The Bulls new WR Coach Phil McGeoghan has only been in Tampa for just over two months, but from the moment he stepped on campus you could see he had that passion and aggressiveness you want in a coach. McGeoghan, who's considered an extension of Canales, already worked with T.J., and knew a lot about the unit.
"When I first got here I knew we had a group that was talented and hard working," said McGeoghan. "I was very excited to work with them as a unit."
His first order of business was to meet each receiver and a bond was formed with the entire receiving unit. The receivers responded immediately to the coach they called Full-go-Phil, and after just completing his first session of spring ball with the Bulls liked what he saw from the unit.
"I'm very happy with the effort level and the progress that we have made as a unit this spring. I'm pleased with the way that the young guys have developed and the veterans built on what was already there."
The expectations on the Bulls in 2009 is very high and with a new OC and receivers coach, McGeoghan knew it was very important to have a good spring and hit the ground running.
"I'm very excited about the upcoming season, and the spring is such an important portion for the guys to progress and develop," said McGeoghan. "It was very crucial that we gotten work done and that our effort level was high, and we did just that. We just need to keep developing that into the summer and into the season."
With A.J. Love missing the entire spring and Jessie Hester missing most of it, McGeoghan was without two big offensive weapons for his first spring as the Bulls receiver coach.
"Injuries happen, but I think it is an opportunity to play football, and when someone goes down someone else needs to step in, but it's also an opportunity to build depth."
In the absence of Love and Hester, the leadership roles fell on junior receivers Dontavia Bogan and Carlton Mitchell, who both had very good springs.
"Dontavia has all the potential the talent in the world. He catches the ball extremely, runs great routes and has the knack for making big plays. He was has progressed very well, and we all saw what he could do in the spring game."
"Carlton is big, tall, and athletic with all the tools and ability you want in a receiver, and can fly. He's doing what he needs to get better, working on his route running, and assignments. He comes in early, stays late, and I see him improving every day".
Bull's fans are very aware of what Love, Hester, Bogan, and Mitchell are capable of, but this was an important spring for the rest of the unit and an opportunity to what other young receivers would step up.
"This was an important session for the young guys. Patrick Richardson had a great spring, and so did Daniel Bryant. "Patrick has really stepped up his game, running great routes, and has been progressing very well. Bryant has shown a lot for a young receiver. Athleticism, hands, good speed, and is one of the most gifted athletes we have. We're looking for both to really make some big plays this year."
This also a very important spring for third year player Ed Alcin and senior receiver Theo Wilson, and Coach McGeoghan said both showed great things throughout the session.
"I was very happy with Ed Alcin's development. He's one of the most skilled route runners we have, comes off the ball exceptionally well, with soft hands, and came up very big in the spring game. That's why we call him Smooth Eddie."
"Theo can do so many things on the field, run, catch, and throw. He is very versatile and very physical, he can run screens, block, return punts. He's not afraid to go in the middle, and can make something happen every time he touches the ball."
Finding eight guys that you can take into battle is a main focus for the Bulls new receiver coach. Injuries happen, and when someone goes down someone else needs to be able step in.
"When injuries happen, it's a situation where guys come together, progress as a unit and step up and make big plays, "said McGeoghan. "They gain confidence when they know the offense and when they are asked to step up in a game situation, which inevitably is going to happen in this sport, they are ready to do so."
With spring over the Bulls have exams and a short break, before the all important summer session starts.
"We are going to hit it pretty good. We have weight lifting and so on. This is a sport where we do not have a big off season. Time you take off, others are training or using that for mental reps to get better. So we don't look at it as any time off. We need to have that mentality as a unit. We need to work and take advantage of the obvious gifts we have at this position."
Summer may be voluntary, but McGeoghan knows this time is paramount for the development of the unit, and he knows what he wants to accomplish and see from the guys this summer.
"Over the summer they need to keep developing, and keep working hard. Their effort level is good but the expectation level here is high. The guys have to understand that they have to do a lot more than what the minimum requirements are at this level. You have to go and do the extra ball drills, extra sets in the weight room, you need to do rehab. You have to be aggressive and go after it and understand that the magnitude at stake here is so high."
McGeoghan: Summer will be Huge for WR Unit
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