Team Attitude Good During Off Week

As the Mountaineer football team begins preparations for Kent State, Head Coach Rich Rodriguez says that he is pleased with his team's attitude and focus.

"We are excited to be playing again," Coach Rodriguez said Monday after two off days and another day of film study and conditioning work. "Our team's attitude and focus on the practice field has been good thus far."

After the terrible events of the past week, Rodriguez was obviously concerned about the effects on his team, but so far they seem to be handling things well.

"The off week may have disrupted our rhythm a little bit," Rodriguez noted as he analyzed the schedule changes. "But, it did give us a chance to get back to the basics and work on some fundamentals. We're still in a learning phase here. We had good practices late last week. And, it also gave us a chance to get more healthy."

The focus of practice may also shifted a bit, as Rodriguez has noted a tendency of his team to be "too mechanical" as they attempt to master the new schemes.

"We may cut back a little on the schemes and let the players cut loose. We have some talented guys, and it didn't seem like they were having as much fun as they should, even after a big play."


* The "ankle guys" as Coach Rod calls wide recevier Antonio Brown and defensive linemen Jason Davis and Antwan Lake, are better and should all play Saturday. Brown will be close to 100%, and Davis and Lake are much improved.

* The "hamstring guys" are not as solid. Whip Shawn Hackett will play, although perhpas not at 100%, and linebacker Grant Wiley is still questionable.

* Rodriguez noted that he knew former WVU quarterback Chris Gray, who is missing in the aftermath of the World Trade Center attack.

"I talked with Chris during the Letterman's Club golf outing here during the spring. In fact, we joked a little bit about him playing quarterback in this offense. He was very supportive of our program, and had a great personality. It's just a tragedy."

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