Coach Paul Rhoads put his team through its final scrimmage of fall camp Saturday night and he came away pleased.
“Effort and physical play (stood out),” Rhoads said. “It was a much cleaner scrimmage than the first one.”
When Rhoads talks about the “cleanliness” of a scrimmage, he’s invoking coach-speak for playing intelligent football.
“In the last 48 hours, we’ve become a smarter football team,” Rhoads said afterwards. “And, it’s been dramatic.”
How does the fifth-year Cyclone coach define playing “smart” football?
“Stay deeper as a defensive back than the offensive player,” Rhoads said. “Stay outside the block as a defensive player or take the appropriate steps and look the ball into your hands (as a receiver).”
Rhoads is looking for simple gains.
“When a game that is played as physical and violent and fast as football – and you’re younger – it’s hard to (play smart),” Rhoads said. “I think we’ve really improved in that regard and it is very encouraging.”
Play fast… play hard… play physical… and play smart.
That’s a recipe that any coach would like.