New Coach Equals New Schemes
Peter Vaas moved from coaching QB's to TE's.
“One of our biggest challenges this spring can we find some people to run with their hands on the ground,” stated coach Peter Vaas.
In layman’s terms this means we want to know which back is physical and can endure the grinding punishment it takes to be a running back at USF. Even though Peter Vaas is the Tight Ends coach, Fitch & Holtz utilize the hybrid TE-FB-HB role that the Tight Ends play in this offense.
“There’s always a smile on everyone’s face and it not like pulling teeth to get guys in, they want to get out and prove themselves.”
Coach Vaas doesn’t want his skill position players not to just “look pretty and run some sprints,” but to play with a hardnosed attitude that instills fear into other Big East Line Backers.
Senior Jeff Hawkins has been seeing significant time at fullback, and is working his way back to TE. He needs to get his feet under him in order to build up his stamina and endurance enough to play TE. Vaas observed that he possesses the best TE skills on the squad, but recovering from two injuries takes a toll on the body and lengthens the healing process.
“You’re not only competing with your own position, you’re competing with the minds of Coach Fitch and Holtz to determine was is the most effective personnel grouping,” stated Peter Vaas when asked about the possible prominence of a FB in 2012. The goal of the spring is to add depth to the position. He wants to be comfortable with Even Landi, Andreas Shields, and Hawkins in the role.
Webster Leads By Example
“The closer we are in the film room, the closer we are as a unit,” says senior cornerback Kayvon Webster. While participating in practice, he pulls his teammates aside and tells them what they need to work on.
“It’s a good feeling being up at the top, but I come in and work just as hard to get everyone prepared and help my teammates improve.”
Webster wants to be a vocal leader, but also relishes the opportunity to lead by example. He knows his responsibility as the #1 corner as blanketing the other team’s best receiver and encouraging the growth of the underclassmen.
“We have to continue to work and come in work on our technique with more confidence as a unit,” announced Webster when asked what changes he wants to see made from last year’s defense.
He really likes the progress of Fidel Montgomery and Josh Brown and truly believes they both have a shot to start. He wants to see these transfers watch themselves in the film room in order to improve. He’ll impart this bit of knowledge on his secondary constituents by showing them that he enjoys dissecting himself in order to improve.
Webster yearns to be considered as a technical and his professional role models are Champ Bailey, Asante Samuel (we’ll forget he went to UCF), and Darelle Revis. He aspires to intercept like the first two and jam receivers like the last one.
Replacing A Potential Pro
“Having the experience, guys listen to what I say.” As the lone semi-proven running back on this squad, Demetrius Murray has a lot resting on his shoulders this season. He finds it his duty to encourage younger players, like Marcus Shaw and Bradley Battles, to bolster the depth at RB.
“Watch last year’s film and understanding what I’ve left on the field will make me a better players,” said Murray when asked how he can get better from last year.
Murray has been working on improving every facet of his game and is now weighing in at 212 pounds. He attributes his new muscle to Coach Golden who has really helped him bulk up this offseason.
Murray wishes Scott the best, but understands that this is now his team and his chance to shine. A result of the coaching rotation, Murray is now paired up with new Running Backs coach Larry Scott. Demetrius agrees with Scott’s philosophy of knowing how to play the RB position from the standpoint of the offensive line.
“He looks at it like I do, from the O-Line back. He knows what happens before it does,” stated Murray. He is also delighted about the progress of Lindsay Lamar moving from WR to RB. Murray likes his explosiveness and thinks he will be a great contributor to this backfield.