"An air of expectation" was Heath Streak's description of the atmosphere at Edgbaston. Or perhaps that should be 'great expectations', for Warwick-shire's new captain doesn't lack for ambition.
"What would I settle for at the end of the season?" he wondered yesterday. "I'd like to win all four trophies available."
"Really, I'd be disappointed if we didn't make at least one of the [two available] finals [the C&G Trophy and the Twenty20 Cup] and if we weren't in the top two or three of the Championship. We have the ability, we just need to translate it into results.
"The squad is as good, on paper, as it was in the mid-90s [when Warwickshire won five trophies in two seasons]. But cricket isn't played on paper.
"There's no reason why we can't have success. We're not just good at one form of the game so we can challenge in all competitions.
"The guys were all disappointed not to win the final of the C&G last year and the fact that we outclassed the eventual winners - Somerset - in the Twenty20 shows what we could have achieved there.
"The squad hasn't changed much from last year but we've a bit more depth and balance. Mark Wagh was missed last year. He can score 1,000-runs plus and can shoulder a lot of responsibility at the top of the order while Daniel Vettori is a great signing. We're going to have a tough time selecting the side.
"But at the same time we need to have some stability. We need to stick with guys but we should always be able to pick someone who is in form and not stick with guys who are in a slump."
Warwickshire will not quite be at full strength as they start the season. Ashley Giles is not close to a return while Vettori does not arrive for more than a month. Though Ian Bell, who has hardly picked up a bat in anger in recent weeks, returns from India on April 16 he is unlikely to be considered for the start of the Championship campaign at Hove three days later.
Streat said: "We have depth and competition for places in all departments. I'll be asking a lot from senior players in terms of responsibility. It's vital we don't drift into the season. We must to be early front-runners and not be playing catch-up."
Streak also had consoling words for Giles. The England spinner said recently that he may be forced into premature retirement but his county captain remains confident the 33-year-old won't be lost to the game just yet.
"I had knee problems early in my career," Streak said. "I remember how I felt when I had surgery. You never want to confront the possibility that your career may be over. It is a big blow to have a long spell out and we are hoping for our sake - and for England's - that he makes it back.
"Ashley is working hard and giving himself the best chance. I'm sure he'll be back for the Bears."
Meanwhile, Warwickshire travel to Northampton today for a one-day warm-up match. The team will be led by former captain Michael Powell and features Dougie Brown, Alex Loudon, wicket-keeper Tony Frost and Neil Carter for the first time this season. The reappearance of Nick James suggests he has a great chance of making his first-class debut at Fenners on Saturday.
There are no serious injury problems. Jonathan Trott is fully fit, though he is yet to resume bowling, while Nick Warren's side strain is not thought to be significant.