The Vikings will fasten their chinstraps for the last time until fall practice commences when they hit the newly laid turf at PGE Park for the annual Spring Game at 1 p.m. Saturday. While most were sleeping over the past month, the players have been refining their skills with two-hour workouts starting at 7 a.
Talking shop with the ‘Man in Black’
The Vikings will fasten their chinstraps for the last time until fall practice commences when they hit the newly laid turf at PGE Park for the annual Spring Game at 1 p.m. Saturday.
While most were sleeping over the past month, the players have been refining their skills with two-hour workouts starting at 7 a.m. four mornings each week. The Vikings will cap the 14-practice spring session with Saturday’s full-contact scrimmage.
Just days before the much anticipated Portland State Spring Game, Glanville shared his thoughts on spring practice, Saturday’s scrimmage and the Vikings’ prospects in the coming seasons.
How has practice been leading up to the Spring Game?Well, we’ve had some people improve. Some people can help us that showed good last year. You’re very thin on numbers when you have a big graduation class. We lost 25 seniors, so all of a sudden we don’t have enough numbers. So we have to wait for the 25 that’s going to replace that 25. So, we’ll be better in August, when we get more numbers in.
Coming into your second year, how have you and the players adjusted to one another?The difference is night and day–always is. Your biggest improvement should be your second spring, and it is. The biggest improvement, of course, comes from players that played last year and are back in the same system–they’re better, faster, quicker. You can see that every day.
Who are some of the new additions that have stood out in practice?We had two defensive ends, John Shackford and Joe Ma’aseia, who transferred in from junior college. We think they have a chance to help us.
During spring practice, has there been any position battles, as far as the two-deep roster is concerned?I think with who’s here, we know where there’ll be. We know what people who are here can do. I think that’s all pretty well set out, what each guy is. The only thing that will change is the 20-plus people coming in the fall–where they’ll fit in.
This is your first recruiting class at PSU. Is there anybody in particular you are looking to come in and compete for playing time?I think it’s going to be huge that some of our high school people can come help us at wide receiver. We lost two good receivers through graduation. The players out of high school were not wide receivers in high school. They got to get going in a hurry. They got to try and figure this thing out. How good we are depends how fast they make the transition to wide receiver.
What are some of the most important aspects you as coaches and the players can take from the Spring Game?The Spring Game will be a chance to get our third look at full-speed contact. We had two real short scrimmages, each one 25 plays. So we’ve only had 50 live plays. The Spring Game, of course, is live except on the quarterback. Sometimes a guy will be very good and he’s not good live. Sometimes a guy you’re not counting on much is better when you go live. You get a longer stretch of live plays to see how far along they’ve come.
Coming into your second year, as far as you and coach Mouse Davis bringing in your specific schemes, the players start moving quicker. Is this something that you expect to see?I wish the first recruiting class were here in the spring. That would be utopia. What we have got accomplished with the people that are here, you sort of got to start over with new people. Learning how you do it and what you do. But if a guy has not changed his position, if he’s playing the same position as a year ago, I promise you he’s a totally different player. Every guy we’ve got that is back is so improved. This recruiting class, our first recruiting class, next spring will explode. That’s what is going to happen. We got to back up this recruiting class with another one just as good. That’s when you become what you want to become.
There have been some Big Sky champions around campus lately, with the men’s basketball team and the women’s golf team both capturing conference crowns. What are your expectations going into next season?It’s really amazing. I haven’t thought about that. My total thought is to try to make us as good as we can possibly be. Where we fall in the Big Sky picture? I haven’t even thought about that. I just try to be undefeated each week.
When I was in pro football, they would say, “You think you’ll make the playoffs?” You’re just really looking for that game that week. Mouse [Davis] has said, “Do you realize in three years how good we’re going to be?” You want to be good right now. I know what Mouse is saying.
Defensively, we always sort of make things gel in the second year. We’re never as good as we want to be the first year. My first year at Georgia Tech we were 4-6. Then for the next five years we went to a bowl game every single year. We went to Hawaii and we won five games. Since then they have won 22 of 23. I think we are going to try and do the same thing here. Make the students say, in two years, “Wow, I don’t want to miss that!” We’ll get it there. It doesn’t happen overnight. It’s not easy. If it were, everybody would be doing it.
-This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.