Big Cat Diary – January 12th

Big Cat Diary – January 12th

Each week you see new faces, and veteran players exceeding your expectations. As a Coach, you always feel such a positive sensation during these moments. For me this Sunday was highlighted by seeing two of our Canadian players in the same Inside Run skeleton drill. Our 2nd year former CFL-er Connor, who is moving over to the Offence this year after a career at LB, and our 50+ year old RB Frank Mayo. Connor stepped in at QB for us during the Run Shell and pushed his team mates to step up, whilst Frank rolled back the years, showing the gazelle like moves and reactions. What our Front 7/8 on Defence got was a wake up call, and all the rookie RB’s got to see how to slice through a defence if you exhibit patience and know when to throttle up….

We also conducted some Kicker trials this Sunday, with even the old straight on Kicking Head Coach dusting off the leg to have a try… 2 for 4 on the day, not bad for an old man [Note: He didn’t get the position!]… but always room for improvement. I do personally enjoy each year having a little stab at the FG/XP challenge, just to reminiscence back a couple (almost 3) decades ago… when I used to kick for the local Rugby club, and punt for the Cherokee/Gladiators Football teams. By the end of the session though, we had our Fire Unit running out from the sideline and executing 30 yard FG’s in under 15 seconds repeatedly… from kicker trials, to a working unit, running a game scenario under pressure in an hour… Sometimes its applying real world scenarios into a coaching situation, which really helps implant the message.

Defence as always is starting to fit together early on, this is normal in every team, Offence always has such a steep learning curve, that they can’t just relax and be physical on Day 1. They are thinking too much at this stage, whereas the D are now starting to fly around on instinct. Was great to see the LB’s working on some blind close quarters tackling drills though. Reactions at LB are so important, especially more so in recent years with the evolution of Spread Read Options schemes becoming more popular – and more effectively executed!

We even managed to get a bit of Team admin done this week, with placeholder roster photos taken of the rookies, so that we continue to present the same, consistent image on our game day roster sheets. We haven’t locked in a title sponsor for 2015 yet, so we could be calling all the guys back in for head-shots again at some point, in order to leverage sponsor backdrops… for now though, we have a working roster building up, which sends a message about who we are as a program, Organised, Focused, Professional.