“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”
Hugh Freeze and Ole Miss spent much of spring practice changing up their offensive signs and calls for the 2014 season, according to USA Today.
Is stealing signs wrong? Is there an unwritten rule that says assistant coaches shouldn’t do such a thing? No chance. Bad etiquette? No way. It’s nobody’s fault except the coaching staff’s if opponents steal signs. College football is a win-at-all-costs, cutthroat game, especially with the amount of money funneling into football’s most powerful conference.
Freeze wants to make sure his former assistant coaches won’t steal anymore of his signs. Remember last season when former Ole Miss staffer turned Alabama Associate Director of Player Personnel Tyler Siskey was accused of stealing the Rebels’ offensive signs and relaying them to the Tide’s defense? It was never proven whether he did it or not, but Alabama pitched a shutout against Ole Miss 25-0.
Freeze is erring on the side of caution for the future.
“It’s certainly not the easiest thing to totally start over, which we did,” Freeze said. “But I do think we came up with the best possible scenario. The thing that I demanded to our coaches is that it has to make sense, whether we’re signaling it, using the flip chart or using the boards. I think we got a system now where we could easily use any of the three and it make sense to our kids.”
Although Freeze is somewhat concerned that his players may have trouble with the new signs – he said he’ll find out more in fall camp – he sounds more worried that he’ll be the one to forget a signal.
“The hardest thing is for me really, and for whoever is doing the flip charts and the signals,” Freeze said. “It easily could be that they have to decipher my old stuff and make it right. I told them that if I’ve been saying, ‘Rambo,’ for seven, eight years now and that’s a menu in my mind and all of a sudden it’s not Rambo anymore — I could see myself messing that up.”
The Rebels return a veteran-laid offensive unit, including Bo Wallace, which should help have a smooth transition with the new calls and signs.
Photo Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports