As more time passes since the hiring of Gary Andersen in December, the more I'm impressed by Wisconsin's new head coach. I know I'm not in the minority here. However, I put much less credence in what Andersen says publicly compared to his actions behind the scenes. Lets be honest: coaches in the sports world know how to cater to the media and fans, as they essentially play the role of their own publicists. So while I've been impressed by everything GA tells us, don't become too enamored by what he says in front of the cameras.
Rather, lets focus on moments of sheer genius like this.
In a Wisconsin State Journal piece by Jim Polzin, he reveals how Andersen and his staff used voiceover videos to coach up their players during the summer months. Since NCAA rules limit certain types of contact between staff and players, Andersen found a loophole in which he could reinforce concepts taught during spring practice with visual elements.
Polzin also mentions how postion groups would watch the videos together, encouraging further learning and a sense of team unity.
Senior linebacker Chris Borland hits this point home in the article:
"There was definitely more football," Borland said. "The team was together in general more often than we’ve been in the past, which I think was good for us to build chemistry. I think we’re ahead of where we’ve been in the past."
What I appreciate most about Andersen is his innovativeness by not merely following the script for success that's been laid since Barry Alvarez took over the program. He's not ditching that template, but instead tweaking it to fit his style. The implementation of the 3-4 defense is a perfect example, not to mention, the idea of integrating dual-threat quarterbacks into the offense (see commitments of Tanner McEvoy and D.J. Gillins). And for a first-year coach hoping to shorten the learning curve for his players, the offseason videos provide just another example of Andersen's commitment to winning.
More from Bucky's 5th Quarter:
- Post-Practice Roundup, Day 1: Wisconsin opens fall camp to positive reviews
- Madison lands USHL Member Club for 2014-15
- Robert Wheelwright leads group of young Badgers ready to contribute
- Badger Bits: 5-star running back Joe Mixon is visiting Madison
- KKSE Episode 5: Wisconsin media day recap & interviews