With training camp officially underway for the 2016 season, Rutgers head coach Chris Ash was asked about a number of topics yesterday by the media. They included his assessment of the quarterback battle, the newly released depth chart, and certain preparations that were made for camp. However, there was one answer above all that was music to my ears. Ash was asked after practice how he felt about the beginning of training camp with his new staff and he had this to say:
I feel like I’ve always felt, we are going to go out and to coach these guys extremely hard every single day to be the best that they can be. I’m never going to feel comfortable of where we are at. We’ve got a long way to go and we could win 12 games and I probably still won’t feel comfortable.
That answer is great news for Rutgers fans. Ash has a champions mentality and an obsession for details, which will never leave him fully satisfied with the team. True winners never are, in any field, and accomplishing success only breeds a greater thirst for more. This type of attitude is what Ash is imparting on the program and a major reason for the culture change he has created. Whether that translates to a winning record this season remains to be seen. However, there is a certain comfort knowing the head coach will get the most out of this team by sheer will and determination.
Aside from having to implement many changes into the program since his arrival, Ash has done it with a fairly young staff. His experience, knowledge and belief in himself has allowed for a relatively smooth transition and it seems the staff has maximized the six or so months they have had to prepare for this season. Their enthusiasm has not only energized the team, but the fan base as well. While patience is needed this season, there is no denying how exciting it will be to see this team in action starting next month.
Questions remain for sure, with the most obvious one being who Ash and offensive coordinator Drew Mehringer decide will start at quarterback. Other position battles exist as well and Ash reiterated yesterday that every player has a clean slate heading into the training camp. Last year is in the past, and so is talk of the team preparing to be 1-0 this week. Ash has proven to be a straight talker so far, so expect him to be demanding and uncomfortable with the state of the team throughout this season, as well as during his entire tenure as head coach of Rutgers football. Champions are never satisfied, and Ash is just two seasons removed from winning the national title at Ohio State. His mentality will keep this team on edge, in an effort to make them the best they can be this season. “The Hunt” continues with the second day of practice on Tuesday.
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