Arizona Wildcats coach Rich Rodriguez was disappointed his team didn’t max out its intensity in last week’s loss at USC.
The cure is coming to town.
Arizona will honor former All-American defensive end Tedy Bruschi at halftime of Saturday night’s game against Utah, celebrating his impeding induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Seems like a good time to bring in Bruschi for a pregame pep talk.
“Hope so,” Rodriguez said. “I’d rather suit him up.”
While the coach is rooting for Bruschi to have the time to come in and inspire the team, the words of ol’ No. 68 should still be fresh. He met with the Wildcats in the spring, harping on the message of Football Truth (read all about here), but, hey, maybe the players need a refresher course after that USC game.
“When you watch the film, we didn’t see a whole lot of ‘loafs’ or taking plays off, but there’s a certain intensity that you can kind of feel coming out of the locker room and on the sideline,” Rodriguez said.
“For whatever reason, it wasn’t quite what I thought it could have been — playing USC on a Thursday night, national TV, in the Coliseum.”
In other words, the Cats could stand to have a few Bruschis.
“The intensity and the passion that you want your guys to play with all the time, that was Tedy Bruschi,” Rodriguez said.
“If you want to win championships, you have to have a Tedy Bruschi mentality. It’s easier said than done, but it’s what you have to have.”
Rodriguez called Bruschi’s appearance before the team’s spring game “one of the best motivational talks I’ve ever seen given to a team.” It was perfect storm for Bruschi, combining his love of football with his passion for Arizona with his communication skills, honed as an ESPN analyst after his playing days with the New England Patriots.
“He was intense,” quarterback B.J. Denker said of that spring pep talk.
“After we were done with the meeting, he yelled and screamed and hit a couple of desks. I felt like we were ready to play right after. We all walked out of that meeting with chills and we were pumped up.”
Sounds like the right way to be Saturday night.
Bruschi is No. 4 in our countdown of the Top 50 Arizona players of all-time
From 2007: Bruschi’s book reveals his hero: His wife