MORGANTOWN - As a general rule, here's how a spring football practice goes under new West Virginia offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen.
It's fast. And there are few interruptions for coaching.
That might seem a little self-defeating at first, of course. After all, the purpose of any spring practice is to improve and at this one that is especially true, what with Holgorsen installing a heretofore foreign concept to the Mountaineers.
Coaching, it would seem, is an integral part of that.
And it is. But with this new offensive staff, a lot of the coaching is done off the field, in meeting rooms and film sessions between on-field workouts. And there is sound reasoning behind that.
"You only get 15 practices. And we're so hands-off with these guys for half the year,'' Holgorsen said. "We had four hours [Saturday] and we had to meet, they had to get dressed and get out here. You only have a certain amount of time and you have to take advantage of that time. And the best way to take advantage of it is to actually play football.
"Then you take a big pile of film and you evaluate it over the next [four] months leading into camp.''
Thus, a practice these days is at an even faster pace than a year ago or over the course of the past several years, when West Virginia's offensive style was considered fast and the workouts reflected that.
Take skeleton passing drills, for instance. A group of four or five receivers and backs will line up and run one play, to be replaced by a group of four or five others for the next snap, which sometimes comes before the first set of receivers returns to the line.
One of WVU's three quarterbacks - Geno Smith and freshmen Paul Millard and Brian Athey - will run six or eight plays in a row with those different skill-position groups alternating, while the defense will stay on the field for a handful of consecutive snaps before being replaced by another group.
Thus, seldom is the action slowed by coaches making corrections. They can do that with the group of receivers and backs who are taking alternating plays off, or with the quarterbacks once they finish their sets. But everything is on tape and will be analyzed and corrected or tweaked in meetings.
So, if Holgorsen and his offensive coaches aren't spending a lot of time with hands-on instruction during practice, what is it he has seen during the first three days of workouts?