Our staff does a great job of trying to create as much adversity as possible during the workouts so when trouble hits during the season, we are mentally prepared for it and know how to handle it. The key is to stick together and have each others' backs, something that we have done often this offseason.
As my teammate Anthony Laurenzi noted in his defensive diary, we have more confidence than ever heading into this season. Guys are not timid when they step on the field and are making more plays now than they ever have before.
However, our entire team understands that we have not proven ourselves to the Pac-12 or nation and still have a lot of work to do. It is this that drives us every single day to be the absolute best players and teammates that we can be.
Some guys that embody that mindset are Logan Mayes, John Fullington, and Deone Bucannon.
I am in the same workout group as Logan and I can attest that there is rarely a day when he is outworked by anyone.
John is the leader of the offensive line and always gets the group fired up to do anything, whether its lifting, boxing or going against the defensive line during our evening team segments.
Deone is the quiet leader of the defense and leads by example, as in how he regularly makes the most difficult workouts look like child's play.
These guys, along with many others, will be ones that explode onto the scene in a couple of weeks.
You guys asked some really good questions last week and I am going to try my best to answer them all.
cougsince74: Are you able to let us know how much weight Xavier and Stephen and Markle are putting up? Would be interesting to hear how REALLY strong those guys are getting. Is the line gelling with the new fellas coming in? How are Niu and Ioane matching up? That should be a tussle for sure.
Xavier and Steve are in my lifting group and I am a daily witness of how strong those guys are. In the weight room we measure our weight with kilograms and they easily put up over 150 kilos in each lift; power clean, squat, and bench. It seems like they warm up with what someone else might be maxing out at. Our offensive line has built some depth with this summer's additions. All of the freshman offensive and defensive lineman are working extremely hard and cannot wait to get the pads on and show everyone what they're made of.
dominate10er: What is the craziest story Mike Leach has told your team so far???
Every time we see Coach Leach it seems like he has a different story to tell us, but one instance during spring ball really stands out to me. During practice, Coach always stands on the far sideline, calls plays and signals them in to the quarterback. At the far side of the field on one play was a receiver, being pressed by the cornerback in man coverage. After Coach signaled in the play, the receiver did not get the signal for some reason and was quickly asking around to see what the play was. Coach Leach heard him asking and yelled out to him, and everyone else, exactly what he was supposed to do -- he even told the cornerback, "He has a post on this play and is going to score a touchdown." Sure enough, the receiver ran his post, beat the corner and scored a touchdown.
WazzuRaid: We know there have been a lot of changes so far... your position change to inside receiver, learning a new offense, and a new strength/conditioning program. What can you tell us about how CML and staff have changed/improved some of the mental aspects of the game so far? (Attitude, motivation, confidence builders, etc?) Will the team that runs out on the field in Provo have a significantly different mindset than past years?
As I stated earlier, I think the No. 1 change that this staff has worked hard to instill is confidence. Our entire team has the attitude that they will not be pushed around and are here to prove a point. Also, the coaching staff always harps on and about competition, and looks to put us in as many competitive situations as possible. It doesn't matter if it's something like dodge ball, tug of war or a conditioning drill where the loser has to do up-downs, the players are being taught to compete in absolutely everything that we do.
Limpdogg007: Are you a fan of playing NCAA Football 2013 the video game? If so, how would you rate yourself if you were to edit the rosters? Does it bother you at all that a player with your likeness, roster number, height, weight, etc is used but you see no $$$ from it?
I am a huge fan of the NCAA Football series and have been playing it for as long as I can remember. I bought a copy of this year's game along with most of my teammates -- and love going through the season mode and playing our upcoming opponents. As they have in recent years, I believe that the game creators kind of underrated our team and player ratings. I had to edit the rosters and bump up the ratings a little to what I thought was fair. Playing the game is definitely a lot more enjoyable experience now. Honestly, it really does not bother me a whole much that the game uses our likenesses without paying us. Growing up and playing the game I always dreamed that I would be a player in the video game one day, and I think that is payment enough. It is such a unique experience and I enjoy it way too much to complain about not receiving any money for being in it.
That is all for this week's entry. I hope you guys have a better understanding of where our team stands right now and got your questions answered. My time writing for Cougfan.com this summer has almost come to an end -- so make sure you ask any and all questions that you have been holding on to or wondering about. Have a great week and Go Cougs!