2011 Coach's Corner #1 - A Letter From The Desk Of Coach Priore
Aug. 31, 2011
Stony Brook, N.Y. - Welcome to the 2011 Stony Brook football season. I wanted to start off by making an important point: Getting to the process of making Stony Brook a competitive FCS program takes a lot of work from people who get very little recognition. I want to commend our support staff that puts our team in place to compete every week. From the strength and conditioning staff to the trainers to the academic advisors and equipment managers, those areas work tirelessly to put our guys in a position to succeed. Our administration shows us tremendous support, which we appreciate everyday.
We lost an important part of the Stony Brook football tradition, with the passing of Frank Conti. As everyone is aware of, we'll be wearing a memorial sticker (#97) on our helmets in his honor, and no one will be wearing his jersey number this season. Frank will be part of us this season.
Moving forward, this is the most balanced team we have had since I became head coach in 2006. There are a number of reasons we've reached this point, but what stands out most is our experience. We have 11 fifth-year players, a host of freshmen we were able to redshirt and just the fact that we haven't had to play kids who weren't ready.
Our goals are never different; they are the same as any other team competing. We want to win every football game, but I think this team can have some different goals. We're not comfortable with just competing on the football field, we want to compete all of the time at everything we do. I think the inconsistencies of the past are behind us. Sometimes we haven't played our best football all of the time. It doesn't pertain always to winning, but to other areas like respect. We're building on our strengths and not criticizing our weaknesses as a team and coaching staff. To compete at the highest level of a football team is something we've put a lot of focus on.
On defense, we've brought in three new coaches. Change happens for good reasons. I wish the best to the coaches that have left this program. They've given a lot towards our success. But I greet the incoming coaches with expectations. I think this style is exciting for our fans and hopefully tough for our opponents. We're going to be playing a lot of different guys who can generate pressure. That will allow this team to have guys around the ball. If you've watched our team, we've had trouble getting pressure on the quarterback and creating negative plays behind the line of scrimmage. We have experience up front, at linebacker and in the secondary. I think there's a lot of potential to play at a high level of intensity with athleticism.
On offense, statistically we bring back our leaders. We've added a few guys that are going to do some great things this year. We're young on the offensive line, but this group is talented and capable of doing a great job. We're going to run the ball as we've always done, but our wide receivers are very good and I see them getting a lot more touches. Our ability to keep defenses guessing will be vital.
Special teams wise, we bring back our field goal kicker, who will take over the kick-off and punting duties. Our return game should blossom with all of our guys back, in addition to some new guys.
Moving towards UTEP, it's an important ingredient to play games like these. These guys want to play at a high level, and this coaching staff wants to see how we stack up in recruiting. We're going to prepare for them like we do for anyone else. We're going to do what it takes to beat UTEP. There are a lot of challenges to playing UTEP, so in order to overcome them, execution is paramount. We've had a great preseason camp, and our guys are looking forward to what should be a great season.