– School starts tomorrow, so do the distractions. Camp is the easiest time for the coaches, because they’re all the players got. Starting tomorrow, a swarm of other priorities will fill their day, from their books to their bae. Dawson describes their message to the team, “The biggest thing that we were telling them really is to push through. Don’t think it’s over. It’s not over, it’s just the beginning.”
– Dawson is more focused on what his offense does, and less on what ULL does. It doesn’t mean they won’t be studied up on their opponent, it just means his offense will embrace a mentality of the aggressor, rather than adjusting to what they’re given.
“We break down tendencies just like everybody else, but my message to offenses in general, ‘we’re going to do what we do good.’ I really don’t get too overwhelmed or detailed with what they do. We’re going to tell them the blueprint of what they do defensively, but who knows what they’re going to do?”
He’s less worried about what is thrown at them because his offensive line has seen almost everything that can be thrown at them in camp. Stoops and Eliot’s defense is multiple, constantly keeping them on their toes.
– Dawson was surprised on how well they caught the ball in the dark. They didn’t throw it around too much during the now famous Saturday night soirÃ©e, but when they did, they didn’t let the ball hit the ground very often, despite Stoops’ rule, “If it hits them in the chest, it’s a catch.” Great news, ESPECIALLY if the lights aren’t good to go for the opening game.
– I don’t know many people cooler than Dorian Baker. It’s kind of weird because I’m four years older than him, but every time I talk to him I find myself grasping at every word he says. Huggy Bear is probably a bad comparison, but you never know how he’s going to say things, but you know whatever he’s going to say is going to be cooler than anything you could have thought of. For now, I’m only going to tease a snippet of our interview, you’ll have to wait till later this week for the rest. Here’s how excited he is for the first game:
“Anxious, almost too anxious. I can’t sleep at night, I don’t eat as much. I’m just hungry. I’m going to do my eating on the field.”
– Towles and Toth will mitigate mental errors. The first game of the year is usually filled with a bunch of bonehead plays. The easy mistakes are frustrating, but expected in the new environment. Luckily, the two people most responsible for communicating assignments are intelligent veterans. The talent and experience is “invaluable” for Shannon Dawson.
– Different packages will be used to free up C.J. Conrad. Conrad’s role as tight end in the middle of the defense will be extremely valuable throughout the year. It’s a role that requires taking a lot of hits. His body isn’t quite ready for the constant beatings yet, after all, he did need a hernia repair after his Spring semester. To take preventative action, Dawson will use a variety of packages to keep his legs fresh. It makes sense, considering the Cats have close to a dozen wide receivers they believe can make an impact on the field.
– Towles gets the last veto on playcalling. Not only will the QBs play an integral role in formulating the gameplan leading into the game, Patrick will have full and final discretion on what play is on the field. If he doesn’t like what he sees, he has the freedom to do what he thinks is best, “He’s a lot more important than I am,” Dawson said. “He has to be comfortable, not me.”