Q&A: Man with a plan

Q: What’s the biggest difference between serving as defensive coordinator and head coach?

A: More administrative responsibilities. Managing a whole football team, you’re really able to put your personal stamp on a team. I have a different personality than what was in charge here in the past and were just trying to do things different. Part of that is trying to influx this team with my personality as opposed to just being a guy following another guy’s lead.

Q: What went into the decision to implement a new offensive system?

A: I had an idea of what I wanted after seeing some things that affected us as defensive coordinator, and then taking what you have on the team. I knew we had four very quality quarterbacks that all held a specific skill, which was getting the ball out of their hands into places where people were. And we had some very gifted receivers and a couple very good running backs, so we needed to open the offense up more than what had been done in the past and get more of a college-style offense as opposed to a pro-style offense.

Q: What philosophy do you take with this team in practice and culture?

A: The practices have been more geared towards toughness, discipline and accountability. My whole goal with this was not to have the kids view this team as an offense and  a defense, it was to view us as a team and knowing that we have to work together to accomplish our goals. During the camp, it’s hard because you’re playing against each other, but now that the season has kicked in and we’re exchanging scouts, I think those kids have a more togetherness than we’ve ever had in the past, and a toughness. Every day we were able to tackle, we were out there tackling and hitting, so those kids are sharp as iron right now.

Q: How do you reconcile your ties with Mercyhurst with your current position?

A: I’ve been asked that a lot. But it’s been so long ago. I left there in 2000, so it’s been 12 years; I really have no affiliation with that school besides a piece of paper that has

JOE CUNEO

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