DETROIT — Bowling Green State University fifth-year senior Sam Neverov and junior Jordan Anderson believe that an experienced coaching staff has the Falcons heading in the right direction.
“Those guys, they know what they are talking about,” Neverov, a 6-foot-6, 317-pound offensive guard, said about his coaches. “Just having all that knowledge and also hearing from some of the stories that they tell and the experiences that they’ve had, it is really cool and a special opportunity.”
Neverov, Anderson and head coach Scot Loeffler spoke Tuesday at Ford Field during Mid-American Conference Media Day.
“It gives me confidence that our coaches know what they are talking about,” said Anderson, a 5-10, 195-pound safety. “They have been places and they’ve coached some of the players I grew up watching and have been my idols.”
Between all his assistant coaches, Loeffler said that there is over 250 years of power five experience and three Super Bowl rings. Five of the coaches, including Loeffler, have coached in the NFL.
There is familiarity among the staff, too, he said.
“Half of them either coached me or I coached with them, or I mentored them,” he said. “We really thought it was important that we had a group that saw things the same way. We have our differences at times but those are good.
“The cool thing about this being my first job is that I have numerous coaches on my staff that really guide us and our program in the right direction. I am very fortunate to be around that type of people. They are real good teachers and good people.”
Anderson and Neverov said that their roles as leaders are vital to the team’s growth.
The Falcons currently have just eight seniors. The team has 46 players with four years of eligibility left and 27 players with five years of eligibility.
“We definitely have to have the O-line move as one, in unison,” Neverov said. “We have to have better spirits and confidence within the team because the young kids are not used to playing college ball. They are still coming off that ‘high school high.’ We must have everyone build that confidence. They need to know they are there for a reason.
“It’s kind of tough with a bunch of young players and having such few older guys as leaders. It is really an opportunity to set the standard, set the culture of how we want it, how the coaches want it and let those kids buy into it.”
Neverov who is from Dublin, Ohio (Jerome) said that he is going to set an example and let the younger guys lean on him.
“(I will) try to take some of the leadership roles off the coaches and get the ball rolling on being a player-driven team instead of a coach-driven team,” he said.
Loeffler says he would love that — a “player-driven team,” and with experience that will happen. This year, his third, and next year, he is expecting the team to be competitive. By year five, the Falcons should win the MAC, he said.
Loeffler says he is already seeing the motivation he wants, even before training camp begins.
“You can feel that it smells better, it tastes better,” Loeffler said. “When you walk into the building there is an enthusiasm and there is a love for Bowling Green, a love for each other.
“The issue is that the young guys are putting the work in, but they don’t understand the elite work that you have to put in to be really good.”
Loeffler said the quarterback will be protected better this year.
“(Last year) the quarterback took a beating. We did not protect well, he did not run well, he did not play as well as we hoped, and he was hurt, but I think you’ll see a big change in that. I think you will see a big change period,” he said.
“It is just the consistency that I worry about. When you are young, you are inconsistent sometimes. You win sometimes but you do not win all the time. As these guys get older, we will start winning all the time.”
Since Loeffler took over as head coach in 2019, the Falcons are 3-14. They did not win a game last year going 0-5.