Weekend schedule will end with Cats prepping for opener
Northwestern will practice special situations on Friday. The workout is meant to prepare the team for all the out-of-the-ordinary things that can happen on game day, including substitutions and the variety of unexpected things that can happen in the kicking game.
Players will be allowed to sleep in Friday morning while coaches finalize the game plan for the Sept. 1 season opener against Syracuse. Players will then choose captains during an afternoon meeting. The captains will be announced during Meet the Team Night at Ryan Field on Friday night. The free event, which starts at 6, allows fans to mingle with players.
"It's more important for the players that their voice is heard," coach Pat Fitzgerald said when asked why he doesn't choose captains. "The players they respect and believe in should be captains. Everybody does it a little bit differently. We respect the way other people do it but we do it after camp. We've gone through all the preparation phases we can go through --- winter workouts, spring practice, post-spring, summer workouts and camp Kenosha. The older guys know who the most trusted and respected guys are on the team and they'll be given the honor, responsibility and privilege of being our captain."
Fitzgerald is emphatic about everybody --- and he means everybody --- taking Saturday off before preparations for Syracuse begins in earnest on Sunday.
"The whole program gets Saturday off," he said. "No one is allowed to be here. We'll shut the lights off, pull the circuit breakers. For our coaches and staff, it's a hug your wives goodbye and your kids. For female members of our staff, it's goodbye to their husbands.
"It's important to give everyone a day off. We're done that the last few years and everybody comes back [knowing] camp is over. It's game week. There's always great excitement and great anticipation for game week."
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