You've probably heard us talking about the circle drill Washington State runs at the beginning of every practice. As soon as the Cougars put pads on, this drill became a way to set the tone for the day of practice. Before the real work begins, everyone circles up and two players go at it in the middle, essentially trying to knock each other's block off.
Explaining what it is doesn't really do it justice, so here's a video. It's from Ohio State's spring game, but the drill is the same as it is at Washington State. And it's a pretty fun way to get everyone hyped up.
This comes from Land-Grant Holy Land, our new Ohio State blog. Luke Zimmermann is running the show, and you should stop on over there, if only for the hilarious writing.
By the way, there are quarterbacks going at it in the Ohio State drill. This does not happen at WSU, far as I know. Wide receivers, however, have been going at it regularly.
Edit: Longer explanation after the jump.
I probably should've remembered to look back at this first, but Leach explains why he does the drill, called Bull in the Ring, before each practice in his book, Swing Your Sword.
"Tuesday is a heavy practice day. We start each practice with "Bull in the Ring." I heard Jimmy Johnson used to do it at the University of Miami. I don't know how he did it, or how often, but I love it. It's great for setting the tempo at the start of practice. I circle the whole team around and call out two guys who are similar in size. They line up in a stance a few yards apart, facing each other. Then, I just let them go at each other like they're shot out of a cannon. The loser is the guy who gets knocked back and can't maintain his positioning. When I call on someone to hit somebody, everybody had better be prepared. Plus, you have that crowd circled around. They're gonna let the combatants know what they think of the battle."
So there you go. It's not necessarily groundbreaking, but it's one of my favorite things to see during practice. Two guys just going at it, trying to plant each other. It really is a superb way to set the tone.