Pretty soon, though, all the weight room work will begin to become more and more of a grind. As much as the lifting and running and agility work improve a player's strength, conditioning, explosiveness and agility, it's still grunt work. And it's been going on for a long time.
The last time West Virginia actually played a football game was Jan. 4, almost six months ago. The next time the Mountaineers will play another is Sept. 1, still more than two months away. Yes, the weight room work was broken up by 15 spring practices and there will be another 29 beginning in early August. But the bottom line is that over a span of seven months, football and even football practice take a back seat to simply preparing for football and practice.
"Eventually we have to get back to playing football,'' offensive tackle Pat Eger said. "I mean, I love working out, but that's not my passion. Football is.''
The next month will be brutal. The July Fourth holiday is coming up next week, but that's really no break because the players will take just that day off. Then it's another month before camp begins leading up to that Sept. 1 opener with Marshall and eventually the first season of Big 12 play.
"They'll get one more break, but that's it,'' Joseph said. "They'll get a long weekend that pretty much amounts to a week before practice starts where they can take enough time off to recharge their batteries. And then it's back to work.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.