By Todd Wills
Special to the Corsicana Daily Sun
New Tigers football coach Steve Hoffman completed his first week in Corsicana on Friday.
He likes what he sees, starting with his new players, who went through an intense early morning workout session in the Tiger Field House weight room on Thursday.
“They are extremely respectful,” said Hoffman, who started work Monday after arriving from Del Rio. “They are hard workers so that’s a plus. And I expected for them to be hard workers coming from a program like Corsicana. That doesn’t surprise me. But they do work hard. They get after it.”
Hoffman praised the Tigers’ assistant coaches, led by Randy Smith, for helping the players through the transition period from when Phil Castles left for Henderson in late February to when Hoffman was officially hired two weeks ago.
“Transition is difficult,” Hoffman said. “You don’t ever know what’s going to happen when a guy comes in. The new guy may want to come in and clean house. They’ve done a great job. You can tell the kids have been working hard in the weight room.”
The Tigers were in the weight room Thursday morning during their athletic period because of rain. But they have spent time on the practice field this week.
Hoffman was seen Wednesday with his hat on backwards and working with the Tigers’ defensive linemen.
“I like to coach,” Hoffman said. “I’m not going to walk around and just watch. I’m going to coach the defensive line and work with the offensive line a lot too because that’s what I’ve always done. I like doing that.”
The coaches have started putting in Hoffman’s spread offense and 4-3 defense, which will have some different wrinkles from the past.
Hoffman wants to be balanced on offense and keep things simple on defense.
“We’re going to try and put in our offense and defense and try to put it in before we get out of school,” Hoffman said. “So when we come back for two-a-days we can kind of pick up where we left off. The last three days we’ve been trying to implement parts of our offense. And next week we’ll start with some of our defense and still move along with our offense. It’s going to be a tedious process. But that’s what we have to do. We have to be able to get it in.”
The players have to learn a new playbook, yes. And there will be more passing, Hoffman said. But he expects everyone to be ready for it.
“The terminology is different,” Hoffman said. “But kids pick it up. We’re going to throw the ball a little more. We’re implementing our passing game.”
The Tigers will play in a 7-on-7 league this summer and will play in a qualifying tournament to get to the 7-on-7 State Tournament in College Station in July. Corsicana didn’t try to qualify during Castles’ four years.
It will take some work to get that going, Hoffman said. Coaches aren’t allowed to run 7-on-7 teams. It has to a be a parent or a group of parents.
“We’re going to compete in it,” Hoffman said, “and try to be as good as we can be at it.”
The Tigers’ quarterback for 7-on-7 will be senior Devontay Bell, who is one more doctor’s trip from getting full clearance after six months of rehabbing an ACL injury.
Bell said Thursday morning that he is feeling good and ready to go.
“He’s been out there throwing with us,” Hoffman said.