JOHNSON CITY, TN- The Bucs wrapped up their first day of fall camp Friday and ETSU head coach Carl Torbush was pleased to see his players walking off the field in one piece.
“Four years ago, if we came out here and did what we did today, we’d probably have had a couple of injuries,” said Torbush. “Because they’d be trying to tackle each other to the ground in a pair of shorts.”
The Bucs have been taught to avoid taking players to the ground early at camp, instead “tagging” a player on the back to simulate contact and end the play. Torbush wants to see his players staying on their feet and being smart with contact in practices, whether in shorts or pads, to avoid injury.
“We’re practicing more like the pros have practiced for a number of years,” Torbush said. “Basically, the only time that they take somebody to the ground is a scrimmage situation and that’s basically what we have become.”
It’s part of a movement in the sport to keep players on the field with the NCAA disallowing two contact practices in a single day.
“I think we’re practicing smart,” Torbush said. “Thing we may have now is a bruised shoulder or maybe a sprained thumb or something like that. But, for the most part, I do feel like most of the injuries we’re having now are going to be in a real game and that’s just part of football.”