We don’t play against teams based on their legacies, their history or their reputation. We look at who they are right here, right now, and prepare to allow our players an opportunity to succeed on gameday. We need to respect everyone who steps on the field against us; to do anything else would be foolhardy. We scouted the Lions, we did our homework, and put a plan into place – just like we would any other team.
Our family of coaches pride ourselves on our ability to expect the unexpected and to prepare for any contingency. We know that – whilst the Lions have lined up in even fronts, they do have it in their scheme to play with three linemen. We suspected they would need to account for our passing attack, so built that into our plan. It helps to have a wealth of talent and experience on the field; we have a QB who has seen a lot during his career, and an Offensive Line who communicates really well. All these things – of course – make our jobs easier as coaches.
We try to be prepared for anything; sometimes the best time to practice certain plays and try certain formations are during game situations. We have great scout team sessions, but nothing compares to doing it in game situations, against a team wearing a different colour jersey, when there is something on the line. We’ve had the opportunity to be fairly creative this season, which will allow us to utilise what we’ve learned during the final.
Expect the unexpected. We play teams based on what they’re going to give us, and look to exploit circumstances, formations and players. Nothing is off the table.
I have supreme confidence in our team; not just on the field, but off it as well. We’ve all endured a challenging few years, and this team has come together through difficult circumstances. Whether Leeds scored 6 or they scored 60,we know what we’re coming up against, and we’ll be prepared for any eventuality.
That’s very kind of them, but there’s nothing ‘good’ about our team. We don’t deal in ‘good’ – we deal in ‘great’. Everything we do is focused on being the very best version of us that we can be; I’m sure they’re not bothered about what I think of them. We’re focused on having a great week of practices, and making sure that we’re as prepared as we can be.
Their QB isn’t Lamar Jackson, he’s Ivan Niyomugabo, which means he has his own unique set of skills and abilities. We’ll do our best to limit his strengths and force him into making mistakes. We have some talent on our defense, and we’ll put them in a position to succeed on Tuesday night.
The strength of our team is our team; which sounds strange, but it’s very true. We have some quality players down our depth chart ready for their opportunity to play. I also know that when they’re not on the field, they’ll be working as hard as the 11 guys on the field; encouraging, supporting and providing a great atmosphere on our sideline. We have a very passionate Green team, who have played a huge role in giving the Gold team great scout and fantastic looks during practices throughout the season – they have a huge role to play during Championship week. We really value, appreciate and are thankful for these guys – they are the heart of our team, and we’re excited about their future.
We’re excited to be playing in the National Final, and everyone watching can expect that the University of Nottingham will be extremely well prepared and ready for the game