EL PASO, Texas - Miners took the field for week two of spring ball and the coaching staff revved up the intensity for this morning's session. Dealing with a young team, and an unfamiliar coaching staff, the theme of the day was repetition and focus on detail.
Just like a new teacher setting the tone in a classroom, the coaching staff came down hard on laziness and any sign of weakness. Whether it was receivers dropping touchdown passes or linemen not finding their correct stance, these new sheriffs in town made it known that whatever they did before wasn't good enough.
The offensive staff is incorporating a new offense and the tempo is something the team is still getting used to in these dog days of March. Players had trouble lining up, and the new frantic pace didn't discriminate among rookies or veterans. Miner fans should not be alarmed if this continues, given the learning curve; this is very common for a team learning a new of offense. It's also what the spring drills are for.
No position takes more pressure of learning a new offense than the quarterbacks and all of them had their equal share of reps. Senior quarterback Carson Meger displayed the leadership this current staff is looking for on during this "feeling out" period. Meger took the time to relay the staff's message to the younger players and continued to shine in drills.
All the quarterbacks had equal time on the field and made some big throws. Interestingly enough, many of the plays were made on the run and while they all weren't perfect and accuracy was an issue, it wasn't something that can't be overcome and is correctable.
In post-practice comments, Coach Kugler wouldn't tip his hand to a leader in the QB race, perhaps waiting to see his entire arsenal when first year players and transfers make their way to El Paso this summer.
The offensive linemen went through their stuggles as well Monday as they continue to learn new offensive schemes as well as blocking techniques that are also very different. At one point, the linemen looked as if they were running around with their heads cut off trying to keep up with the frantic practice pace. But with every rep there was improvement. El Paso's own, Paolo Melendez, who seemed to take well to this offense and played with an intensity that matched his coaches.
This is an exciting time for UTEP football and despite the mental errors and confusion; there were plenty of moments of clarity, intensity, and new energy for the burgeoning Miner team.