March 17, 2010
"Since signing day, we've had 14 good workouts with the team with our coaching staff out there. I've been real pleased by the work ethic. The players have been a real joy to coach and get to know on a short term. I've had individual meetings with all the players. Our coaches have had a lot of meetings with their players. So we've started forming a relationship and are getting to know each other. The players have been working really hard. It's obvious this is a group of guys who want to win, and I've been real happy that they've slowly been buying into what our philosophies are.
"The big thing is, everyone's anxious to get to practice. You can only jump over bags and run shuttles for so long before you say it's time to play football. Coaches, players, I think everyone's a little anxious for practice to start tomorrow."
"You know, in everything we do we'll have some goals in short term of what we're trying to accomplish, and spring practice is no exception. It always starts with everybody improving fundamentally at their position. Regardless of the year, that's the beauty of spring practice.
"Certainly, what's different about this year is it's going to be a great chance to learn and digest and become experts in our system on offense, defense and special teams -- so that's going to be a big goal. And don't forget, we have nine coaches who are kind of new to each other. It's an opportunity for us to evaluate our personnel, which I'm sure many of you will have questions about, and I don't have much of an answer. Again, you can evaluate only so much in watching guys jump over bags. We'll have a good feel for personnel coming out of spring. I'm sure the players will evaluate us and our style.
"I think the last thing that's important that we do is start developing our brand of how we compete and how we play. We shouldn't ever lose sight of that. I'm talking not just schematically, but more so from an intangible standpoint -- what kind of competitive spirit we practice and play with, what's our discipline level, what's our toughness level, what's our effort level on every play; ultimately, that we're a team that's enjoyable to watch by our fans. Those are some short term goals we're going to try to accomplish.
"Some personnel issues: we had a lot of guys banged up at the end of the year. I mean unbelievable. So these workouts have been as much a MASH unit as they have been conditioning. We have three guys who are going to be out or extremely limited in spring. Art Evans, of course, had shoulder surgery at the end of the year, so he's not going to be able to do anything. Nick Reveiz, who's five months off his ACL injury, he'll be out there for more mental reps than anything, but he's not ready. And Savion Frazier, four months coming off his ACL injury. Those are the major guys coming off some surgeries that you probably won't see out there.
"Just some other personnel issues: Aaron Douglas has personal business that he's been tending to, so he may not be out there for a couple of practices. I don't anticipate it being anything long term, but it is personal. But one thing we're going to do as coaches in our program is that we're going to support our players, because nothing's more important than their personal growth and personal life.
"Will Brimfield is no longer on our team. It's sort of a parting of ways. College football is tough and it's hard, and if your commitment level is not high, it's not a fun thing to do. We certainly hate to lose anybody in our program, but I think there's always going to be some natural attrition given the competitiveness of this conference and this program."