West Virginia head coach Neal Brown has appointed coaches to the special teams’ duties. That’s right, coaches. Not that I am familiar with how other programs run their special teams but for the Mountaineers this is new.
Special teams have been a thorn in the side of the Mountaineer program over the years, and I emphasize years. There is no question WVU has had some great specialists and returners over the years, however, as a unit they’ve been average at best.
Neal Brown has a different approach that ranked his special teams as one of the best in the country during his time at Troy. The old adage, “that you have to win on all three phases of the game to be successful” rings true, considering there’s several games won on a special team play every year around college football.
Just like the offense has a running back, wide receiver, and an offensive line coach, the same can be said for the special teams.
Brown has said that all the coaches will be involved in special teams and announced exactly who he delegated to certain duties.
The special team’s coordinator will be inside linebacker coach Blake Seiler. If you remember, Seiler comes from Kansas State. Although he wasn’t the coordinator, KSU seemingly was at the top of the conference in special teams every year and being a part of that staff carries some weight.
Even though he said all 10 coaches will be involved, Brown got into the specifics on a handful of coaches.
Outside Linebackers coach Al Pogue will be in charge of our punt return unit.
Defensive Secondary coach Jahmile Addae will spearhead the kickoff team.
Co-Offensive Coordinator and Running Backs coach Chad Scott will lead the kickoff return.
Offensive Line Matt Moore oversees the field goal team.
Defensive Line Jordan Lesley runs the field goal block team.
Brown then broke down on how they develop special teams.
“We work technique. We’ll work 25 or 30 minutes of special teams every single day.” Explained Brown. Today, we worked aspects of punt, field goal, field goal block and punt return. Basically, what we’ll do is each phase will have a certain number of days, no fewer than nine or 10 of the 15, we’ll work each phase through a lot of drills and a lot of technique. To me, we talk about with our players about special teams’ technique and effort. Effort is something that we have to demand from coach to player. We have to demand the effort. Then, we have to do a really good job of teaching the technique. So, the goal coming out of team coming out of spring, special teams wise, is you want to identify your personnel. Hopefully, we’ll have a two-deep on each unit. You want to develop your techniques. So, we’re obviously teaching techniques now, but you want to develop them as you go through. And the last thing is you want a basic, fundamental understanding of your scheme. Obviously, a lot of special teams is game planned from week-to-week, but our base in each phase, we want to have a clear understanding.”