Looking to motivate a player to contribute to special teams?

UCONN head coach Paul Pasqualoni is using a story of David Tyree to motivate his best players to contribute to special teams.

Tyree, who is most known for making the leaping catch of Eli Manning’s floater in Super Bowl XLII, once started out as a disgruntled strong safety at Syracuse when Pasqualoni served as the head coach.

Pasqualoni explained to the TheDay.com , "We talk about this for an hour or so, so I finally say to him, 'Here's the deal. Here's what I'll do right now. I'll make a deal with you ... a handshake deal. I'll let you be a wide receiver if you play all four units of special teams. And you may never, ever walk into my office and say, 'Coach, I'm tired of special teams.' He said, 'All right, I'll do it.'”

"What happens? He becomes a special teams freaking highlight film. So now it's time for the draft. The Giants certainly are not going to take him as a wide receiver, so they take him as a special teams guy. Now he's playing core special teams … he's playing all units, so now he's at The Game (Super Bowl) and playing wide receiver because by now his craft is wide receiver."

"But he's at The Game because of special teams. He's not at The Game because of wide receiver. He dresses, and now they've got an extra wide receiver and he's able to go into the game. They need an extra guy, throw him into the game, and what happens in the Super Bowl? He makes the catch with the ball pinned against his head, and it just turns out to be the biggest play of the game."

"And how did he get there? He got there from special teams. That's the truth."

Despite never catching more than 19 passes in 7 seasons in the NFL, Tyree had a terrific career.  Not only did he win a Super Bowl, but Tyree also earned a trip to the Pro Bowl in 2005...as a special teams player.  

Pasqualoni will coach his first game for UCONN when the Huskies open the 2011 season against Fordham.  The next three games are at Vanderbilt, Iowa State, and at Buffalo.

Gary Pinkel explains turning down Michigan interview

Gary Pinkel is now locked up through 2017 after officially agreeing to two-year extension.

Today, Pinkel talked about his future and reflected back on the opportunity to interview for the Michigan head coaching job.

Pinkel told Dave Matter of the Columbia Daily Tribune, “That was a really difficult situation just because I grew up in Ohio and my whole life I hear about Ohio State and Michigan. To have an opportunity like that is sort of a once-in-a-lifetime thing. For me it still boiled down to I just feel so much a part of Missouri now.”

“The reason I didn’t pursue it was because I feel so much a part of Missouri. I’m so committed personally to continue to build the opportunity I was given. And family, a combination of those things. So, I bowed out of it. I feel really good about it. I thought a lot about it. It got really close. But before I went to the interview, it was a matter of hours before when I decided I wasn’t going to pursue it and I wanted to stay at the University of Missouri. So, that’s kind of the conclusion I came to.”

Pinkel added, “We’re a shining light on the state of Missouri and particularly the University of Missouri and Columbia. To me, it’s a responsibility. I have responsibility there. And I take it very seriously. If we can help the university out in any way, that certainly means an awful lot to me.”

In the meantime, the defense has dibs on the black jerseys after yesterday’s triumph over the offense.

Here’s the evidence:


Ed Orgeron on the benefits of early morning practices

Lane Kiffin made a decision to move to early morning spring practices.  The players and staff like the move, so the Trojans will continue with morning practices in the Fall.

Ed Orgeron says, “We like it.  I love it.  I’m an early morning guy. We get ‘em early.  I think it gives them an opportunity to come in totally focused.  We get our work done.  They go to class the rest of the day.  They have actually more rest.  It gives the coaches more time.  We all like it.”

“They are getting taped about 5 or 5:15, meetings start at 6, but remember this…their day finishes at 10 am with us.”

“They have the rest of the day to go to school, relax, and they have an evening.  When you practice in the evening, you’re off at 6:30, you eat supper and then go to study hall, you’re home at 10:30 or 11 at night.”

One of the points of emphasis this spring for Orgeron is developing depth along the defensive line.

Orgeron said developing depth is his top priority this spring.  He explained, “Our guys got tired (last year), you can see it on the film, which was no excuse.  Our pass rush was nowhere near where it is supposed to be, especially in our 2-minutes drills.  You look at it, if we win three 2-minute drills, we would have won 3 more games. The 2-minute drill is a stop or sack-fumble.  That is definitely an emphasis for us.”

USC opens with three consecutive home games against Minnesota, Utah, and Syracuse.

Embree set to launch proverbial "heave-ho" to several Buffaloes

There is an old saying in coaching that goes like this…”You better get them before they get you.”

In other words, coaches better get rid of the players not doing what they are supposed to do before those same players get the coaches dismissed from their jobs.

It appears Jon Embree understands that slogan quite well.  The Colorado head coach admitted yesterday that’s he is getting ready to make a number of roster cuts.

According to The Brush News Tribune, Embree will do the dirty work face-to-face with the players getting the proverbial “heave-ho.”

Embree explained, "Some of them, if they can't play and they're not doing what they're supposed to be doing academically and they're not doing some other things and buying into the program, won't be here. It's just that simple. I told them when I got hired everyone has a clean slate. So this will be four months to show me they want to be a part of this. I told them it's a privilege to be a Buffalo. It's not a right.”

"So they have had since December 7 to show they want to be here. Some guys don't want to be here by body language, by how they work in the weight room, by how they work in the classroom, by how they work on the football field."

"They've been warned many times. There are no surprises. I've told everyone from Day One that everyone is year-to-year. It's like I told them, I don't ask a lot. I want effort. I want you to compete and I want you to do it on and off the field. That's basically all I ask. Be on time. I think those are pretty simple rules and for some guys, they can't do that."


Dooley: It's pretty abysmal right now

Derek Dooley isn’t exactly a fan of Tennessee’s passing game right now.

Asked if the passing game may look crisp during Saturday’s scrimmage, Dooley paused for a few seconds to gather his thoughts before responding.

He said, “Well, it’s pretty abysmal right now.  So, I could sit there and dream and say I think we’re going to do it and have a great day passing the football.  The reality is we’ll probably hit a few plays and we’ll probably not look very good.”

“I’m not being a pessimist, but when you watch eight practices and expect something totally different on the ninth, you’re somewhat a lunatic to think that’s going to happen.”

“We have a new tight end and new receivers everywhere and a quarterback who isn’t exactly Bart Starr right now.  It’s a function of everybody.  I know we can’t go compete against good teams with about 6 pass plays.  We’re going to need more than 6.  We’re going to need more than a fade route.”

Just our guess, but Dooley is probably hoping Peyton spends two weeks instead of a few days leading the 7 on 7 pass skel drills in Knoxville this summer.

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