Neal Brown wasn’t expecting to be 6-0 at this point in his third year at the helm of West Virginia. Nor was he expecting to be 2-4.
All four of the Mountaineers’ losses have been disappointing to fans, but the most recent loss to Baylor was especially demoralizing. Players and coaches alike said that the upcoming bye week came at the perfect time for the “beat up” team, halfway through the campaign as they look to regroup and finish with a winning record.
In that regroup, Brown wasn’t shy about the prospect of making changes — stating the “everything is on the table” to get examined by the coaching staff.
“I just think when things aren’t going well, you go back and you reflect….alright, can we put our team in a better position?” Brown said. “How can we get the most out of our players? I think that’s what you go back and look at.”
For Brown, that doesn’t entail any major changes to the team. Instead, he says he is going through his normal bye week protocol — meeting with his coaching staff and a good portion of his team and gathering information.
By Thursday, he says, he will have a course of action.
“[I’m going to] get some thoughts and do a lot of listening, and then have a plan moving forward on Thursday about how we’re going to attack not only TCU, but, really, the next six games,” Brown said.
While he is open to a plethora of changes, there are plenty of things he says that need to stay the same. Those include his and his coaching staff’s core philosophies and schematic principles — on all sides of the ball.
Brown hopes to let his cooler head prevail in this situation. He says he hasn’t lost confidence in his players or staff, but everyone in the program has some reflecting to do.
“I guess that’s probably what everybody wants to know, is where do we readjust? Because you can’t continue to do the same things if they’re not working,” Brown said. “So that’s really what the process of this week is about, is figuring out how do we build on our positives, how do we diminish where our deficiencies are, are there some young guys that give us a better opportunity, and then where do we readjust our planning? But the basics and, really, the tenets of our program are not changing.”