MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - According to Memphis football head coach Ryan Silverfield, there’s no coaching manual for what is going on right now. He’s turned to his coaching staff on ways to get creative while running a program from afar.
“I think they miss each other, the friendships, the bonds, the teammates,” the first year head coach said. “I think a lot of those things we don’t think about in the world we are in right now.”
Times have changed, but if you put 18-22 year old student-athletes in the same room, or on the same Zoom call, you still get a sense of normalcy.
“Just got off a Zoom meeting with one of our positions and they had 17 guys on there and the first five minutes of the meeting, they just poke fun at each other and have fun just like 18-22-year-olds would normally,” Silverfield said.
While players aren’t building the on-field leadership, the coaching staff still pays attention to how players are leading off the field. Silverfield said players are constantly challenging each other to get better on their own.
“Whether it’s Brady White reaching out to receivers, hey, show me you running some routes back home in Mississippi, or one of the defensive lineman running hills," Silverfield said.
In the off-season NCAA guidelines don’t let coaches ask players for videos of them working out, they can only see them if they’re posted on social media. Still, Silverfield is pleased with the way players are stepping up.
“They want each other to succeed so bad, which I love, it’s a true brotherhood and a lot of them have been around each other enough, the culture we’ve been so fortunate to build here,” Silverfield said. “The fact that they continue to check on each other, I think that shows leadership within itself.”
According to Silverfield, one of the biggest things that’s lost is the camaraderie without everyone at the facility. He checks in daily on the welfare of his players. According to the head coach, none of the players have contracted COVID-19, but some family members have been affected by the virus.