Video: Dabo taking Clemson through mat drills
Just before Spring practice begins, coaches tend to lead their teams through a few weeks of mat drills. Most coaches conduct the drills early in the morning, like 5:45 am early, to help build team chemistry and toughness.
Players generally dread the drills, which include a number of 2-minute agility stations. The focus is on finishing drills, discipline, physical & mental toughness. Leaders rise to the top and the weak become totally exposed.
At Clemson, Dabo Swinney is leading the Tigers through their version of the grueling workouts. Swinney, like most head coaches, takes the final minutes to share his thoughts and develop the team.
Following Clemson’s recent workout, Swinney explained to the Tigers, “It’s about team. If we’re going to win, if we’re going to be successful, it’s going to be through team.”
“There’s not one person better than the team, bigger than the team. Not one coach, none of us. We got to all grab hands and work together, do it together.”
Here’s the latest video of the Clemson mat drills:
Al Borges talks Michigan offense and challenges
Michigan offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach Al Borges says the whole goal of the offense is to be productive.
Borges wants downhill running at the core of the Wolverines offense.
Borges told ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg, "Schematically, we’re blowing everything up and starting over again. We’re still going to gear everything we do offensively to the skills of the people that are doing it, in particular the quarterback. Are we going to look just like we did at San Diego State? Probably not.”
"We still run around the ends sometimes or at least try to, but we're more of a downhill, power offense type team. A portion of our offense is get in a three-point stance, line the tailback up and come off and hit people in the mouth."
Borges said Denard Robinson’s immediate hurdles include learning the terminology and executing the proper footwork with the new scheme.
Michigan will open the 2011 season with five consecutive home games. The Wolverines will host Western Michigan, Notre Dame, Eastern Michigan, San Diego State, and Minnesota.
To end the regular season, Michigan hosts Nebraska and Ohio State in back-to-back weeks. The cheapest ticket near the 50-yard line for the Nebraska game is selling for $625 on StubHub today. You can get 4 tickets (together) on the 50-yard line for the Ohio State game for $749 per ticket.
Wow. Pasqualoni setting the bar high
Paul Pasqualoni will head into Spring practice with a group of inexperienced quarterbacks, but hopes one can emerge to become like Aaron Rodgers.
On the bright side, UCONN doesn’t have the most daunting non-conference schedule in 2011. In fact, the first five games include Fordham, at Vanderbilt, Iowa State, at Buffalo, and Western Michigan.
Pasqualoni told the Hartford Courant, “To me, he's (Aaron Rodgers) special because he's got this sense of moving in the pocket and scrambling and he's a little bit unique because he'll scramble to throw and he'll scramble to run. So he really drives you crazy because you don't know whether to stay back and you don't know whether to come up because he'll get by you either way and it just so happens we played against him, had him in the Pro Bowl last year and it kind of struck me, watching him practice how good he was at both. Usually, they're good at one or the other.”
Good luck, Joe Moorhead. The expectations have been set for your quarterbacks.
Pasqualoni added, "Those quarterbacks, the scrambling kind of guy, they certainly can keep the plays alive, they certainly can be very, very productive. You have to be a little bit careful sometimes that they don't turn the ball over on you but to answer your question on the quarterback I just think you have to take what you have and you select a quarterback.”
Just get ‘em there, Joe.
“To me, it's not based on anything other than production. It has to be based on production. It can't be based on height. It can't be based on 40-yard dash time. It's got to be based on production, how the kids in the huddle feel about him, his leadership. Can he get the ball down the field, can he finish the drive, all those things. At the end of the day it's based on production."
"Trick Shot" McEntee is your guy, Coach Moorhead.
Washington set to remodel Husky Stadium for $250 million
In November, Washington will begin a $250 million remodeling of Husky Stadium.
6% of the stadium will be premium seating, which UW officials expect will bring in $6 million annually. 25 suites will be sold between $35,000 - $75,000 per suite, although a five to ten year commitment will be required.
Already a terrific venue for college football, Washington plans to make alcohol sales available for holders of premium seats.
The project will force Washington to play the 2011 Apple Cup and the entire 2012 season at Quest Field, the home of the Seattle Seahawks. The first game in the remodeled Husky Stadium will be on September 7, 2013. UW will host Boise State.
Sark is reportedly fired up.
Dooley on headaches, Urban on bank robberies, and $100 fines for coaches
Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley says recruiting has gotten out of hand: “The hardest thing for coaches is the industry that has been created in recruiting. It didn’t exist 10 years ago. It’s really challenging, and I’m not criticizing the media for this because there’s a lot of fan interest. But it absolutely has ruined some of our young people.”
“They get all this attention. We talk about how great they are, not the coaches, but the media and the fans. And by the time they get to your program they’re a mess. They don’t understand that this is hard. You’re really not very good, you haven’t earned anything, and we’ve got to start from scratch.”
Urban Meyer believe coaches with major violations should be terminated: "That's the only answer. There's a reason why people don't rob banks. The risk-reward is you're going to jail. Right now, if you commit -- they call them secondary violations, which is comical; they're not secondary -- if you commit a secondary violation, it's a slap on the hand."
According to the Miami Herald, UM coaches are fined $100 for each improper text message: But credit athletic director Kirby Hocutt for implementing a unique deterrent. In a policy that began when Randy Shannon was coach, we hear UM is monitoring cellphone records and fining any coach $100 if he or she sends a text message to a recruit who hasn’t signed with UM (an NCAA violation). The fine is $100 per text.
Quick Hits: Bo Pelini, Chad Glascow, and Jon Embree
Bo Pelini describes what he wants from his offense: “(We want to) really cut down the playbook in such a way that we get good at something.”
“We want to attack people. The system’s going to be highly adjustable and one where we can go after people and make them pay for doing things that we feel give us an advantage.”
“That was what I set out to do, is really take the same thought processes that we employ on defense and apply them to the offensive side of the ball — and have people think that way.”
Chad Glascow explains accepting the Texas Tech defensive coordinator job: “I think it's a little bit of a longer story, but it's a great deal. Coach Tuberville had Coach [Joe] Walker, the strength coach, call TCU whenever the job first opened and our strength coach at TCU said "Nah, Chad's not leaving. Chad's not gonna want to do that." And I don't know, three weeks later in the deal, [defensive line] coach [Sam] McElroy called me and said, "Hey, we've got this deal here. Are you interested in it?"
“I said, ‘Shoot, yeah!’”
“He said ‘Coach Tuberville is out recruiting today, but I know we've talked about you a tremendous amount with the staff and some of those things.’ Coach Tuberville had just gotten some bad information, but I'm glad it all got remedied. I can promise you that.”
Colorado head coach Jon Embree talks about his plan: "If you asked the players, 'What are the three plays we're going to run on offense if we have to get a first down?' They couldn't name one. The way we practice. The way we train. We had no identity. We just kind of showed up and played."
"I told the team when I got the job: 'I saw a team that hoped they could win but didn't believe they could win. They were just showing up and playing and seeing what would happen. That's not Colorado football."
College assistants accepting NFL coaching positions
With a potential lock-out on the horizon in the NFL, some thought we would see fewer college coaches make the transition to the NFL this off-season.
That’s not the case. In fact, according to FootballScoop research, the numbers are almost identical at this point.
Thus far, at least 16 college coaches have made the transition to the NFL this off-season. That’s the same number of coaches that made the transition last year.
The group of coaches heading to the NFL this year includes Tracy Rocker (Auburn), John Settle (Wisconsin), Chuck Bullough (UCLA), Vic Fangio (Stanford), Greg Roman (Stanford), Tim Drevno (Stanford), Peter Hansen (Stanford), John Morton (USC), Tyrone Pettaway (USC), John Butler (Minnesota), Mark Whipple (Miami), Teryl Austin (Florida), Grady Stretz (Arizona State), Reggie Davis (Oregon State), Scott Turner (Pitt), David Walker (Pitt).
List of college coaches in 2009 that transitioned to the NFL:
1. Eric Yarber – Tampa Bay Bucs (Wide receivers)
2. Scottie Montgomery – Pittsburgh Steelers (Wide receivers)3
3. Giff Smith – Buffalo Bills (Defensive assistant)
4. Bobby Johnson – Buffalo Bills (Assistant offensive line)
5. Tommie Robinson – Arizona Cardinals (Running Backs)
6. Jedd Fisch – Seattle Seahawks (Quarterbacks)
7. Richard Hightower – Washington Redskins (Assistant special teams coach)
8. Corwin Brown – New England Patriots (Defensive backs)
9. Brian Schneider – Seattle Seahawks
10. Jeremy Bates – Seattle Seahawks (Offensive coordinator)
11. Ken Norton Jr – Seattle Seahawks (Linebackers)
12. Kris Richard – Seattle Seahawks (Assistant defensive backs)
13. Rocky Seto – Seattle Seahawks (Defensive quality control)
14. Dave Canales - Seattle Seahawks (Offensive quality control)
Shane Beamer explains accepting job at Virginia Tech
After 33 years of coaching the Virginia Tech running backs, Billy Hite is moving into a role of senior advisor / assistant to the head coach.
Hite’s decision to move off-the-field made room for Shane Beamer, the son of Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer.
Shane, who has served on Steve Spurrier’s staff at South Carolina the last four years, talked about the decision to join the Virginia Tech staff.
Shane Beamer explained, “It was really, I guess, last week was the first time that it was even discussed. Dad had mentioned that Coach Hite was possibly transitioning into an administrative role and would I be interested in replacing him. My first response to him was that I wanted to talk to Billy Hite. We’re not gonna come into a situation where Billy Hite was upset about the move or it was a move he didn’t want to do. I’ve got too much respect for Billy Hite. I was not gonna allow that to happen.”
“I talked to Coach Hite last Sunday – he decided to make that move later in the week – and he was on board with everything and excited.”
"It was important to me to be on my own and make my own name. I didn’t want to get into coaching like you see a lot of these sons of coaches do at the college and pro level. They finish up college and all of a sudden, their Dad hires them and they start coaching. I did not want to do that. I wanted to make my own name, make my own contacts, develop a reputation of Shane Beamer and not Frank Beamer’s son. I feel like I’ve done that over the last 11 years and the timing was just better this time around.”
The Virginia Tech non-conference schedule in 2011 includes Appalachian State, Arkansas State, at East Carolina, and at Marshall.