Pride. That's the slogan that the special teams unit has printed on T-shirts that they wear after practice, in the dinning hall and anywhere they may go on the Lehigh campus. It's the message that special teams coordinator Rory Segrest wants to get across to each player.
"It's just taking pride in their work and with each individual 'I have to do my part,'" Segrest said. "That's basically the general concept of it. Even from the older guys that are starters on offense or defense and may not necessarily be starting on special teams, they still have to take that role and take it upon themselves to provide that leadership. A lot of the guys have been on special teams. They've been special teamers so to speak, so that's kind of where it came from. It's just 'I've got to do my part to help us be successful.'"
The front of the shirt has a single puzzle piece with an "i" in the middle of it. On the back, the puzzle is incomplete with the letters "P-r-__-d-e." The metaphor is self-explanatory, but Segrest added how it originated.
"That was just something I felt coming out of last season," he said. "Leadership was a big part of it, and having each person doing their job whether it be starting on teams or just providing that leadership role and teaching some of the younger guys. But I felt like that was something that we needed to focus on this year."
During Sunday's afternoon special teams session starters like Quintin Mikell, Stewart Bradley, Chris Gocong, Omar Gaither, Juqua Parker, Mike Patterson and Brodrick Bunkley were out on the field, pushing the backups and advising the younger players.
Chris Clemons and Rocky Boiman are other role players that were added in free agency to make an impact on special teams.
For Segrest, the T-shirt and the slogan are all well and good, but the best way to build camaraderie is through repetition on the field.
"Having the older guys out there to be able to provide the example for them (is key), whether it be practice tempo, whether it be knowing how to work on certain fits and certain reads and things," Segrest said. "Then the older guys teaching the younger guys; I think having that leadership helps bring them all together."