Columns/Opinion, Sean Manning, WVU Sports

Grier must cut the unnecessary heroics as well

You know there is a lot of star power surrounding someone when his hair takes over social media, and that’s exactly what happened to WVU quarterback Will Grier on Tuesday.
Grier, who had hair down to his shoulders last season to go along with a thick beard, sported a cleaner look — his hair combed across and his beard trimmed and neater.
In the middle of spring practice, things of little to no news value are bound to take shape, and the star quarterback getting a haircut falls into that category.
But Grier, always a professional, answered the burning question with grace and dignity.
“You know, I did the long hair thing,” he said. “I don’t even know why I did it. I just didn’t get a haircut for a while. I didn’t really like the way it looked, to be honest. I got tired of it, and I think it was just time for a change.”
But we all knew there was a little more to it than that. Grier showed me up by deciding to get a haircut the same week I completely shaved off a 3-month-old beard, as well as my first haircut since Christmas. The biggest reason I did it? My wife prefers it that way.
Come to find out, Mrs. Grier feels the same way.
“It was definitely the family; the coaching staff never really cared,” Grier said. “Wife wanted it shorter, and she always did. It was just kind of time, so I chopped it all off.”
We’re four weeks into spring practice with a week to go. Cut me some slack, and let your hair down. Or in Grier’s case, cut it off.
But Grier, believe it or not, had more pressing topics to discuss about how spring is going. Saturday was the first day of full-contact drills. While the broken hand he suffered in November is no longer an issue, learning when not to take that hit is something Grier wanted to work on this spring, and now is the time to do it.
“Part of it is just who I am, but I will become more cautious,” he said. “You need to be cautious as a quarterback, and you need to take care of yourself. There are times when the game’s on the line and you need to get a first down or need to score. There are those situations, and then there are those in the first quarter when it’s probably not the best time for me to be putting my body on the line.”
Grier was obviously referencing his sprint to the pylon in the first quarter against Texas, when he dived and landed awkwardly on his right (throwing) hand, breaking it and dislocating his middle finger.
Grier said it’s been talked about between him and the coaches, but there was an improvement last season compared to his freshman year, at Florida. While with the Gators, Grier ran the ball 36 times, usually in scrambling situations.
Last year, at WVU, he ran it
63 times in 10-plus games — the last just proved costly.
The biggest difference was learning when not to take a big hit when it’s not necessary.
“I was sliding more,” he said. “At Florida, I took a lot of unnecessary hits. It’s a process and I’m getting better. I’ll continue to develop that quarterback part of the game where you don’t need to lay your body on the line in certain situations.”
While some may be disappointed about Grier’s change in appearance, take solace in the fact he is trying to avoid the disaster he and the team went through to end last season.