March 27, 2013
• Northern Illinois practiced for two hours (24 periods) at Huskie Stadium Wednesday. As required by NCAA rules, the Huskies went out in shorts and helmets and there was no tackling. Although still chilly, the one-week delay due to weather did result in a more temperate (40 degree) day.
• The pace of practice was brisk. Players moved in and out of drills easily. NIU spent quite a few periods in individual drills before wrapping up with approximately 15 minutes of “team” (11-on-11) play. Overall, the practice followed a familiar pattern to those who have been to a Huskie football practice lately.
• NIU Head Coach Rod Carey on practice: "It was good to get back out there but there's not much you can tell in shorts. Spring is about getting better and I tell the players if you can get better at one thing every day, by the end of spring, you'll have improved 15 things."
• There were plenty of new faces at practice, but it wasn’t the guys in jersey numbers, it was their coaches. Five coaches took the field as Huskies for the first time. On defense, Brett Diersen (defensive line) and Kelvin Sigler (cornerbacks) were the new faces, while the offensive staff had Thad Ward (wide receivers), Kelton Copeland (running backs) and Tim Polasek (tight ends/fullbacks).
• Although they have worked closely with their position coaches, all of the players weren’t quite familiar with all the new coaches. One of the players remarked after practice, “one time, they told us to go over to Coach (blank) for the next station and I was like, who?”
• There were a couple of familiar faces on the sidelines in the unfamiliar position of watching practice. NIU’s three-time All-MAC defensive end Sean Progar
watched his former mates on the defensive line closely, even doing a double take when he saw a player wearing his familiar number 95. He relaxed once he saw it was teammate Ken Bishop
, who often wears different jersey numbers at practice. Wide receiver Martel Moore
, meanwhile, said he has talked to redshirt freshman receiver Charlie Miller
about adopting Moore’s familiar number 1 – although Miller has not made the move as of yet and remains in No. 13.
• Progar, who has been training for a shot at the NFL since the week after the Orange Bowl game, said he was in town for a work out with the New England Patriots and had talked to several other NFL teams since the Huskies’ Pro Day on March 8. Said an impatient Progar of the process, “It’s SO long.”
• NIU’s second spring practice session is scheduled for Friday, March 29 at 3:55 p.m. (CT).