Varsity - The Official Digital Magazine of Wisconsin Athletics

Varsity - August 23, 2012

Varsity is the free Official Digital Magazine of Wisconsin Athletics, covering Badgers football, basketball, hockey and more each week.

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Final phase of fall camp is never easy BEHIND THE DESK BARRY ALVAREZ • UW DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS O ur football coaching staff was very pleased with last Saturday's scrimmage and how physical it was. The players showed that they can hit. Now, it's just a matter of keeping them sharp for the opener. I don't know how much more hitting you can do. You need to stay healthy now. I know Bret is thinking about changing up his practice sched- ule and going into some different teaching phases, which I think is really smart. I don't think kids coming out of high school anymore really under- stand the game that well; so it's important that you teach them the game. They have to understand the value in milking the clock, and the two-minute offense. They have to understand what to do when your offense is backed up in your own end. They have to understand the importance of field position in the kicking game. They have to understand why turnovers are so important. You have to teach all of these things, and you have to take the time during preseason camp — when the bullets aren't flying — to explain everything to the players. So now, when they get in a game, they've lived it, they've prac- ticed it and they've executed it. They've had the reps and they have a general idea of how it all oper- ates and works. 12 » VARSITY AUGUST 23, 2012 How do you go about milk- ing the clock? A lot of coaches don't understand it. Milking the clock isn't just about the last two minutes of game, or even the last four minutes. It might be the last quarter and a half that you milk the clock. So there are a lot of game man- agement things you can go over in training camp. This is the time of the year when your players get tired of playing It's really a good teaching op- portunity. Sitting in a meeting room and explaining a two-minute offense isn't the same as execut- ing the two-minute offense on the practice field. Wisconsin. The offense gets tired of playing against your defense, and the defense gets tired of play- ing against your offense. During two-a-days, everybody just gets tired of practice; tired of the tedious work. But this is when you build strong leadership. You always have a pretty good idea on your leaders coming out of the spring, but it's during two-a- days, when guys are tired, that you see people really step up. It's easy to fall into a trap and try to coast and just get through things. That's why you need your leaders to emerge. You need them to pull people together and push the other guys. Others will gravi- tate to them, or they'll be the one to put their arm around a fresh- man. At quarterback, you want to see somebody that can command respect from the team and some- body that can step into the huddle and command the same type of respect. You want to see somebody that is going to be an extension of the head coach on the field. Those are the good ones; those are the ones that I always liked to see when I was coaching. You want them to have the mentality where they understand what you're trying to accomplish and they can verbalize it — they can take it on the field, and be you in that huddle. Bret feels like he has that guy in Danny O'Brien.

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