Northern Illinois completed its first week of 2012 spring practices with a two-hour workout in full pads Saturday at Huskie Stadium. After practicing Wednesday and Thursday in shorts and helmets only, NIU Head Coach Dave Doeren enjoyed seeing the Huskies in full contact mode.
"It was fun to see guys hitting today," Doeren said. "The ball was on the ground a little too much but that's going to happen when guys get hit for the first time in a while."
After moving through the national progression of practice from individual position drills to specific run and pass game work, to 7-on-7, Saturday's session ended with several periods of full team scrimmaging. While cornerback Rashaan Melvin started 11-on-11 by intercepting Jordan Lynch on the first play, Lynch and the offense came back when the team moved from stationary plays to actually moving the chains. Facing the first team defense on the first drive, Lynch drove the offense down the field and hit Tommylee Lewis on third and goal from inside the 10-yard line for a touchdown.
Earlier in the practice, NIU middle linebacker Devon Butler made his first interception of spring during seven-on-seven drills.
Although hesitant to grade the day before reviewing the tape, several players did catch Doeren's eye.
"There was good energy today but I have to watch the film to say exactly how good of a day it was," Doeren said. "Luke Eakes had a nice day. Tim Semisch made some plays and the tight ends looked good. I saw our two defensive ends, Alan Baxter and Sean Progar, doing some good things. I'm anxious to watch the tape."
The Huskies return to the practice field next week with workouts Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon at Huskie Stadium.