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Planning still ongoing for West Virginia football

There are still things that must be sorted out when it comes to the West Virginia Mountaineers football program.
There are still things that must be sorted out when it comes to the West Virginia Mountaineers football program.

West Virginia head coach Neal Brown has three dates circled on his calendar.

Those are July 13, which represents the first day that coaches can interact with players in a football sense for eight hours per week and then July 24, which is the start of the 20-hour week. The final is Aug. 7 which would be the first day when fall camp is set to begin.

“Those are the three days we’re working to,” he said.

But even with those dates set, Brown recognizes that this is going to be far from a normal college football season on many different fronts for all parties involved.

The scheduling piece of things has been a challenge to date and Brown plans to look at all options to ensure players safety once working with the players commences. He has yet to set down and formulate a plan, as he plans to do that next week, but it could involve a lot of different things.

Some of that could involve utilizing as many virtual and social distanced out-door meetings as possible to limit the number of in-person activities to only the bare essentials. That would limit what was done in person to things that had to be in order to move forward, but Brown expects those could be minimal.

“We must be outside the box thinkers on how we get our players to the games with keeping our virus numbers as low as possible and preventing injury. That’s going to be the most important issues,” he said.

That also could entail breaking the meeting rooms up by splitting up the top two people at any position because you could run the risk of losing them both. The challenge really becomes how you’re going to separate the players in a safe and efficient manner.

It also is going to force players to do some crossover work with cornerbacks and safeties learning some of the basic route concepts at wide receiver and vice versa as well as other positions doing the same.

But Brown does believe that his coaches should be better teachers given the virtual climate they’ve had to operate under since the start of this time away from their team.

“More in meetings than on the field practices, but you’ve got to have some guys that can cross over,” Brown said.

Brown hasn’t looked at any exact numbers that would be needed to practice or the lowest number they could play a game with, but he’s hoping he doesn’t have to get to that point.

The planning portion as well is going to look at possibly doing split practices, but that will cut into prep time forcing practice sessions to be shorter and officials must be provided time to clean. That is going to take time away from preparation and likely would lead to less weekly adjustments as well as less good on good work during the course of the week.

“So, will the product be as clean, especially early in the year? I’m not sure. But will the average fan be able to see that? I’m not sure. But I have faith in the players playing at this level and the coaches that it’s going to be a product that fans of college football will enjoy,” Brown said.

Those dates are approaching but there are still a lot of questions that need to be answered.

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