MANHATTAN (TNS) — A few days into fall camp with his team benefiting from unseasonably cool weather, Kansas State coach Bill Snyder likes what he's seeing.
The Wildcats, picked to finish third in the Big 12 preseason, return the bulk of their offense this season and several defensive stars, but Snyder admitted in the spring he worried about how they would prepare for this season.
Snyder said his team took heed of his worry in the summer.
"During the course of the summer I thought we had a reasonably good response from our players," Snyder said on Thursday at K-State media day. "A lot of what they do, not all of it, but a lot of it is not mandatory so they did a lot of things on their own. I appreciate how the leaders have been responsible and have gotten all of our players to be invested in some of the work they did."
The Wildcats finished their third practice on Thursday morning, giving them two in shorts and one in pads so far. Snyder said they've yet to reach major full contact yet, but it will come in the next few days.
For the most part, he said practice has gone well.
"We do a lot of individual work and fundamentals, etc., and then we will do group work as well as team work," Snyder said. "Our group work and team work is normally what we would call 'good-on-good' meaning our ones against our present ones of that day. So it becomes very competitive, and I think our youngsters have responded to that.
"Sometimes our offense has a good day, sometimes our defense has a good day, and sometimes it is back and forth."
With cooler temperatures, practices have been somewhat easier to bear for this time of the year. Snyder said the weather has played into the teams favor.
He likes where they are conditioning-wise, too. Snyder said the level of conditioning reasonably impresses him, and said most of the players came ready to go for fall camp.
Snyder still hopes to see his team make valuable progress during this point of the year and not let returning experience or outside noise keep them from improving.
"That is a key element," he said. "When you have a decent number of returning starters and returning players, the general public will probably say if you have a lot of people coming back then you will have an even better football team. We were pretty decent at the end of the season last year, so there is great expectations. There is nothing wrong with that, that is great.
"The key element is you have to do something about it. You just can't be a returning starter or guy that played an awful lot and the same coaches coming back, etc. You have heard me say so many times every season presents new dynamics. Each season is different regardless."