Cannons Head Coach Bill Daye stopped by the Cannons front office last week and we sat down with the leader of the Cannons for a little talk about the team, the league, collegiate lax, his x-mas list, and a little football game taking place tonight in Foxboro….
BostonCannons.com (BC) -- What do you do during the MLL off-season?
COACH DAYE- My full time job as a Lax Unlimited team sales rep is in full swing from September through May, so I'm pretty busy drumming up team (youth, HS, college) business throughout this time. I also do a lot of clinics, one on one training and I'm constantly working on content for my website Lax-School.com. Most importantly, I get more time to spend with my family which is a huge plus.
BC -- What do you expect the players to do in the off-season to stay in shape and be ready for the season? Guys who play in NLL? Guys who do not play indoor?
COACH DAYE - The league is at a point now where the players' expectations are greater than the coaching staff in the off-season. Meaning, yes, as coaches we hope that players are doing what they need to do to keep themselves fit, etc. But players now have an understanding that in order to compete at this level and keep a roster spot come training camp they need to remain in the best shape possible. NLL guys have been ramping it up for quite some time now as their season (training camp) opens up this weekend. Guys who don't play indoor, I would expect them to turn it up a notch after the holidays. Our Director of Strength and Conditioning will be forwarding a work out plan for the 4 months leading up to training camp for the guys to follow.
BC -- The supplemental draft is coming up – general strategy? Any sleepers out there that you are interested in? Another Pat Heim? Local talent such as Stone, Smalley?
COACH DAYE - Yes it's two weeks away and we're looking forward to it. Our general strategy coming into the supplemental is the same as every year. Our goal is to find talent that can help us compete for an MLL championship whether it be a local player, a player who took a season off, or a player who was released from a roster at the end of last season. Each year we've been fortunate to find a couple of players who have come into training camp ready to compete for a roster spot and contribute.
BC -- Last year brought a number of local guys to the team; what are your thoughts on their 2010 season and what are you hoping they’ll bring to 2011?
COACH DAYE - Last year was the 1st time in Cannon's history that we had a number of local players compete and push for spots on the active roster. It's a tribute to the growth of New England Lacrosse that we're able to be in the position we are now. Each year training camp gets more competitive and I expect nothing less for 2011.
BC -- 2010 obviously ended prematurely; does this team have what it takes to win it all in 2011, or do you need to add some pieces to complete to puzzle?
COACH DAYE - 2010 did end prematurely, it’s something I personally have had a hard time letting go. I'm usually not one to dwell on the past but it drives me each and every day to make sure we're in a position to complete the puzzle. There's no question we have the pieces to complete the puzzle but……. so does every other team in the MLL. Our goal at the end of training camp is to find 30 players (practice squad included) that understand their role(s) and do what's asked of them with to help the team win.
BC -- The Rochester Rattlers are back on the scene – what are your thoughts on the 2011 landscape of the league and planned future growth?
COACH DAYE -- It's great to see Rochester, one of the original six teams, back in the league. Last year the 1st time we played Chicago, I told BJ (O'Hara) how great it was to see him back in the league coaching, and now he's back where he started. If you ask anyone I'm sure they would have liked to see more teams in 2011 but we can't forget this is a business and it's important to not only find good markets to put teams but also good organizations/groups that can run them efficiently.
BC -- How do the collegiate seniors look for 2011? Compared to 2010? Will there be as many impact players? Who, besides UNC, do you see winning the Championship next Spring?
COACH DAYE - This is a great class, very deep. I believe teams can fill needs through 3-4 rounds this year with the talent that's coming out across the board at every position. THE HEELS! Lol!.....Seriously, I think Carolina will compete for the championship, not just speaking as an alum. ….However, as we saw last year, college lacrosse is very competitive and it's hard to not talk about Syracuse, Hopkins, Virginia, Duke, amongst others when it comes down to it. As in any sport, it's the team that's playing the best at that time of the year that will eventually be crowned champ.
BC -- What’s at the top of your Christmas list this year?
COACH DAYE - Jawbone Jam Box….check it out @ jawbone.com, it's a miniature speaker that connects via Bluetooth to your phone, laptop, etc. and really puts out some serious volume & sound! It never gets outdated, because you can hook it up to your computer and download software updates, etc…Real cool if you listen to Pandora or iTunes. I also would love one of those Logitech Harmony remotes….so I can connect everything together and get rid of the 5 remotes we have down in the movie/football room!
BC -- MNF: New England Patriots or New York Jets?
COACH DAYE -- Wow, can't believe you asked this question. I have the utmost respect for the Patriots and what they mean to the New England fan base (same Cannons fan base!) but I was born and raised in New York and the only team I still root for after being up in MA for 13+ years is my NY J….E…T…S….. JETS, JETS, JETS! I tell you what, it's going to be a great game. I think it's the 1st time in a while where both teams are playing at a high level (ok the Jets) and this game really means something to the outcome of the regular season. Should be fun, can't wait to see it live on Monday Night in Foxboro!