July 30, 2012
Football Team Gathers for Opening Dinner
There's a new attitude on the UAB football team that gathered Monday night for a dinner together prior to their first day of practice. There's also a bit more chemistry than was apparent on last year's Blazers. Will that translate into more wins this season? That remains to be seen.
The new attitude is real. As quarterback Jonathan Perry said, "Everybody's more confident - more confident in the staff, the system, and in each other."
"It was kind of a down program last year," he added. "Most of the players just went along with that."
While the players haven't gotten together for practice yet, they've already seen changes in the off-season weight program, Perry said. Last season's weight program was rough, he said. Many players openly grumbled about last year's requirements.
But this year? "We didn't feel like we were getting killed, but we were getting something out of it," Perry said.
Coach Garrick McGee says he already sees improvement among the team and their weight training, with many players getting bigger and stronger. "They're bigger and they've got a different look in their eyes," McGee said. "The look confident."
Does that mean a better team this season? That could depend on team chemistry. Perry says the team's chemistry is building, mainly because this new set of coaches - unlike the previous group - has been forcing the team to get together.
McGee acknowledges that he is deliberately doing things to enhance team chemistry. "That's why we're having this dinner," he said, referring to the team dinner Monday night.
"That's the only way to win," he added, "to play as a group, as a team."
But, more importantly, McGee said, was changing the culture of losing. That won't happen overnight, he stressed. "Changing the culture is a process," he said. "It's not a one meeting thing. Once you change the culture, you change the game and you change the result of the game."
Best on the early responses from the players, the first step in that process has started.
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