Spring Football video: Willie is everywhere all at once

I was walking down the sidewalk between Garrison Gymnasium and the Carl Lewis International Complex on this foggy Friday morning. The cross country runners at my 2 o’clcok catch my glance, as they are running counterclockwise and towards me. I have my camera equipment, tripod and laptop stuffed into a backpack, not knowing what I’ll need today. It’s still new, this concept of being allowed into football practice, being allowed to document anything I see, observe, or catch onto.

As I’m thinking about the likely diets of the cross country guys, I hear sudden footsteps behind me. This person is jogging. I know there are football players behind me, walking to the practice fields, but the jogging is new. Instinctively, I moved to the far right side of the sidewalk to allow this hurried person by. As they pass me, I realize it’s the new guy, ready to get to the fields to see what he sees.

It’s Willie.

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When I get onto the field Willie is with the QBs, I set my stuff down and he’s on to the OL. Then he’s across the field and seeing what’s up with Oscar Giles and the DL, then Shiel Wood and the linebackers. But as soon as I orient myself, he’s back with the QBs. How is he everywhere at once?

Willie is constantly speaking to players about expectations. If there’s an overriding theme early in spring football, it’s that this staff’s expectations are different than the last. In 7-on-7 drills, WR coach Derrick Sherman is telling a player to have stronger arms through the catch. No alligator arms. Don’t allow a defender to use your “weak ass arms” to get a pass breakup. Willie’s there coaching a receiver on technique, then stepping over and giving the DB pointers on how to beat what he just told the receiver.

Going from station to station, you see so much but feel like you’re not seeing enough. Something important is always happening at a station you’re not watching. You try to see as much as you can but realize it’s still a tiny portion of what’s happening. But somehow, Willie sees it all.

Video from Friday’s practice:




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