MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Coaches frequently use the saying, ‘The film doesn’t lie’.
In the new age of virtual meetings that have for the time being replaced in-person instruction in college athletics, the same adage can be true. WVU quarterbacks coach Sean Reagan doesn’t just show video in his Zoom meetings with his signal callers, they are asked to simulate every part of a play in front of the camera.
“Right now, we are signaling a play through the video and they are acting it out in front of their camera like they are on the field,” Reagan said. “They are giving their code words pre-snap and post-snap, trying to simulate a mental rep if they had 11-on-11 going on in their bedroom or wherever they are holding the meeting at.
“Honestly, it is probably making them think more than they would if they were on the field because they are having to visualize what the formation is.”
.@CoachSeanReagan breaks down how @WVUfootball‘s quarterbacks are learning the playbook for @TonyCaridi, @BradHowe07, and @HunterWvu88bgn on the Citynet Statewide Sportsline. WATCH: https://t.co/wkudfIRZCB pic.twitter.com/QuzhKrGFnp
— MetroNews (@WVMetroNews) May 14, 2020
Reagan says that a productive side effect of acting out each play is that all the quarterbacks on the roster can get adequate reps in front of the lens.
“It holds the young guys accountable. You can be a young guy and say, ‘Okay, yeah I am studying. I am listening to the lecture meeting’. Well now they have to study. Because the last thing they want to do when they are called upon is to get up there and have to act out a play and not know what is going on.”
Speaking on Thursday’s edition of the Citynet Statewide Sportsline, Reagan acknowledged some ‘Zoom fatigue’ that head coach Neal Brown has talked about. The challenge he faces is to tweak meetings throughout the week.
“You are trying to be creative and have fun for sixty minutes or however long the meeting may be. That’s the challenging part on us as coaches is changing that meeting up as much as we can to keep them on their toes.”
Veterans focusing on fundamentals
Senior Austin Kendall and junior Jarret Doege are the veteran returners at quarterback for the Mountaineers. Kendall started nine games but was replaced by Doege late in the year. Doege led WVU to wins at Kansas State and at TCU while preserving his redshirt by appearing in just four games.
Reagan says both veterans have focused on fundamentals throughout the offseason.
“That was our main focus from basically January through the end of spring ball was going to fundamentals and footwork. On top of that was understanding the offense like the back of your hand. I think we are pretty close to that point. Those two guys are really comfortable with the offense right now. Especially through all these Zoom meetings we have been able to slow it down. So that is the positive.”
Garrett Greene enters the mix
The lone freshman in the quarterback room is early enrollee Garrett Greene. The Tallahassee, Fla. native hoped to take the practice field fifteen times during the spring but the Mountaineers were only able to do so twice prior to the pandemic.
“Your goal as an early signee, as an incoming freshman especially at quarterback is those reps you can get in spring practice over fifteen days. He didn’t get those because of what happened. Mentally, yes it is a positive for him. You can’t substitute for getting those reps in spring practice but to slow the install down, we are able to take it at his pace. And it is paying off for him.”