The UConn Football team gathers around head coach Bob Diaco before breaking into drills at the first practice of the 2014 season.

The UConn Football team gathers around head coach Bob Diaco before breaking into drills at the first practice of the 2014 season.

After having his charges woken up at 7 a.m. with an air horn on Saturday morning, Bob Diaco had hoped to lead his team up the stairs to the outside practice fields for the first time as head coach. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans and forced the UConn Huskies football team to practice indoors.

But when you have one of the finest facilities in the country at the Burton Family Football Complex, going indoors isn’t a big deal at all.

“It’s a great facility, a lot of space, a lot of room, high.” said Diaco. “PAT field specialists were working with the battery. Punters were working, long snappers. We got a look of work done today.”

The biggest difference though was not only how the players look due to the strength and conditioning and nutrition programs but was their retention of what was expected from them during a practice. One of those things was not seeing players with their palms up wondering what was going on.

According to Diaco, it wasn’t a thought.

“They got a better handle on the tempo of practice, what full speed should look like, when they are in movement teaching phase what that should look like and when they are in a truly walk and teach period what that should look like,” Diaco said. “A lot of time you go into full speed drills and people are flopping and flying all around banging into each other. This is not how professionals do their work.”

Diaco’s expectations of the first practice went as exactly as planned. Him and his staff wanted to keep setting the mentality it takes to play winning football.

“We wanted to see the things that cause losing eliminated or starting to be eliminated — 12 men on the field, 10 men on the field, ball security errors, penalties, offsides, things that lack discipline, lining up offsides, not getting aligned, not being in the stance before the ball is snapped. Those were all things we wanted not to see at practice.”


Four 2015 verbal commits to UConn took in the first practice of the season. QB Tyler Davis, LB Connor Freeborn, CB John Robinson and CB Justice Pettus-Dixon all watched their future head coach lead the team through practice.


As we know, Diaco hopes to name a starting quarterback about two weeks before the opener against BYU on August 29. That leaves approximately two weeks for the competition to sort itself out. He has also said he’ll wants to play two quarterbacks. In Saturday’s first practice, they all got equal repetitions. The team ran 30 plays of 7-on-7 and 24 plays of 11-on-11.


Due to NCAA rules, the Huskies cannot practice in pads until the fifth practice of the season which is Wednesday. They will also not have two-a-days until permitted by the NCAA.


Diaco would like to see the captains named by the team and would like to do it just before the first game of the 2014 season. My thoughts are that Geremy Davis and Byron Jones are likely to named two of the captains by their peers.