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Continuity is great, if....
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Dabo's response to "too religious"
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Arkansas has new uniforms


Auburn releases "Auburn Family, All In" video

Auburn wide receivers / assistant head coach Trooper Taylor has lost three important wide receivers from last season’s national championship team.  Terrell Zachary, Kodi Burns, and Darvin Adams are all gone.

So what is Trooper’s message to his group this Spring practice?

“I tell them, ‘Players graduate, but tradition never graduates.’  For us, we are going to play with a hard edge.  That means we are going to catch the football, block the perimeter, and play fast.”

Trooper also thinks the younger players learned a great deal from the veteran group from last season.

“It’s hard to do something great if you’ve never seen great, but to see the guys win all their games last year, and to see the tempo and work habits these guys had, it’s been a positive influence on the guys.”

Auburn will start their second week of Spring practice this week.  Gene Chizik wants to continue to stress physical football.

Chizik said on Saturday, "The emphasis on today's practice was the physicality, being the first day in pads, and running the ball, stopping the run, being physical at the point of attack on both sides of the ball. We did enough to at least get some initial evaluations on some of these young guys."

In the meantime, Auburn has released a great new video today marketing their "Auburn Family, All In" mantra.




Gruden draws huge laugh at Muschamp's coaches clinic

Jon Gruden spoke this weekend in Gainesville at the Will Muschamp Coaches Clinic.  Over 250 high school coaches were in attendance to the event, which was sponsored by IMG Academies.

As the head coach of the Oakland Raiders, Gruden once coached against current Florida offensive coordinator Charlie Weis in the famous 2002 AFC divisional playoff game in New England.  The game will forever be known as the “tuck rule game.”

So Friday, Weis wanted to get Gruden a little rattled and asked a few coaches in the audience to bring up the NFL “tuck rule.”

Gruden (aka Chucky) responded, “If you go back and watch that game, that’s the worst call in NFL history. They all know it’s a fumble. You see coach (Bill) Belichick and Coach Weis and their fans leaving the stadium. They knew that game was over.”

“Coach Belichick used his last timeout because Tom Brady and Weis were in the locker room packing their crap to go home.”

As for the future of the Gators under Will Muschamp, Gruden thinks the Florida players ought to be chomping at the bit to get to position meetings. 

“I think it would be a tremendous charge to come to a meeting room where you have this type of background. All the guys want to be in the NFL. Let’s not kid ourselves.”

“That’s why they play this game, that’s why they came to this school. They want to play in the National Football League. I think it would be a tremendous motivator for these going. They’re going to get treated and coached like an NFL player, and that’s important to some of these guys.”

Florida will conclude Spring practice on April 16th.




Video: Behind-the-scenes at Jerry Kill's first practice in Minnesota

GopherAthletics uploaded the behind-the-scenes from Jerry Kill’s first practice as the head coach at Minnesota.

We received an email from a Gophers’ diehard that explained, “We now have a coach.  We have a real coach.  Mason was a CEO.  The last guy was a used car saleman.  People are excited up here.”

Kill told his team early on, “All I want you to do today is get better.  Listen to your coaches.  Give me your best.”

Our favorite part of the video is around the 3:15 mark when Coach Kill goes on an all-out sprint to talk ball security with a wide receiver.

We also like his demonstration of the cut-block at the 4:40 mark.  Beautiful!

“We definitely have a vision and know how to do it, but one person can’t do it.  It’s got to be a group of people,” says Kill.

The ending is pretty good with Kill sharing some thoughts on his overall outlook on life.

“Every day is a good day for me.  I’m a cancer survivor.  I got a second chance in life.  Every since that happened, I haven’t had many bad days.”

“A lot of people say, ‘Boy there’s pressure.’  You’re worried about not succeeding.  Hey, I’m not worried about it.  I live every day the best I can and don’t look back.”

 




Enos to rely on Morris Watts' 48 years of experience

When Morris Watts accepted the quarterbacks / passing game coordinator job at Central Michigan, it marked the 15th different coaching job for Watts.

Watts served as the offensive coordinator at Miami (OH) last season and was expected to join Mike Haywood’s staff at Pitt, but then briefly found himself out of a job when Haywood was dismissed.

Central Michigan head coach Dan Enos said, "When we had a chance to hire him, I was really excited about it from a personal and a professional level. He is a great resource for us with his 48 years of coaching that reaches out to more than just offense or quarterbacks, it reaches out to everything about the program. He has coached at every level and knows what it takes to be successful."

Watts will be in his 48th season of coaching this year.

Enos said, "Morris is the ultimate professional and he even calls me 'coach' now. That is kind of strange for me because I am used to him calling me 'Dan' or 'Danny.' He has been mentoring me for years now and helping me become a football coach. We have respect for each other and he isn't afraid to offer his opinion and isn't afraid to hear other's opinions."

Watts has now coached at Drake, Louisville, Indiana, Kansas, LSU, Birmingham Stallions, Michigan State, Tampa Bay Bucs, Michigan State, LSU, Mississippi State, Broken Arrow HS, Miami (OH), and Central Michigan.




Butch Jones believes coaching staff continuity is critical

Cincinnati head coach Butch Jones says four assistant coaches were offered jobs at other BCS programs this off-season and all four decided to stay at Cincinnati.

Jones told ESPN, “You win with continuity. At Central Michigan, we were very fortunate to keep our coaching staff intact. This year was extremely challenging, because we had four staff members be offered other BCS, high-caliber, high-profile jobs. And all four stayed. I think that speaks volumes about how they feel about the direction of our program and our players, loyalty, all that stuff. You look at what our defensive players have gone through, with three defensive coordinators in three years, and I'm just a firm believer you win with continuity. Everyone knows what's expected. That's been a huge benefit this offseason.”

“Everybody is saying they've got to get tougher. Everyone says to win you've got to be able to stop the run and be able to run the football, which is true. We're exactly the same. We've just got to live physicality every day.”

In his second year, Jones is still concentrating of laying the strong foundation, so the program can experience long-term success.

“In today's society, everyone is so results-oriented that a lot of times we don't care how you get results as long as you get them. Now when you don't worry about it is when it's short lived. So we're just making sure we're continuing to build from the ground up.”

One reason Jones is excited about this season is the return of quarterback Zach Collaros.

“In just one year, he (Collaros) can walk into a room, and he can teach the offense. We can go out and practice tomorrow, and he can call the whole offense and the plays, the right protections. He understands the philosophy and what we want.”

The theme of Spring ball is "Be a champion."  Jones wants a bunch of individuals working together.  

Cincinnati opens the season with five consecutive non-conference game against Austin Peay, at Tennessee, Akron, NC State, and at Miami (OH).




Pigskin Palooza is back at Texas A&M

Pigskin Palooza is back for its second year at Texas A&M.

Following the Aggies’ practice on April 14th, Texas A&M students can take the field to participate in drills with the players.

Want to catch passes from starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill?  Get it line.

Want to throw a pass to All Big-12 wide receiver Jeff Fuller?  Get it line.

There will be food, drinks, and plenty of opportunities to win prizes such as sideline passes to home games against SMU and Oklahoma State.

It's an interesting way to get the student-body involved in Spring practice.  The Pigskin Palooza event even has its own Facebook page and YouTube video.

 




Skip takes USF through 170 play scrimmage

Skip Holtz put his team through a 170 scrimmage on Saturday.  The Bulls have 39 practices remaining before heading to South Bend to play Notre Dame in the season-opener.  (Who is Dr. Lou going to pick?)

Holtz said, “I wanted to make sure we got a great evaluation of some of the young guys and redshirts.  This wasn’t a scheme scrimmage.  This was about personnel.  We’ll probably release a depth chart by Tuesday or Wednesday.”

“This was a physical day for them.  They will be sore.”

“We are light years from where we where a year ago.”

Defensive coordinator Mark Snyder said, “We are nowhere near where we need to be.  The overall tackling is just not where we need to be.  The bar has been risen and we are going to push to get there.”

Offensive coordinator Todd Fitch echoed the theme of the day by adding, “We are way ahead of a year ago, but not where we want to be.”

USF opens at Notre Dame before hosting Ball State, FAMU, and UTEP.




Dan McCarney offers blunt explanation

North Texas head coach Dan McCarney warned us at his introductory press conference, "I’m a real passionate guy. I don’t sugar coat it.”

Ever since, McCarney has made it clear that he has a plan and that plan includes building a tough football team.

With the first day of full pads looming, McCarney offered a rather blunt description of what he’s looking for out of his players.

McCarney explained, “This is when we will really find out. You have to be a physical football player to have a chance to play. You can lift, you can run, you can be accountable, you can learn the offense and defense, but if you are not ready to make physical plays when contact starts, you are not going to play for me and this staff.”

It sounds pretty clear to us and it’s not surprising to hear from McCarney, a former assistant under Urban Meyer.

Just last Fall as the Gators were struggling, Meyer said, “Obviously, we’re down. We got to build this thing back up. How do you rebuild it? Tough-ass players and tough-ass coaches.”

North Texas will practice this week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  According to the North Texas website, Friday's practice session is set to begin at 6 am.  

Boy, I bet the players are fired up for that one.