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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.

Turner Gill's practice play of the day

Kansas has a couple of things going with the launching of CoachTurnerGill.com and the practice play of the day.

A theme on the new website is “Believe in each other, and things not yet seen.”  One of the neat things on the site is the ability to watch previous episodes of “The Gridiron,” the weekly in-season behind-the-scenes look at Kansas football.

The Jayhawks are now 5 practices in to spring ball after a winter condition program admittedly focused on making the players more explosive and mentally tough.

Gill has been pleased with the wide receivers.

"I think the wide receivers are doing pretty well," said Gill. "As a unit they look pretty good. At this point no one person is standing out, but we have a good solid group there. Coach Beaty is an outstanding coach and a great communicator. He gets his players to really respond well on the football field and I know they will as we get into the season."

No one person may be standing out consistently, but we ask ‘Who is this wide receiver making the sweet grab in Turner’s practice play of the day?’

Courtesy of a tweet from Coach Gill, here is the film.

You even get the inter-cut version.  We like it.

UPDATE: Email from a hardcore defensive line coach: Looks like illegal man downfield on the center.  

 

SPRING FOOTBALL - PLAY OF THE DAY # 4 from Kansas Jayhawks on Vimeo.

Video: The making of Nick Saban's statue

Nick’s statue goes up on Saturday in Tuscaloosa prior to the Alabama spring game.

Having won the 2009 national championship, Saban will be the fourth coach with a bronze statue outside Byrant-Denny Stadium next to the Walk of Champions.

Saban, Bear Bryant, Gene Stallings, Wallace Wade, and Frank Thomas have all led the Crimson Tide to a national championship.

Considering the awful circumstances surrounding the oak trees at Toomer's Corner in Auburn, we'll bet Bama security will have a close eye on the statues for the immediate future.  

Saban's statue was created by a truly gifted undergraduate student named Jeremy Davis.  Davis' work from start to finish was captured on film.

 

Spurrier, as only he can, reacts to latest suspension

In classic Steve Spurrier fashion, the South Carolina head coach addressed reporters following practice yesterday about Stephen Garcia’s latest suspension.

Spurrier's best line: "Ahh, we don't throw but 18-20 times a game anyway (smiling).  As long as Marcus is back there..."

We recommend watching the 3 minute post-practice media session, but in case you’d rather read the transcript, here it goes:

Spurrier: As most of you know, Eric Hyman issued a statement today about Stephen Garcia.  Basically, he had an issue that caused him to be suspended.  It’s a university decision.  The president, athletic director, and myself were all involved in the decision. He will be suspended from football activities the rest of the semester and his status will be determined at a later date.  So that’s about all I need to say about it, so we’ll progress and move on from here.

Reporter: What did he do?

Spurrier: I’m sure you got some investigators.  I’m sure you guys can investigate it out.

Reporter: He has said it was not alcohol related, not drug related, he was not arrested.  This is what he said to reporters.

Spurrier: I’m not getting into details.

Reporter: Coach, do you want him back next season.

Spurrier: I’m not getting into details.  The statement is there.  That’s where we are right now.  You guys can take it from there, which I’m sure you will.

Reporter: Steve, how frustrating is it for you?

Spurrier: Ahh, no, I’m not going to get into all that either.  If he’s back, he’s back.  If he’s not, it's really the same thing as a guy getting hurt or going pro or whatever.  Players come and go, as we all know.  This instant should never have happened, but it did, so this is where we are.

Reporter: Is there any limit to the number a suspension a guy can occur by a program?

Spurrier: You need to ask somebody else that, ok.  You need to get your investigators.  You know I’m not going to say anything.

 

As the post-practice media session was wrapping up, a reporter tried to sneak in one more question about Garcia’s reaction to the suspension.

Spurrier jogged off with some sweat black socks.  Please watch.

Dooley on the understatement of the century and 'Year Zero'

Derek Dooley didn’t inherit the greatest of situations at Tennessee, but was it really as bad as Dooley is making it sound?

Dooley was asked yesterday, “Is it a little bit of a different feeling this spring?”

The Vols head coach responded, “That might be the understatement of the century.  Last year was unlike any situation  I don’t think any head coach as ever walked into, given the instability of the program, the attrition that had happened.  That’s why I called it ‘Year Zero.’  We’re now in ‘Year One.’”

Dooley admitted the LSU and UNC games were especially hard.

“The LSU game, when I reflect back, it was tough.  As much as we kept telling the team to put it behind us, it took me several weeks to really get to where I wasn’t eaten alive over the finish.”

Perhaps the biggest surprise about the job?

“Everything that you do here is going to get analyzed and scrutinized.  That’s the biggest difference between here and a lot of other places.  As long as you welcome that, I use it to keep me on my toes.  We’re going to make mistakes and you can’t hide your mistakes here.  Your mistakes are well publicized.”

Tennessee will play their spring game on April 16th at 2 pm EST on FoxSports South.  The Vols will open the 2011 season against Montana.  The following three games include Cincinnati, at Florida, and Buffalo.

UPDATE: An emailers email to FootballScoop reads, "Dooley just made the overstatement of the century." 

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