What’s goin on?
Ernest Jones, the Huskies new running backs coach, said he talked to the Huskies running backs recently and can’t wait to hug them.
“I’ve had a chance to talk to all of them on the phone and they were excited after talking with me and I got excited after talking with them,” Jones said Wednesday. “I mean they felt it through the phone and I felt it through the phone. I love my players. I’m a true players coach. I can’t wait for them to get here. I can’t wait to put my arms around them. It’s going to be exciting.”
Jones said one of his first orders of business with the group is making sure they understand tradition.
“I told these guys the running game may not be where we want it to be but we’re going to get it there. These guys are going to understand and respect that great running backs wore that helmet and you want to carry on those traditions. And we’re going to bring in some of the poeple I’m talking about. We’re going to open our door to the former players.
“We want them to run fast. We want them to be tough and we want them to love playing football – but it can’t be a check the box thing where it’s ‘I just want to play or I want to score touchdowns’. No. If I play one play, five plays, 20 plays, 50 plays, I love doing it. If they tell us we need you to score a touchdown, we’re going to go score a touchdown. We need you to get a first down. We’re going to get a first down. We need you to catch the ball. We’re going to catch the ball. We need you to pass-protect. We’re going to pass protect. We don’t need you to do anything on this play. We’re going to do that and love doing it. So that’s what you’re going to see at running back, bring that tradition back – great running back play at UConn.
Will he run a one or two-back set?
“We haven’t talked about it yet but I’ve done both. I’m used to both. I mean running the football you’re going to run inside zone or outside zone, guard pull or tackle pull. That’s what you do in the running game. We’re going to be ready toi do that, pass-protect or catch. It’s not that difficult. That’s what they’re going to do and they’re going to do well. And we’re going to be excited about it.”
Also, as you know, Jones will also handle the player engagement role which is more of a teaching of life skills type deal for the players. He’s done it at other places he’s been but it’ll be taken to another level here. We’re doing a Sunday story on this and it’ll be good because Jones is fantastic in telling it and how excited he is about how it’s going to benefit the players, the school, community, etc.