In case you were interested in reliving the wonderful feelings from last Saturday, episode 2 of NC State football's "ONE" documentary was released on Youtube on Monday.
I'm still not very sure what to make of this show, or who the intended audience is. Clearly they’ve been given full access to practices and team meetings, in addition to interviews with players and staff. Since it’s made by the athletic department you can’t expect the show to take any sort of critical stance against the team, so that’s to be expected.
If it’s meant as a recruiting tool, then I think it could potentially be very impressive. It could show potential recruits the camaraderie they can expect on the team, as well relationships the coaches work to build with the players. Still though, they would need to show more of the facilities, and what is it about this team/staff/school that sets them apart from any other destination. It doesn’t need to an infomercial, but could highlight things a little more.
If the documentary is meant for the average fan, you're going to get a lot (and I mean a LOT) of coach-speak about working hard, improving, relying on your teammates, etc. After that I don’t know if you’re really getting any in depth insight into the mindset or strategy of the team. I compare this to Hard Knocks, where the coaches open up more and show how they’re approaching that week’s opponent. Like I said, it’s made by the school so it’s not fair to compare it to an HBO Films production. There’s no narrator, let alone Liev Schreiber. Just show me something I haven’t seen in any other interview.
To their credit, they did not shy away from addressing the South Carolina loss, as difficult as it was to relive those highlights. The 22:19 mark was especially tough, with the would-be sack for huge loss juked out of to create a 45 yard one handed touchdown pass. These are the opportunities that swing games. Not shown in the doc, but since the game the team has owned it and recommitted to Marshall, and winning the ACC.
That’s been interesting to see watching this series: Doeren isn’t afraid to use the word "championship". In his mind that is the standard level he is setting for this team. Whether that’s realistically attainable or not is not really the point. He is telling his guys that is the goal. Not every coach does this, so it’s nice to see he doesn’t shy away from it.
All that being said, the clip of JaySam being required to roll across the field was the highlight of the half hour episode. These clips on the field showing candid conversations are definitely the top thing you can’t get anywhere else. It is especially telling how Samuels is a captain on the team, a senior, and clearly the main star, yet even he is not immune from the standards set by the coaches. You drop, you roll.
Most importantly, I, nay, the world, needs a gif of him rolling on the ground; and it should be used in all future game threads any time a receiver drops a pass.
Having Samuels open up about his recruiting and subsequent motivation provided real insight into his character. It was also heartening to see CJ Riley talk about how he bounced back from the injury in his freshman year to come back this year.
Even if the results on the field were not what we wanted, you really get the sense that the players respect their coaches, and they’ve bought in to this system. Doeren’s post game speech was well said. He said it wasn’t okay, and correctly pointed out that it’s about execution because this team does not have an issue of being motivated to play hard. We’ve seen unmotivated sports teams, but this team does not have that problem. Overall, he does come across very well in these clips, his personality as a coach comes out better here than in press conferences or radio shows. And if that’s one of the main takeaways of the doc then I’d say it’s worth it. Looking forward to the next one.