After starting the season 2-4, West Virginia head coach Neal Brown knows his team is struggling, but also recognizes with the bye week comes opportunity to get better.
After losing to Baylor 45-20, and losing three straight conference games, Brown knows they are in a tough spot, but also recognizes there are six games left in the season and a lot to prove going forward.
“Frustrated group. Talking to players on the phone and text and then meeting with staff. I think everybody in this building is frustrated, nobody likes losing, that’s obvious,” Brown said. “And our job is to get it fixed, and [we] can’t be reactionary. I think that’s the world we live in everything wants to be reactionary now.
Brown says the bye week comes at a good time for his team. He thinks that his team is tired physically and emotionally and with where the team is at, Brown knows the bye week will be a good week to look at the results from the first six games and adjust moving forward.
“Bye week I think comes at a good time. Physically we are beat up, I think emotionally spent,” Brown said.
“We got to use this week. This is the way I approach bye weeks not only what we’re struggling what we’re doing well.”
“I think you reflect. We’ve had some good, you know we’ve had some good things. You know, we haven’t been as consistent, but we lost three games right at the end, and then we had a bad showing on Saturday.”
“So you reflect on what’s been good and bad. We do it from individual perspective, you do it from each phase of the game, you repair what we can fix. I think that’s a big piece of it, you got to repair. And then the last thing is you readjust the plan moving forward. And so that’s kind of where we’re at, you know you reflect, repair, readjust. we got a lot of football left. We got half a season. Everything’s doom and gloom right now. I don’t think you approach it like that.”
At this crucial of a juncture in the season, Brown knows the leaders in this program have to step up.
“I think that right now is the time to lead. It’s easy to lead when things are doing well, it’s hard to lead when things are going poorly,” Brown said. “Right now is when we need leadership, not only from myself, but from our assistant coaches, and from the leaders we have on our team. I think it’s the time you lock in and focus on your people.”
Trusting the Climb
Brown finished his press conference talking about the rebuild and transformation he is trying to make of this football program. Brown said he did not expect this team to be undefeated in year three, but also did not expect them to be where they are currently at in year three either.
“Did I think that we’d be sitting here in a better record than 2-4 — absolutely. Did I think that we were going to arrive in year three, and be at the top of league, no. Now do I believe with all my heart that we’ll get there — absolutely.
“There’s things that I think are non negotiable about, you know what we believe in, from a program standpoint and what we believe in, from a schematic principle standpoint, in each phase of the game. We’re not getting off that,” Brown said.”
“What the process of this week is about is is figuring out, how do we build on our positives, how do we how do we diminish where deficiencies are. But the basics, and really the tenets of our program are not changing.”
Photo by Dale Sparks, All Pro Photography