One of the testaments to a good football coach is how he leaves a program. Bill Patterson’s departure from Northwest to Sherman was late in the coaching search cycle. However, new coach Bill Poe discovered he inherited a team that is pretty well prepared.
Poe is about three weeks into first spring with the Texans. They started work for 2014 on May 1. The spring game is set for 6 p.m. Thursday at the NISD Stadium.
“I was pleasantly surprised,” Poe said. “These kids were well coached on both offense and defense. They were very coachable. And you can tell they love the game of football. You couldn’t ask to walk into a better situation.”
It doesn’t hurt that this program won 16 games in its two previous seasons and returns some quality on both sides of the ball. Still, there’s always something about a transition that can be difficult.
“They’ve been well prepared,” Poe said. “There’s going to be the little slip-ups because our terminology is different from what they had. So the progress has had to come from the mental side.”
Working with Drummer
When Poe started April 16, he brought with him a cache of films from the offense he coached at Marble Falls. There were normal game films as well cut ups of certain plays and quarterback reads. Poe immediately started senior quarterback Jesse Drummer on a crash-course learning curve.
The film study was intense. Drummer had very little time to get a feel for what was he needed to do to run this offense.
“Physically and mechanically, Jesse has a good feel for things,” Poe said. “But we’re throwing the entire thing on him. We’re asking a lot of him to do this and know the ins and outs. He has to be a playmaker and a game manager. He’s getting there with this.”
Drummer is coming off a big 2013 in which he threw for 2,405 yards and 24 touchdowns. He has one primary target coming back in senior wide receiver Emmanuel Moore (1,068 receiving yards, nine TD).
However, Poe’s mission this spring has been to identify potential second and third options. There are young and unnamed options being considered.
Offensive line switching
The most significant change Poe did with the front five is that he moved junior Matt Briggs from right tackle to left tackle. Senior Corey Billings will remain at center. Senior Dustin Maclin will stay at left guard. Senior Brandon Fryer is the right guard.
But it’s a bold move by Poe, switching the youngster Briggs to the anchor spot. Poe said he wouldn’t do it if he didn’t think Briggs couldn’t handle it.
“It’s just a situation where we wanted to find the best guy to protect [Jesse Drummer’s] blind side,” Poe said. “It’s the most important position on the unit. We have the confidence he will do that.”
Between linebacker and the secondary, the defense has an intriguing look to it between junior Willie Callum, senior Jarrod Franich and senior Blake Smith …Poe said he continues to search for a suitable punter and place-kicker for this team. Those decisions may not come until August.