We're through the first two weeks and the first half of spring practices. Here are some of the things that we've been able to take away from the beginning stages of the 2014 season and the dawn of the Chris Petersen era:
- The players are being held accountable for their actions. Not that they weren't under the previous staff, but there's no doubt that Petersen and his assistants are not going to tolerate any sort of messing around - whether it's off the field or in the classroom.
- The team seems to have a more businesslike atmosphere around it. Gone is the ever-present music from the Steve Sarkisian practices, which has been replaced by an environment of communication and teaching.The players in their interviews have said that they've bought in. There's not much to take from this, as of course they're not going to say negative things about their new coaches, but from reading body language it sure seems like there's a lot of excitement about this new era of Husky football.
- This is very much a feeling out process for the staff. They're just trying to get their fundamentals installed with a little bit of the playbook so that they can get the players playing with the structure that they want them to. Only once that's accomplished will the true evaluations begin. There's always evaluations, sure, but expect much more to come during the second half of spring ball.
- Some positions will have wholesale changes, some will not. Jimmy Lake, for instance, is throwing out everything that the DBs did under Keith Heyward and putting his own stuff in. Considering the play of the secondary under Heyward, you have to wonder if this will perhaps cause a step back in the play of someone like Marcus Peters. Or maybe guys like Peters, Desmond Trufant, and Sean Parker were getting results on talent, and we overstated the coaching ability of Heyward. Either way, it will make for an interesting debate and is definitely something to keep an eye on.
- There seems like there's going to be more carryover from what was done in 2013 than was initially expected in terms of scheme.
- The new coaches bring with them a fresh start for many players that the old staff had made up their mind on and may not have been given a fair shake. A guy like Travell Dixon has every opportunity to win the corner position opposite Peters, where it seemed like Jermaine Kelly had been a forgone conclusion to be starting there in 2014 under the old staff.