Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Stamina, Speed, Skill and Will

Barwis is a maniac. Rodriguez an offensive genius. Schaffer an agressive s.o.b. But that is not all it takes.

Champions aren't made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them: A desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have late minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.
-Muhammed Ali

Stamina. Check.

Speed. Check.

Skill. Defense Check. Offense, half check.

Will. Maybe not. According to Rod:

"You can run full speed and still be soft. It's a physical ballgame, and there comes a point in time where you have to play physically. You can't catch people. You can't allow them to block you -- you've got to want to block them. ... Unless we become a tougher football team mentally and physically, we'll have a lot of problems."

He wouldn't go into detail about what he would do to correct the problem, but he said some of the responsibility falls on the coaches because it's their job to motivate the players who are not self-motivated.
Hopefully, that is intended a self reflection and not that of the players. The lack of will or softness as Rodriguez called it is primarily on the offense. Granted, there is tremendous youth, and it is not entirely fair to place blame on a coach if a player isn't motivated. But it is in good part the staff's job, from position coach, to coordinator, to head coach. There is no reason for a team ahead 14-3 to lose a game like Michigan did Saturday. There was a lack of will. Hopefully, the Rod staff knows something about will, and they haven't let what was a mentally strong team under Lloyd Carr become mentally soft.
The difference between a successful person and others is not lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but a lack of will.

— Vince Lombardi

I think they do know something. I don't think they have let it go. But, another game like Illinois, another game where offense loses its focus and drive, and we need to begin to wonder.