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Dave Doeren dismisses Loyalty, Pride, and Focused from football program

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Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

In a surprising move, Dave Doeren announced early Tuesday morning some changes to his Ridiculous Football Coach Chart List Thing About Stuff You Should Do. Those changes are as follows: the beloved and entirely well-intended notions of Loyalty, Pride, and Focused have been given their walking papers. These are tough times for Doeren and his staff, but few expected a move this dramatic. Loyalty, Pride, and Focused had been with Doeren since he first arrived in Raleigh.

"I want to thank Loyalty, Pride, and Focused for everything they've done for this program," Doeren said in a statement. "I wish them all the best in their future endeavors, but it is time for us to begin a new journey, filled with one to several new empty slogans."

According to sources, Pride and Focused clashed from the outset. Doeren was patient, but as time passed, the dividing lines became clear. For a time, Pride had significant support, but an egregious misstep in the form of a "those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind" sign posted prominently in the locker room began to turn the tide.

"I liked Pride," a former player told me. "But my thing is, I already follow several professional athletes on Twitter. I get plenty of motivational cat posters in the form of dullards repurposing boring shit that other, more talented people said."

It was around this point when Focused and its allies began to push their now all-too-common "watch football a lot and play football a lot" slogan. "Focused's tense doesn't make any sense in this context!" the critics screamed. Yet there was progress, albeit grudging.

"Focused. Man, let me tell you about Focused," another former player said. "You can toss out whatever claptrap you want about tense but he got things done around here. Got 'em all done. Turned the lights off when we left a room. Made sure any and all meats were cooked to a proper temperature. Advised us to stop playing football because it's going to kill us and also to stop expending so many fossil fuels because it's going to kill us, and added that football is an enormous waste of talent and resources when you think about it. He was everywhere. Just a huge inspiration. Made me want to run somebody over with a monster truck."

It seemed for a while that Pride and Focused could co-exist as Commandments. The football team was playing better, regardless of who had what to do with whatever was written prominently on walls or promotional material. A detente for a cold war that would soon spiral out of control.

This is where Loyalty entered the scene. Loyalty had been one of Doeren's top advisers, but cracked under pressure, incapable of choosing between Pride and Focused. The vulnerability there, and the irreparable rift elsewhere, became too much to ignore. Doeren decided these problems might further bleed to the other members of the Ridiculous Football Coach Chart List Thing, and opted to cut ties.

The changes leave NC State with three vacant Commandment positions--or one, depending on your math--which has led to a whirlwind of speculation about replacements. Sources near the situation are unwilling to divulge details,  but Jaylen Samuels is widely considered a leading candidate for every spot.