I’m on the go today so that I can be in New York City Wednesday morning for the pre-draft media gathering and then in Radio City Music Hall for Thursday’s draft. I can’t get a grip on where your Mountaineers are going. I made calls yesterday to get a clue and was generally assured Geno will go between 4 and 34, while Tavon seems certain to go in the first round. I’m not sure any more inquiring will clear that up for you or me. But that’s why we watch or attend.
Anyhow, I’ll be riding a train (!) today and Amtrak is supposed to have Wi-Fi, but since I can’t rely on the Internet in my house or any new or old arena, I’m leery of trusting a train. I’ve ridden the rails before, but mostly in another country or for shorter distances with a city. I never needed the Internet then. So this is somewhat new, which is a fine segue this morning because Shannon Dawson is somewhat new to the players vying to be his quarterback in the fall.
Remember, Ford Childress and Paul Millard were in Jake Spavital’s room the last year and the last two years. They know a voice and a style that are not Dawson’s, while Dawson, it turns out, knows only one way.
“It’s getting to know each other on a different level,” Dawson said. “When I was the receivers coach, obviously we had a different relationship, but it was probably more in depth than you think. I was in control of more of the offense than just the receivers. But right now, it’s different obviously because we’re breaking in two new ones and competition always creates a certain amount of intensity.”
Dawson is blending his intensity into the competition. He said he is not a friend to his players. They can have relationships and those can become close relationships over time, but Dawson is consistently blunt and stern, evidenced by the way he was as upset about the indecision Millard and Childress exhibited to take so many sacks before Millard spoiled the final play.
“My approach has always been like that with quarterbacks,” Dawson said. “I think you’ve got to put them under heat to see how they respond and the best way to do that is not sitting there being buddy-buddy with them. That’s not my approach with them. They’re all going to mess up. They’re going to be bad, and when they do good, you pat them on the butt. But the only way to know how a kid is going to perform under pressure is to put them under pressure.”