Spurrier continues search for effort
As South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier walked off the practice field Tuesday night, the team's offensive line continued to run sprints in full pads as the assistant coaches looked on. After allowing six sacks in a stagnant performance during last Friday's scrimmage, the offensive line was Spurrier's initial focal point in the team's first practice since then, but the effort talk was extended to the whole team.
"Last scrimmage they got their butts kicked pretty good. So hopefully it won't be like that in the next one," Spurrier said. "We got a little extra running in. We had some tired Gamecocks after spring practice tonight. We need to do that about every practice. So anyways, a lot of errors, mistakes but decent effort tonight."
While the offensive line did not have the greatest showing in the scrimmage, Spurrier is still concerned about the overall effort of the team as he goes into his fifth season. After replacing five coaches and the condition coordinator from last year's team, Spurrier is hopeful that the fresh blood in the system and a new attitude will help motivate the players.
New strength and condition coach Craig Fitzgerald has been working with players on being in better shape as the SEC season looms while the new position coaches present their new systems. But according to Spurrier, all that is for not if the players don't buy in.
"Nobody's brought anything (to the team) until we play the real games. But we've got a plan. We've got a plan," Spurrier said. "Hopefully the players will make the commitment this summer. So anyways we'll see."
Though he has guided Carolina to three bowl games in his first four years, Spurrier has seen his team slide down the stretch over the last two seasons. After gaining their sixth win for bowl eligibility in each of the last two seasons, USC is a combined 1-7 not counting their loss to Iowa in the Outback Bowl.
Spurrier's belief is that the first step towards a better finish this coming season will be getting the players on that bandwagon.
"They've got to want it. They've got to want it. We can't force a horse to drink water, they've got to want it," Spurrier said. "I know we've got a lot of guys who want it. Want to be the best we can be. But not sure we've got a high percentage yet. Hadn't showed up since I've been here yet."
In order to get the message across, Spurrier says he and his staff will be contacting players they don't feel are giving 100 percent effort to the team in hopes that bringing their shortcomings to light will motivate them.
His hopes are that a change in attitude puts the Gamecocks in better contention to play with the elite competition they face year in and out.
"We'll send a few letters out to those that don't play with great effort. We've got to get the message out, that kind of stuff," Spurrier said. "It's not bad, it's just not where we need to be to beat LSU, Alabama, Georgia and those guys. We've got to get better effort."
Jeanpierre out for remainder of spring practice
Senior offensive lineman Lemuel Jeanpierre will miss the remainder of the spring after injuring his knee during practice.
Though Jeanpierre missed the end of last season with a knee injury, Spurrier said the injury was to cartilage in his non-repaired knee and will require a simple scope to repair the injury.
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