"Next Man In" Approach Emphasizes Depth and Performance

Aug. 14, 2007

    WEST HARRISON, Ind.-- An unfamiliar silhouette was spotted Tuesday morning at Higher Ground Conference and Retreat Center when University of Cincinnati head football coach Brian Kelly walked toward the practice field wearing a pullover. Cooler temperatures in the mid-70s put the team in a good mood before the first of two workouts.

    "I thought we saw some good things today," commented Kelly. "We're still trying to gain consistency. We are a `whole' methodology in our teaching. We have thrown a lot in and we are now in that part of really getting to an operational level that will allow us to be successful."

    Having loaded the team with the offensive and defensive playbooks, the Bearcats ran 30 minutes of full contact drills during the morning workout. The offense pounded the football between the tackles, while the defense continued its aggressive attitude and hard hitting.

    "Offensively, we ran a couple of the younger guys today," Kelly said. "I had some questions as to whether they would run hard between the tackles. In John Goebel and Jacob Ramsey we found we have two kids that can not only run the ball hard inside, but have great speed as well."

    A year ago, the sophomore tandem moved from offense to defense early in the season. Both of them were used extensively on special teams, but returned to running back during the spring.

    Kelly added, "We have five running backs that are all capable of being the No. 1 guy. We don't have a 1,2,3,4, and 5. We're starting to realize it's a `next man in' philosophy with each position group. We are trying to let them understand it's not just one guy that is going to get it done for us, but the depth and the next man in."

    The Bearcats return for a single session at Higher Ground on Wednesday at 3:05 p.m.