The Tunnel

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Serious question.....

  • I never played football, so I guess I don't know, but I have seen people saying that Malone would get our OL back to the way it was in the 90s, make them mean and nasty. My question is, how the heck do you make someone mean and nasty? It seems like it's something you either are or aren't. Jake Grove was nasty before he got to VT. What exactly is it that Malone would do with the same players to make them mean and nasty that Newsome didn't do? I mean I just don't really understand. If there was something Newsome could have done to make someone not a puss, why wouldn't he do it? Or does he just not know how?

  • i think it's all in techniques taught. i'm sure a lot of the linemen we have can be mean and nasty but the techniques they are being asked to use limit their ability to get down and dirty in the trench

  • I don't know but it seems to me you could approach it this way from a mental standpoint. Obviously a new coach is going to have lots of new approaches, but from a purely psychological standpoint, this is how I'd approach it.

    If a guy has good/decent technique but he bets muscled too much or doesn't finish blocks and he has a a guy behind him on the depth chart that sometimes has marginal technique, but fights his ass off and rarely gets pushed around, then you go to the number two guy by default. Toughness gets the nod every time as a rule. That's my rule, not necessarily a golden rule.

    The hope, of course, is that the former #2 gets better technique with the added reps and the former #1get's tougher because he's pissed off about riding the bench.

    This post was edited by Kilgore Trout 19 months ago

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  • Nastiness comes from within. A coach can bring it out of you.

  • So can a lot of coffee. Think I'm going to make a nasty right now!

  • A gave that an upvote... and I'm not sure why....

    With regards to the football nasty... We need our OL coach to have the fire and tenacity that we want our line to have. Team's adopt the mentality of their coach, so if you have a nasty OL coach, then your O-linemen feed off of that and adopt that identity.

  • The irony is that when Newsome was hired his strength was supposed to be that he was a player's coach who was a great motivator and the kids would play really hard for him, i.e. mean and nasty with attitude, etc. His weakness was that he was not a great technical OL coach, which makes sense knowing that he was historically a defensive guy. So, for me personally, when I hear "mean and nasty" re: a new coach I think it's mostly just lip service. And I don't really mean that as negative as it sounds it's just a grain of salt kind of deal. We just need performance improvement and hopefully a new guy brings just that....

    But to answer your question more generally, yes, I think a coach can breed and encourage "mean and nasty" play. Certainly some players will be more pre-disposed than others but it can be done. Reward mean and nasty play it in the film room and in practice, harshly criticize soft plays in the film room and in practice. Run rough, tough guy drills. You can implement a culture of toughness. No doubt about it.

  • This times a lot, maybe invite the WR's into this film session from time to time too

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  • this...

    coaches have to incent this and have to gradually increase the nastiness factor through things that are done repeatedly and show up in the game

    same in all sports really

    some coaches don't like having everyone uncomfortable...their teams suck and argue like pansies about stuff that doesn't matter

    kids will cry and some will decide they'd rather write poetry ...

    getting everyone out of their comfort zone and comfortable with increasing levels of nastiness is not pleasant but at the end of the day it builds self esteem through achievement, capability development etc... as this happens the kids develop a culture that looks for internal leadership... kids will naturally emerge who lead the team to step it up when they're having a rough day

    coaches practice plans.... change the culture... internal leadership forms

    i don't know because i'm not at practice.... but i'd venture we don't have any of the 3... Andrew Miller should have emerged as an early leader because he was reportedly the "nastiest OL we ahve" ... often times that person who emerges early is not the one who ends up being the nastiest or the leader of the group.

    the difficult part of being a coach of a team with all three of those is keeping the kids off one another... which is why you need some internal leadership... so they self regulate and don't actually hurt one another during practice

    we had some scuffles with VP and DEs.... VP seems like he might have been in one of alternative universes where we had a coach who encouraged a different kind of he might have emerged as "the nastiest OL" and perhaps a leader you didn't expect


  • Non football example, I have been a baseball coach/hitting instructor/speed coach (my passion) for twenty years. Specifically for hitting, there is only one way to hit (there are exceptions to the rule) but there are many different ways to get there (regarding mechanics). Each kid has different tools, vision, focus, determination, ability, strength, speed, coordination, etc… put that together with body mechanics, motor movement and other physical abilities or limitations and you currently have a situation where you must know how to teach the same thing a hundred different ways. Each player typically cannot be taught the same exact way, some kids have different triggers and it takes a very knowledgeable coach to tap into each kid so that everyone is on the same page, same understanding and same goal. When it comes to “nasty” some kids have more than others and yes you can teach that. It might not be the same level as the kid next to him but a good coach will get the max ability from all of his kids. A good coach will for the most part, recruit kids that are coachable as well (again there are exceptions to the rule). A really good high school coach just knows how to motivate kids and make them believe in something until it happens “fake it till you make it”. With all those factors you will build confidence or in this case “the nasty”. Without those factors above, you might as well hand out participation certificates.

    Now I can teach fielding and pitching but I’m limited, so it’s hard for me or any other coach to have the ability to adapt to each kids needs or tools (again, vision, focus, determination, ability, strength, speed, coordination, mechanics, motor movement and other physical abilities or limitations etc…).

    So, if a coach does not know his limitations and or abilities then neither will his players. In the end, I know that pitching and fielding are my weakness, so I just have somebody else do it for me. I have knowledge in both but I wouldn’t trust myself in those areas, mostly because I’m not passionate about them, so I find others who are. I can teach them for a short term but after awhile I would get complacent and in a constant state of trying to inspire myself to get the job done when I should be inspiring the player. Long story short, if I don’t have the ability to hire the right pitching coach or fielding coach, I better start praying to the baseball gods for an amazing offense, ala VT football in reverse.

    Sorry for the book. I could probably write 50 more pages on this subject alone.

    This post was edited by Gianthokies 19 months ago

  • You call a kid a few derogative names and question his manhood and see what happens. In HS football, I went through three different OL coaches. All three had varying approaches (loud and in your face, players coach, and calm/crazy type). Definitely don't want a players coach on the OL IMO.

  • I think it was last week or week before, I remember commentators talking about Duane Brown and Will Montgomery. Brown was just relentless on a play, he would not stop hitting people, until the whistle blew. That doesn't sound mean and nasty, but I think we have seen a bit over the last year or so that some of our players on occasion did stop well before the whistle. That looks soft. Not letting up until the ref says the play is done, looks mean and nasty. In Montgomery's case, he blew his man off the line, and then went after a linebacker, taking him out and springing the back for a nice run. I saw him do that at VT once, and he pancaked his man, and went down in the process. He rolled over 3 or 4 times, got on his knees and took out another defender, that sprung the Hokie back for the score.

    There is a determination and relentlessness in those guys that I haven't seen in a while, at least not consistently. On one of JC's runs against Duke, Joey Phillips blocked a defender a mile, and out of bounds. Gotta give them the Michael Ohr effort and try to block them all the way to the damn bus. JMHO

  • Ahh...thanks Smitty I forgot to answer that question. What he said, it's not hard to teach nasty. If they don't have the tools then they'll just be on their back...lookin and feelin nasty

  • Your previous post was really good, and like you said you could write 50 pages, it got me sidetracked, hence, my post. It got me thinking about baseball. I started baseball at such an early age I do not recall a time I did not play. I do not recall learning how to field or throw, or hit. In my recollection, I have always known how to play baseball. Coaching it might be tough for me, might come natural. Your post got me wondering abou that.

    I wouldn't have a clue how to motivate a baseball player. I was driven by an overwhelming desire to win and achieve. I started playing in Orlando at age 5. I was about 13 the first time my team ever lost. We would play a game, or practice, get home, and go out and play for another 3 or 4 hours. I think when games or practice got rained out, I cried.

    I loved baseball. I have no clue how I could even begin to make someone feel the way about it I felt. So, getting back to offensive line coaching, I don't know how much the coach has to bring out, and has much just has to already be within the player.

  • I loved playing but I love coaching more.

    Typically at the college level most kids love the game already. The ones that don't either get washed out or they're just that good and it doesn't matter if they love the game (rare). I have kids that don't enjoy baseball at all times but the intensity of my workouts brings out the most I can get from my guys and I won't accept anything less than max effort. Most of the players I coach are naturally competitive and I build on that. Very few kids just don't want to work. In some form or another they want to impress somebody even if it's themselves. When they forget, I remind them with positive or negative enforcement, depends on the kid and situation. Winning is great, no doubt, but it's expected. Acccomplishing and surpassing individual and seasonal goals makes winning addictive and sometimes easier. There are so many things I would love to go on about coaching baseball but I don't have time and it's impossible to do in a few paragraphs. It starts sounding random.

    BTW, fielding and throwing truly needs coaching now, it's just to competitive. There is a lot of technique/mechanics involved in both. I didn't always feel that way...that's another chapter though. Football will always be a game of inches, in baseball, fractions of that inch is the difference in being a hero. All that said, football is better to watch! i have never seen a full 9 inning game unless I was coaching or playing.

    Plus baseball message boards are full of a bunch of dudes like me typing more than most truly want to read.

  • Amen my brother. Loved to play, hated to watch.

  • Yes. Example, Jim Harbaugh at Stanford and now SF. He instilled toughness in both teams. Hoping a new OC can do the same thing here.