The coach wants the community to take a trip to campus to see it for themselves.
The Eagles will hold an open scrimmage on each of the next two Saturdays, which will give the players a chance to show what Reinhardt football is all about.
The scrimmages will begin at 11 a.m. this Saturday and 10 a.m. on April 13. There is no charge for admission.
Cronic said the players scrimmage a couple times a week during practice, but it will be different for them to be on the field for a longer period.
The coach said it will also be the first time for the special teams to go live. Reinhardt currently has one punter, but no kickers on the roster. A few are expected to join the team in the fall.
“We’ve been working some on the kicking game, but, basically, we will scrimmage for an hour and a half,” Cronic said. “I think they will be excited to have mom and daddy and some other people come see what they look like.”
Cronic said it takes a lot of repetition, but the players are taking to the instruction well and making strides. He said the offense that he is putting in place is pretty much the same thing he has been doing for the last 40 years.
“We’re running a lot of the same offense I have always run,” he said. “It’s a version of the Wing-T out of the shotgun. There is going to be some option and a good bit of play-action. There will be drop-back, straight-back, screens and rolls. I think there is a plethora of plays. We run a lot of plays, but they all kind of fit together.”
Cronic feels he has the skill players in place to run the offense, but much of it depends on the offensive line. Aside from the quarterback, the coach said the offensive linemen have the most work to do. How well the line performs affects everything from how much time the quarterback has to pass to how much running space the backs are able to find.
“It’s not just learning, they’ve got to be big and strong and it just takes a while to do that,” Cronic said. “They are getting a lot better, but we also feel like we have a good recruiting class that is coming in on top of it. They are going to be pushed to keep their positions.”
There’s competition at nearly every position on the field already, and that will only increase when more players get on campus. Because there aren’t any starters in place from a previous season, all the Reinhardt players have an equal chance to earn the spot.
Cronic likes that.
“The best coach in the world is competition for a position,” he said. “There are some that are coming along pretty good. I’m pleased with some of them. There has been a bit of separation. Everybody has an equal opportunity. We can look at how big they are, how fast they are, how well they have been coached, but we don’t know how maturation is going to affect them. As they get older, some of them still have a lot of room for improvement. That is what we look for.”
While many of the players seek out a program that may give them an opportunity to get playing time right away, Cronic said there’s no advantage from a coaching point.
“I like having them here,” he said. “We have seen them develop and mature.”
Reinhardt has six practices left in the spring. It recently switched up its practice schedule and shifted film sessions to Mondays and Wednesdays so the players can implement things in practice the following day.
“With us, the film session is almost as important as the physical session on the field,” Cronic said. “We bring them in on Monday and we can evaluate what they did in the scrimmage (Saturday). Some of them really are improving from the film study that we have.”