Mickey Marotti: "It's all about effort"
Urban Meyer's "most important hire", strength coach Mickey Marotti sat down with ESPN to talk about the off season strength program.
The Buckeye strength staff are firm believers that effort has nothing to do with ability. "It has nothing to do with talent, it has nothing to do with genetics, it has nothing to do with how many stars you have next to your name, whether you're a five-star or a four-star or a three-star, all of that doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if you're a scholarship player, a walk-on player, a kicker, a starting linebacker. It's all about effort."
Marotti talked about how they specifically motivate players, including the use of lavender shirts for guys that aren't performing well. "We like to let everybody know who isn't working as hard as they need to work. And it works. Because the next time, they won't have it on."
The strength staff also charts everything from competitive wins in the weight room, to loafs and particularly good lifts. "Everything's charted where everybody can see. We push the accountability aspect, and here's the deal and if you're not doing well, why aren't you doing well? All those things motivate you. Putting them in competitive situations motivates them as well."
Norm Parker shares coaching memories
Norm Parker was in Des Moines yesterday for what is usually a February recruiting recap event, but this year turned into a retirement well wishing event where he spent some time sharing stories from his coaching career.
Parker said that during his time as an assistant at Michigan State when they were playing Iowa, the Hawkeyes ran a sweep toward the Spartan sideline and he was at the line of scrimmage. As the play got closer to the sideline and he tried to move back, he felt pressure from the people behind him trying to push the people in front out of the way. The ball carrier ended up running into Parker and knocking him out, "I never stood on the line of scrimmage-extended, ever again.” Parker said.
When Parker was asked about Iowans and the bond that Hawkeye fans share, Parker said "We don’t have any oceans here in Iowa, we don’t really have things that stand out. But I think that is a strength because it just means we have each other. So the people and what they have in common is what stands out.”
Parker also admitted that Iowa football "isn't sexy". He expanded by saying, "You don’t come here to ski; you go to Colorado. You don’t come here to sit on the beach; you go to Miami. If you want to play football, you come to Iowa.” You can bet he shared that with recruits over the years.
Parker shared a ton of stories over the years at the event, and says that he still plans to go to the football complex each day to do some work, but doesn't envision himself being the type of guy to sit in on coaching meetings. "I don’t want to be one of those guys who overshadows other people. This is Phil Parker’s defense now, it’s not mine.”
Gary Patterson's statement about drug arrests
This morning, a number of TCU students were arrested in connection with drug use. 4 of those students were also at some point in their career's part of the TCU football program. Needless to say, they are no longer part of the program.
Rather than letting the story fester as some do, Gary Patterson took the more forward approach of addressing the tough situation. We believe this is the proper course and commend him for coming out publicly like this.
Patterson's statement is as follows:
"There are days people want to be a head football coach, but today is not one of those days. As I heard the news this morning, I was first shocked, then hurt and now I’m mad.
"Under my watch, drugs and drug use by TCU’s student-athletes will not be tolerated by me or any member of my coaching staff. Period. Our program is respected nationally for its strong ethics and for that reason the players arrested today were separated from TCU by the University. I believe strongly that young people’s lives are more important than wins or losses.
"This situation isn’t unique to TCU—it is a global issue that we all have to address. This isn’t just about bad decisions made by a small percentage of my team. It is about a bigger issue across this country and world.
"As a coach, I do the best I can to educate members of my team. We have programs in place that teach student-athletes about what they should and shouldn’t do and how to be successful in life. I talk to them about how to be students and upstanding men that uphold the TCU name and its traditions.
"At the end of the day, though, sometimes young people make poor choices. The Horned Frogs are bigger and stronger than those involved."
MNF switching to a two man booth
ESPN announced earlier this morning that Ron Jaworski has signed a 5 year extension to appear on "other programming on the network" and would no longer be accompanying play by play commentator Mike Tirico and color commentator Jon Gruden in the booth for Monday Night Football.
Numerous reports say that Jaworksi will appear in various other ESPN studio shows year round.
This will mark the first time in 15 seasons that Monday Night Football will enter the season with a two man lead team in the booth.
Sounds like Gruden really will be staying off the sidelines for a while.
Bud Foster wants his defense to be like Bama's
Bud Foster sat down with Andy Bitter who covers Hokie football for the Roanoke Times yesterday, and shared some thoughts on his plans before the start of spring ball, and improving the Virginia Tech defense in 2012.
Foster says that they always try to get out somewhere to visit as a staff, and this year they plan on going down to Jacksonville to visit with the Jags as well as the Missouri staff, who will be down there as well.
"We’ve known them [Missouri] for years. And they were at Toledo when [Gary] Pinkel was there and they’ve been down there, I’ve been out there [giving clinics] at Missouri. We went to Indianapolis a couple years ago and met them. It’s a chance to visit with an NFL club and they’re similar, but also get a chance to visit with a group that we’ll share ideas with.”
Foster says he enjoys visiting with the Missouri staff because they saw a lot of spread looks from their time in the Big 12, and they want to be prepared for up tempo offenses like Clemson and the newest addition of the spread in the ACC with Larry Fedora at UNC. "We’ll pick their brain a little bit. How do they defend? What do they think is good? What do they like on certain situations or certain looks?" Foster and the staff go down there with an agenda on the types of things that they want to look at, not limited to different pressures and coverages.
Foster's main goal is to get back to the type of defense that they had in 2005. "I want us to be a defense like Alabama. That’s my expectations. And we’ve been there before. We’ve been, whatever it was, 2005, we walked on the field and I knew we were going to go out and play our tail off and it was going to be a long day for that group on the other side."
Cinci strength program mirrors offensive philosophy
Cincinnati released a video last night highlighting how they mesh their weight room tempo with their offensive strategy.
"Coach Lawson and I talk a lot about the fruits of his labor showing up on game day." Offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian said of his conversations with head strength coach Dave Lawson.
Bajakian expands in the video below by saying that they have a "big picture philosophy" where what they do in the weight room, and how they do it, goes hand in hand with what they do offensively.
Beckman: "The hardest thing I've ever done..."
The Big Ten Networks Gerry DiNardo caught up with new Illinois head coach Tim Beckman yesterday.
Beckman said that the hardest thing that he has ever had to do as a coach was going back to say goodbye to his players at Toledo, and then returning for the senior banquet later because he felt he needed to say goodbye to not only the seniors, but also the parents.
"Probably one of the toughest things too was reading some of those tweets." Beckman said of the Twitter storm that circulated after news had leaked that he had taken the Illini job. "I had a couple players that were crushed. Those players understand why, now, I made that decision."
DiNardo and Beckman also talked about the reason behind his offensive philosophy, the new off season program, and how he finds balance in life as a coach.
You'll love this - New facility at Tennessee has a MMA Cage
Tennessee is a few months away from finishing a new $45 million, 145,000 sq. foot practice facility...that will "feature a mixed martial arts cage"! As Dooley puts it, "so we can go in and fight and all that stuff."
The new 22,000 sq. foot weight room referred to as a "multilevel thunderdome of power" in the promotional video below looks pretty nice.
The new facility includes the thunderdome of power, a "restaurant" for the team, plenty of meeting space, coaches' offices, a hydro therapy room, the MMA fighting cage, a recruiting "museum of sorts" that will feature a "Peyton Manning Room", etc...
All in all, this place will be nice.