Football

Hide in plain sight

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Sark has hired several special teams (SPT) top hands among his assistants. Assuming they retain the degree of attention previously applied we should show drastic improvement in this area. Every coach is usually assigned at least one aspect of SPT that is his to teach, grade, and substitute. Some regard this as crap detail and box lunch through it. Others take it as seriously as their position assignment and show constant improvement. Why? Because they care.

We now have multiple leaders for SPT. They know the rules among coaches concerning time allotment in their schedule. When your nametag is associated with a portion of the team makeup you tend to work a little harder on that area. Combining several former SPT coordinators reduces the workload of the main guy if the hunger is still percolating. The players should be held more accountable. The final result should be obvious.

We may not see the SPT’s score any scoreboard points. What we should see is the hidden yardage gained with dedicated assignment football leading the charge. Stress the elimination of penalties period. Move up the depth chart with winning performances. Never allow a mental assignment mistake. Proving yourself on SPT’s is the gateway to more scrimmage time. Building trust with the staff goes both ways.

I wear out the word development. It’s my second nature. Develop starts with teaching. It takes forever and always and then some to convince some of these knuckleheads how to drive the yellow brick road. Teaching eventually develops knowledge that you can store in your memory bank. There’s that word develop again. The essential habit that goes with acquiring knowledge is thousands of positive reps.

Reps aren’t worth a damn if they are less than sound and fundamentally strong. It’s the experience factor that benefits from strong reps. Once you have scraped off the DL’s butt and squared up in the gap countless number of times under watchful eyes, the movement becomes automatic. Playing the game is so much easier when the player knows what to do and how to get into position to make said assignment. Once you take thinking out of the thought pattern you allow positive reinforcement to make you play fast and healthy.

I always ask myself how does Austin not recruit itself with these high schoolers? If any staff displays the hunger necessary to get their foot in the front door the rest should be an even chance at success one might think. The trouble is twofold in my opinion. The first is the lack of desire to move further up the career ladder among assistants. They belong to the best country club in the USA. Why work harder? Let’s go deep sea fishing instead of visiting five high schools today. We will work the phones tonight.

This assistant attitude carries over to the obvious lack of development in the players. It’s damn near impossible to produce as few NFL draft choices as Texas when you consistently recruit the number of quality prospects you sign each year unless the staff is flat out mailing it in. This fact is hard to defend because it’s truth. This staff has still another chance to change the prevailing attitude lingering around the football world. The problem is they must defeat the past while attempting to build the future. Not a desirable assignment but a great challenge.

Finally, I saw a video this morning (from a member—thanks) that seems to give me hope that I will one day see another Derrick Johnson at LB for UT because they still live. The player is Rey Ellis from Georgia Southern (transfer) in the portal and he simply makes plays. He dives and makes tackles. He spills and makes tackles.

He is the true definition of a heat seeking missile. He might run around a block. He just might miss a tackle but it won’t be from lack of kinetic energy. He attacks every breathing thing on that field. We probably won’t recruit him and that’s their decision. All I know is Ellis makes more plays than any of our backers ever thought about making.