“Can’t force it. It’s gotta be real,” said Diaco as he hustled left to right across the frame in a green long-sleeved shirt and a hanging ND beach hat that is en vogue with the new staff.
“I'm gonna keep it real today...we're gonna be the team we want to be, we're gonna be the team we want to be for real.”
Coaches and players transition units by shouting, among other chants, the acronym B.I.A.: Best In America.
Brian Smith, in an August 8 interview, suggested Diaco’s message isn’t lost in the emotion: “It’s just a new philosophy. We want to be the best in America. We don’t wanna be the ‘Oh, those guys are good’ or ‘That was great.’ We want to be hands-down the best in America. And we strive to do that every day in practice so come game time it’ll be second nature.”
Any coach could say it’s a goal, but what’s impressive is how Diaco has turned it into more than hard-to-reach motivation. With B.I.A. and related chants, Diaco has infused excitement and camaraderie while still increasing focus on actual football skills.
Our players looked more engaged in the drill than they did right before most of last season’s games. Their swaying and bouncing motions suggest that Diaco is coaching swagger into them. Former coordinator Corwin Brown was animated, but Diaco takes it to a new level.