Stay Hungry. Stay Humble. The Keys to Volunteer Success: Exclusive to EGC
The key this week and beyond is NOT TO CHANGE what we’ve been doing. NCAA Football is always a huge challenge and though planning is critical, the game makes no promises. The plan for this season focused on hard work, long practices, hot 2-a-days, and supreme focus on discipline has worked like I planned. I keep talking about being fired up, focused and prepared and this team and staff have done just that.
Of course I would love to have our one point loss against Florida back and I would really like to have survived the season without suffering the troublesome injuries we’ve had. Inky was a very big loss and although he continues to be a leader from the sidelines he would obviously made a major difference for us on the field.
But if you fans had an opportunity to be in our players or staff meetings you would hear a recurring theme: “stay hungry and stay humble”!
With one loss we’re still in the BCS mix and jumped up a few spots this past week. But I haven’t set any specific milestone or special formula to continue our upward projection. We just have to keep the same approach and same attitude. How do I know it’s working? Well, one obvious example for me is our backup tight end, Brad Cottam.
I keep asking everybody to step up because of all the injuries and subsequent adjustments we’ve had to make. Each week Brad is getting better and now pushing to take over the starting position.
Josh Briscoe didn’t have much playing time at wide receiver early in the season. With all of our injuries he has stepped up and performed very well.
After losing Justin Harrell I thought we would take a while just to get back to average. I really was worried with the incredibly tough SEC schedule we had ahead of us.
We worked them really hard during our open date even taking them out in pads on Monday and Tuesday which isn’t typical at all. But because of it all we moved past average to pretty good really fast.
Our fans need to think about this. Before this season our offensive line wasn’t supposed to be very good. BUT- they’ve given up only 5 sacks in 7 games. They’ve played great even through injuries.
I love what David has been able to do with Erik and the results show in Erik’s stats and the accolade’s he has earned. But our success to date also rests with some other very important people on this staff. Greg Atkins- what a job he’s done with our offensive line. Matt Luke is a young coordinator with great enthusiasm that’s infectious. Kurt Roper has been outstanding and done wonders with our backs. Trooper Taylor has turned a much maligned receiver corps last season into one of the best in the nation despite our injuries.
So I can go about multi-tasking and keeping an eye on all aspects of this great program because I’m leading a very strong, dedicated staff. Together we’re building a team all Vol fans can be proud of and opponents need to watch out for. That’s what UT fans can and should expect from this team and that’s what you can continue to expect.
And for this weekend… Steve Spurrier and I have a healthy respect for each other and our wives are even friends. It’s not easy to be a coach’s wife! They need to stick together. With all the commitment and talent on both sides this should be one heck of an NCAA Football game.