Sunday, August 18, 2019

Fall Camp proving that attitude is everything and this team’s is positive

The old adage that ‘attitude is everything’ has been said repeatedly in too many different environments to count. Now days into fall camp and the adage is a great phrase to spotlight the football program’s mentality going into the 2019 season. In the first few days of camp, and really the entire summer, the football team’s overall outlook and attitude has been nothing but positive. Putting positive vibes out there typically begets positive vibes and many fans are hoping these positive vibes translate to success on the football field.

Friday’s opening day of fall camp brought about a great buzz of excitement that was likely palpable in Morgantown and translated widely across social media as fans eagerly refreshed their Twitter feeds for the latest updates. Take a second and scroll through. Look at Coach Neal Brown’s determined walk into camp. Watch Coach Al Pogue run determinedly into the practice. The coaches are ready. The players are ready. Their attitudes trickle down to the fans, who came out in droves on Saturday for Fan Day.

Since the administration change at the turn of the new year, West Virginia football has undergone subtle, positive changes (from the top down) that are building and growing into something big. That something? A process that will hopefully lead the team to success and the start of the Neal Brown era. The team’s social media has been emblazoned with the hashtag #TrustTheClimb and that seems to be just what everyone is doing. Players have bought into Brown’s system, the team seems to be closer to one another and the coaches have seen great improvement from where they were at the time of the spring game.

“We are significantly better as a team right now than we were when we finished spring and a lot of that credit goes to (strength coach) Mike Joseph and his staff, and a lot of credit needs to go to some of our leadership on our football team because they got quality work in over the summer when the coaches couldn’t work with them,” Brown said over the weekend.

The head ball coach has been proud of the improvements his team has made from spring to fall camp, and it shows. The overwhelmingly positive attitude is part buying into Brown’s system, part family-focused atmosphere, and part improvement. If the team feels good, they naturally start to improve and see how much their positivity affects everything from the attitude to the locker room to the field. They’re having fun and it shows.

“We weren’t as good as we needed to be in the spring,” Brown said. “Not only that, but we didn’t have the level of energy that I wanted to have on our football team.”

That energy that Brown speaks of is something that seems to have finally shown up for the Mountaineers. Look at TJ Simmons, and see just how pumped up he is to be playing West Virginia football. He’s established himself as a leader on this team, is always positive, wants to be there and it shows. If he leads by this example, then the rest of the team naturally follows.

The energy is there. The vibe is there. The team is ready to work and most importantly, ready to win.

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