From Trey McLean’s In The Stands column this week:
I know this sounds cheesy and cliché, but the “commit in the spring, win in the fall” attitude is true. Right now is the really, really un-fun part of playing football. This is the running and the weights and the speed work that frankly just sucks. It’s five days a week, it’s hard, guys are vomiting, passing out, non-football friends are doing much more fun things, etc… and there is no game at the end of the week with fans watching and screaming as a payoff. There is no payoff, unless going home to study and getting the weekends off counts. The season is eight months away. Heck, the spring game is three months away, so the light at the end of the tunnel is tiny and very dim. Players have to be mentally tough to not cut corners, to not take reps off in the weight room or not go all out in speed drills. The pitfalls of the grim work in the off-season are everywhere and it’s easy to be satisfied with a less-than-perfect-effort day in January; however, the guys who have been through the wars, the Colt McCoy’s and the Lamarr Houston’s, will lead by example and show the younger guys how to work and what the payoff is if you “sell out” as they say and give 100%. The payoff is winning. The payoff is closing out stupid Tech this time and not letting them score and create the ESPN Play of the Year. The payoff running ou into the turf again in the fourth quarter in Dallas and taking The Hat home for third time in four years. The payoff is the chance for rings. That process starts right now.
The vocal leaders need to step up and make sure everyone knows how things are done and that anything less than maximum effort will not be tolerated. Who are those guys now that Rashad Bobino and Roy Miller are gone? That’s part of the off-season, finding those guys. Who will it be? If I had to guess, I’d say one of them is a defender and his name starts with a Sergio.
Who are the pump-you-up guys? Who are the malcontents that need to be weeded out? Who are the overachievers that need to see the field? Who are the lunatics that will be great on special teams? Who is injury prone and can’t be trusted? Who is dependable and consistent? Who is a rocket about to explode on the scene? These are all questions that get answered in the off-season and will help forge the bond for the 2009 Texas Longhorns.
Well put, Trey.
I can’t wait until next season.