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Becoming the Next Big East Champs! By Darnell Stapleton

Darnell Stapleton knows a thing or two about winning football games. The former Rutgers star and Super Bowl alum describe what it takes to be a winning team.

This article was written by Double G Sports contributing writer Darnell Stapleton.

Some may believe that there is a simple plan floating around out there to developing a great football team that is capable of winning 10+ games; winning their conference, and/or contending for a national championship. But it is not simple at all, especially in the Big East Conference which has been very competitive for the last several years.

Eight of it’s members have played in bowl games since 2005 and seven of eight teams have been ranked in the top 25 at some point since 2003.

Even though it’s not a simple task, there are basic keys to building a good team, such as:

1. Good Coaching – Coaches need to be able to get teenagers and young men to believe in their system.

2. Good QB Play – A quarterback who can manage the game when up, but also lead the comeback when down.

3. Solid Kicking and Return Game – Field position is key in any game.

4. Core Group of Freshman/Sophomores – Need young guys to step up and play well. This pushes the upperclassmen and provides needed depth on the teams roster.

5. Solid Line Play – The trenches is where games are won and lost. If you can win the line of scrimmage, you can control the game.

There are many other factors that go into building a successful team, but those are some of the basics. I believe our Scarlet Knights are clearly on their way to the success they are looking for this season.

The team is led by coach Greg Schiano who is a former Coach of the Year and has the skills to motivate players to perform above their talent level.

Leading the offense is young sophomore stud Tom Savage who showed us as fans last season that he has the tools needed to be a star!

Some may say the O-line and D-line are the big question marks for this season. However, as a former player that has been in that position; the position of being questioned makes you play harder. I believe both sides of the line will gel together and just may become the strong point for this 2010 team.

It is the journey that makes it special, not the destination.

I look forward to sharing my football knowledge and opinions on Rutgers football with all of you. Please respond with comments, questions, and any insight you may have.

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