Rex has always preached that he believes that competition is healthy for his football team. He's said these things from day one. But this is the first time during his tenure so far that he has really incorporated that approach with gusto. There seems to be fierce competition everywhere. If a guy strings together some good practices and makes some plays, then some poor starter's job becomes up for grabs. And I love it. Bench guys start to fight for reps and prove their worth, starters are fighting to keep starting. Everybody is edgy. Every practice rep begins to count. Starters say, "hey, if I mess this up it could be my job, my contract my livelihood." Bench guys say, "hey, if I win this rep I could catch on with the ones and maybe get in position for a contract." Practice all of the sudden gets a little lively, a little chippy, and everybodies' level of play rises. Everybody that performs tastes the carrot. Everybody that doesn't feels the stick. This builds depth from within.
Perhaps Sparano's best contribution has been his pace. Even if he proves to be a terrible play-caller, his idea to pick up the pace will pay huge dividends. It creates an attack mentality, something that this offense desperately needs. It increases reps and opportunity to succeed/fail, which builds depth and allows guys to taste the carrot that might not otherwise. It forces guys to be more mentally prepared. And this all benefits the defense as well as the offense because these guys have to line up and play too. Increasing the pace was a subtle, yet brilliant move.
Carrots and sticks and pace and depth all make for a better, more aggressive football team. I'm also getting the sense that the best players will play regardless of positional suppositions. If Schilens and Hill are outperforming Kerley, then Kerly's butt will feel the wood. Maybe they'll try Holmes in the slot. Or maybe they'll stick Hill in the slot and force teams to go nickel and use Hill's blocking prowess against DBs on the edge in the run game. You could also motion Hill from the weakside slot over to the strong side and use him to blow off the top of the coverage and open up all kinds of things underneath for Keller and Schilens and Holmes. Eff positional conventions. Use your personnel to create mismatches whenever and where ever possible.