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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

April 9, 2008 at 9:29 AM

Reviving the special teams

The special teams, and more specifically new special teams coach Brian White, was the focus of my story today, which you can find here.
As you may be able to tell from some of the quotes in the story, White is quite energetic, which by even the most casual observation is a stark contrast from former ST coach Bob Simmons. How much difference that will make we won’t really know until next season, but as White says near the bottom of the story, he hopes the change in the play of the special teams unit next fall is “dramatic.”
As would be expected of a coach early in his first spring practice, he said it was too early to really discuss who will be doing what in much detail, especially returners.
“We probably won’t know that until the end of spring or halfway through camp to really solidify that,” he said. “But there are some nice choices and some interesting choices there. … We’ve got a lot of nice, athletic-type special teams players. The pool to choose from is there.”
If you read the story, you’ll see White using a phrase I’d never really heard before — “Create the crowd.” White means that it’s up to the special teams to get the crowd into the game since it is the first one on the field for every game.
“Your most explosive plays on special teams are in the return game,” he said. “Those are your most explosive opportunities for big hits, big returns and big plays. They are the wild plays. And so we have to continue to coach through that and figure out which guys are going to create the crowd.” In a quote that didn’t make the story, White at one point vowed that “we are going to create the damn crowd on Aug. 30” (when the Huskies open the season at Oregon).
White said that just about every spot on every special teams is up for grabs and that he won’t be averse to using starters if need be. “Everybody is going to get plenty of opportunities, so now we have to take advantage of them,” he said. “We are going to play the best guys, the most productive guys. …
“Our job (as college football coaches) is pretty unique in that after three-and-a-half hours, everybody knows our business. There are not any funny, creative ways you can spin the accounting in competitive athletics. So we have to do a great job of putting the best players on the field that will give us the best opportunity.”
As the story indicates, White said there will be some subtle changes to the schemes. But he said he’s most concerned with creating a new attitude.
“We are going to attack defensively and get off blocks and we are going to dislodge the football from people in coverage units,” he said. “It’s attitude and productivity. I think we are going to be able to provide some new tools (for the players) but I don’t think the schemes are going to be drastically different. The biggest thing people need to understand is that schemes don’t win football games. They really don’t. It’s execution and fundamentals, and that’s what the whole goal is.”
AND BY THE WAY… I’ll research some of those old spring game scores and get them on here a little later.



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