HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - One of Marshall football Coach Doc Holliday's favorite phrases in the first two days of practice was, "They all look good in shorts."
On Wednesday, the Thundering Herd added shoulder pads to the practice attire and ratcheted up the contact a little bit. With a little more thumping going on, Holliday said the team still looked good.
"I think the encouraging thing was there wasn't much difference," he said. "You worry about, at times, that once you put the pads on, you slow down a little bit, but I thought they still played fast."
Linebacker Devin Arrington said it just felt more like football to don some pads and put a lick on someone.
"You hear that click-clack and you can see things better, I know that much," he said. "When it comes to linebacker reads, everything opens up and people are actually hitting."
More pads meant more fire at some points during Wednesday's practices. During the morning session, safety Zach Dunston and receiver Demetrius Evans squared off enough times in seven-on-seven drills that coaches lined up the two in an impromptu blocking drill.
Holliday said that intensity wasn't always there when he arrived in Huntington. That isn't much of a problem anymore.
"I like our kids because we pride ourselves in being extremely tough," he said. "We talk about how there's nowhere to hide in our program, if you're not tough, you can't survive."
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HOLLIDAY SAID a few players looked better in shoulder pads Wednesday than they did in the days previous.