Buying In: Under first year head coach Neal Brown Trojans are buying into new team philosphy
Published 3:00 am Thursday, August 13, 2015
Nearly two weeks into fall camp, the Trojans have been expected to do more than prepare for their season opening game against North Carolina State. They have been asked to buy in to a new system brought by the nation’s second youngest coach in his first head coaching job.
Trojan head coach Neal Brown enters his second stint with the Trojans with a successful track record as one of the nation’s top offensive minds. In 2009, in Browns first stint with the Trojans, Troy finished with nations third ranked in total offense at 485 yards per game. After leaving Troy, Brown went on to coach three seasons at Texas Tech where his offense finished 2012 second in the nation in passing yards at 355 yards per game. Before coming back to Troy this season, Brown spent the last two seasons as offensive coordinator under Mark Stoops at Kentucky.
“When I talk about buying in, I am talking about guys doing what I have asked them to do,” Brown said. “You go into new situations a lot, and we have a lot of veterans on this team. Sometimes your go into a new situation where there are guys that have been playing on a team for four or five years and they’re not too open about listening to new voices or trying to do things a different way. They’re hard headed and stubborn.
“We haven’t had much of that here. We have changed quite a bit of what we are doing – especially when it comes to what we are demanding from them from a time and nutrition standpoint.”
From the senior leaders all the way down to the inexperienced freshmen, Brown has seen the buy in factor take effect.
“We practice at a really really fast pace,” Brown said. “Those guys to a man have bought in and I think we are gaining some chemistry within our football team.”
Senior running back Brandon Burks, who saw significant action in all three previous years under former head coach Larry Blakeney, is excited to redefine his role with a new coach who specializes in offense.
“He is coming in here with an offensive scheme that really fits me,” Burks said. “I need to be versatile and be a good runner. We are going to spread the defense out and get people open. Whatever he wants me for, I will do it.”
Possibly the position most affected by a new offensive system are the quarterbacks. Brandon Silvers and Dallas Tidwell are working to get up to speed on the new system.
“It not that different, it’s just a lot higher tempo,” Silvers said. “It’s a lot faster pace. It’s a lot of the same plays; I am just going to have to verbalize a lot more to the offensive line. In any offense communication is important, if we can do that we should be pretty good.”
With one scrimmage already in the books, the Trojans are in the midst of their second week of fall camp. The team’s second scrimmage is 7 p.m. Saturday.