Marcus Jones, wide receiver Malcolm Moulton, running back Lamonte Edwards and linebacker Keanon Cooper.
But he wasn't willing to pick who could win in a race. He seems more concerned about who can track down an opposing running back or wide receiver before he breaks a big play or who can out-run an opposing safety to the goal line for a Gopher touchdown.
> One day after Gopher men's head basketball coach Tubby Smith was out to watch some football practice, women's head coach Pam Borton spent a good deal of time on the Gibson-Nagurski Complex practice field Tuesday.
>Former Gopher football coach Glen Mason was also in attendance. Mason spent a good deal of time chatting with his Big Ten Network colleagues. But he also had a lengthy conversation with Coach Kill after the practice concluded.
>The high temperature in Minneapolis today was 72 degrees. Coach Kill wasn't sure he liked the beautiful weather. "This isn't like two-a-day camp, this is like fall camp. It's too nice. I wish it was 90 degrees."
> The play of the day may have come near the end of the session. With the Gophers working on a two-minute drill, transfer kicker Chris Hawthorne lined up a 54-yard field goal and knocked it dead between the goal posts as the clock expired. "Special teams-wise, I guess the positive was we stuck a field goal today. That's a good thing."
> On Wednesday, pads will pop for the first time this fall. The Gophers will practice for the first time with shoulder pads. Once again, the session will be open to the public and will run from roughly 3:45-6 p.m.