I thought the coaching staff did a pretty good job throughout the spring. Coach Chan Gailey on offense and Coach Tenuta on defense looked much more comfortable out there this year, and both really seemed to take charge of their group.
With several new faces in the starting lineup and playing without many of the teams' best players, they had their work cut out for them. Tenuta hammered on the young defensive backs, which only return one starter from last season. They showed much improvement by the spring game. In the game they gave up a couple of early scores in the air but settled in and largely shut down the passing game in the second half.
As for Coach Gailey, I'm not sure what one can take away from play calling in spring practice but I really enjoyed watching him at work. Don't think that Gailey just randomly pulled out plays in scrimmages just to test them. He is a competitive guy and would run plays out there as if they were really trying to put together a nice drive. The plays were much less predictable than I can remember, and he did a good job of mixing things up and distributing the ball to all available weapons. The Fullbacks and Tight Ends are in the action more than we're used to seeing.
Whether plays always worked or not, I honestly thought some of the calls he made and the timing of them were quit brilliant. He kept things simple and wasn't stubborn about trying to make a play work that just wasn't, as I think Coach O'Brien would sometimes do. And yes it was just Coach Gailey calling them.
Coach Nix and Coach Geis would be working on their respective positions. Coach Geis seems like a perfectionist and really worked hard with the receivers on the finer points of the position. I think his teaching will really pay off in the long run. One thing coaches need to improve on is getting the players to make less mental mistakes and penalties during the scrimmages. There were too many off sides in particular.