"I think that has been one of the main reasons for our turning it around this season, my staff," says Best, who Busch said, "let's his other coaches coach."
Best also credits the increased size of his players and more names on his roster. And there was a lot of beef among those 70-plus guys who came out this year.
The Saints come at you with a front line that averages about 225 pounds, a far cry from the 200-pound line they had a year ago. "We were very young on the line last year, but a lot of the kids like Chris Smith, who is a great example, worked their butts off in the weight room," says Best.
Smith, a 6-foot-4 senior guard, was about 175 pounds a year ago, but is now 240 pounds and being recruited by several Ivy League division I-AA schools, such as Princeton.
"Chris worked every day in the weight room from the end of last season through the summer and is a great example of what lifting can do for you," said the coach.
Two newcomers have provided some much-needed bulk in Adam Funk and Shawn Harper. Funk, who is 6-6 and 280 pounds, played at St. Mary's his freshman year, but skipped out for two years while the coach's swinging door kept flapping.
Funk returned this year and is perched right next to Smith at tackle on the right side of the Saints' run-and-shoot offense that Best says "has become more run than shoot" with quarterback Charlie Griffith, and running backs Charlie Finamore, Joe Conte and Chris Overend.
Funk is being recruited by a host of schools, including Richmond and William and Mary.
On the other side of the line are Harper, a 6-5, 275-pound tackle transfer from Jacksonville, Fla., who is coming off an ankle injury, and rotating guards, Rory Kiernan (6-3, 205) and Ryan Kelly (5-11, 195). Center Kevin Donnelly is the smallest at 5-10 and 180 pounds.
Lack of offense was a problem last year, but not this season, especially in crucial situations, which has enabled the Saints to give their hard-hitting defense frequent long breaks.
The county's most improved team is coming off an impressive 14-0 win over defending Maryland Scholastic Association C Conference champion St. Paul's. Busch and many other Saints' lovers feel that win proves this team could be in for bigger things.
"I've seen St. Paul's since the '70s and (coach) Mitch Tullai has had some great teams, but the one he has this year is one of his best ever," says Busch. "St. Mary's took care of them and that's saying something."
It would be ironic, or maybe quite revealing, if St. Mary's goes undefeated for the first time since the last time their head football coach was a faculty member. In addition to their conference schedule, the Saints will travel to South River on Oct. 26.
South River is still another team for the Saints to take care of in their get-even season. The Seahawks won, 27-0, last year, and then, there is archrival Severn the following and final week, in a game that might very well settle the eight-team MSA C Conference.
Unbeaten or not at season's end, the Saints have restored pride in their football program.
"I think nothing but good things are ahead with Brad Best as head football coach. I just hope we can keep him," says Busch.