Updated: Aug 17
You can feel it all over the media from the networks to the social media public and private chats the potential for one of the greatest comebacks year over year is staring at us. Tempting everyone to dive in now and get caught in the hype machine. Pause right now is a good thing. Give Coach Riley the space he needs to continue driving "WinNow" into the fiber of the team and program. This team is full of potential. We have a terrific-looking direction and one that has stable leadership that doesn't hide or overhype the present. So pausing right now is a good idea and let the LR Express take to the Rice Owls and then and only then will we see the first hint of a GameDay physical change to the culture.
Right now the media is going to sell. They are going to pin the hype all over the Trojans who arguably are a rebuild in motion. This is not a reloading effort as we all know. Gone are the players who were happy with the past and today we have a brand new group and one that is jelling quickly and this is key. No favorites. No one gets a pass. Rehab island is no longer sold-out as it was all too often under the previous head coach.
The defense is where we can really focus on. Quietly forming and shaping from the front to the secondary. Finding those puzzle pieces that just fit and know how to take to the action they will be seeing physically and often. Tap out to get water? I don't think so with this team. They want to play they want to engage and they are showing a spirit in the camps so far that tells me this will be the unit that surprises.
The offense-only concerns I have is two pieces and how the playcalling will evolve. The running game is well positioned but will they get the rock often to give the O Line the ability to control and push? This will open up Caleb's field of view instantly. Then there is one of my favorite positions, Tight Ends. They are such weapons running those slants where the ball and reaction time are in a tight window and the defense has very little chance to defend. Will Coach Riley truly make this position a weapon vs an afterthought?
Time will Tell