Every team, every season is different, no matter how similar the roster’s makeup may be from one year to the next. Take the 2014-15 San Antonio Spurs. The ’14 outfit went 62-20 and won the NBA title, then brought back the entire roster for the following season — which ended with seven less victories and a first-round playoff exit.
Or, for a more relevant example, take Auburn. The 2014 Tigers were in the thick of the College Football Playoff hunt into November and finished the regular season at 8-4. The 2015 team suffered four losses by the time the calendar flipped to November and finished the regular season a disappointing 6-6, despite bringing back largely the same team and starting the season ranked No. 6 nationally.
Time waits for no man, and it leaves no team untouched. That’s what Lashlee has learned in his three years as Auburn’s offensive coordinator. “One thing is you can’t ever take anything for granted,” Lashlee told SEC Country. “When you feel like you have a lot of guys coming back, you can’t take that for granted. When you feel like you have a young team, you can’t take anything for granted then, obviously, because there’s a lot of experience. You’ve got to be the same every day, you have to be the same every season. You have to demand the best from your players.”
Another thing Lashlee’s learned? Expectations will never be cranked below 11 at a place like Auburn, so you’re better off embracing them.
“I’ve also learned expectations are great things and that’s what’s good about being at Auburn,” Lashlee said. “We’ve set a standard here since coach Malzahn got the job that makes it such that when we have a year last year where we didn’t play to our standard, but we were still middle of the pack in a lot of categories, it’s not good enough for us.
“But it’s not good enough because of the previous years when we set such a high bar, such a high standard. That’s a good thing because if you didn’t have expectations, that means you haven’t done anything to establish a standard of excellence. We know what the standard is and we know what we have to play up to and what’s acceptable to us and we’re excited to have an opportunity to play better this season. But when you win 27 games in three years, the foundation has been set and built pretty good.”
(HT SEC Country)