Spring football brings chance to ‘do something’
Published: Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 00:03
The USF football players will get the “spring break worked out of them,” coach Willie Taggart said Monday as the team prepares for its first official spring practice on Wednesday at 9 a.m.
“I’m fired up,” he said. “Our guys are working hard. They really want to win, but just because you want to win that doesn’t mean you’re going to win. All of our guys understand if we’re going to get anything, we have to work for it. That’s the approach we’re taking in spring ball.”
Taggart said he asks one thing of them: Do something. It’s that simple, he said.
Coming off the three-win season last year with former coach Skip Holtz, Taggart said the motto is something he thinks goes beyond the playing field and beyond
football as a whole.
“They have to do something,” Taggart said. “They have to impress us and show that they can take coaching in the classroom and out on the football field.”
With a new staff, new players and now a new philosophy, Taggart said he is “jacked up” about the upcoming season.
“I’m really excited for spring ball,” he said. “I feel like I’ve been here for a year already and we haven’t even played a down of football. They’ve been on spring break and we ran the spring break out of them. Now I’m ready to get them on the football field.”
As USF enters its spring practices, leading up to the spring game April 13 at the Raymond James Stadium, the team does so with a blank slate
serving as the depth chart.
“No one has a job,” Taggart said. “Everybody is competing for a job. They have to prove to us that they can play football and do it how we want it done.”
Though some may view the quarterback battle between juniors Matt Floyd, Bobby Eveld and newcomer Mike White as the most important, Taggart said he wants to make it known that every single position from quarterback to kicker is up for grabs.
To earn a spot, in addition to “doing something,” toughness is what will be sought after as the position battles go underway.
“We’re going to have contact,” Taggart said. “That’s football. It’s a contact sport. I want a tough football team. I don’t believe in soft football. We’ll see who has that courage when it comes to impact.”
Taggart and his staff plan to build a battle-tested team for the upcoming season by going getting in as much contact as NCAA regulations will allow. For Taggart’s team there’s no room for fear of contact.
Moving forward into the next season, starting with the spring game, is important for any team, but as with anything that needs improvement, looking back at previous mistakes could prove useful.
But dwelling on the past isn’t of major concern for Taggart, he said. What he noticed the most about the Bulls team that totaled one win in the conference last year is its eagerness and hunger to win — due in large part to them being “fed up.”
After totaling one win in the Big East last season, there’s plenty to be fed up with.
“They’re eager,” Taggart said. “I’ve been really impressed with how they’re working. They’re working like they’re fed up.”
USF will bring that hunger with them to Raymond James Stadium April 13 at 5p.m. where the players will get their big chance to show Taggart that they can “do something.”