KSU football team focused on weaknesses during off-season

By Allen Moff | Staff writer Published:

Notes from the Kent State football team's off-season:

Off-season Focus I: Strength

Haynes said repeatedly a year ago that his team needed to get stronger, especially in the trenches.

That area of weakness was addressed during the winter months.

"We came out of last year saying that we had to get stronger. We talked about it and (the players) kind of agreed, so they attacked the off-season program like crazy," said Haynes. "Our guys did an awesome job in our off-season lifting program. We made huge strides in the weight room in that seven weeks. We're still a little ways away from where we want to be, but we'll get there with the remainder of this spring and the summer."

Off-season Focus II: Leadership

Haynes also believed the Flashes lacked leadership a year ago, and eventually wants to build a program that basically polices itself.

"I want us to get to the point where we are player-motivated and not coach-motivated," said Haynes. "The championship teams I've been a part of were all player-motivated."

Haynes spent the initial portion of the off-season identifying potential team leaders.

"We made a six-page questionnaire, and the (assistant) coaches had to sit down with every player and fill it out. It took about an hour and 15 minutes with each player," said Haynes. "It went over everything -- there was a personal page, an academic page, a lifting page, a football page. But there's a question in there that asks who they felt were the hardest workers on the team. I kind of took those names and tallied them up, along with a few other people that I thought fit, and I started a leadership committee.

"We meet twice a month at my house and just talk about leadership and certain situations."

Fourteen players spanning all classes and positions are currently on that leadership committee.

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