Without having a full Spring practice schedule to prepare for football season in the Fall, WVU head coach Neal Brown has been considering what alternatives could be available to help get his team ready.
Talking with the media Thursday morning, Brown said he would not want extra practice time to just be added to the Summer or Fall schedules.
“I would caution just adding onto training camp,” Brown said. “I don’t think that’s a good answer, I don’t think that’s a productive answer, I don’t think that’s the most positive thing for our players.”
Brown said he would be more in favor of having additional organized team activities (OTAs) where players would just wear helmets, no pads.
“What I would be a proponent of is you would still potentially get up to 15 workouts,” Brown said. “So if you’re a team that got six practices in, then you get nine of those OTA workouts in. If you got two, like we did, then you get 13 of those OTA workouts in. I think you’ve got to limit it from a time standpoint, you’ve got to limit it from an equipment standpoint.”
The Mountaineers were able to fit in two Spring practiced before the NCAA canceled team activities due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
Without a full Spring practice schedule, Brown said his biggest concern heading into the Fall would be players’ conditioning.
“I do think the conditioning aspect of it is critical. I think if we try to shorten that prep you’re looking at definitely a higher likelihood of injury. Which I don’t think that’s something anybody associated with the game is interested in doing.”
Right now the Big 12 is in a dead period in terms of athletics until the end of March. Brown and his staff can communicate with their players, something Brown said they are doing daily, but they are not permitted to discuss football at all.
The one thing Brown said they are doing is supplying players with workout suggestions created by strength and conditioning coach Mike Joseph.
“We can’t have any monitored football activity,” Brown explained. “What he’s (Joesph) able to do is offer workouts, we just can’t track if those workouts are being accomplished.”
Brown said they have developed different workouts base on what kind of equipment players have available to them.
“He’s basically got three different types of workouts he’s sending out. One of those workouts is if guys have access to normal weight room setup. The second is those who have limited access, maybe they have a weight bench or a squatting rack at their house. The third type is for those who have nothing, and its all body weight.”
“His focus is on conditioning right now more than anything. We know there’s going to be some strength dropoff but he’s more concerned about the running aspect of it.”
Brown said once the football restrictions lift in April they will start having position meetings and watching film over video conferencing programs like Zoom and Facetime.