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Friedgen working to build Terps' confidence

Ralph Friedgen is concerned about the Terps’ confidence level.  In a team meeting last night, Friedgen stressed how close the gap is from 1st place to 6th place in the ACC Atlantic Division. 

During this camp, Friedgen has decided to scale back the hitting and has also decided to spend more time in the locker room with the players.

Here’s part of Friedgen’s quotes from Maryland media day:

"You're 2-10 and like I said before, not a day goes by that I don't think about that. The biggest problem that we have to get with our players is getting them the confidence to be able to win. I set our goals for them last night and the first goal was to beat the next opponent and to just focus on that. I told them that we were picked last in the Division and when you look at the Atlantic Division, Florida State was picked first. I think everybody will admit that we had a pretty good chance to beat Florida State last year. We lost in the last 30 seconds on a long drive. The second-place team was Clemson, who we did beat. Third-place team was Boston College, who we lost to by two. Fourth-place team was N.C. State. We lost that one by seven and we had a touchdown called back and we missed a couple of touchdowns. The fifth-place team was Wake Forest. We lost by ten, but we fell behind early and came back.”

"There's not that big a gap between first place and sixth and that's what I have to convince my players of. They put the work in, they made the preparations, now we have to punch through. I told them last night that there comes that point in every game and maybe sometimes in practice where it's a matter of will. You have to want something so bad that you're willing to sacrifice to go and get it. To me, I think we've got to talk about this, we've got to convince them. I think once we do that, you'll see this team grow in confidence and I believe the ability is there. They just have to believe.”

“I've made some changes that I don't know if you'll notice. This camp is a little bit different than camps in the past. I'm going to try and really look at how much hitting we do. It's imperative that we stay healthy, especially on our offensive line. There's a fine line between getting them ready to play and getting them injured, so that's one of things I'll really be in tune to.”

"I'm going to probably spend a lot more time with our players in the locker room. I have a lot of belief in our coaching staff. They've done a tremendous job preparing for this season. As for the players, this is the first time in 10 years everybody's passed the conditioning test, so there are a lot of good signs around for us."

All-access, behind the scenes with Turner Gill

Thanks to the FootballScoop Twitter Center, we noticed a tweet from Turner Gill this evening, “Here’s what happened last week in training camp.”

We highly recommend watching this all-access, behind the scenes production with Turner Gill and the Jayhawks.

In other Kansas related news, Gill spoke about the running backs situation. 

Says Gill, “The running back competition is still up in the air. We have quite of few running backs with a lot of different styles.  I don’t care what their personal style is. However, I do want them to be a physical runner, to be athletic, make people miss and hopefully we have a home-run- hitter that has the speed and can go the distance. We are still evaluating and trying to figure out the best fit for our running game. We won’t have a true answer until we are in game situations, but once we get into some games we will be able to see what our guys can really do; who are the strong blockers and what guys can really get it done. We are in a strong evaluation phase and there is not a leading guy at this point.”

Offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach Chuck Long added, “There’s a misconception out there about running backs that if they can run, just give them the ball, that it doesn’t matter whether it’s one time or 25 times. That’s not really true. They need a rhythm just like a quarterback needs rhythm. That’s why you want a guy to get 20 or 25. Some of your best production are carries 15 through 25.”

Oregon RB coach Gary Campbell pumped up

Chip Kelly hasn’t decided on a quarterback just yet, but one thing is for sure…the Ducks are loaded at tailback.

Watch this video interview of running backs coach Gary Campbell.  You can tell Campbell is stoked to coach this group of backs.

Of the quarterbacks, offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich says, "If there's one overarching principle in this whole deal, it's taking care of the football. Take care of the ball, absolutely, that's No. 1. Then get us in the end zone - if that's running it, throwing it or handing it off to the right guy in the right situations.''

"So many things in our offense come down to just handing the ball off, based on what somebody else is doing. And those are decisions those guys have to make in a split-second with a high level of consistency.''

Oregon hosts New Mexico in the season-opener.  The Ducks travel to Tennessee the following week.  Portland State has the luxury of facing the Duck's backfield the following week.

Florida assistants take 'nonnegotiable' physicals

Urban Meyer made it nonnegotiable for his assistants to take physicals. 

The tests included blood panels, stress tests, and physicals.

"I've had ridiculous amounts of correspondence or people who have, because of what happened, said, 'You know what, I'm going to get checked out,'" Meyer said. "I made our staff; it's nonnegotiable. We're going to take this day and we're going to take care of some business here."

"I think coaches have been brought up in an environment to just work through everything, just go work a little harder, as opposed to let's take advantage of these great resources here at Florida and make sure everybody's all right."

 

Neuheisel talks about "The Pistol" offense

Rick Neuheisel talks about “The Pistol” offense.  The third-year UCLA head coach also spoke with reporters after practice today.

Says Neuheisel, "I hope it's a permanent fix. Is it a permanent offense? No. But I want to be in a permanent place in the top half of the conference in rushing offense. If we can do that, I know we can handle the rest of it. We'll get right back into the conference race and we'll get back to UCLA winning Rose Bowls again."

A couple of quotes from Neuheisel during media day:

Describing “The Pistol”: The easiest way for me to describe the pistol, and the Nevada coaches may cringe when I say this because it may not be anywhere close to what they envisioned, but I'd say it is a veer offense from the gun. Pistol is borrowed from the gun offense so the quarterback is in the shotgun. Normally in the shotgun, backs are offset, either to your right or to your left. In Oregon and Florida's offense, they almost always have a guy to the side and there's a lot of lateral movement. Veer offense is a ride to the side, if you will, where you are reading a guy as he's coming down hill and you are leaving an end of line defender unblocked so that you can get up to the next level with an offensive tackle or offensive guard or what have you. So our tailback in this new offense is directly behind the quarterback, maybe a half a yard to a yard deeper than he would be if we were under center. So we have the ability now to hold the defense. They can't just see lateral movement and predict which way this back is going. He could go either way. It has been hugely successful for Nevada. They had three 1,000-yard rushers last year, two tailbacks and a quarterback. And as our special teams coach, Frank Gansz likes to say, `that's proof.' That's validity. We believe that this can give us an answer. I know there's been a lot of question as to Kevin's (Prince) durability, how many times he can carry a ball. In watching the offense and having my own experiences going with a veer and a couple of veer schemes when I was coaching at Washington, the quarterback certainly does get tackled at times, but you can control how many times you want that to happen. In the plays that our quarterbacks got hurt, they were both passing plays where he was scrambling. So it is not as though you can completely take him away from harm's way."

On the risk/reward of the pistol offense: "Certainly there is a learning curve, and that's why we had to dive into it during spring ball and not spend any time doing anything else that we know how to do. And we are going to invest in it this fall. Does that mean it will be 100 percent of our game plan when we get to Kansas State, I don't think so. But we have to get to a level of efficiency at it that allows us to think that it's a prudent move. But, when you talk risk/reward, there was zero risk in making a change, because what we had done wasn't working. We couldn't sit and tell ourselves, like some person looking in a mirror and telling ourselves we're skinny, when we're not. You got to go get on a diet. You got to face the facts. And we had to face the facts that we needed to change who we were as a running football team and figure out another way to do it. Our depth isn't at a place that we can go out there and line-up and whip people doing things the old-fashioned way. You have to keep up with the trends in football and not be afraid to put your neck out there a little bit. I hope it is a permanent fix. Is it a permanent offense, no? But I want to be at a permanent place in the top half of this conference in rushing offense. Because if we could do that, I know we could handle the rest of it and we'll be right back in the conference race and we'll get back to UCLA winning Rose Bowls."

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