Kill and the staff visited Baylor, TCU during offseason
Jerry Kill and the Gophers open up year two with the start of camp on Saturday.
During the off season, Kill and the staff visited a number of programs to find different ideas that they may be able to mesh with philosophies that they already have in place.
“I think in any profession that you’re involved in, if you want to be the best at what you do, you better figure out how to be the best. We try and study the best programs in the country every year, or some program that’s very similar to us or fits what we’re trying to do."
"It’s like going to clinics. You may listen for three hours and get one idea that may help your program, but it’s worth it at the end of the day.”
The offensive staff, including quarterbacks coach Jim Zebrowski and receivers coach Pat Poore, visited the staff at Baylor in an effort to find a wrinkle that they may be able to use with dual threat quarterback MarQueis Gray.
The defensive staff went down to visit with Mississippi State and TCU, and Kill also invited a number of coaches and programs up to their campus to exchange ideas including Sonny Lubick and the staffs at Northern Illinois, Toledo, and Mississippi State.
“You are who you are. It’s like anything, you look at something that maybe can fit in to what you do. You don’t want to get a bunch of hodgepodge things that don’t fit into your [system]."
Kill also shared a few of the subjects that he was hungry to learn about from other coaches.
“One of my questions when I visit with head coaches is, ‘Tell me about your academics, tell me how many people you have in academics, how many tutors do you have? What are you doing with your strength program? What are you doing in recruiting? Social networking, how do you utilize that to help you? How are you dealing with player discipline?’ Those are a lot of things you ask.”
A few notable helmet changes
At The Scoop, we're well aware of how uniform changes can unite and excite a team and their fan base.
A couple programs from around the country have sent us some notable changes to their helmets for 2012 that are hoping to have that effect.
Of the helmet changes that we've seen so far, the theme of the year seems to be the switch to the "matte" style. The first few are new, and we wrap it up with a handful that were worth revisiting.
Manchester University (D-III - IN)
Tusculum College (D-II - TN)
Missouri Southern (D-II)
Southwest Baptist (D-II)
Azusa Pacific (NAIA - CA)
And don't forget about Arizona's addition of copper helmets
Vanderbilt's white helmets
Missouri added two new helmets to help bring a fresh look with them to the SEC.
Toledo also got a helmet makeover.
Virginia Tech added this helmet to wear with their Wounded Warrior Project uniform.
Mack Brown weighs in on rule changes
Mack Brown has been pretty outspoken in regards to recent rule changes, and the helmet and onside kick rules are no exception.
The new rules that Mack Brown had touched on during media day's last week include; the one yard "halo" rule for return men, and when a player's helmet comes off during play they are not allowed to participate any further in that play and also must sit out for the next play.
The new helmet rule is one rule change in particular that Brown continues to have a strong opinion against.
“I have no clue what we’re going to tell a kid. We’re going to tell a kid that we work for 365 days to go compete and hit that quarterback but if he runs somewhere — and I’m not sure where it is — if he’s outside his path, he’s supposed to stop? Or if he fumbles and loses his helmet, he’s supposed to stop?"
"I think they’ve put the officials and the players in a horrible position. I’d rather if the helmet was off, blow the whistle. Kill the play and let’s move on. I don’t know what to tell our guys yet and I’ve had two meetings about it and I still don’t know.”
Bill Snyder's building blocks - #2 Unselfishness
Kansas State released another solid video highlighting Bill Snyder's building blocks for his program yesterday.
This one focuses on #2 - Unselfishness, and was made with the offensive line in mind.
Urban Meyer on the "essence of coaching"
Urban Meyer saw a note recently that said that the last time the Buckeyes had lost seven games, like they did last season, was just before the turn of the 20th century (1897).
Meyer is hoping that leads to a team eager to prove themselves in 2012.
“I saw a quote somewhere that said the last time Ohio State lost seven games was the 1800's. And I actually heard a player say that. So I’m hoping it’s a very angry team.”
Urban noted that coaching a complacent and entitled group is one of the hardest things to fix as a coach, but to coach "an angry group of guys that are on a mission" is every coaches dream. Especially when you have a group capable of channeling that anger and rage into a productive attitude.
“That’s the essence of coaching, that’s what we do. The way I like to do it is to make practices so hard that their anger better be channeled into becoming a better player.
“If practices aren’t hard, there’s still that anger. What are they going to do with it? Fight downtown? Someone is going to say, ‘You guys stink,’ and … we make it so hard that we channel it to what’s important now, which is practice.”
Video: The Grind
Really good video here from the University of Mary (D-II - ND) that centers around using that voice of doubt in your head as motivation to grind through a morning workout.
This is a good one. Enjoy.
Sark to Arkansas?
Kirk Bohls writes for the Austin Statesman. He's exceptionally good at what he does and he's well connected in Austin.
This morning, Bohls tweeted out a link to his "Nine things and one crazy prediction"... always a fun read. His comments about and from Gary Patterson are spot on; but it was his "one crazy prediction" that really made me think.
For his crazy prediction, Bohls wrote, "After Arkansas goes 11-1, it will hire Washington's Steve Sarkisian to replace John L. Smith."
First, I want to say that I think that Sark has done a very good job leading the program at UW and I believe their best days are ahead of them. A few months ago I visited the UW campus and met with the AD and the staff and took a behind the scenes tour of the university and all of the football facilities. The stadium is undergoing a major renovation which will be complete by the start of next season. My overall impression was extremely positive. The facilities (once the renovation is complete) will be top 10-15 in all of college football. The staff that Sark has hired is likewise extremely good (in fact I believe a number of his staff will in time become head coaches themselves). The quality of life in Seattle is hard to beat...Oh, and the quality of football in the Pac 12 is top notch as well.
I honestly believe that Pac 12 football for the next decade could be as strong as any conference has ever seen, and I believe it will be the most exciting collective brand of football played...and yes, I live in SEC country.
With all of that said, I believe that Sark is a guy that Arkansas should strongly consider because I believe that he is an excellent coach, leader and mentor for young men and his staff. However, I simply can't see Sark leaving the Pac 12 anytime soon. Sure, there would be a pay raise involved; but I simply don't know how or why you would leave a city like Seattle, a program that you have built to compete in one of the most challenging conferences in the land, the west coast lifestyle, etc...
I'll bring this back to where Bohls began his article, with words from TCU's Gary Patterson...Bohl's wrote, "Love the fact that Gary Patterson continues to stay at TCU despite plentiful job offers. At Big 12 media days, he said he has seen how constant job-changing 'can tear families up, and if you go somewhere else, there's a reason (the predecessor) left or had to leave. I'm just hoping my wife doesn't put me up on eBay.' Didn't sound like Patterson will be coaching forever. 'I'm 52,' he said. 'I still want to scuba-dive.'"
Just my prediction; but I can't see why Sark would leave UW for Arkansas after this season. Too many positive things happening out west right now.
Tennessee taking camp on the road
Derek Dooley is taking the Vols on a short two hour road trip to Milligan College (NAIA - TN) for a change of scenery during a week of camp.
"It's something they hadn't done. It's hard, but it's fun." Dooley said of the trip.
"Every day's going to be an adventure, and there'll be 48 things we didn't think about that we've got to go on the fly. I'm going to tell the team, 'Things are going to happen there that are all different, and everything is going to be premised around your attitude when you get on the bus.' You can be a negative guy and complain about everything, or you can embrace it as an awesome opportunity."
The accommodations are going to be a far cry from what the players are used to, and Dooley admits that the logistics are going to be a headache for the Vol's support staff, but in the long run it should be beneficial for both the Vols, and Milligan College.
The Vols will get some quality team bonding time in during the getaway, and Milligan will surely benefit from the publicity of having the Vols on campus. Dooley also wants the trip to serve as a reminder to be thankful for what you have.
"What I also told them is when you come back I hope you're going to appreciate what Tennessee gives you every day. You're not going to get that over there. Those dorms look a little different, facilities look a little different and our guys take it a little bit for granted because this is all they know." Dooley explained.
"They've got Gatorade any time they want. That doesn't seem like a big deal, but we couldn't afford it when I was at Louisiana Tech. It was turn on that hose to get a little water."