Scouting Opponents Only Part of the Process

The coaching staff, including wide receivers mentor Steve Bird, spent a couple of days this week evaluating themselves.

With the extra time created by the postponement of the Maryland game, the Mountaineer football staff spent some time to look at themselves as well as their upcoming opponents.

"We did a lot of self scouting," said head coach Rich Rodriguez on Tuesday. "On offense and defense, we took a day or two to watch both of our first two games and evaluate personnel, evaluate schemes and make sure we are doing the right things that they can execute."

"We planned on scouting ourselves at this point even without the off week. We evaluated what we did best, but we want to get back to our aggressive personality."

"Self-scouting" is a new term that has come into vogue in recent years, and it means different things to different coaches. At WVU, it covers several different areas.

First, the staff looks for things that worked and things that didn't and then break down the whys and hows. Player evaluations are also a big component, but one of the most important items is looking for tendencies in playcalling and breaking those patterns up so oppponents can't read what WVU intends to do.

So, how did the self scouting come out? Rodriguez provided some clues.

"We had some guys that got better, but as a whole we still don't feel that we are executing the way that we should be.

"Some of that on offense is inexperience. We only had four starters back, and they are playing a new scheme. Defensively we were more experienced, but we had the injuries. We're not going to panic - they are going to make mistakes. The good part is that the effort and focus is there."

Self scouting inevitably leads to coaching techniques, and Rodriguez notes that he and the staff are still looking at the big picture. Fine tuning probably won't start occurring until at least next spring.

"There's always something on every play that can be corrected. I told the staff that this morning. As the process goes on, we can move more into coaching the fine details. Right now, we are just trying to get the right guys blocked and play hard."


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