COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- The Texas A&M football team donned full pads during a two hour and fifteen minute practice Friday night.
"First day in pads, but we weren't tackling to the ground. We'll probably do a little bit of that tomorrow. Just taught fundamentals today, it wasn't our greatest and wasn't our worst," said head coach Kevin Sumlin.
Sumlin went on to say that the Aggies would practice at Kyle Field Saturday to "juice it up a little bit."
Before practice at Kyle the Aggies will bus to teammate Polo Manukainiu's funeral in Colleyville, and they expect it to be emotional. Sumlin said, "For us to be able to deal with it openly as a team and really give support to each other and the family tomorrow is very, very important."
Defensive line coach Terry Price, who served as Polo's position coach, added, "It's not been easy. It's hard to believe that a guy we saw not that long ago now is not part of us. One thing I try to tell my guys, tell my group, is we're all a family. Anytime you lose a family member it hurts everybody."
As usual, quarterback Johnny Manziel was a topic of discussion. "He's continued to work at everything," said Sumlin. "Mechanically he's better and understands some things. It's kind of like playing golf, once you understand the mechanics you can correct yourself when things aren't going right. I think he's worked very hard in the offseason to understand the mechanics. I don't think there's just one area that he concentrated on, I think he's worked on his total game."
Saturday is the final practice day of the week for Texas A&M. The Aggies will hold meetings on Sunday before returning to the field Monday.