AUSTIN — Change is hard. People hate to change. It’s why we make rules for ourselves. Essentially we make rules so we don’t have to think.
Charlie Strong is old school. He gets his team up early for walks on game day regardless of when the game is scheduled to be played. The structure of his practice is the way it has always been and it rarely deviates from the norm.
If Charlie Strong is successful in bringing in Sonny Cumbie today, he will be changing. One of the things that old school defensive coaches struggle with is stepping out of their own way. Offensive coordinators are usually seen as the innovators in 2015. Gary Patterson has shown the way and people are looking at him and understanding that the prowess of his defense did not change because he structured practices to a format that helped the offense.
Offensive coordinators like Sonny Cumbie force you to ask the question, “Why do we do what we do? Why do we practice the way we practice? Why do we recruit the way we recruit? What do we need to do to make sure we maximize practice for both sides of the ball?”
Strong does not want to change but he wants to win and he is banking on changing the way he practices and the structure of certain aspects of his program will pay the same dividends that it paid for Patterson at TCU.
Whoever said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks was never an old dog. We have to always be learning, growing and evolving. Charlie is doing that and if he pulls it off he will be another lesson to everyone that change is never too late.
Side Note: As a guy that sits on a Church of Christ pew every Sunday, I have tremendous respect for Sonny Cumbie personal choices and dedication to his faith. With that said, if concessions are made on his behalf based on his desire to attend church services and the structure of practice is changed so he can be successful on offense – he better be successful. When change is made for one coach of nine, Cumbie has to be worth it. His worth, regardless of all this conversation, will be established between the chalk. If by some crazy unexpected chance Cumbie is not successful, all of these concessions will be some of the first things brought up in critiques.