Twice a week, an hour an occasion, for the past six weeks, West Virginia’s on-campus football players have gathered for voluntary workouts. It is just about precisely what you imagine it to be: Individual drills, play rehearsal and 7-on-7 competition.
If you’re a quarterback or someone who runs or catches the ball, or if you’re someone who’s supposed to tackle the aforementioned, that last part is fun. Hell, it’s the highlight of the experience. It’s as close to football as the Mountaineers will get in the permissible period bridging the spring and the fall.
Excluded from that group? Arguably the most relevant part of the offense, and by extension the entire team, in 2013: The offensive line. Practice isn’t a lot of fun for them to begin with, so what can be made of the practice before practice?
There are ways to make it less mundane. They’ll work on inside zone one day and outside zone the next. They’ll go over the power plays and double teams that are new under first-year offensive line coach Ron Crook. For effect, they combat one another with the ones playing defensive line using pads to add emphasis to the drill.
That matters because these workouts have to happen without pads.
“You get a little bit of change,” Feigt said, “but it’s really just the same thing over and over again as you try to perfect it.”
Truth be told, the 7-on-7 sessions aren’t an entire waste. None of the linemen take snaps as oversized fullbacks or inside receivers, but there’s value in watching.
“Some of us go back and get the play with the quarterback and then we quiz the younger guys on what they have to do on that play,” Feigt said. “That gets them caught up pretty quickly.”