(Sorry about the thumb in the way of the camera to start that video. I’m OK posting them to the blog, just not that good editing them. Think of it as a special effect … a really bad special effect.)
The Marshall football team on Thursday wrapped up its last practice before Saturday’s Green-White game, working out in helmets, jerseys and shorts. Some players’ shorts, namely offensive lineman Gage Niemeyer’s were shorter than others. To lighten the mood in this final practice, the 6-foot-6, 294-pound Niemeyer tucked his workout shorts under his compression shorts, giving him the Larry Bird circa 1986 look. Hey, it can’t get tan if it don’t see the sun, right?
Here’s what Niemeyer had to say about his *ahem* fashion choice:
Football’s a game. You’ve gotta have fun. You come out here and if everybody is with the same mentality of “Oh, this is just work, work, work” … which it is, we’re out here working … but at the same time, you’ve gotta have fun. So if you can have fun while working, then why not?
And here’s what offensive line Coach Alex Mirabal said about Niemeyer, which is why no one is bothered when he wants to show a little leg:
The one thing about him, for 14 straight practices, when he hits the field, he’s always ready to go, which is important. He’s always got that intensity, no matter how beat up his body might be. He can have his shorts on backwards. As long as he’s blocking those guys, which he’s doing a heck of a job with … Gage brings a lot of fire, a lot of intensity and a lot of nastiness, borderline nasty, almost over the edge, which is what you need on the offensive line.
Speaking of Mirabal, I saw him leading the offensive line through an interesting drill. Two linemen stood face-to-face, one bear-hugging a medicine ball. The other would bring his hands, palms up and thumbs out, into the bottom of the medicine ball. Mirabal said that’s an inside blocking drill that he learned from current Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Bill Callahan.
Here’s what Mirabal said about the drill:
The reason we do it is to teach them to keep their hands inside. That’s why we use the medicine ball. It’s kind of a focus and a reminder of your hands coming inside. … We call it a forklift technique. … We use that technique in certain situations and certain run plays. That’s an inside zone technique. D-linemen tend so shoot their hands out, so when they shoot their hands out, we come up underneath.
Not much else to report from the pad-less final practice before Saturday. The Green-White game begins at 2 p.m. that day, and we’ll be back on the blog afterward with some instant analysis. Check charlestondailymail.com later tonight or Friday’s print edition of the Daily Mail for a story on the players’ anticipation for Saturday’s intrasquad game and what everyone hopes to get out of it.
I promise I won’t be in the stands sporting the Niemeyer Look.