The Mountaineers football season is officially underway. Sunday afternoon brought about the team’s first practice of the 2017 season and with that Dana Holgorsen returned to address the media. The head ball coach addressed the media ahead of the team’s first practice and sounded hopeful and excited for the season ahead.
“We have a beautiful day for football here in West Virginia,” Holgorsen said. “Guys are excited about being here, we have 105 healthy bodies that are about to go out there. Three or four of them are on the shelf, you can probably figure out who they are, they won’t be practicing. Overall excited about getting started.”
Coach Holgorsen was anxious to get his players out on the field, in helmets only, to start throwing around the ball and put all of the last few months of effort into play. Holgorsen also pointed out that much of the defense is the same from the past four years, coming from a coaching staff position, and that the team is ready to move forward with the fundamentals that have been laid in place.
“A lot of continuity, guys know what they are doing, they feel good,” he said. “Watch them execute and watch the technique that they play with.”
Coach Holgorsen maintained the optimism that was ever-present during last season and that mentality looks to continue to carry over toward the upcoming season. The head coach has made an effort to bring about stability and continuity within the program and that looks to be a new focus at the start of fall ball. Now that the coach will not be calling plays, he is focusing on his other roles within his team: “I like the aspect of continuity and I like the aspect of depth. My job is to get the morale high, which I think is good right now but over the course of five weeks I have to keep it high and continue to move it forward.”
Coach Holgorsen addressed what has been one of the hot topics of the offseason, quarterback Will Grier, and showed a great amount of excitement for what the quarterback will be doing.
“We have a different type quarterback this year than we had last year so that’s going to change things. It’s been fun to watch him progress. I haven’t really saw him with the ball since the spring game. We worked with him a little bit in June. I hear they are a lot more familiar and comfortable with what we are doing, I’m excited about watching it. It’s the first time I’ve seen it since you all watched the spring game.”
Coach Holgorsen has been known for the occasional off-hand remark or reply when asked questions by the media about holding players’ concentration during camp. The head coach had one of his first sarcastic statements of the season, and hopefully not his last: “Well, we trick them. They’ve been inside for an hour and they think practice is just starting.”
Overall, the head coach was ready to get out there and get his players back on the field. Coach Holgorsen and the Mountaineers now have a five-week preseason, something that will definitely take some getting used to.
“It’s something we’re going to have to be creative with. They’re going to have a day-off during camp, that has never happened before. I made a big deal to them this morning when we met with them. You’re going to have more rest and relaxation time, but camp is going to be camp, it’s going to be hard. The thing about it is it’s going to be long”
The head coach will surely do his best to get the team prepared for their Sunday evening match-up come September.