Rice Football hosted its 2019 Media Day. Several coaches and players spoke, but all shared the same refrain. The team is starting off on a better foot in Year 2.
“Talking season” is upon us, which means meaningful football games aren’t far away. Mike Bloomgren, Austin Trammell and Myles Adams attended Conference USA Media Days in July. Bloomgren, his coordinators, and more than a dozen players were made available for the Owls’ own Media Day on Saturday.
The conversations were varied, ranging from the finer details of special teams to the impactful freshman already turning heads. But one theme which ran through every discussion was the difference between Year 1 and Year 2.
Bloomgren began the conversation in his opening statement.
That continuity applies to the incoming freshman class as well. Even though they didn’t experience the 2018 season, they’re benefiting from the effort put in to build the culture they’re walking in to. Defensive coordinator Brian Smith said those newcomers have allowed the team “to raise the floor” and have built “depth at every position.”
That depth will be tasked with bolstering the Owls’ who were thrown into the fire as freshmen last season. Some of those freshmen, like Cole Garcia on the offensive line, Antonio Montero at linebacker and Prudy Calderon in the secondary, became fixtures on the team who have maintained their position entering 2019. Offensive coordinator Jerry Mike isn’t taking that experience for granted.
That theme carried over to the special teams. Under the direction of newly appointment coordinator Drew Svoboda, the Owls’ special teams will have to replace Jack Fox and Hayden Tobola, but Svoboda is confident they have enough continuity as a unit to stay successful saying Rice will need to “make improvements and little tweaks and polish up little things.”
Like Bloomgren mentioned in his introduction, everyone is on the same page. Sticking to the process and making improvements as needed are the Owls’ marching orders. Now it’s time to execute.
You can read more about Bloomgren and his process in a special feature in our 2019 Rice Football Preview.