Spring Practice #1, Feb. 22, 2012

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The Tigers held their first practice under new coach Justin Fuente at the Murphy Athletic Complex on Wednesday and the practice was open for fans and media to watch the two-hour workout on the turf field. The first two days of practice will be in helmets and shorts. Friday's practice, which will begin at 4 p.m., is also open to the public.

Coach Fuente's first word to describe today's practice to the media was that it was "fun." In his meeting with the media on Tuesday about the start of practice, Fuente talked about how excited he was to get out there on the field and it certainly showed on Wednesday.

As he has talked about earlier, Fuente explained that one of the keys to this spring will be instruction, and that was evident throughout the entire practice at every position.

"We have to build a team and that really has little to do with Xs and Os," said Fuente. "We have to teach them how to practice and what to do and how to do it. That's a good thing. We have to mold these players. I thought the guys were ready to practice. That was the biggest thing. They were ready to go out there and work."

"At times we had good tempo at practice, and at times there were lulls," added Fuente. "Next time, you will see pretty good tempo throughout practice and then we will put the pads on and you will go back to seeing the lulls because it is more physical."

When asked about quarterbacks Taylor Reed and Jacob Karam, Fuente talked about the work that needs to be done throughout the spring at that position.

"These guys have the opportunity to be good players. There is a lot that comes with that. Obviously, they have to take care of their job, and we have to surround them with guys who can make plays. I am encouraged by their work ethic, their attitude and their leadership and they will become better leaders when they understand what is going on. They want to do that. They want to direct traffic and help guys out and the more comfortable they get, I think the better they will feel."

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