Golden's message to the Hurricanes: Lay your brick
Every day the construction crew shows up at 7am in Coral Gables to work on the Schwartz Center, and Al Golden can hear them putting in work to get the new Schwartz Center done.
Seeing the building go up, literally brick by brick, Golden decided to use that as a metaphor to motivate the team, as outlined in the latest episode of "Raising Canes".
"You don't set out to make the biggest, baddest, and largest wall. You set out to lay one brick, as purposefuly as you can lay that brick every day. Soon, you have a wall." Golden told the team in his pregame message before playing Boston College.
"That's the essence of what we're trying to teach. Just lay your brick, don't worry about building a wall."
"You just focus on executing play after play, day after day, and ultimately you'll have a strong foundation that won't crack because you did it the right way and you trusted the process."
During the Boston College game, when the Hurricanes got off to a slow start down 14-0 after 16 plays, you hear players echo that same message as they look back and you can tell that Golden and his staff have done a great job of using that message to motivate players on staying focused on their job.
Top game day environments from Mark Snyder's perspective
Saturday's big SEC game in College Station against Florida will mark the first game for Kevin Sumlin and the Texas A&M staff. Defensive coordinator Mark Snyder is sure that the environment at Kyle Field will rank up there as one of the best that he's ever been a part of.
"We sit there in our staff meetings and we talk about all the big games we've been been a part of, and that I've been fortunate to be a part of, and this is going to go right in there with 'em."
Some of the other notable environments come from his Big Ten coaching days when he visited Penn State and Michigan.
He describes those game day environments in interesting detail, from a coaches perspective, in the clip.
Franklin: If you're tired, you're not tapping out on special teams
James Franklin and his staff have really put an emphasis on special teams personnel.
Franklin explained after practice yesterday that special teams is truly number one at Vandy and you'll never see a Commodore tapping out of his special teams role. If a player gets tired, he's going to come off the field on offense or defense.
"Our philosophy around here is special teams is number one. So if you get fatigued, you come off on offense or defense."
"We-fense, what we call our special teams, is the most important thing that we do. It's when we come together as a whole team. So if you get tired and need to tap out, you tap out on defense, not on special teams."
Then Franklin tells the reporter who had posed the original question about taking a player off of special teams to get him some rest, "Coach Bankins would not be happy with you, and your philosophy. You're one of those guys who talk a good game, but put a lot more emphasis on offense and defense."
Then, just to make sure his point is clear, Franklin reiterates his seriousness with a stare down and tells him, "It's a third of the game. It's important."
Video: Saban's not happy, rips reporters
During his presser yesterday, Saban laid into reporters that decided to basically crown Alabama the national champs after their solid week 1 performance against Michigan.
After getting some things off his chest in the first two minutes, Saban explains, "I'm just giving my opinion. I respect what y'all do. I understand you're not here to promote our program, or anything like that."
"But we play the games for a reason. When you make all these predictions about what's going to happen, it takes away from the game."
In about six minutes total at the podium , Saban expresses his frustration, then answers a few questions before explaining as he walks off, "I didn't mean to intimidate y'all, today. I just had to take it out on somebody."
Swinney explains how helmet rule changes strategy
After the first week under the new helmet rule, we hear that many coaches are tweaking their game plans and sideline procedures to make sure that when a player has to come off the field, they aren't necessarily losing a down because the backup isn't ready to go.
Dabo Swinney is one of those coaches.
“I understand the rule, but for us it’s a little bit of a challenge when you run your quarterback, he gets hit and sometimes he gets in some piles, and sometimes helmets find their way from getting of their head.”
Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd lost his helmet three times last week, which has Dabo making adjustments to keep their backup quarterback fresh on the sidelines throughout games in the future.
“The big thing for us is you better have your backup ready to go. One of the things we’re going to do moving forward is to make sure our backup is getting some snaps, throwing the ball, staying loose and being ready."
“I don’t know how we can get the helmet on any tighter. We’re basically about to cut his circulation off trying to keep it on." Swinney explained.
Positions other than quarterback are obviously a little easier to substitute for. Rotating a receiver or bringing in an offensive lineman in on third and long, in a crunch time situation, is much different from having to substitute your star signal caller.
"It’s definitely an issue, especially at that position. It’s not like at wideout or something else, that is such a critical position. ... It’s definitely something everyone is going to have to continue to adjust to.”
Leach weighs in on Sark having a Tiger at practice
After practice yesterday, a reporter asked Mike Leach what he described as an "off the wall question."
Ask Leach an off the wall question...get an off the wall answer.
Thursday TV - Big East action
Big East action starts tonight with Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.
All times eastern.
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati - 8 - ESPN
Charlie Weis explains how he breaks down film
As coaches, we all have own system of breaking down film. Some of us grade players and give them overall grades, while others grade efficiency or count correct assignments, knockdowns and loafs. We all have our own preference.
Charlie Weis uses a system of pluses and minuses.
“It’s basically a plus or minuses that average up to a percentage. You get one in the run game, one in the pass game and you get one collectively to see what your efficiency in the game was individually.”
After a win, the grades have a tendency to put everyone back in their place, reminding them of how much they can still improve after a win.
"They’re feeling really good, they got to eat with their parents and all their friends and everyone’s saying ‘Good game,’ and then you tell ’em how bad they stink. Trust me, you knock ’em back off their pedestal really quick.”
On Sundays Weis compiles ten good and ten bad plays into cut-ups to share with the team.
“I take the offense and I make a good-play / bad-play tape. Every game I’ll watch about 20 plays, 10 good ones and 10 bad ones. After a win, I always show the bad ones first. I say, ‘Yeah, you think you’re good, well let’s watch this pile of crap.’”
“Everyone’s telling you how bad you were, so let’s look at these 10 plays from the game. ‘Remember this one? Remember this one?" After a loss, you show ’em the good plays to bring ’em back to ‘OK, it’s not as bad as it all seems.’”
Weis explains the process for his quarterbacks as well.
“The first thing he gets is every play in the game. Then he gets it broken down into good plays in the run, good plays in the pass, bad plays in the run, bad plays in the pass, and, yes, (he) can get a minus (grade) on a running play, even though you’re just handing it off. Because if you don’t carry out your fake, it’s a minus.”
“When you have the clicker in your hand, it’s easy to nitpick because you can see every little thing,” Weis noted of the power that comes with holding the remote.