The New England Patriots are the gold standard for football excellence. Guided by the greatest quarterback to play professional football and a legendary head coach, New England has dominated the football landscape for what seems like an eternity.
On the other end of the spectrum, you have the Vanderbilt football program — in many ways, the polar opposite of the New England Patriots.
According to ESPN, Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason recently visited with Bill Belichick and the Patriots at their preseason camp and was blown away by what he saw there.
“The championship feel that was felt by me and my staff was ridiculous.”, Mason said. “The expectation is excellence every day. I’m talking about the finest details: from how you align, to where you put your eyes, to how to communicate, to how the offense adjusts based on how the defense adjusts. There was no detail missed.”
Coach Mason said he and his staff were given a lot of one-on-one time with Belichick, which proved to be invaluable. Most of all though, he said that it was clear the organization was committing to winning from top to bottom.
When asked how this will alter Mason’s own coaching philosophy moving forward, he had nothing but the most praise to offer: “It changed me,” the Commodores coach said.
That could be a good thing. In his fourth year as head coach of the Vanderbilt Commodores, the coach is yet to log his first winning season. He took over a team that went 9-4 in the SEC under head coach James Franklin, who left for Penn State. Maosn has improved his record each season, going 6-7 last year.
The team has never been a powerhouse and has yet to have a double-digit winning season in program history. With newfound inspiration, coach Mason hopes to change that.
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