Coach Willie Taggart can see a multitude of differences in his team from this time last year.
There's a better attitude, more hunger and more excitement just to name a few. But in chatting with the local media this afternoon in his office, Taggart also admitted to a change in himself.
WKU has two wins under its belt from last season. Before the 2010 season, the Toppers were riding a 20-game losing streak. Though Taggart said the right things, he said he was still acting a certain way as a result.
"You find yourself trying to fend off the bad stuff," Taggart said. "You find yourself making excuses with all the bad stuff going on. The only thing I know is winners don't make excuses."
Taggart is instead looking for plenty of reasons why WKU couldn't certainly be an unexpected Sun Belt Conference contender in his second season. He's also going about coaching a little differently, at least in how he manages outside of games.
The Toppers open practice Aug. 6 and for the first four days, WKU will split up its freshman and the rest of the team or "veterans." Taggart said he was made aware of this idea last season and reconsidered after fall camp was over.
"We're just trying something different," he said. "It'll get young guys more attention to detail. It'll get 'em good one on one coaching."
Taggart also spoke of the improvement in the off-season of junior quarterback Kawaun Jakes. Though Taggart hasn't been able to watch over summer workouts, he's seen the change in the locker room, in the weight room and just how Jakes handles himself.
There's been two departures though with the offense. Incoming freshman offensive lineman Curtis Williams has been ruled academically ineligible and senior offensive lineman Cody Widelski has left the team.
There's more anticipation in year two of the Taggart era. Now, the question is can WKU keep it going with a few wins.
Click here to listen to Taggart's full audio from today's meadia gathering: WILLIE TAGGART 7.26 MEDIA SITDOWN
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