Friday, April 2, 2010
Georgia Southern football, where did you go???
Spring football has been in full swing in Statesboro for the past two weeks. Jeff Monken and his new coaching staff have been evaluating players and trying to find the right guys to run our "new/old" triple option offense while also trying to find some mean guys to play on the defensive side of the ball. Curiosity has been high as fans are eager to see us return to our National Championship form and want to watch just how new head coach Jeff Monken plans on getting us there. Crowds have gathered on the banks of Beautiful Eagle Creek to watch the daily practices and the media has been giving our beloved Eagles some extra attention also. This includes the great guys from the Georgia Southern Radio Network. Chris Blair and Ryan Chambers have been posting almost daily interviews with coaches and players on youtube, which allows someone like me to get a feel with how things are going during this spring revival of our program. Being the person I am, I tend to try and read between the lines of what people are saying during these interviews and watch their body language to see if I can determine if they are sincere. This is what I have observed...
Our new coaches are trying to be just as nice as they can be when they mention our current players and how they are progressing, but you can tell that they think we are SOFT! They say things like we have to be more aggressive, or we need to step it up some, or we need to find players who have a fire in them, or we have got to get stronger and faster. Sounds to me like he wants them to look like the Georgia Southern teams of old. What happened to those teams?
Four coaches in 6 years has something to do with that, but I think it has more to do with the coaching philosophy that was brought in by our most recent former coach. I liked Chris Hatcher. I had a chance to meet him once and he was a great guy and was willing to talk with me like we were old friends. Chris had a great deal of success at Valdosta State and I wish him luck at Murry State, but I just never really did like his style of football. Chris played a dink and dunk kind of offense that relied on getting fast people in open space. It seemed to be an offense that relied on just a couple of superstar athletes, and if you didn't have those athletes, you struggled. It seemed to be more about those individual guys and not the entire team. Where was the team concept that Georgia Southern was built on? Where has Georgia Southern Football gone??
Erk Russell took a bunch of walk ons and big hearted kids to the promised land by making sure that GSU football lived by one rule. TEAM me! He also had another rule that was GATA! I like both of these rules and look forward to getting back to that style of football. I think Jeff Monken is trying to get us back to our beginnings. Time will tell if his first recruiting class is a good one, but it can't be much worse than our last few where 60% of the kids are no longer with us for reasons varying from violating team rules to academic problems. I hope that we get back to recruiting kids that WANT to be Eagles and WANT to be part of a team that has ONE common goal. Get us back to a National Championship!!
I will continue to watch the videos and hope that our Eagles can once again find that team concept. I look forward to getting back to hard nosed football where we hit someone square in the mouth and ask them if they want some more. I look forward to running the football right at people and not throwing a bubble screen on first down every series. I look forward to a defense that pushes people around and makes things happen on their side of the ball. I look forward to a coaching style that not only wins football games, but makes great men out of Georgia Southern Graduates! I look forward to us bringing back our past!
Eagles soar above the storm. If Coach Monken can weather the storm that he faces while he is rebuilding this fine football program, then The Georgia Southern Eagles will certainly soar once more above all the rest!