Well, everybody in Athens sure sounds fired up these days. Just listen to Marcus Dowtin:
“I look at the guys at my position and the people around that position with the Cowboys, and I just see the energy and how people are flying to the ball. It’s exciting. It’s something new and it’s something that other teams won’t be used to. With the athletes we’ve got, I think it’s going to be a shock to everybody.”
What’s the energy source, you ask?
The process is pretty simple, Dowtin said. Grantham explains how to run a certain play or coverage. He then goes to the chalk board and draws up the Xs and Os to make sure his players understand. Then they move to the film, where Grantham shows his former Dallas players executing the play at full speed.
“He basically says, ‘Put yourself in those positions and see yourself making plays,’ ” Dowtin said. “And that’s what you do to learn it.”
There’s an enthusiasm that comes with that type of education, too, Dowtin said. There’s a sense among the players that they’ve been let in on a secret, that this new coaching staff has unlocked some hidden potential the rest of the world wasn’t sure existed. Now, they simply can’t wait to unleash on the opposition this fall.
Admittedly, the mockery is a little unfair, at least in Grantham’s direction. If you read the rest of Hale’s article, it’s clear that Grantham’s got a very strong sense of organization and good grasp of both an overall coaching philosophy and mastery of the details to enable that.
The question is how soon that translates into a sea change in attitude amongst his charges. Getting pumped up watching Cowboys tape is fine. Overcoming this sort of thinking is a lot harder.
… Speaking of which, this year’s mat drills supposedly have been the toughest ever but more A grades than ever are being given. The boys are really getting after it, Richt says. The team is really into it this offseason. There’s a lot of excitement. They’re working harder than ever, harder even than last year when we were told they were really into it and excited and working harder than ever.
Though now we’re hearing that not everyone was working all that hard, at least according to A.J. Green, who said “we thought things were just going to be handed to us and didn’t work as hard as we should.”
That, of course, contradicts all the energy and leadership talk we heard during the 2009 offseason. And how that team, fresh off the loss of Stafford, Moreno and Allen, could have believed that things were simply going to be handed to it is rather astonishing.
At least it was until you saw the Tennessee game. This year’s staff has its work cut out for it.