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Larry Porter lays out goals for Spring practice

Memphis begins Spring practice today under second-year head coach Larry Porter.

Two new coaches joined the staff this off-season.  Former Utah assistant Blake Miller joined the staff as co-offensive coordinator / offensive line coach and former Arkansas – Pine Bluff assistant Jerry Mack joined the staff as wide receivers coach.  Quarterbacks coach / assistant head coach Kevin McGiven will now call the plays.

Porter said today on Sports56 in Memphis, “Offensively, it goes back to establishing continuity on the offensive line and challenging our wide receivers to be more productive. We have to have the guys that play around the quarterback be more productive than a year ago.”

“We have to have a more aggressive style of play-calling.  It won’t be completely spread, but it will be more up tempo offense and aggressive with the play-calling, and much more creative in the plays we are running.”

“Defensively, first and foremost we want to simplify things and then we must improve our tackling and third-down defense.”

Porter made sure to appease the Memphis supporters during Spring practice by announcing, “The facility is open.  We want our town to come and be around us and enjoy the day as we go to work.”

Memphis open against Mississippi State, at Arkansas State, and Austin Peay.

Mike Riley: It's almost turning into AAU basketball

Oregon State head coach Mike Riley is not interested in dealing with a “middle man” during the recruiting process.

Riley told The Oregonian, “It’s almost turning into something like AAU basketball.’’

In recent weeks, certain recruiting service companies have come under question for the exact services they are truly providing to colleges.

One college assistant told FootballScoop, “There is one school out there that is paying a guy about $10,000.  It’s supposed to be for video of prospects, but in reality it’s for that guy being responsible for bringing 5-6 top prospects in his area across country to summer camp.  The money pays for the trip expenses and registration for the prospects.  The guy keeps the rest and may send a few videos.”

Mike Riley told The Oregonian, “For the most part, our interaction has been through high school coaches, counselors, teachers, the kid, and his family. That’s been it. But there is a growing concern out there about other entities entering the picture, and it’s not healthy.’’

Perhaps the most subscibed to service by college coaches is The Coach Tracker database, which is sent monthly to over 110 college coaching staffs.  The Coach Tracker includes the cell number & email address of nearly every high school head football coach in the country.  The database is updated daily by the FootballScoop Staff.   We can assure you that there is no "middle man."

 

Muschamp ready to begin Spring practice at Florida

Florida starts Spring practice on Wednesday and practice will be closed to the public.

It will be the first practice under new head coach Will Muschamp and his assistants that include Charlie Wies (offensive coordinator / quarterbacks), Brian White (running backs), Aubrey Hill (wide receivers / recruiting coordinator), Frank Verducci (offensive line / run game coordinator), and Derek Lewis (tight ends).

The defensive staff includes Dan Quinn (defensive coordinator / defensive line), Bryant Young (defensive line), Travaris Robinson (defensive backs), and DJ Durkin (special teams coordinator / linebackers).

Will Muschamp explained, “I’ve got to make a decision that I think is best for the program and about winning football games and doing it the right way. That’s something that will be evaluated in the fall by me and in the spring by me. If I think it’s best for the practices to be closed, they’ll be closed.”

Muschamp talked about goals for the Spring.

He said, “Develop the leadership. Come together for that common purpose. I know we’ll all be excited on Wednesday; I want to see how we are [at] practice 12. That’s really where you find out what kind of team you’ve got. We want to be a blue-collar, overachieving unit. We’ve got some good football players; we got a good football team on campus. We’ve got to come together as a cohesive unit, build for a common purpose and develop that workman-like attitude.”

So what type of defensive scheme will the Gators implement?

Muschamp said, “We want to be multiple. We’ll be more of an over team, a 4-3 team, a one-gap team at this point. We will co-mingle some 3-4.”

The Gators open next season against Florida Atlantic, UAB, and Tennessee.  The month of October looks daunting with games against Alabama, at LSU, at Auburn, and at Georgia.

Stockstill opens Spring practice with new coaches and new goals

Spring practice starts today at Middle Tennessee State.

Head coach Rick Stockstill has two new coordinators and a couple of new assistants.  Willie Simmons was promoted from running backs coach to offensive coordinator.  Special teams coordinator / corners coach Steve Ellis is the new defensive coordinator.

Former Murray State offensive coordinator Buster Faulkner is the new quarterbacks coach / passing game coordinator and former Valdosta State defensive coordinator Joe Cauthen takes over the special teams coordinator / linebackers job.

Rick Stockstill talked about his concerns this morning.

Stockstill said, “Being a team. I did not feel like we were a close team last year like we have been in the past. I want to make sure it is WE and not ME. I have stressed with everyone to be on the same page, support each other, and pull the rope in the same direction. We have not mentioned one word about winning a certain number of games next year or winning a conference championship.”

“We have only talked about winning the day so we will focus on winning Wednesday and then worry about Thursday on Thursday. I have signs around our offices and locker room about winning the day with three code phrases. One is doing things as fast as we can, two is effort, and three is finish everything you start.”

Stockstill will focus on turnovers and protecting the football.

“I will also stress our tempo because we want to play as fast as anyone in the country while also protecting the football. Over the last two years we have won just one game when we lost the turnover battle and that was against Austin Peay. We also have to create more explosive plays because we were not effective in that area a year ago.”

MTSU opens at Purdue before hosting Georgia Tech in week 2.  The other non-conference games are against Memphis and at Tennessee.

UCONN coaches looking for quarterback "escapability"

Football coaches have created a new word.

“Escapability.”

Although the term is not an actual English word, “escapability” has become accepted as the skill to impress with elusiveness in the pocket.

Trent Dilfer, the best analyst in football, used the term no less than 9,221 times on TV and/or ESPN Radio during the 2010 football season.

It’s the skill that UCONN head coach Paul Pasqualoni and offensive coordinator George DeLeone are looking for on the recruiting trail.

DeLeone explained the ESPN, “In the NFL, I look at the great quarterbacks. I look at Drew Brees. One of the great things he has is escapability. You look at Phillip Rivers. One of the great things he has is escapability. I look at Tom Brady -- as great a dropback passer as he is, I see him avoid people in the pocket. As great a dropback passer as Peyton Manning is, I see him live and in person avoiding people in the pocket.” 

My point is, number one, quarterbacks have to have some sort of escapability. In today's day and age, with the amount of blitzes and pressures you see, quarterbacks have to be able to escape and have to do something beyond the design of the play to keep the chains moving. When we had Donovan McNabb, he was the greatest example of that. On three of the four third downs, he'd sit in pocket and throw the ball. And all of a sudden on the fourth one, he'd run for a first down and keep the chains moving.”

UCONN begins Spring practice today.  The high in Storrs today is 48 degrees and sunny.  

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