Morgantown, W.VA. – Football head coach Neal Brown met with the West Virginia media Tuesday morning, from his home office, as the football program is in its eighth week of remote work, school and life in general. The spring semester ended last week and the football program is still in its new normal, with the coach and his team starting to feel a little bit of “Zoom fatigue” as we continue to socially distance.
Coach Brown opened his conference by pointing out the great job the program did for their Mother’s Day social media posts, highlighting the posts that both players and the team put out.
Brown is well known for being a planner, always having a plan and a back up plan. Brown’s nature of being a go-getter and having an answer. Right now, Brown does not have the answers for his players and staff as he pointed out that the past two weeks have been the most difficult for his team since this started in March.
Throughout the last two months, Brown has made it clear that his top priorities for his team were the health and wellness of his players; a concept that has rung more true the last few weeks. With school ending, players are missing their routines, just like their head coach, and there does not seem to be a real answer as to when the routine will take shape again. Brown acknowledged that they are all living in a time of unknown, with no real “this is the next step” in sight.
Currently, the coaches have a maximum of eight hours to talk football with the players. Brown pointed out that there’s no real way that eight hours of Zoom talks will be effective, with Zoom fatigue starting to be a very real thing right now. Brown’s remark when talking about using all eight hours a week at the moment, “No way in hell.”
Brown maintains still that he is cautiously optimistic that West Virginia will play football this coming fall, noting that there is the possibility of programs starting at varying times. That reality, as Brown knows, is that with each state operating on a different timeline, there is no real way to have football programs starting at the same in the near future.
Finally, Brown remarked on what day one would look like WHEN football returns. Brown pointed out that he thinks day one will have a lot of testing, a lot of determining the health status of his players. Day one will rely heavily on sports science, the health monitors the players already wear during practice and a focus on preventing soft tissue injuries during that time.
The Big 12 has put a halt to sports activities until May 31, which is right around the corner. As that date nears closer, the state of West Virginia football will have more answers to the questions that have been asked on repeat this spring. Bottom line, Coach Brown is ready for the new normal, and ready for football.