The AP released an article (last weekend) that was published on NCAA.com praising the accomplishments of Amerson. There is little doubt in my mind that the timing of this article is simply to fill-up web-space during what my father calls “turd and booger season” (that summer prior when there is no real NCAA sports news to talk about). Hell, most of our major ACC team sports blogs are just posting articles that give a summary of what another mainstream media outlet has already reported. Still, this article is a good ready not just because of what it says, but because of the attitude you can see in Amerson’s personality. He’s confident, bordering on cocky, but acknowledges that he has to live-up to that confidence. Is that a problem? Few can argue with his results…
Amerson led the country with 13 interceptions, an Atlantic Coast Conference single-season record and tied for second-most in bowl subdivision history. He’s spending the summer getting stronger and improving his footwork, knowing he’ll face higher expectations as the guy likely charged with shutting down the opponent’s top receiver each week.
“I won’t back down from stuff like that,” Amerson said. “It doesn’t get me nervous. I don’t feel under pressure in a negative way. I like that people have high expectations of me because I have high expectations of myself.”
What’s refreshing to hear is some confident talk from our football team that doesn’t come across as too pompous. Under Chuck Amato, NC State had a serious problem with it’s image of swagger and it’s failure to make-good on it’s self-described greatness. From a 2003 season preview, SI writes…
When Chuck Amato came to NC State in 2000, he brought with him a swagger that had been missing under former coaches Mike O’Cain and Dick Sheridan. Amato immediately talked of winning ACC and national titles. Some scoffed at his confidence. How could NCSU — a school with outdated facilities and a historically halfhearted commitment to football — challenge Florida State for league dominance?
Of course, we all know what happened in the several seasons following that #12 national ranking.
Personally, I loved the atmosphere and the “swag” that Chuck Amato’s teams brought to NC State. They were fun to watch and as a fan, you went into any game thinking “we can take these guys on” to almost any team. Granted, that feeling may have quickly disappeared the instant kick-off came around and the opening kick was returned for a 100 yard touchdown, but it was still exciting (and yes, I know that particular game was an O’Brien game, but one season removed from Amato’s “swagger” teams, I couldn’t help but bring it up). Having a Marine as a head coach brings a certain amount of restrained “bad ass”-ness to Carter-Finley, but it would be nice to have a 9-win season where instead of it having to be a slow, humbled, disciplined climb to the top, we could beat the shit out of our opponents and really rub salt in the open wounds.
Don’t act like you don’t want to be there… everyone wants to be a little “Miami” sometimes (and sometimes not).
As for Amerson, he’s showing confidence, and I like it. The difference between the Amato swagger and the confidence that Amerson is showing is that he’s proving that he’s willing to do the work that lends credibility to the swag.
[Former High School Head Coach] Davis said Amerson also had the right mentality for playing a position where mistakes can lead to easy touchdowns.
“If he got beat on something or messed up, he’d always come to you and tell you, ‘Coach, that won’t happen again,’ ” Davis said. “He understands he’s going to mess up, but his process of learning what he did wrong is probably second to none.”
Reed saw that during Amerson’s first year in Raleigh. In the third game against Cincinnati, Amerson jumped a short route and gave up a deep pass in a nationally televised Thursday night game.
The Wolfpack won, but the play bothered Amerson so much that he sent a late-night text message to his position coach to apologize for the mistake and say it wouldn’t happen again.
What happens when you mix confidence with the level-headed discipline to acknowledge when you make a mistake and improve on it? This happens…
Now that Tom O’Brien is in year six of his tenure, it’s about time for our guys to start believing that they are as good as they are. The players are a direct representation of the coach, especially this far into a coach’s tenure. What I expect to see out of such a disciplined coaching staff are players, like Amerson, who are confident and have the discipline to know where they still need to improve. Let’s hope more players take after David’s example.