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USU football: Aggies moving in the right direction under first-year head coach Matt Wells

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, March 21 2013 10:29 a.m. MDT

“It serves two-fold. First, it serves as a motivation that we’ve been there and we’ve done it. We gained confidence through the outcomes. The second thing I think it does is it provides motivation for me to allow them to understand that last year’s accomplishments doesn’t give them anything this year. You don’t get credit. You don’t all of a sudden walk off the bus at Utah and get up 7-0 because you won 11 games and finished in the top 20 in the country. That means absolutely nothing. Respect the past and we’re proud of our accomplishments and where we’re at, but yet that doesn’t give us anything for this upcoming year. It provides us with plenty of motivation.”

What are you looking forward to the most this spring?

“Just to get back out there with the guys and watch them compete. I’m excited to watch the young kids, especially the ones that redshirted, grow up and get opportunities to see if they can compete and where they’re at. I’m excited to see older guys take one fundamental and improve it to make them a better player, add to their skill set and individual ability to be a great player. Just the little things, and just going through it for the first time as a head coach, being able to mesh both sides of the ball together at the end of spring and come out healthy.”

What are your expectations of the team during spring practice?

“Every day they walk into this building they worry about the only two things they can control — their attitude and their effort. As long as they have a great attitude and walk into meetings and onto the practice field right, they give great effort in the meeting rooms and on the field, I think those are my expectations. Then I know they’ll improve.”

Is there an area that you are really going to focus in on during spring practice that needs to improve?

“I think there are some areas we need to identify as far as the back end on defense and with the skill guys on offense to who’s going to fill some of those holes.”

Is there an area that you are really confident in knowing you can count on that group day in and day out?

“I look at the play of the linebackers. I look at the play of the offensive line. I look at the play of the quarterback. I’ve seen over the past two years, really consistent play on Saturdays. I feel good about who’s coming back in the kicking game. Those guys have been there and done that and we will have great competition in that area.”

Are fans going to see a lot of changes on offense/defense/special teams with new coordinators involved?

“For the common fan, there won’t be a lot of drastic changes. For the fan that understands a whole lot more, you’ll see some personal touches with the new coordinators. That will be a little bit different, but drastically, no. We’re still going to play no-huddle, up-tempo in the offense and quarterback run game. We’re going to be aggressive and throw the ball down the field. Defensively, we’ll operate out of the 3-4 and be multiple and aggressive and have a lot of zone and man pressure packages. You’ll see different personalities coaching because there are new guys, and with that comes some new blood and some new juice. I think fans will be excited with how we perform.”

Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.

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