NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The COVID-19 Pandemic is changing the way our local college teams are functioning, including Vanderbilt Football. The Commodores never finished spring practice and didn’t get to hold their annual spring game, but the coaching continues, even if it’s in an unconventional way.
Todd Fitch is the Commodores’ new offensive coordinator, introducing a new system, and if that isn’t challenging enough, he is leaning how to coach everything virtually.
“The biggest challenge that this isolation has done to us as a football team is that it really tears apart everything you’re trying to build. You have 11 guys on offensive and you’re trying to help them work as a unit while we’re in all different parts of the country,” said Fitch.
Fitch is trying to build a new identity on offense and much of that will hinge on who the Dores starting quarterback will be. All four QBs are new to Vanderbilt, including Danny Clark and Jeremy Mussa come from the JUCO ranks while Ken Seals and Michael Wright are both true freshmen.
“It’s really unique that none of them have been here on the college level at this institution, but in some ways it’s not bad because we’re all starting from scratch and there isn’t anything we have to erase. The one thing I love about these guys is they all like football, they like to study football,” added Fitch.
With a foggy timeline of when the players could possibly return for team activities, Fitch said this is when communication is key.
“What we’ve talked about with our players is just living week-to-week. If we approach things that way, when we do get the green light, we’ll be ready to go,” said Fitch.
Several coaches around the country have been vocal about football returning on-time and while Fitch hopes that will be the case, he is also being realistic about the situation, wanting to put the safety of the student-athletes at the forefront of the discussion.
Fitch added, “You think about it as a parent and at the end of the day we all want to come back 100 miles an hour but you don’t want to come back too early and possibly put people at risk of catching the virus. I think the people in charge are looking at that in a very close manner.”
The staff is currently keeping a running checklist on players, making sure they are good both mentally and emotionally. Fitch says open communication is what they’re focused on, as well as the safety of all their players.