Offensive coaches bringing new attitude to team in 2011
Published: Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, March 9, 2011 00:03
When the West Virginia football team's four new offensive coaches begin to roam the sidelines of Milan Puskar Stadium next fall, it will represent the beginning of a new era of Mountaineer football.
A new era, not just because of the new offensive scheme installed by offensive coordinator and head coach-in-waiting Dana Holgorsen but also the new attitude the group is bringing to its side of the ball.
Last week, Holgorsen said he would start fresh on offense after WVU's struggled at times last season.
"That's one of the advantages to starting over, so to speak," Holgorsen said. "You've got a whole bunch of new coaches here that are going to evaluate each of these positions and each one of these guys based on how they feel the guys are doing."
And, according to the other assistants, their players aren't only ready to learn this new system, they're chomping at the bit to get out there.
"The kids are excited. They're fired up," said inside receivers coach Shannon Dawson. "They're eager to learn. Kids are coming in on their own to watch film. They want to learn."
As for what the coaches have gotten to see from their players on the field, that's yet to be determined.
Due to an off-season schedule that keeps the players mostly with the strength and conditioning coaches, the new offensive assistants haven't had the chance to see what they can do on the field other than the stuff they've seen on film.
And for them, just looking at the film and seeing them in meetings isn't the best way to see what the players are really capable of doing in this new offense.
"What they can do individually, I have no idea," Holgorsen said. "I know what their height and weight is. I know if they smile or not, and that's all I know about them.
"They, collectively, are a good-looking group. Probably the best-looking group that I've had. That doesn't mean they can play, though."
While watching film might not be the best way to evaluate how each player will transition to the new offense, it does help answer other questions.
"Can he make the first guy miss?" Dawson said of the first thing he looks for when scouting an inside receiver's strengths and weaknesses. "We can come up with schemes to get you the ball in space, that's our job.
"We can't teach how to make the guys miss."
Until the players get out on the field, none of this will be known for sure.
At this point, the only thing definite is that when the 2011 edition of the WVU offense steps on to the field, it'll be a little different than the last time it was on the field.
"Basically, what we try to install is just the mentality and philosophy of what we want to do," Holgorsen said of his offense's up-tempo style. "There's a bunch of kids that know how to run fast, but there's a bunch that don't know how to play fast."