Will Muschamp has no misconceptions about one of the challenges he’ll face in his first year as South Carolina head coach.
Addressing how to balance between what he seeks to do as a coach and what the players on his new team are capable of Monday on ESPN’s Car Wash, Muschamp said it leans fully in one direction.
“It’s all about what the players can do,” Muschamp said. “Don’t ask a guy to play man to man when he can’t cover a bucket of water.”
Muschamp, who will soon get his first call camp in Columbia underway, inherits a defense that ranked dead last in the SEC last season, allowing more than 425 yards per game.
So as he works into turning South Carolina into the championship-level team he wants to field, the first step with the defense – and offense – is to find out exactly what his players can do.
“That’s what good coaches do,” he said. “When I was at LSU with (Alabama head coach) Nick (Saban) and when we went to the Miami Dolphins, we were an older team. We were not a pressure, man-to-man team. We became more of a zone team.
“It’s our job as coaches on both sides of the ball to evaluate what our players can do. That’s the more important thing. We may not be exactly what we want to be in Year 1, but we are going to evolve that in time with recruiting.”
That recruiting will focus on bringing in players that fit well into his scheme, which relies on having corners on an island in press man-to-man coverage.
But even though the team might not look exactly as Muschamp and Co. would like it to in 2016, the coach still did not shy away from what the goals will be – goals that come back to figuring out what players bring to the table.
“Expectations for us is to win now,” he said. “We’ve gotta be able to put our guys in situations where they can be successful.”