Ryan and company have already logged countless hours working to turn around what has been a struggling gridiron program. The change has started with and continues to move forward with the notion that physicality is the name of the game and being competitive depends on how physical a football team wants to be.
“We are trying to learn to get physical. We keep pounding, keep pounding, keep pounding and are trying to get more physical so we can play this game,” Ryan said before the Mustangs took to the practice field Wednesday.
The philosophy of physicality is what Ryan said will get the Mustangs noticed and will bring sought-after respect to the program.
“It’s a physical game and we’ve got to get tough with it, get to where we can be competitive and start getting our name mentioned in there with the Bradley’s and Cleveland’s,” he said. “We are part of this system, but until we step up and start winning some games and make some noise around here we’re not going to get mentioned. I’m not crazy about that. I’d like to get our name mentioned out there too. We just keep plugging, keep working and take one day at a time.”
Ryan admitted the process can be slow at times, but as the Mustangs continue to mature and comprehend, leadership qualities will emerge and the cream will begin to rise.
“Our goal is to get a little better every day. I think we are slowly starting to understand the way the game has to be played. I know we are getting in shape and we are starting to get some guys with the mentality it takes to be a football player. We are also getting some leadership going and seeing steady improvement,” said Ryan.
The Mustangs’ coach also acknowledged there is not a lot of time for teaching left before the clock ticks for real. Ryan said there is much left to learn and class time is quickly slipping away.
“I think we’ve made some big strides from day one to today in the whole mental and physical aspect of getting through the things we put them through this summer. Are we where I would like to be right Now? No. But, we’ve come a long way. We still have some work to do and we don’t have a lot of time to do it. Right now our goal is to be ready by the 17th,” of August, said the coach.
Even with the clock ticking down to kickoff, the Mustangs are far from reaching for the panic button. In fact, Ryan says the team is pretty much on schedule and should be ready to square off against East Ridge next week.
“We’re probably right on pace. I feel like we should be ready to peak and that is the whole thing. I don’t want to peak early. But, we should be ready to peak come game time, I hope,” he stated.
The Mustangs will have an opportunity to show what they have learned so far in Saturday’s jamboree appearance at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga.
“It’s just another opportunity to line up, go against somebody, get physical and find ways to get better,” said Ryan.