MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Spring football is all about teaching and fundamentals at West Virginia. It’s also about building trust.
That’s something that already exists between West Virginia’s running backs and offensive linemen, and was a big reason why the team’s ground game reemerged last season.
Co-offensive coordinator and running backs coach Chad Scott thinks it’s simple: the more trust his players have in each other, the better they’ll perform.
“It’s like anything,” Scott said. “It’s no different than a coach to a player, just having that trust. Well, it’s no different from running the football with the O-linemen. They gotta have trust in us, we gotta have trust in them, and the only way to do that is for those guys to have a relationship and communicate.”
But that trust was taken to a new level at the end of last season, when thousand-yard rusher Leddie Brown surprised the offensive linemen before West Virginia’s clash with Army in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.
During a recent video conference, Scott peeled back the curtain and explained what happened.
“Right before the bowl game, Leddie wanted to take the running back group and go in the offensive line room and tell those guys how much they’ve meant to us as a running back group,” Scott said. “They may not get all the praise and the credit and attention in public, but he wanted to let those guys know that as much of the success he’s had is because of all the things they’ve done. From that one meeting, man, the bond and the chemistry between the backs and the O-line has just tremendously grown, and it’s just continuing now throughout spring football.”
Brown’s efforts in uniting the players within the two units continues this spring. He said he’s continuing to work out with the offensive linemen, and that they keep things light away from practice by sharing jokes in a group chat.
“We all just be goofing around in [the group chat],” Brown said. “That’s just me getting to know them guys, getting to know the new linemen coming in, because the old linemen pretty much trust me, so that’s kind of my act of earning the trust of the linemen that are coming in now.”