Without a win through the first four weeks of the regular season major changes will not be coming anytime soon.
That was the message Prairie View head football coach Heishma Northern wanted to send Monday during a meeting with the media.
Prairie View was the trendy preseason pick to challenge, if not win, the SWAC West.
But inconsistent play from an offense that led the conference in points a season ago and a swarm of injuries at key positions have contributed to Prairie View’s surprising 0-4 start.
“We’re not going to push the panic button like everyone thinks,” Northern said. “We took another one on the chin (loss to Grambling State). We kept it close but we lost.”
We’re (the coaching staff) going to keep things consistent, because that’s what these young men need.”
Part of that consistency, Northern says, is maintaining the way he chooses to discipline players for off the field missteps regardless of whatever roster consequences come as a result.
An unidentified player was suspended recently for breaking a team rule, he said. Northern said he wouldn’t hesitate to to punish players even though the team’s depth has been hit hard by injuries, including to quarterback Jerry Lovelocke, who has split time with backup Trey Green this season.
“We have to let the players know that the coaches are serious about doing things the right way,” he said.
Limited practice time has impacted preparation
Since the team has been impacted by practice restrictions because of level two NCAA penalties stemming from low Academic Progress Rate scores, Northern said players have to take the onus on themselves to get in the work when coaches aren’t around.
“Not having that extra day of practice has hurt more than we thought it would,” he said. “Guys might have to watch film on their own, have a walk-through. If we’re going to have this next man up mentality, some guys are going to have show why he’s a member of the football team. He has a responsibility to the rest of the guys.”