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OTB Staff Roundtable: What We Like Best About The #AshEra So Far

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Bob Cancro: Where to begin!? No platitudes or coach-speak. We're not trying to go 1-0. We are working to get better. In everything. It's been commented on, but Flood - as nice a guy as he was - now appears clueless in comparison. Ash has a specific plan, specific ideas, specific goals. It's not "What's going to happen today?", but rather "How am I going to make this day great?"  A man with a plan is a refreshing thing.

Scott Logan: The shift in culture. Schiano knew how to build a team and win games, but was known to be a bit of an abrasive, no-nonsense coach, which rubbed some players the wrong way, and was his downfall as an NFL coach. Flood was undoubtedly an approachable, nice guy, but lacked discipline. Based on what we've seen so far, Ash is the best of both. He is well-composed and seems to have the players' best interest in mind, but he's going to push these guys and make them work hard. I love that he's not handing out starting jobs, and everyone has to go out and earn it. While I don't think this is true for everyone (under no circumstance will Darius Hamilton be coming off the bench), it's exciting to know this team is going to work hard, and should be all the better for it.

Griffin Whitmer: For lack of a better expression, they have their shit together. Chris Ash has a clear plan and all of his assistants are on board with it. They all know that they have unique and specific jobs to do. In terms of recruiting, Ash is being very up-front with recruits and has made it very clear that no spot is given based on rankings. Short term, that turned some kids away from the program. I believe that in the long run, the staff's honesty and attitude will benefit them in recruiting. High character kids don't usually have a problem with having to earn a spot, and Ash's attitude will make the recruiting classes better both on and off the field.

Aaron Breitman: The competitive nature that Ash is instilling in every facet of the program.  Telling players and recruits every spot is earned and not given.  Installing Kenny Parker as strength and conditioning coach, who in turn changed the offseason workouts to challenge the players in a way they have not been previously.  Ash and his staff continuing to pursue recruits that are committed to other programs, specifically Big Ten schools. Being aggressive in recruiting New Jersey kids, both in forging relationships with coaches but also marketing the program to recruits. It's this type of attitude that Rutgers has needed to succeed in the Big Ten East and has never had.  How much that will impact wins and losses next season remains to be seen. However, I am confident the days of Rutgers getting pushed around in all phases, on and off the field, are over!

Ray Ransom: Passion, baby! I'm feelin' it! From the top of the coaching org to the bottom, every member of this staff oozes excitement for the game and that energy is infectious. It's early days, but you're starting to feel an excitement around the program that we haven't had since the Schiano days (the games in 2015 were great, but we're talking about the program itself). It feels like every coach has a great personality on display via social media, they don't take themselves too seriously, and the buzz from NJ coaches, players and fans is starting to build. This feels like the kind of momentum that Harbaugh is building out in Michigan. If we pair this high octane culture with some early results on the field, this newfound energy could be the catalyst for a new golden age of football at the State University of New Jersey.