New Arizona football coach Jedd Fisch declined to give a grade for the past 14 practices Arizona has been through this spring.
“We’ve improved,” Fisch said this week in anticipation of Saturday’s big scrimmage. “It’s an improving grade. We got better in all facets … We definitely understood the offensive and defensive systems better.”
Perhaps he’ll wait for Saturday’s final exam, which will turn out to be the much-anticipated Spring Game.
And why not? It’s the most can’t-wait-to-see-event this year – April 2020 to April 2021 – given the pandemic and the new-look Wildcats. Already, the event is sold out, allowing for 5,000 fans in Arizona Stadium.
More than 200 UA football alums are expected to attend, including the much-awaited Gronk vs. Bruschi game to be played.
Red (Rob Gronkowski) vs. Blue (Tedy Bruschi). Coach Tommy Lloyd (Gronk) will be the captain of one team; Coach Adia Barnes (Bruschi) will be the captain of another.
Let’s get it on. The game will be broadcast by Pac-12 Network.
“We’re excited,” said Fisch, just over four months in the saddle as UA’s head coach.
Who isn’t? The last three years of Sumlin Ball was left wanting more. Wanting some sort of excitement. Wanting and waiting.
So here we are, ready to see what Fisch’s pro-style offense will look like and what his aggressive defense will look like under Don Brown.
Fisch has sold it. Admirably, by the way. Ever since being hired – and putting the naysayers at ease – he’s sold the program to the community as being open and enjoyable. He hasn’t missed a beat.
He’s part salesman and part head coach.
“You have to be able to bring players in,” he said. “I’ve said from the very beginning that the best way to win games is to get players. It’s important for all the players to recognize all the positive things that we have in our program.
“And it’s also important for our community to know to recognize all the positive things going on in our program.”
To Fisch it’s all about selling, marketing and recruiting.
“We also understand that when the product is on the field, we have to give them a good product Saturday,” he said.
Admittedly, he said, his team is a work in progress, but he also wants everyone “to be proud of what they see.”