Significance of Summer

24 Oct

Early on this season, coach Bill Snyder spoke somewhat incredulously about how some of the players thought that voluntary workouts were optional. As all athletes know, “voluntary” actually means “voluntary if you’re not willing to make the team your first priority and are cool with sitting on the bench.” Running back Bryce Brown got flak for skipping out on some of these, and though he initially seemed committed to trying to make his way back up the depth chart, he only got a few snaps in some early games. Then, rumors surfaced that he had been seen in Tennessee and was no longer with the program.

While I haven’t heard any actual confirmation of this – and quite honestly, it seems rather short-sighted to make it a big point of discussion when the Wildcats are doing as well as they are – I did notice that Bryce Brown is no longer listed on the Wildcats’ roster on kstatesports.com. It goes directly from his brother, linebacker Arthur Brown, to wide receiver Ed Brown.

It might have been possible for Brown to recover from that rough start of not spending time with teammates over the summer in workouts, but that breaking down and building up experience together is not one that is easy to replace. Here’s what tight end Travis Tannahill – not speaking about Bryce Brown or anyone in particular – had to say about summer work. First of all, he said he agreed with Snyder that the attendance was less than pleasing.

“It’s not all about conditioning. A lot of it’s about proving to your teammates that you’re bought into the program, that you’re willing to be here in Manhattan and not back home. I can go back home and work out and come in in shape, but I’d rather be here with my teammates in the 110-degree heat on the turf. I think that means a lot to show your teammates that you’re willing to live in Manhattan, Kansas, in the summer and go through the workouts at 6 a.m. and what not. A lot of it’s just showing to your teammates [rather] than the conditioning of it.”

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