FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -
"This is the first scrimmage, nothing we’re going to get overly excited about or too disappointed in."
That’s easy enough for Coach Morris to say, but after a 2-10 season, Hog fans are desperate for anything to get excited about. One basic fact to hold on to: this isn’t 2018.
"It’s so much different then it was at this time last year. I mean, we have more, trust, I think our players trust us more," says defensive coordinator John Chavis. "There’s no doubt in my mind that they’re buying in to the things that coaches give them."
Last year, Morris said he was able to install about 30% of the playbook. With the first week of fall practice in the books, things look much better according to the head man.
"We challenged the guys this summer in their player lead work, to continue to grow. We don’t want to come back and just teach the base offense, we want to continue to grow. If I had to put a percentage on it, I’d say 65-70%, I think we’re right on schedule."
"It’s challenging for our coaching staff, it’s challenging for our players when they’re out there, but man, we’re getting some great work," chimes in offensive coordinator Joe Craddock.
So the scrimmage went well. Good things are happening in practice. But this is just the beginning.
"Look forward to a long week next week, next week’s gonna be a long week for this football team," warns Morris. "Obviously, next Saturday I’ll expect it to be better than it was this Saturday. Again, we’re gonna keep getting back to work. This was the first scrimmage."
That’s what this is: the first scrimmage, and while everyone seems to be saying and doing the right things, it’s still a long road to success on Saturdays in the fall. And that all gets going August 31st against Portland State.