Offseason forever and always and then some…

Todd Orlando (Will Gallagher/IT)

Todd Orlando (Will Gallagher/IT)

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I always found the off season was good for two main reasons back in my day and I suspect it might hold true today if the truth be known. First and foremost is the growth spurt for the players. We always felt adding the right kind of weight/strength was the only objective and planned our workouts accordingly.

For every minute in the weight room we spent two minutes on agility, flexibility, and running form. Right or wrong we had a system and coached it with enthusiasm. We found if it was important enough to us it became that important to the squad.

I don’t claim to know near as much about today’s S&C program. The one thing I totally bought into was the conditioning of the players. The biggest change was the absence of tired players gasping for breath while the opponents snapped the ball. We no longer were guilty of changing alignments too late in the day.

We were ready, aligned, and most importantly in a good football position when the ball was snapped. No more bending over looking at the ground—we’ve all been there and it’s not a pretty sight or good feeling. That’s a fact Jack.

I don’t have a clue what Quincy did to change bodies in the process but can say without reservations that alone made us a better football team. I have a strong feeling the kids felt the same way. It’s not easy when you condition before the sun pops up but when positive results are evident it’s does ease the mental anguish in the long run.

The second thing off season accomplishes is strong competition and leadership values step forward daily. Everybody starts off season with the desire to become a starter for the next fall. You get everybody’s best shot. Absolutely the hardest part of off season is staying “hooked up” every single day.

Anybody can have a good day/week but it’s the consistent that can be counted on once the schedule arrives. Leaders accept every challenge. Rah/rah is fine if it’s from the heart but give me the warrior that is always first in line every drill with the intent on getting better on each repetition.

One of the most impressionable comments from this staff that makes me smile from ear to ear is they will demand you make your bones on special teams. I spent too many years watching good players half-ass their way on ST’s because they felt entitled instead of dedicated.

Prove you belong on special teams. Walk before you run. Be a difference maker and earn your snaps. Honor the game—it’s been good to you. Don’t be content to wait on your turn. Earn your respect. Play your way onto the field.

Sometimes I wonder……..

about the talk of suddenly becoming a 4-1-6 defense (majority) after the huge success we had in the 3-2 last year. I’m curious where the two DT’s are going to come from. I’m assuming we need at least five (5) to form any sort of rotation—I know that’s what I would feel more comfortable rotating.

We have exactly one experienced DT (Chris) and he’s not anywhere close to a sure thing returning. I think we might be jumping the gun on Coburn and 5 “o’s” starting the year in the immediate rotation. Orlando is damn good but I’m not sure he’s that good.

There is no doubt Gary Johnson would be stout in that defense if the DL could keep straight-shot blockers from attacking him but that’s a big “if” on my scorecard. We have plenty of DE’s for the 4-1-6 and plenty of DB’s but somebody will need to convince me where the 5 big guys are hanging out. Two noses is a better bet.

While I’m at it I keep reading the Overshown to LB as a possibility for next year. The only question I have is we might need to consider the difference in playing for Arp against Waskom or Troup versus playing for UT against USC on the third Saturday or OU in Dallas in October. Has he even been to the State Fair?

Did I mention the new position and the difference between the adjustments from the secondary at Arp with maybe a couple of thousand watching versus a full house close to six figures—not to mention national television covering his personal adjustments at a new position at UT? I wouldn’t bet the family jewels but that’s just me.

On the lighter side I constantly wonder whether ol @dos bobby or my own sweet self has donated more quarters playing the national anthem on the juke box at the late night watering holes during the off season? I know I had my share in the off season—you know you can get a ton of dust in your throat off that damn practice field and it takes some real dedicated elbow bending to get back right with the world.

Just in case you forgot why you stayed so late. There was always somethin’ about each and every one of those sweet things that forced you to quarter up and listen to the “national anthem” in that midnight hour. Can I get a witness?