There is no offseason in college football these days. While Army spring practice began back on April 1, the team had spent the four months between the end of last season and that date getting better. Coaches have been recruiting and watching film, self-evaluating and self-scouting the team in order to get an edge on the opposition. Players have been hitting the weight room daily, using that time period to rebuild their bodies in order to take the pounding of another high-intensity season.
All this work though lacked a defined name. Offseason doesn’t really cut it as the work put in can often be more grueling than the work when games are being played. That is why spring practice matters so much. The players and coaching staff finally have a defined reason to be out there getting better. It is the first step towards a new season. A step where every team is 0-0 and hope springs eternal.
For Army, that concept of a blank slate and a new hope is very important. The Black Knights are no longer a 2-10 team filled with underclassmen getting their feet wet in the college game. They are now a 0-0 team with a little more seasoning who are working every day to make sure this season is more memorable than last.
"Spring practice is an opportunity to get better,” Army head football coach Jeff Monken said at the beginning of the month. “We are five months away from playing. We have a lot of time between now and kickoff. It will go a lot faster than we realize. We are just trying to get better. I am glad we have spring practice, it allows us to be able to see the younger guys and how they have developed over the winter.”
The team has question marks all over the roster, not least at quarterback where soon to be sophomore Chris Carter and junior Ahmad Bradshaw will battle out for the number one spot. At this point though anything is possible. The myriad of leaders on the Army team will help push the players over the spring to be better and with any luck, the Black Knights will come into the summer and fall camp reason to turn heads in 2016.