Duffy Daugherty Football Building
East Lansing, MI
The Michigan State Spartans are approaching next season with eyes not on August, but right now in April. Spring is a time for experimentation with position switches, new schemes and a myriad of wrinkles and tweaks that make it an exciting time of year for the football junkie.
In Dantonio’s previous nine seasons (Of which I have covered all of them) he has never taken the mindset of where he is right now. Dantonio is not one to complain or throw players under a bus, but he also isn’t one to sugarcoat, Dantonio is also not a liar. Often times you can tell more by what he doesn’t say than what he does say. This spring is no different.
So how are the Spartans approaching Dantonio’s 10th spring? He said “Just like every spring you have to try looking for answers and expanding everything we are doing here from different situations we are trying to put in. From what we are installing offensively and defensively and when it comes to special teams.”
Every year I like to ask Dantonio what he is more pleased with and most concerned. Of his previous nine spring camps he had an answer for both. Often times Dantonio has had multiple things on both sides of being pleased and not pleased with. Not this year. I asked him that question again this week, and remember to read not only what he says, but what he doesn’t say. It is telling.
“I am pleased with our football team right now. The effort! As always you try to work your ones, your twos and your threes, and as you go through that process you would like to see everyone move forward. It’s more a team thing. How we move forward as a team. We’ve got some guys nicked up, really from last season and that will add depth as we work our young players right now. I don’t think I am disappointed in anything. We have a good chance to be a really good football team.”
The last two sentences are what leaped out to me standing in front of him when I asked the question. Dantonio HAS NEVER not had some things he was concerned about. That should tell you of the mindset of this team and their willingness to prepare, as well as how good he thinks they can be.
That is good news for the Spartan Nation, perhaps not so good for the rest of the country. MSU and Alabama are the only two teams to finish in the top ten the last three years in a row. When Dantonio says, “We have a good chance to be a really good football team,” perhaps they can make it four in a row.
Now is not the time for that speculation inside the Duffy, but to those outside it, the words of Coach D should certainly fuel it.