The Albany State Golden Rams were already a week behind other Division Two schools in terms of first practices.
While many teams hit the practice field for preseason camp last week, the Rams held off until Monday.
After day one, head coach Mike White seemed less than pleased.
"The team looks kind of like the first day. We looked real sluggish," White says. "We have a ways to go."
It was a practice of firsts for the Rams' offense as well.
Monday marked the return of offensive coordinator Steve Smith to the Rams' practice field for the first time since the 2010 season.
Smith was hired this offseason to replace Uyl Joyner, who left to take the Dougherty High OC job.
White and his offensive players say the offseason rust was definitely there.
"We had a couple hitches, a couple downfalls. But that comes with the first day of camp," says junior WR Jessie Atkins. "By the time camp is over, we should be moving just as smooth as we had planned."
It was also the first official practice for transfer QB Frank Rivers, who joined the team from Grambling State this offseason.
"I was happy to get out here with my new teammates," Rivers says. "But on offense, we have to work and get better. We didn't look very good today."
He also admits the team was worked Monday.
"Can't even explain it," Rivers laughs, trying to describe the first practice. "It's hard to be a Ram."
White worked the team hard on the first day, and says they have some catching up to do, starting a week later than many other teams in their division.
"There was a lot of hollering and screaming. It's just the first day," says White. "I just feel like starting on the 12th, it feels like you got a late start, so it just feels like a tough first day."
ASU opens their 2013 campaign at North Greenville September 7.
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