Some Air Force players looked a tad different Wednesday.
It was evident when they took their helmets off after the team’s practice at TCU, the first of four there in preparation for Monday’s Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl.
A bunch of the Falcons – always clean shaven at the Air Force Academy – were sporting some facial hair.
Junior receiver Ty Paffett had the beginnings of a goatee, junior outside linebacker Hunter Altman looked like he’d put the razor down for a few days and senior quarterback Shaun Carney had a beard.
But not for long.
When asked after practice when he would have to shave his beard, Carney said: “About five minutes. I told (Air Force coach Troy Calhoun) it took me 23 years to grow it. But it’s got to go.”
On-field notes: Calhoun was pleased with Wednesday’s session, which lasted about an hour and a half. Coaches were intense, demanding several times that players increase the pace of practice and getting after them for the inevitable sloppy mistakes they made after five days off. …
Senior guard Caleb Morris, who missed the Falcons’ regular season finale with a knee injury, was playing with Air Force’s first offensive line. Senior tailback Chad Smith, who severely tore his groin in the regular season finale, seemed to be running full speed.
Off-field notes: Air Force players left the locker room at TCU after practice on Wednesday pulling new rolling travel bags adorned with the Armed Forces Bowl logo. According to players, each also got a watch, a ball and a Slingbox, a product that gives them the capability of watching television on any computer or mobile device that has an Internet connection.
Players have been impressed by the treatment they have received at the bowl.
“It’s been amazing,” senior cornerback Garrett Rybak said. “This is just really cool to get treated like we’re getting treated – I feel like I don’t deserve it.”
Paffett said Calhoun has not installed a curfew for players.
“No, he let us curfew ourselves,” Paffett said. “We’ll get to bed, though, I think we know what time we need to be back.”