In the midst of a pandemic, with a new coaching staff, new players and plans for a season changing almost weekly, Colorado’s senior football players Nate Landman and K.D. Nixon say the goal is for the team to build trust with one another.
That focus, they say, comes from head coach Karl Dorrell.
“His main thing that he came to say is building trust because he didn't know us and we didn't know him,” Landman said. “He's just been transparent. I think that goes a long way with a lot of the guys.”
Transparency has become a theme throughout the offseason when players discuss the new coaching staff, highlighting the lack of transparency by former Head Coach Mel Tucker in his departure from Colorado.
“We were left without a head coach, and the way it happened, he knew it was gonna be tough for us to trust somebody again,” Landman said. “But he kind of just have has reassured everything and been there for us.”
One reassurance Dorrell can’t provide is that football would be played in the fall. So far, the Pac-12’s plan is to play a conference only schedule, with details to be announced no later than July 31.
The athletes have had to adjust to the pandemic, making sure to avoid large gatherings, out of state trips and large meetings with their team. But Nixon says part of being a leader is giving the rest of the players the space to make mistakes and learn from them.
“It's about giving them space, letting them see if they did mess up, they can also correct themselves instead of just getting cursed out,” Nixon said. “We can't control that. All of those things happen. But now we can control the keyboard at night, every day. Keep staying up over to watch film, keep going to class, just doing the little things.”
The seniors say they have been impressed with how the team has responded, especially the incoming freshman class.
“They've been pretty, pretty hard working and pretty balls to the wall with their workouts,” Landman said. “Sometimes that's a struggle with freshmen coming in, but they've been they've been pretty impressive this far.”