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The kids on the Covington football team have probably never heard of the 1972 Miami Dolphins, the only team in NFL history to record a perfect season - nor do they likely know of the Dolphins' famed "No Name Defense".
Still, in a perfect world, the Buccaneers would love nothing better than to be like the 1972 Dolphins - of course with its record - but also take a little bit of ownership of the name. In Covington, why not be known as the "No Name Buccaneers"?
"That was probably the greatest football team in history, yet not too many people know the names of the players," said Covington's head football coach, who is in his sixth season at the helm. "They were known as the 'No Names'." That's a great example for us to emulate."
Now, nobody is saying the 2012 Covington Buccaneers are going to be the 1972 Miami Dolphins, but the similarities to the "TEAM PHILOSOPHY" are there. Like Miami, Covington understands that ultimate goals are not attainable without a "TEAM FIRST" approach.
In an attempt to reach the ultimate goal, the Buccaneers have taken the "TEAM" concept to another level. This will not only have an impact inside the locker room, but outside as well.
"Our locker room is pretty darn close and for the most part it has been since I've been here," said the Buccs' coach. "The difference this year is the kids have taken that unity to an entirely different level. They (the kids) are all about 'TEAM' now more than ever."
Because of that "TEAM UNITY", Covington fans who are accustom to following individual players and individual statistics in the local papers and the team's website (BuccsFootball.com) will be greatly disappointed this year because those stats will be nowhere to be found - at least not until the end of the season.
The only stats that will be made available outside of the locker room will be team stats - a practice that grants the wishes of the team.
"I'm sure I'll have a lot of media people mad at me, but that's the way they (the kids) want it and I'm all for it," Covington's coach said. "I'll accept the heat from the media because frankly, the kids don't care who has the most rushing yards or who catches the most passes. All they care about is what the team does and that's the way we are approaching things. It's all about the team."
Surely, there will be people who will disagree with this approach because they feel that worthy players may not be recognized by the local media. In reality, individual recognition from the media is not what the Buccaneers are looking for. It's recognition as a team that matters most.
"We recognize the kids individually in house," coach explained. "That recognition, the recognition from your teammates, your peers, that's the recognition that matters. We have things like The Champion's Club, The SAC Unit, Pancake Player of the Week, things like that where individuals are rewarded for their individual contributions to the team."
The ultimate reward for Covington as a team is maximizing its potential - and the Buccs are loaded with potential in 2012 with a roster of 46 kids.
"We have the potential to be a very, very good football team," said coach. "But a lot of things go into maximizing that potential. We'll have to stay healthy and maintain the right attitudes."
Attitude is arguably the biggest factor.
"That's true and right now our attitude is where we need it to be," he agreed. "We still have to develop some more leadership, but I like where we are right now."
Right now, Covington is a team that has worked harder than ever in the off-season, improving in its weight room and conditioning sessions. The Buccs put up record numbers in the weight room, all the while becoming a leaner and faster football team.
"We've implemented some new things that we feel will make us more explosive as athletes," stressed Covington's coach. "It's little things that hopefully will make a big difference on the field. We can already see the difference because this may be the fastest football team we've had from top to bottom since I've been here."
Covington returns 15 letter winners, including all but one of its starting skill players. With that many players remaining from a year ago and 17 freshman on the team, the improvement in speed is impressive.
And this speed will hopefully translate into a potent offensive attack.
"We like the potential we have offensively," he said. "We have a lot of kids who can make plays for us and that makes you that much tougher to defend. The key for us is how well we mesh together as a unit."
The offensive line took the biggest hit from graduation, but growth and development has led to several capable candidates in the trenches.
"We're not set yet up front, but we're getting there," the Buccaneer head man explained. "We'll probably have a rotation because of kids playing both ways."
Defensively, Covington has shown the potential to be very stingy. So far in the scrimmages the Buccs have proven to be ball hawks, forcing several turnovers and converting them into scores.
"Defense is all about attitude, flying to the football," he said. "We simplified things on the defensive side of the ball, which allows the kids to just play and not have to think so much. We've seen a difference so far."
Perhaps the biggest difference in the Covington football team is its approach - not so much by design, but by the tightness and unity of the kids. Nobody cares whose name gets mentioned outside of the locker room as long as the team is rewarded.
Which is why there are no names in this season preview.
Covington may just very well be the "No Name Buccaneers".