Accountability runs rampant at Higher Ground

WEST HARRISON, IN – One thing is for sure, the Cincinnati Bearcats will hold itself accountable for what transpires on the gridiron in 2011.

No one involved with last season's 4-8 season was pleased with the outcome. They are making sure there is no repeat in 2012.

Following Thursday's practice, the team broke off in two groups – offense and defense – and formed two circles. From there, player by player they would sprint to the middle of the "Circle of Accountability" to tell their teammates how many times they loafed on the field during the scrimmage a couple days ago. For each time they slacked off, the team had a down-up.

If you didn't have a loaf, you got two claps from your teammates.

"It's being accountable to your teammates in everything you do," said head coach Butch Jones. "For us to win this year, we can't be a team that loafs on the field. We have to give great effort on every snap. We have to be accountable to each other. That is another teaching aid. Loafs are a cumulative effect. All it takes is one person that doesn't play hard, you have a backside corner not sealing the edge to contain and the ball slips out for a big run."

Not only was the "Circle" a tool to hold the players responsible for their actions, but a conditioning tool. But more importantly, it's about doing what you are supposed to on every snap and at every moment.

"I tell you what, you look up on that board … every day you walk (past the board) after practice to see your loafs," said senior defensive tackle Derek Wolfe. "It doesn't matter if we have 60 periods, if you have one loaf, you are going to be held accountable. It's not just on the field. It's when we in the film room, if you have one loaf on film – you are going to call it out.

"It's being accountable for your actions. You can teach an old dog new tricks, you just have to smack him around a couple times. If you messed up and get punished for it, you won't do it again. That is how I was raised."

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