Going into the 2018 football season, many fans felt that it was “their time” and that was “the season.” A year later and the Mountaineers are wrapping up the 2019 Big 12 Football Media Days in an entirely different mindset. And you know what? This team is okay with it.
Yes, last year was arguably supposed to be “their year,” but a few games did not go their way (Anyone else still wishing that Iowa State game never would have happened?). Now, the Mountaineers are a month and a half from the 2019 season and things look very different than they did mid-July 2018.
Again. This team is okay with it. This team is fully embracing where they are and how much they believe in their new head coach, Neal Brown. This belief is evidenced by the way the players are accepting of his new regime and ideals. Coach Brown stepped off the plane in Morgantown in January and has been rolling out his new ideals, new fundamentals and a family-first foundation for his team ever since.
And the players are buying all in. Since coming to Morgantown and solidifying his regime change, Brown has made it clear that his players will communicate, know each other, and interact like a family. His goal is that eventually by doing so, the team will function as a whole unit on the field; ultimately leading to wins. It has been well noted over the last several months that the players have new accountability schedules to work into their football schedules, time with the position groups, time to give back to the community volunteering, and spending meals together with no phones or electronics. Brown is creating a family that knows each other and supports one another by going back to the basics and judging by the response from players; it’s working
Brown feels that familiar excitement Mountaineer fans have when talking about the team and the season, but with a realistic hesitation; knowing how transition periods in football go. He knows he has an entire state to perform for on Saturday afternoons, albeit this season with a roster that looks very different from last year’s roster.
” . . . We’ve got our hands full. It’s one of those things where there’s so much energy and so much excitement, you want to make sure that they understand that we lost a lot from last year,” Brown said. “We’re going to be a young football team, and I think our fan base understands that and there’s going to be some patience.”
Brown’s team knows this and is going into the 2019 season with a slight chip on their shoulders. Not many believe in this crew, picked to finish eighth in the Big 12 by the media. July 2019 looks a heck of a lot different than July 2018 did. With a new mindset and a focus set on supporting one another on and off the field, Brown’s crew is ready to give it their all for themselves and their fans.
There have been months and months of speculation about what Brown’s inaugural season as the Mountaineers head coach will look like. During Big 12 Media Days, the media did not get a definite picture, but what they did see was that the head coach of the Mountaineers is determined to bring success and victory to Morgantown. While it may not be pretty at times, both Brown and his players are eager and hungry to win and find a way to do so.