Joe Paterno explains his plan to handle quarterback decision
Joe Paterno feels this year's team at Penn State is more willing to accept tough coaching that last year's team. Paterno believes the Nittany Lions will be improved, but he isn't close to naming a starting quarterback.
A year ago, Paterno allowed his nine assistant coaches to vote on the starting quarterback at the beginning of the year. Paterno admitted to the Reading Eagle that he didn't want true freshman Rob Bolden to start, but all nine assistants voted for Bolden, so Bolden started.
Joe Pa explained, “Because I thought he (Bolden) was a little too young. He hadn't been here for spring practice. He had just been in high school. He had never played before 100,000 people in an environment such as Alabama. So I was concerned about that and I laid back a little bit because the guys were all gung-ho about it.”
Not surprisingly, Joe Pa is going to let the quarterback battle play itself out during August camp.
He explained, “I'm assuming he's (Bolden) going to come back unless he tells me otherwise. I think in all fairness to the kid, he ought to be looking forward to enjoying it. Most of these kids are pretty good kids, just like the (Pat) Devlin kid.”
“Devlin and his dad sat in my kitchen. The dad said he needed two years to be a pro. I said, ‘He could have two years here.’ He went to Delaware and took him to a national championship game. I thought he'd be a pretty good draft pick, and he didn't even get drafted. He's better than that. I like Devlin, but (Daryll) Clark had done a good job, and I wasn't about to just.”
“I'm going to play the guy who's best for the team as long as the kid works at it. Devlin may have beaten out Clark if he had come back, I don't know. But the year we played Clark ahead of Devlin (2008), I thought Clark was better for that team. Right now, I wouldn't know for sure which one of the two kids (Bolden or Matt McGloin) would start. I'd sit down and tell them what I'm thinking. I don't want them to read about it in the press.”
Sounds like a veteran head coach.
Penn State opens with Indiana State. Alabama visits Happy Valley in week #2 for a 3:30 pm EST kick-off.
Andy Ludwig: I don't know what more you could ask for...
Andy Ludwig is gearing up for his first season as the offensive coordinator at San Diego State. Ludwig joined Rocky Long’s staff after serving as the offensive coordinator at Cal last season.
It was an easy decision for Ludwig, who feels very comfortable with the offensive personnel at San Diego State. He is looking forward to coaching senior quarterback Ryan Lindley, who is on his third different offensive coordinator as a starter.
Ludwig told XTRA Sports 1360 in San Diego, “I really feel like my job is to make sure it (our personnel) fits what I want to do. With a four year starter at quarterback, a 1500 yard rusher at tailback, four or five returning o-lineman, and a good group of tight ends…I don’t know what more you could ask for as an offensive coordinator.”
“It will be pro-style, west-coast emphasis that ensures we are featuring the quarterback and tailback.”
Ludwig made it seem the Rocky Long isn’t radically changing the way things were done under former head coach Brady Hoke.
“I don’t think it’s a new philosophy at all. I think Brady Hoke coached toughness and demanded high character out of his players and I see the same thing out of Coach Long.”
Asked if overall depth is the biggest difference between some of the bigger schools that he has coached at, Ludwig said, “That’s my initial impression. It’s the depth. But again, I think the younger players that we are bringing in are quality guys. I feel good about our personnel across the board.”
San Diego State opens with four non-conference games including Cal Poly, at Army, Washington State, and at Michigan.
Cutcliffe blames himself for Bama game, looks forward to hosting Stanford
Duke head coach David Cutcliffe believes the Blue Devils are close and he knows what has to happen to produce more wins.
During a radio interview on Thursday, Cutcliffe said, “I know we’re better. We just have to produce wins. That’s the bottom line.”
“We played well last year, (but) we didn’t win. We lost five ACC football games that we very easily could have won, three by five points, one by six, and one by ten at Georgia Tech when we were leading but managed to throw a pick-six.”
“We have to take care of the football and we certainly have to play better defense. If we can do those things and do them much better, we can have a really fine football team.”
Cutcliffe is hoping for a much improved season from quarterback Sean Renfree, who threw 17 interceptions a year ago.
Cutcliffe explained about Renfree, “It’s a mental thing. Not trying to win games. Shaun is really athletic and people don’t know it. I want him to relax. When are they going to turn the corner. He takes that personally and is out there trying to win games on every possession. You can’t play quarterback like that. He has matured. He’s watched hours of more film. He’s watched those seventeen interceptions. I think he has a much better grip on who he is and how to go about winning football games as a quarterback.”
Last year, Duke hosted Alabama at Wallace-Wade Stadium. The Crimson Tide won 62-13. Cutcliffe, who is usually one of the best in preparing for marquee games, seemed disappointed with himself in the preparation for Alabama.
This year, the Stanford Cardinal will travel to Duke in week #2.
Cutcliffe said, “A year ago, Alabama came to town and we laid an egg. I think I underestimated the emotions. We were drained before we ever played the game. I just didn’t manage, it was kinda normal for me, but that’s what I’ve done my entire career. Our team was just spent. I think we’re better equipped this time and I think we’ll play really well against Stanford.”
Dooley addresses potential multi-year scholarships
Early in the week, we made an SEC Media Days prediction that, “Dooley will spend at least 40% of the time talking about rule changes, NCAA stuff, athletic director questions (the stuff other than this year’s team).”
In the words of a loyal FootballScoop reader, “It wasn't your wildest prediction in the article, but you were correct on Dooley.”
The Tennessee head coach loves to talk, which leads us to Andrew Gribble’s article this morning with a stunning title…“Dooley Not Afraid to Share Opinions.”
Addressing the topic of potential multi-year scholarships that Mike Slive is interested in, Dooley didn’t hesitate to offer his opinion.
Dooley explained, "I hear about how it's so awful when a player gets a scholarship taken away. I'm sitting there going, 'Universities give academic scholarships all the time, and if a student doesn't meet certain academic requirements, they take it away from them.'"
"It's no different to me in athletics. We have a commitment to them, and they have a commitment to us. So we're giving them a benefit and they're giving us a benefit. That's why it's a contract."
Good point, young Derek.
Pat Fitzgerald talks about money and text messaging
Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald has a thought about alleviating the financial pressures on college football players.
Fitzgerald told ESPN, “What's the easiest way to do it? Get their tax returns, get their family's tax returns and then create a scale.”
“That's one thing I thought about. Create a scale. If you're whatever percent above, you don't get anything. If you're below it, then you get (funds) based on your need. There's the easiest thing to do. To base it on revenue generated for a school, no way, no way. Now we're not talking about amateur sports."
It’s an interesting thought, one that Fitzgerald could probably expand much more upon.
Fitz also offered his opinion on text messaging. We’re sure some coaches would definitely agree with Fitz on this one.
He said, "We don't need to text message. I think the quality of life factor for the student-athletes we realize when we had it, and on the coaching side when we had the ability to text message was awful for both sides. I'm not for that. I'm not for that for our assistant coaches. I do like the ability to communicate with the kids and build a relationship, and we can do that right now via Facebook, so we don't need it.”
On Wednesday, SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said the text messaging just makes sense. Slive said it’s ridiculous that text messages have caused probations. In reality, that’s how young people communicate, so you might as well text.
If only they could come to a happy medium where coaches couldn't and wouldn't feel obligated to send "recruiting" texts. But that's not going to happen.
Joker: Our theme this year is 'Rise'
Kentucky head coach Joker Phillips wants to take Kentucky football to the next level. It’s time for the Wildcats to “rise.”
Joker explained, “Our theme this year is 'Rise.' Our marketing department came up with the theme rise. We have shown that we at Kentucky can compete in this league.”
“Our challenge to our players, our veteran players and our young players, our new players, is to try to fill the void of some of the departure players we just lost. We lost a lot of production out of this past class. We have challenged our present players, our new players, to make sure that they are filling that void.
In order for this program to continue to rise we have got to do the things that is necessary for it to rise. 'Rise' meaning not just going to bowl games, but being able to contend for championships in this league.”
“We are doing a lot of things to elevate this program to the next level. We've been 8-5. We dropped to 6-7 this past year. The thing we have to do, and I've told this football team, The teams that are successful in this league are the teams that have discipline, teams that are physical, teams that are tough, have toughness. Those are the things that we've got to strive to get back to.”
Kentucky opens against Western Kentucky in Nashville, TN. The other non-conference games include Central Michigan, Louisville, and Jacksonville State.
Two weeks away: Clemson OC Chad Morris starting to feel it
Martavis, Cherone, Sammy, and Mike may become household names by the middle of the season, but Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris wants them to fully understand, “You may have done something in high school. Big deal. I don’t care.”
Love it! College football is getting close. And the coaches are starting to feel it, too.
Clemson fans are drooling over the 4 and 5-star offensive skill position players that signed with the Tigers in February.
But here are Chad Morris’ thoughts:
“There are about four of ‘em or so that will have an opportunity. When fall camp starts, we’re fixin’ to find out what they can do. They’re gonna have every opportunity. But again, they hadn’t done anything yet.”
“These guys need to know, you hadn’t done nothing yet. You may have done something in high school. Big deal. I don’t care. What are you fixin’ to do right now?”
“We can’t get you here as a 5-star athlete whatever you are, 4-star All-American or whatever and you think you’ve arrived. Just because you’re here doesn’t mean you’re here. You haven’t arrived. “
“That will be my first day meeting with those guys. If they don’t like it, tough. They can do something else. This is how we’re going to play.”
Memphis coaches selling 'weapons' and 'million-dollar baby'
And the sales job of the month goes to………Memphis head coach Larry Porter.
Not often do we bring you recruiting related news, but we like to humor you when we can, so we thought we’d catch you up on the reasons why Melrose HS (Memphis, TN) quarterback Will Gross verbally committed to Memphis this week.
According to Scout, Gross is a 4-star prospect and the #14 overall quarterback in the country. He claims a number of big offers and his three reasons for committing are pretty funny.
Here’s what Gross told the Commercial Appeal.
We like the “million-dollar baby” phrase. We also like the fact that the University of Memphis hasn’t been called Memphis State in over a decade.
Will Gross quote #2: “Everyone kept going, ‘the SEC is where it is. Or North Carolina.’ But my heart was in Memphis.”
Will Gross quote #3: “(The program) is changing. They have so many weapons. I think I’m capable of using all the weapons they have.”
Is he talking about the overabundance of weapons that helped Memphis finish 119th in scoring offense last season and 117th in total offense?
For that reason, our sales job of the month goes to Larry Porter.
Speaking of Porter, here's a nine minute video interview with the Memphis head coach. He talks about how he has grown as a head coach in the last year and the future of the Memphis program.