Managing a spring football game

It is interesting how different coaches manage spring football games.

Generally speaking, they don’t like them.

Why?

Because there is pressure to put on a show for fans and that conflicts with the ability to control emotions, intensity of the competition and avoidance of serious injuries.

Coaches realize this is the time for fans to check in and see new players and get re-acquainted with the program. It is also a time athletic directors are pushing for people to renew season tickets, which normally cost more than the previous season.

So, this catches coaches in kind of a quandary. They service the game, but they cross their fingers.

Generally, coaches have the defense play a base D with no pressure or blitzing. In this, they get the offense to put on a show, make some big plays and folks in the stands are entertained. But that conflicts with defensive players and coaches who want to show what they can do. They don’t want fans walking out hyping up the offense and saying, “Wow, the defense couldn’t cover anybody or get to the QB.”

It is a challenge to create a game atmosphere while holding players and their emotions in check. Coaches have to monitor intensity in practice every day. They like to build it up to something and control it. If it gets out of hand, there are more and more fights, more blowups and people get hurt.

It will be interesting to see how Bronco Mendenhall and Kyle Whittingham “manage” their respective spring football games.

There is always a strategy. What you see isn’t always what you’ve got.

It is usually a dog and pony show.

But it is football in April.

I praise KSL and Greg Wrubell and his crew for plans to broadcast BYU’s spring game on Saturday. Knowing the event can be a little vanilla at times, this is a good move for the station and Wrubell’s entire team. Glad they found a sponsor.

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