Holgorsen finally has stable staff

If I came away with anything other than a bunch of ‘coach speak’ from Friday’s spring football media luncheon, it was the feeling that head coach Dana Holgorsen and his staff appear to be up to the task, and determined to turn around the Mountaineer football program.

“We’ve had six good weeks of work,” Holgorsen said. “Obviously, the goal at this point in time is for these guys to get bigger, faster, stronger, and healthy.

“I think we’ve accomplished that up to this point. We have one more week of that. In addition to that, we’ve had nine early morning sessions, which is a whole lot of fun for the coaching staff. We get the kids up early, kick them around a little bit, yell at them, scream at them, encourage them, motivate them and challenge them in every way possible.”

But will that be enough to transform a program that went from a Top 5 team following a 5-0 start to open the 2012 season to 4-8 last year with one of those losses coming to a Kansas squad that had not had a Big 12 Conference victory in more than three years?

The good news is that all of the lack of continuity on the offense, well at least among the coaching staff, appears to be settled as Shannon Dawson returns as the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach, Lonnie Galloway will again lead the wide receivers, JaJuan Seider the running backs/fullbacks/tight ends/H-backs and Parkersburg South’s Ron Crook the offensive line.

Questions at quarterback, both tackle positions and running back still must be answered this spring, but it appears that there are players on the roster that can fill those slots.

The bad news is that the continuity on defense may not be there even those several important players return from last year’s unit.

Former Glenville State College defensive back Tony Gibson will get his turn to change the unit’s fortune.

And, it appears that he will receive a lot of help with the addition of former Penn State defensive coordinator/interim head coach Tom Brady.

The team’s basic 3-4 scheme will not change and the return of Brian Mitchell (cornerbacks) will help.

But, the unit will also have some new faces coaching it as Joe DeForest, who is the special teams coordinator, will help with the safeties, former Mountaineer player Damon Cogdell will take over the defensive line and, of course, Brady.

All last season fans were told that the number one problem limiting the offense from being as productive as its predecessors was the lack of continuity among its coaching staff.

Will that be the case for the defense this year or will Gibson and his first-year staff be able to come up with a scheme that will allow the unit to have some success while giving the offense some “short field” opportunities via some timely turnovers?

Only time will tell.

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