A head football coach is in constant communication with his team. Over the days, weeks, months and years, he says a lot of words. Some are direct orders, some are philosophy. Some stick, some don't.
Years ago, University at Buffalo coach Jeff Quinn offered a quasi-philosophical, somewhat humorous message to his offensive linemen. It stuck, at least with senior center Trevor Sales.
UB is preparing for its season-opener against Duquesne on Saturday. In an interview Tuesday, Sales was asked about the significance of the fact the Bulls are returning all five starters to their offensive line this season. The question jarred this memory from Sales:
“When I first got here, coach Quinn sat down in a meeting with the O-line and said, ‘Men, I want you to close your eyes and see yourself in a black tuxedo.’ And we’re all sitting there, ‘OK, that’s fine.’ Then he goes: ‘Now I want you go to the bathroom in your tuxedo.’ We’re all sitting there like what is he talking about? And he goes: ‘That’s what it’s like to play offensive line. There’s a warm feeling inside but no one sees it but you.’ So that kind of goes to show. We understand up front that no one really – the fans in the stands don’t really see what we’re doing, but we understand as a group. If we want to run the ball it’s up to us. We have to make the holes. If we want to pass the ball, it’s up to us. . . . We understand it all starts up front. We understand it’s a big part of the game.”