"We haven't even put in our third-down package yet," Heater said. "Our coverage is there, but not the structure of it. So we'll do that next week; that will be a big thing."
Derek Mitchell has been a first-class role player for the Herd, and the fifth-year senior from Point Pleasant is taking on yet another role.
I can't even count how many positions, situations, special units and everything else he has had a hand in, but he has a new assignment: Strong-side linebacker.
That won't be a full-time job in Heater's defense, for he is constructing a 4-2-5 to take on the air-it-out offenses in Conference USA. But there are times to morph into a conventional 4-3, and that's when a "Sam" will be summoned.
Last week, the second unit usually lacked a nickel, bringing Mitchell onto the field as the "Sam." He went nuts in the scrimmage Saturday morning, recording eight tackles, 31/2 for loss with three tag "sacks."
"Coach [Adam] Fuller said something about I have to learn to play 'inside the box,' me being a little smaller," Mitchell said. "It'll be a little difficult, but I'll do my best."
He sees one big advantage this year's defense will have over last year's, and how it shouldn't suffer another 517-point barrage.
"We're older," he said. "We're more experienced. Defenses, I would say, are a little simpler, terminology-wise, and everybody's understanding it. We've got some good coaches that came in, and they're really helping us out a lot."
Legg, that ol' lineman from Poca, will often tell you that the trenches are no place for a freshman, true or redshirt. In fact, he would prefer every freshman to redshirt, then serve another year or two in apprenticeship before finally taking the big stage.
Physical maturity, honed by hours in the weight room, is the obvious factor. That hasn't changed over the years, either.
Legg likened it to the old days of trudging to the library to get your information, long before the days of the internet. Ah, the good ol' days: the card catalog, the periodic guide, the trip down the aisles, the daring foray into the stacks ...
"That's the generation we grew up in," Legg said. "Well, that's kind of the way the offensive line works. That's the way it is.
"There's no change. Unless the NCAA makes it legal for us to shoot horse steroids into them, it ain't never going to change."
So where do horse steroids fall in the Library of Congress numbering system?
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.