Summer workouts don't get nearly enough credit for the camaraderie they create and the bind that is established within the team. But the summer workouts where players bond together against the adversity of the intense physical and mental workouts conducted by strength and conditioning chief Rob Glass and his staff and then also work together with older players leading the metabolic workouts are vitally important.
Head coach Mike Gundy has always said that the work and the togetherness created in the summer sets the tone and really creates the foundation for what can be accomplished in the season.
Gundy's principle is built on three strong columns: 1, Glass and his staff and the work they put the players through, 2, the leadership created through the metabolic workouts and how the older players condition the new players on the squad into being a part of the culture in the program, and, 3, a lack of distractions as Gundy has always preached the team with less distractions in the summer will get more accomplished in the fall. Distractions can eat away at the foundation built in spring and summer.
The quarterback is one of the most important pieces to the leadership in the summer and Mason Rudolph has done his part. He missed a metabolic workout for the Manning Passing Academy, but that is encouraged because of the lessons he will learn and bring back to the team.
Rudolph deflects credit for the leadership in the summer to fellow offensive teammates on his side of the football. He says he is encouraged with how the summer is going. He also understands the importance of the player-led practices that increase by one when the players return from the long Fourth of July holiday weekend.
On the defensive side, I've seen the leadership working as well with defensive tackle Vincent Taylor, middle linebacker Chad Whitener, safety Jordan Sterns and cornerback Ramon Richards providing leadership.
This is a good group that has another month to prepare the players for what lies ahead as the team will report for fall camp on Aug. 2 and the first practice is Aug. 3.