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Shane Beamer, South Carolina Gamecocks Head Football Coach

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
June 13, 2023 6:41 pm

Shane Beamer, South Carolina Gamecocks Head Football Coach

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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June 13, 2023 6:41 pm

Shane Beamer joined Zach to discuss his expectations for Spencer Rattler and the goal for the Gamecocks this season. 

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We miss college football. Bennett takes the snap and the shotgun, throws for the corner.

Brock Bowers one on one. Caught. Touchdown.

He ate him alive. Falls down into the end zone. Six more for Georgia. We can't wait for the 2023 season. Caleb Williams throws the fade in the corner.

Touchdown Trojans. And we're counting down the days to kick off. Are we there yet? No. Are we there yet? We said no. Are we there yet?

What's wrong with your ears? Here is your college football fix only on the Zach Gelb show. 81 days until the Gamecocks of South Carolina kick off their season against the Tarheels of UNC.

Last year, South Carolina had big wins at the end of their season against Tennessee and Clemson to post an 8-5 record. And now joining us entering his third season as the head honcho of the South Carolina Gamecocks is, of course, Shane Beamer. Coach, appreciate the time as always. How you been? I've been great. Hope you have been and thanks for having me on today.

Well, I appreciate you coming on. So I mentioned in the open the high-octane performances by your offense towards the end of the season. When you take a glance and you look back at last year, what did your team display in year two of Shane Beamer at South Carolina? I thought a lot of grit to improve as the year went on. We didn't get off to a great start. Started out 0-2 in the SEC, 1-2 overall. But we were a team that just continued to get better as the year went on and went from a 1-2 stretch to opening up to a four-game winning streak and nationally ranked and then great wins over some big-time opponents in the last month of the season. So proud of the way our guys fought all year, proud of the way that we continued to get better as the year went on. And that last year is behind us and we've moved on. But certainly things that we've learned from last year that we'll take into this season with us. It's so tough to build trust in a program. The first two years, your results have been pretty damn good. Have you been able to build that trust and build that culture?

Yeah, it's a great question. I mean, we got great people in our program, the young men on our team, the coaches, staff. I think there's great alignment in our football program.

Everybody's going in the same direction and believes in the same things. And then I just think the consistency is key. Our players see from myself and the rest of the coaching staff that we don't say one thing and do another. We are who we are and we stay consistent week in, week out. And that steadiness, consistency, hopefully shows with the way that we play on Saturdays. And we've got to continue to do that and got a long way to go to get where we want to be. But very proud of what we've done the first couple of seasons. And as we continue to recruit great players and bring great people into this program, our success will continue to grow.

You took over a program that at the time, the year before, went 2-8. I know that you've been waiting for this moment your entire life. But you also know, even though there may be some patience, a lot of times if you don't win quickly, then people start to go south on the higher.

Did you feel that pressure early on? Because it doesn't seem that way. No, I didn't. I mean, I'm not naive. I get it.

I coach in the SEC and you've seen coaches that have won a national championship in this conference and they're fired less than two years later. So I understand the arena that I'm in without a doubt. But I know it's cliche, but I'll be honest. I mean, I really just when I got the job, I knew we had a lot of work to do. But all I was focused on was each and every day, day in, day out, just trying to improve the program and get better on and off the field and knew the results would take care of themselves.

And that's really what I was focusing on. If I start thinking too much about the negative and what could happen if we don't win, that's not helping anybody. So I got great administration, great support. And then the other thing, too, is when I came here, I mean, we had good players in this program when I got here and felt like we had enough good players in year one to win some games. And we did. And we've got to just continue to improve day in, day out.

How did you get your kids to believe so early? Because I heard you say in other interviews, you were kind of surprised that the confidence was a little bit shot when you took over. Yeah, I was, you know, as a team, like you just alluded to the year before I got here, they had won two games.

That was the COVID year. So there wasn't a lot of excitement and joy in the program. And then the confidence had taken a hit with everything that had happened on the field the previous two seasons. So for us, it was just trying to bring a positive mindset of every day in the building, great positive energy and staying positive, trying to build a team as quickly as we could, just the togetherness that we needed within our roster, for sure. And then really just trying to find ways to celebrate small victories, whether it be academically, a great grade that a player made on a test and spotlighting that or something on the practice field, really just trying to instill competition as much as we could in every single thing that we did and do on and off the field.

Shane Beamer here with us. I know you had a change in the offensive coordinating position as Marcus Satterfield did take the OC job at Nebraska. You end up making the hire of Dow Loggins. What made him the right guy to help run your offense? I knew Dow. I had never worked with him, but knew him. I've known him for a long time, probably really since I was an assistant coach here before with Coach Spurrier back around the 2007, 2008 timeframe.

So I'd known Dow for over 15 years, knew what kind of person he was. Great background in the NFL, had been with multiple teams, but more importantly, he had worked with multiple quarterbacks. His background is as a quarterback coach and he had worked with veterans like Jay Cutler and Matt Hasselbeck, rookies like Sam Darnold or whatnot.

So he had been around a lot of different guys. And then I think that his years that he's been in college football, he spent some time at Penn State with James Franklin as an analyst. He coached tight ends at Arkansas the last two seasons. So he was really intriguing to me because of the kind of person he is and his recruiting skills that he showed in two years at Arkansas. But then I liked the fact that he had been in the NFL, but he'd also spent time in college.

He wasn't married to, quote unquote, a pro style system and this is how you have to do it. His time in college, I think, really helped him understand that sometimes I think guys in the NFL maybe overcomplicate things and the hash marks are different in college football and how you can take advantage of the width of the field in college football different than you can in the NFL. So there were a lot of things that were appealing and he's been fantastic, even better than I expected when I hired him. He's a great person. Like I said, he's been a great recruiter for us. Our players love him and excited to see what he'll do with our offense, not just this year, but as we continue to build this thing going down the road.

Before you bring in a new voice, Shane Beamer, there's always an adjustment period. I know you talked about that slow start last year. No favors on the schedule early on. You got UNC and Georgia two out of your first three games.

How do you try to prevent a slow start when you're bringing a new voice? Yeah, that's a great question and great point. And we're not tiptoeing into anything this year. We're going to have to score points to win football games, especially early on. You know, it started in spring practice and you had 15 practices in the spring to get a good analysis of our strengths and where we are, who are our best personnel, who they are. That's what the summertime is for as well. The NCAA allows us to do a little bit more with our players in the summertime than we could maybe five years ago.

So taking advantage of that time in the summer. And then we've got to do a great job in August. I mean, we've got essentially three weeks of practice and then we're into, you know, regular game week.

So in a short period of time, we've got our, you know, volume is not necessarily a great thing, meaning the amount of offense you have in. Let's figure out what we do well. Let's figure out who our best players are.

And then let's find ways to just continue to, you know, repeat and do things multiple ways, the things that we do really well and getting the ball to the players that give us the best chance to be successful. And hopefully we'll be clicking early. And as a college football fan, I'm really excited with your first game up against UNC, because Spencer Rattler is so easy to root for. And then we know what Drake May their quarterback is capable of.

Yeah, that'll be a fantastic match up. We, we played North Carolina in the bowl game two years ago and heard so much. Sam Howell was the quarterback for that team, but heard so much going into that game about Drake May and how excited the North Carolina coaches and program was about him.

And you've seen that now since then. What a fantastic player. He's elite. There's a reason everybody says he's going to be a top five draft pick. And, and, uh, we feel really good about our quarterback as well. So that'll be, that's a program we have a lot of respect for a coach and Mac Brown that I have a lot of respect for and will be a great matchup right in Charlotte. There'll be tons of Gamecocks in the fan, in the fans, Tar Heels.

And that's a, uh, that's an exciting, uh, week one matchup to say the least. How do you look back at the season that Spencer Rattler just had for you guys? You know, I think, um, he's a guy, his season, I think a lot of people act like, I get asked that question a lot and a lot of people phrase it as the last couple of games. Well, he did some really good things before we got to November. Now, was he throwing for 500 yards a game? No, but he led us to our first win against Kentucky and Lexington in a long time. He led us, uh, to our first win ever over Texas A&M.

Uh, you know, we overcame a one and two start to win four games in a row and become nationally ranked. So Spencer did some great things, uh, throughout the season. Maybe statistically it wasn't great until the end, but I was pleased with him. I think maybe in, you know, in his mind early on in the season was maybe a little bit conservative from his standpoint, maybe hesitant to make some throws for fear of making mistakes. I don't know, or throwing interceptions, but you know, I think Spencer did a great job late in the season of just cutting it loose, not worried about making mistakes and just giving our receivers and tight ends the opportunities to go make plays with the ball in the air. And, uh, those guys did it for him in our last few games down the stretch and, and, uh, he's got to continue to build on that. And in his defense too, I mean, he was, he was a guy transferred in, he had to learn a new system. He was still in the new quarterback, our new receivers and tight ends and running backs.

It was a learning process for him. And going back to what you said a minute ago, it's gonna be the same thing this year. He's gonna be throwing to a lot of new faces and we can't wait to, uh, game seven or game eight to, to, to have a good rapport with those guys. That needs to be something that's built throughout the off season. And that's what we've been doing since January with Spencer Rattler. Now you're two under your program and the face of your offense. What do you think he could accomplish this year?

I think the sky's the limit. I mean, there's, from a talent standpoint, there's, there's no question. I mean, the guy can make all the throws on the field. He's, he, his body, I think he's, you know, more, uh, more imposing physically than what he was last year. He's, he's changed his body around a lot of ways. I think he looks more muscular.

That'll help him from a durability standpoint. He's a better athlete than people give him credit for. He can, he can run and then he can make all the throws. And I think he's got a great comfort level with what we're doing offensively.

We didn't necessarily just blow up everything that we did last season. There's a lot of carry over from last season and there's some new stuff that we're doing this season, but you know, Spencer's got good pieces around, good players around him, good personnel, and he's coming into the season with great confidence and leadership skills have improved. So I'm excited to, you know, see, see what he does.

I'm not worried about Spencer. We've got to just continue to develop the people around him. He's going to be playing with a lot of true freshmen around him on the offensive line and at tight end and at receiver and at running back. And, uh, those guys got to do a great job of elevating their games and helping Spencer, uh, have the kind of season that I know he can have. We know the highs and lows of this sport, Shane Beamer, and you saw it with Jalen Hurts. Do you feel like Spencer Rattler could have a Jalen Hurts type of season that Hurts had his final year at Oklahoma? I would hope.

I mean, if we did, that means we just won an FCC championship and we're playing in the playoffs. Uh, so that would be fantastic. Uh, uh, you know, Jalen's a unbelievable leader, great player, even better person of all those. Um, and, and Spencer's got a lot of qualities.

He's improved as a leader. Spencer's a great person and a talented player. So, you know, I'm, uh, I'm excited about what he can do this season and, and, uh, excited about the, the, all the players that we have in our program and the kind of people they are and the way they've been working since January. And we're eager to get going here in a couple months. Shane Beamer here with us. A few more moments with the South Carolina Gamecocks head coach.

They do have on September 2nd, UNC to open up their season. I've talked to you a lot about your dad throughout the year. I just want to talk about some other coaches that you've worked with. What was the thing that you took away the most now, uh, when you look back at it with your time with Kirby Smart? Um, Kirby made me a better coach, uh, during my time there, you know, I mean, I, it was, it was, uh, different than anything I had really been exposed to.

It was great for me because I came in year one with Kirby. I was part of his first staff, so I was able to see how he implemented what he wanted to do, uh, in his football program coming from Alabama. I was there from day one with him and it helped me coming in day one as a head coach a few years later when I got the head coaching job here at Carolina. So he's a relentless recruiter, uh, he's never satisfied, very demanding, uh, but really enjoyed my time at Athens and I learned a lot from Kirby, just, you know, running a program, being involved in all three phases, uh, the intensity that you got to have in recruiting and then just, you know, structure of how you do things in practice and in the off season.

There's a lot that, you know, I took from my time at Georgia that we utilize in our own way here in Columbia. And I see the same question about Lincoln Riley as well. Um, similar to Kirby, I wasn't there necessarily year one because Lincoln got the job in June of that year when coach Stoops retired, but I was hired in January. So basically I was there with Lincoln for his first true off season, first spring practice, first summer, all that as a head coach. So it was great to be able to experience that with him, uh, from year one and just, uh, uh, so innovative, I'm still blown away by the fact that, you know, he can be the offensive coordinator, coach the quarterbacks and be the head coach. I mean, it's hard enough for me being the head coach. If I was coaching quarterbacks and calling plays, it would be tougher.

So Lincoln did that. Um, and I just think he just had a great steadiness and consistency to him, willing to think outside the box, what he did offensively, um, you know, wasn't afraid to try new things, very, very creative and everything that he did and, uh, had a great time with him, uh, during my time there in Norman. Another one of your former players in Kyler Murray, a lot of people have called in to question his work ethic. Just what can you tell people about your experience dealing with Kyler Murray?

No, I love Kyler. I remember when I was deciding whether or not to take the job at Oklahoma and leave Georgia, I had a conversation with Lincoln and Lincoln's like, look, I know we're leaving Baker Mase or we're losing Baker Mayfield, but we've got this quarterback. That's going to be our guy this season.

That's unbelievably special. And that was Kyler Murray. And, uh, my offices in Norman were right across the hall from the quarterback meeting room.

So I saw a lot of Kyler coming in and out of that meeting room. He's a great person, a fierce competitor, uh, just super talented and loves to compete. And, um, you know, uh, uh, I've never coached him specifically as a position coach, but never heard anybody there complain about work ethic and he's super talented and, and led us to a unbelievable first season, uh, at Oklahoma as well, winning the big 12 and then lost to lost Alabama in the playoff game. But what a performance he put on against Alabama, uh, that night.

And hopefully, you know, uh, the Cardinals contingent can continue to improve around him and he can go have the NFL career that I know he can have. Well, coach always appreciate your time. Thanks so much for doing this as always. Yeah, I appreciate you guys having me on. Have a great week. Go Gamecock.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-13 20:20:43 / 2023-06-13 20:28:34 / 8

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