If hindsight is twenty-twenty than Head football coach David Dean has perfect a view of the topsy-turvy 09 football season. It required him to lead a team that broke records for better and worse and had more controvery then any coach would care to live through. However, Dean survived the good times and the bad and found a little time to reminisce.
This season was full of highlights and a few lowlights. Which moments stand out as the most important for you and the team?
Our red zone productivity and allowing the big plays on defense in the first game against Newberry. If we are more successful in those areas, I think our season may have been different from a confidence standpoint. The high light of the year had to be the 35-6 victory over West Alabama, who made the playoffs. Another would have to be holding
Southern Arkansas to just 39 yards of total offense.
This Blazers football team didn’t enjoy the successes of your other teams. What is the biggest thing you want to take with you from this team and season?
Know the feeling of realization of not being in the playoffs and the hurt from our losses during the year. I want us to understand our mistakes, learn from those mistakes and move on. If we can do that, I think we will work harder in the off season, spring practice and summer conditioning leading to the 2010 season.
This season brought some controversy with the legal troubles of Kellen Lewis. What did you and the team go through to deal with that situation, on and off the field?
Our players knew the truth in the Kellen incident. For him to be treated as the bad guy was difficult for them to accept. A football team is a family. If you consider someone making false accusations about your family or even saying negative things about your family, you would take exception to that and even become somewhat enraged or at the least upset. I think our guys did a good job of not letting it distract them from the game and their responsibilities, although they were quite upset. They desperately wanted to defend Kellen, but because of legal issues, we and the authorities would not allow them.
This season you had a player, Cedric Jones, set a few records. What has been like coaching such a great player for the past few years? Did his accomplishments change the mood of the team at all throughout the season?
Cedric has been a great player for this program. It is too bad that he has missed some games due to injuries in his career, because I truly believe he would have far exceeded many records, and even set the bar so high that they may be unattainable records. His teammates appreciate what he has done for this program. As far as day to day, it has not affected them at all. It is like all records that have been broke; they congratulate the record breaker and then concentrate on business.
Now that the season is over, what is the team going to do to put this season in the past and move on?
Just like every season, championship or not, it is over. We began work on the 2010 season the Wednesday after our last game. In athletics you must learn from the past but concentrate on the future. You can do nothing about the past, but you can certainly do something about the future. Therefore lets go to work, get better, get stronger, get faster.