Stew's Views: Day Two

Head coach Bill Stewart is using spring practice to refocus his team. He is getting back to the basics and trying to instill goals for the 2009 season.

"Day two was enthusiastic and the guys were working hard," said Stewart. " I appreciated their effort today, and at the end of practice, we had a family discussion about what our goals are. Sometimes youngsters put the cart before the horse and we don't want to do that. Last year we started talking about championships; well the only championship I want these guys talking about is the Big East Championship. That is the only championship and the most important championship. It is our goal and that will always be our goal. You can't do anything without the Big East; you have to win it before you meet any other goals."

Stewart is hoping to teach the young team to play every opponent. Mountaineer fans have become infamous for their habit of looking ahead, past opponents, but he doesn't want that extending to his team.

"I believe that day in Greenville, our young men found out that you have to do more than put the Old Gold and Blue on. That game is when we said, "Owen Schmitt isn't here, or Keilen Dykes isn't here," said Stewart. "I think they thought that Pat (White) was going to bail them out like he always did. I believe our eyes opened that day and that's why I try to tell the team that they better respect all and fear none -- that's what we're all about at West Virginia. You have to start with game one."

The second day of spring ball was brought inside into the Caperton Indoor Practice Facility due to poor weather. The offense had a remarkable day with junior running back Noel Devine and senior quarterback Jarrett Brown shining through. Devine had two breakaway runs for long yardage.

"Jarrett (Brown) threw the ball well again today," said Stewart. "I watch a lot of stuff from behind the quarterback, to see the plays from the quarterback's eyes. We have a fast secondary and I liked what they did today. I liked that they had a little bit of extra energy, and our whole defense showed that."

Sophomore wide receiver Bradley Starks had remarkable catching efforts. Although he is still wearing a green jersey, meaning limited practice contact, Stewart was pleased with the wide receiver's effort although he is holding off reacquainting Starks, with the quarterback position due to his shoulder injury.

"It was good to see Bradley Starks make some great catches," said Stewart.

Stewart is anxious to get fans in the stands to see the new Mountaineers. The Mountaineer Maniacs will be attending Saturday morning's scrimmage.

"We are going to have 500 Maniacs up here, or more, on Saturday," said Stewart. "It's going to go rain or shine and we're going to start at 11:00 sharp. We will be hitting in period one when we start with our victory drill. The victory drill is three stations with three groups in a station and it's our slogan: B+TxH2=V; blocking plus tackling times hitting and hustle equals victory. It's going to be intense and I hope all the Maniacs will be there.

"Someone asked me how I was going to get them here at 11:00 when I can't get them here at noon for a game sometimes and I told them that I'll have free pizza! It's going to be an elite junior day and you're going to be able to see some of our blue-chip juniors. I want to start eating pizza with the Maniacs at 1:00 and then we'll go up and do an academic presentation with our prospects. Saturday we'll be in full pads, going full speed, and it's going to be a tough day."

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