Brent Brennan and Chris Brasfield spent spring practice trying to keep up with the pace of the Oregon State football team.
The new assistant coaches, who were late hires in March, joined the team the week before spring practice began and have been going full speed ever since.
Practice plans had to be developed and families transplanted to Corvallis. Brennan, the receivers coach, came from San Jose State and Brasfield, the running backs coach, moved up from Eugene.
"This has been very hard for them," coach Mike Riley said. "I went through a long process to hire them. It was you are hired and spring ball starts. They are only one step of ahead of the players. But they are really smart guys and great guys, and they will add a lot to our staff."
Brennan spent the spring living with offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf. Brennan's wife and children visited recently to meet everyone.
They hope to move into their home soon. Brennan will start the move and the rest of his family will join him in the summer when the school year ends.
"I have a great wife to help me do this," Brennan said. "Spring ball is a demanding time. I'm learning and it's happening fast. I wouldn't see much of my family anyway. Then I'll be out recruiting in May, and I'll be living out of a suitcase in a hotel."
Brasfield lived in a hotel throughout the month, but returned home on the weekends. He plans to have his family move into a new home in the middle of May.
"My transition is nothing as close to (Brennan's)," Brasfield said. "It's not as bad a transition as most situations, but it's still a transition."
Brasfield will spend time in May on the road recruiting. His area will be Texas and the Central Valley in California. Brennan takes Long Beach and Orange County in California.
Part of what Riley liked about them in the hiring process was their recruiting ability and connections.
"We wanted good football coaches who could help us in recruiting," Riley said. "I think we have that."
Brennan stood out during spring practice with his high energy. He drew praise from Riley for toughening up the receivers.
He brought out a padded stick and beat on them so they had to fight as they got off the line of scrimmage, then ambushed them after the catch.
He added creative drills, such as making receivers catch knuckleball passes or having the group distract a receiver in a tight space as he catches a ball. Both drills drew chuckles from the players.
"We are learning and getting better," Brennan said. "We have some rough spots and some guys hurt, but we are coming along."
Brennan didn't have problems coaching in the spring. What and how he teaches didn't change.
Some offensive concepts are different. Terminology is different in the way plays are called. He's still not used to it.
"Danny and Riley are doing a good job bringing me along," Brennan said. "(Tight ends coach) Jay Locey has helped during practice if I have questions."
Brasfield drilled the ball carriers on the full gamut of what's needed of them. The focus has been on pass blocking.
His new running drills are attempts to help them see and feel the holes in the line. Brasfield hopes to develop instincts along with base knowledge of what to do.
"I'm just taking it in stride and do the most I can," Brasfield said. "Right now there's no pressure of a game plan. It's just installation. As long as we are squared up for the day, we just progress one day at a time. By the time the season gets here I'll have more down time to get ready. Right now I'm not putting too much pressure on myself or the kids."
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