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.

Video: Pat Fitzgerald stays classy during awkward interview

Earlier today, we tweeted a quote from Kentucky co-defensive coordinator Rick Minter.

Minter said, "I don't even know how to spell patience."

Enter Pat Fitzgerald, who on the other hand, demonstrated humility, grace, and patience among other things today during his post-practice media session.

The session started out as normal, but became pretty damn funny when a young reporter (the guy might be 19) interupts at the 1:49 mark with, “Sorry for jumping in late…just how did everything go today?”

You gotta see it.

Next question from the same reporter…”You guys had another big physical practice.  You said Tuesday that you really liked seeing the guys kinda jaw and go at it.  I mean, can you get a lot out of these kinds of practices with full pads?”

Fitzgerald’s reaction and answer is priceless.  He could have looked at the guy with a dumbfounded, "Huh?"  Fitz being Fitz was classy and humble.

Here’s the evidence:

Lincoln Riley admits he was wrong

East Carolina offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley says his initial perception of East Carolina couldn’t have been more off.

The former wide receivers coach under Mike Leach at Texas Tech, Riley did a solid job in his first season at East Carolina a year ago.  Expectations were not as high as usual, but the Pirates made a bowl game and averaged 36 points per game.

While speaking at a local luncheon this week, according to the Daily Reflector, Riley explained, “When I got here, the first thought in my mind was, ‘It's a Conference USA school. I want to be a coordinator, but this is going to be little bit of a step down for me, as far as the quality of the school.”

“I think you have those preconceived notions, but once you get here, you see how special this place is, and really, how special it can become. I think this can get really big. I look at Greenville and I look at ECU and specifically ECU football, I don't see any reason why we can't be a power team in a BCS conference.”

He added, “A lot of BCS schools would kill for the atmosphere and the fan support that we have here, and I think it's just a matter of time.”

Riley will be tested early in the year.  The Pirates first four games are against South Carolina (Ellis Johnson), Virginia Tech (Bud Foster), UAB (Tommy West), and North Carolina (Everett Withers).  The South Carolina game will be played in Charlotte.  The next three are in Greenville.

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