The Illinois football program is set to begin a new era during the 2016 season as Lovie Smith takes over as head coach. So far, it appears as though Smith is taking the time to observe his team and he’s allowing them to make their mistakes and continue to learn without raising his voice.
That’s right, according to his players, Smith has yet to have a vocal outburst since coming to Champaign.
“I have no idea why that hasn’t happened yet,” Illinois quarterback Wes Lunt said, via Saturday Tradition. “I think it’s scaring us as the days go by. That’s just the type of guy he is. It’s that much more effective. When he speaks, we listen.
“If anybody is going to do the yelling, it’ll be (offensive coordinator Garrick) McGee.”
Lunt wasn’t the only one to point out the team’s head coach isn’t one to yell.
But while the players have to be happy they are not being berated by their head coach, they know the moment will come eventually.
“Everybody is just waiting for that one moment where he just blows up,” Illinois running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn said. “Everybody’s just waiting. We’re just more comfortable. He doesn’t yell about a dropped pass. We know we dropped the ball. We don’t need to hear about dropping the ball 10 plays later. He’s moving on.”
The development shouldn’t be too surprising.
During his time as a NFL head coach, Smith was often viewed as mild-mannered and his players would also say they could go seasons before hearing their head coach yell. That speaks volumes about the type of leader Lovie Smith is and the amount of patience he has as his players learn and pick up a new system.
When Smith finally does speak up, it will also make his point that much more impactful.
What’s the over/under on weeks before Smith has an eruption on the sideline? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Photo Credit: Twitter/@LovieSmith