FAU Football: A Look Into The Owls Spring Football Preparation For The Fall ‘21 Season
Going into this next football season, the Owls are flying into a season of newness as they have welcomed new coaches and returning players. During this spring football training season, they are making sure that they’re one band and one sound– as the team would say, B.O.B “Band of Brothers.”
After embracing the challenges of last season, the Owls have something more to look forward to with the addition to their coaching staff: defensive coordinator Mike Stoops and offensive coordinator Michael Johnson.
They are working towards an improved upcoming season as the Owls use this time of preparation to construct and establish what works for the team and what doesn’t.
“This is the time for trial and error, this is that time period where we see what works and we get everything in and we just have the ability to rep it all out,” outside linebacker Ahman Ross said. “Reps are important in football, the more you do it the better you can be at it.”
Working on making sure that the players are coached mentally and physically, Johnson works closely with the quarterbacks reminding them that they don’t always have to make plays.
“We want to develop a good fundamental base,” Johnson said. “Talking about a fundamental skill set, a fundamental teaching for protections, fundamental teachings for the run game and play fakes and just understand[ing] how to play that position and just lead our team to a victory.”
With Stoops’ extensive background in coaching and his time at Alabama, the players see him in a respective light and adhere to the way he operates on the field as a coach.
“We take everything that he says very seriously, we take it with great plan and great action,” Ross said. “He’s a great coach and we’re going to ascend together.”
As a team captain, Ross comes with a sense of leadership and skill that is evident, not only by his teammates, but the coaching staff– both new and old.
Stoops expresses his observations of the linebacker, including his efforts and work ethic, during practice.
“I’ve been impressed with his knowledge of the game, his awareness on the football field, he’s coachable and he does a lot of good things,” Stoops said. “He sets a really great example for other players.”
Ross’s previous position was a safety, so Stoops plans on, of course using him differently this season as he is learning to adapt to the outside linebacker position.
“[There will] definitely be a sour taste in our mouths because the older guys, we understand the standard that we built and the standard that is a part of FAU now. We understand that, that wasn’t the standard at all– nowhere close to it,” Ross said in reference to the past season.
The linebacker expressed that, though they won more games than they lost last season, he and the rest of his team knows that they are capable of much more; that they are “better than that.”
“It’s honestly, truly a blessing that I’m sure that myself and other guys just never [saw] coming,” running back James Charles said. “This is a year where you just soak it all in and take advantage of every opportunity. We get to run it back one more year with our guys, our brothers.”
The team’s goal, right now, is to just be better than what they were last year.
“The train moves on, we don’t leave anyone behind,” Ross said. “Everybody is coming with that chip on their shoulder–ready to work.”