Don’t misunderstand the implied intent of this article. The implication is, can Wes Goodwin fill Brent
Venables’ big cleats? Really folks, does it even matter? It’s a simple answer, let Goodwin be Goodwin. If one learns from the master, then, he himself becomes a master.
Many fans, myself included, were stunned, even a little depressed when Venables chose to leave for his dream job at Oklahoma. Throughout Dabo Swinney’s tenure as head coach, there has been one prevailing mentality within the program when faced with the loss of a player.
Whether to injury, or for a trip to Swinney’s well known ‘Love Shack,’ or even a departure from the team that mantra is, ‘Next Man Up.’ Now that would become the rally cry for the staff as well. That call was answered many times in December and January as the new staff came together.
There are some staunch, Venables devotees that suspect no one could ever replace the defenses of the past ten seasons. It can be done, though, and many believe implicitly that Goodwin is more than an adequate replacement. The only things that Goodwin needs are faith, belief, patience and some space. A space to tweak, reshape, retool and reimagine the defense he inherited to make it his.
It’s said that every successful business is built on relationships. It’s the same in sport, especially college athletics. I’m sure that might have been at the heart of the concern by fans and others. Can Goodwin build those successful relationships?
Clearly, being a fixture within the program for several years, Goodwin had already developed relationships. Thanks to that, he has hit the ground running and hasn’t looked back.
Hopefully, spring practice and fall camp has will serve as a springboard to a successful 2022 season; and the defensive and the offensive questions will begin to be answered but one thing is certain, neither of the new coordinators need worry about filling anything, certainly not another’s cleats.
All Goodwin and his offensive counterpart, Brandon Streeter needs to do is simple, just be themselves. I for one can’t wait to see the product both, especially Goodwin, puts on the field in Atlanta on Labor Day. I’d be willing to wager his Tiger Defense won’t skip a singe beat. Because remember, he who learns from the master, then he himself, becomes a master.’
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