Reading some of the notes from spring practice, I’m becoming less optimistic. I feel like the notes about this year are just like they were two years ago. It leaves me to wonder just what happened last year? Did I not notice that the news and notes were the same as the previous year? Or did the coaching staff decide that what worked relatively well in ’09 was unhelpful in ’10?
For example, today I read, from Tiger Tracks:
Clemson is also running more plays this spring in practices – around 85 in a scrimmage last week – and more plays should equal better execution this fall. The only way to improve muscle memory is repetition.
A couple weeks ago I read this from TigerNet:
“It was a first day to remember for sure,” Walker said. “I can’t really find the words for it. It felt like we ran 100 plays. Everything was so much faster, and I loved the enthusiasm that was there. It is definitely going to be a couple of weeks of teaching, but everybody is buying into the system and everybody is trying to find their place in it.”
And here’s what I read two years ago:
So a lot of us wanted to talk about Willy Korn and Kyle Parker this spring, but you consistently talked about things like tempo and quality practice reps. It seems one of your goals, if not the No. 1 goal, was to really change the culture this spring. Did you accomplish that?
“We got as much done in 15 days as I think we could have. The other thing we did is had about 1,100 competitive reps — good on good — which is fantastic, so it was extremely competitive. (Tracking the competitive practice reps) is something Kevin Steele brought. He said they probably had 900 at Alabama last spring. He was blown away with the amount of competitive reps we got. I can tell you we didn’t have near that many competitive reps last year. That’s a result of tempo and how we structure practice. It was get better or get exposed. … If the attitude is not right we don’t have a chance. The main thing is creating an attitude of winning again, an attitude of expectation. An attitude of ‘hey, hard work is OK, I have to pay the price.’ “
Sounds mostly the same to me.
And, although I can’t find any sources right now, I could swear that two years ago we heard about how great it was that Billy Napier was simplifying the offense. I could swear — but can’t find — that I wrote about how I thought the Rob “Mad-Scientist-Or-Whatever-The Hell” Spence spent way too much time creating and working on plays that would never get used and how that came at the expense of being able to do simple things well.
But what’s old is new (again from TigerNet):
“There was so much [lasts season], and this is so much more simplified,” he said. “There was just so much more stuff that we did. As far as the pace – we have had some fast-paced practices, but we have never gone that fast. Coach Morris is just really, really positive, and he was explaining things after each play.”
Am I misreading this stuff? Or are we really at the exact same place we were at 2 years ago.
PS – Speaking of old is new, I keep hearing about the new OC’s fast-tempo offense. I could swear that we shitcanned an OC or two in the middle of the last decade because their fast-tempo offense was great at wearing our own defense. It seems we are headed down the same road, which is unfortunate given we don’t expect our defense to be as dominant next year as they had been recently.