LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – For starters, the main reason you allow a camera crew inside your football program is that you want recruits, first of all, to see inside the program, and second, to like what they see, and want to be a part of it.
It would be tough for anyone to watch Louisville coach Scott Satterfield and his staff interact with their players during Sunday’s one-hour ACC Network All-Access program and not be impressed.
The show began with Satterfield’s arrival and talk-radio discussion of the new coach and his staff, (Hello, Mark Ennis). The first words you hear from Satterfield are during a team meeting.
“You guys didn’t pick me,” he told them, “but I picked this program because I believe in it, and I believe it can be the best in the country.”
In a February team meeting, Satterfield had several players get up and tell the team what playing for Louisville meant to them.
“It’s go time now,” he told the players. “I want you to take notes when these guys are up here.”
When inside linebackers coach Dale Jones got up to talk to players, he grew passionate and emotional. He talked about leaving his daughter back at home to come to Louisville. He talked about the other coaches on the staff and what it meant to him to work with them.
Then he said this, his voice rising: “One thing that bothers me, I have yet to hear us say what we want. What we want! Haven’t heard us say, ‘Let’s go win a championship!’ I’m in it to win! Just being a part of something, that ain’t enough. Part of it? Part of it? I go out here, half the guys bust their ass, some don’t. What is it? What are you willing to give up? . . . I’m going to leave you with this. I’ve been a part of 15 championships, more than half of the years I’ve coached. I’ve seen the teams in this league. They’re no better than we are. Why can’t we turn this damn thing around and go 10-2? Why? You tell me. Reason we won’t, is we ain’t got enough want in is. It’s going to take one thing men. Right here. And that’s a family. . . . Everybody tied together.”
The show gave a glimpse into Louisville’s spring workouts. Satterfield’s initial looks at some of the players. Talking about Dez Fitzpatrick’s ability. His notice of Mekhi Becton, “He looks the part. He looks like guys in the League.”
A quarterback misses the net target in a passing drill, and QB coach Frank Ponce says, ““If you guys miss the net, go get your own damn ball. That’s awful.”
The show takes viewers into a noon basketball game between the offensive and defensive staffs, in which Satterfield shows a soft jumper, though he isn’t going to blow by too many people.
There was a team trip to paintball. In which Satterfield explains that he wants players to see the coaches as regular people, and to develop the mentality of counting on each other.
One previously unrevealed detail: quarterback Malik Cunningham’s injury. The program shows practice video of Cunningham bumping knees with a defensive player. You hear assistants from above asking why he’s limping. Satterfield says it looks like he hyperextended it, and says, “Unbelievable.”
Later in the training room, Cunningham describes the injury as, “like a freak accident.”
More from fall camp. The program goes from one position meeting room to another. The offensive line segment was probably the most revealing. O-line coach Dwayne Ledford has his guys get up and talk about their families, and their motivations for playing. He talks about his own family.
On the field, he says, “I gotta find out at some point during camp, where my side where we’re going to have double teams.”
Becton speaks up: “You’re looking at it, coach.”
Another time, Satterfield says, “Who are we going to run behind.”
Becton, again, pipes up, saying, “Right here.”
Satterfeid replies, “I don’t need to hear it. I need to see it.”
The program ended abruptly. After starting late because of a soccer game running long, it gave way to the start of a replay of Florida State’s loss to Boise State.
But what was on was pretty compelling. Satterfield was an ative player in getting the documentary crew onto his campus. And his reasoning was simple.
“We want people to see what we’re doing,” he said. “We want people to know what we’re building and what we’re about and how we’re building it.”
One thing that struck me was how often coaches assured players that if they would do what they were being coached to do, consistently, they would have success.
As bad as last year was, that’s got to be a tough thing to sell. But there’s not much doubt that players have bought in.
What the results look like on the field will be on display Monday night, when Notre Dame visits.
The All-Access program is scheduled to air again on the ACC Network Monday at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. The game itself also will air on the ACC Network, as well as on ESPN.
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