Execution is always a key factor in the outcome of any football game. The teams that run their plays with the most efficiency while making the fewest mistakes generally win the most games. The type of cohesion needed to gain that type of competence is gained in practice. Without the necessary repetitions, effectiveness will suffer. That’s part of why All-Star exhibitions like the Army All American Bowl are so intriguing. Players must learn entire packages in a limited amount of time. That process often goes smoothly for a lot of athletes because the playbook is limited and the system is one that not only isn’t complicated, but also consists of plays that most offenses run. That, however, is not true for West offensive lineman Steve Schilling. The Washington native played in an entirely different style of offense in high school than the one being utilized in San Antonio. That said, he has impressed his current coach with his ability to get up to speed over the past five days.
“Steve has made tremendous gains this week,” said West offensive line coach Jason Turner. “He played left tackle in a Wing-T offense, and we’re obviously running a spread set here this week, so he had to learn how to pass set. He has made tremendous strides. I’ve been really impressed. He’s been working at the guard spot on both sides. His technique has gotten better everyday. “
According to Turner, the mental aspect of Schilling’s game is the youngster’s most impressive trait. “I see his strength as his ability to learn things quickly,” Turner said. “He’s also a competitor, has good technique, and good feet…but again…his real strength he learns really well and adapts really quickly.”
Schilling’s high football IQ has made moving him around the line much easier for Turner, and the San Jose Leland coach feels that the 6-4, 270-pounder will offer his college coach that same kind of versatility.
“I see him as a guard,” Turner said. “He’s obviously very intelligent so he could play in a few spots. The entire group I’m working with here…they’re all intelligent young men. I think Steve is pretty cerebral so I can see him being a center if he doesn’t play guard.”
Whatever position Schilling lines up at on the next level, Turner believes
his talented pupil will experience success. How much success depends on one
thing. “He’s got to gain some weight,” said Turner. “He
has got to get bigger and stronger because the competition is going to be bigger
and stronger. If he keeps learning and picking up the technique like he did
this week throughout his career, how good he gets is going to be a matter of
how big and how strong he gets.”
Steve Schilling (left)