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Recapping our visit with the Texas Tech staff

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Last week I spent two days with the Texas Tech staff...and came away very impressed. Over the next few weeks I plan to share a number of stories and insight into the coaches on staff; but I also wanted to provide some high level thoughts now based upon my time there. 

Zach and I had been talking about how impressed I was and we figured we just roll some tape to share with you my thoughts on where the program is and what the future looks like for Texas Tech football. 

 Will share a number of other pictures, stories and opinions over the coming weeks. Stay tuned...

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Kliff and his staff at their staff meeting Thursday morning

One last note, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Coach Kingsbury, the entire staff and particularly Kenny Bell for their assistance and hospitality during my visit. Nothing but great people in West Texas. Thank you




Kentucky OC Neal Brown learned an important lesson his first year in the SEC

Neal Brown's hire as Kentucky's offensive coordinator brought plenty of hype, and hope to the Wildcat program. When the season finally came to a close, the Wildcats finished 100th or worse offensive in both scoring (108th) and pass offense (100th), and they ranked 86th in rush offense.

Looking back on year one with The Courier-Journal, Brown noted that in order to improve moving forward they need to dramatically improve in talent level, and create more depth within the program to be successful in the SEC. He also detailed an important lesson that he sees now looking back on the season, and it's something that head coaches and coordinators everywhere should take note of, especially if you're in a league where you're often outmatched physically or talent-wise.

"I think what happens when you're maybe not as talented as some of the teams you're playing is you try to out-scheme some people and maybe deviate from the system you have in place. I think we did that." he explained.

"We tried to maybe cover up some areas that were weaknesses for us, where if I had it to do over again I would just really concentrate on fundamentals and stuck with the system and not swayed off it as much and just really concentrate more on fundamentals."

Going into the year, Brown and the staff set a goal of having the opportunity to win the game when the fourth quarter came around.

"Our goal was to take games into the fourth quarter and, with the exception of three games, we had opportunities to win in the fourth quarter – the exceptions being the Alabama, Georgia and Missouri games. But the rest of the games, we had realistic opportunities to win the game, and that was kind of my goal to give us a chance in the fourth quarter. Now obviously we didn't finish those games, but we did give ourselves an opportunity."

"Some of the things we did schematically did give us an opportunity to win the game. We just didn't do it. Looking back, after we went 2-10, the schematics kept us in games but we didn't win them, so I think one thing if I had to do it again is maybe being less concerned with schematics, being more concerned with just getting fundamentally better each week – which we did, but we could've done better."

Read the full Q&A session, with a lot more quality content, here.




This brand new D-III program has some of the nicest helmets we've seen

We can't yet say how George Fox University will perform in their inaugural football season, but at least we know they'll look good.

 A Division III school in Newberg, Oregon, the Bruins will play their first football season in 45 years this fall, kicking off with Arizona Christian on Sept. 6. And they'll do so in some of the sharpest helmets in college football. George Fox has partnered with Hydro Graphics, Inc., to design their lids. If you're not familiar with the name HGI, you're certainly familiar with their work. They claim some of the most innovative and futuristic helmet designs in college football in their portfolio

Launching your Division III program as a peer of the likes of Florida, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon and the like? Head coach Chris Casey has to love that. 

 George Fox helmets




What would your players do if a coach got padded up for a drill?

The circle drill. Every program has their own variation of it. We highlighted Texas' version earlier today, and LSU calls their version the Big Cat Drill.

But what would your players do if a coach showed up in full pads, and called a few players out in the middle?  See how the team at Lincoln University (D-II - PA) reacted when head coach Ramon Flanigan came out of the press box suited up from head to toe. The first minute or so of the clip contains the players' reaction to seeing their coach padded up and the last thirty seconds or so is where the real action is, everything in between is all part of the build up to the big moment.




Show up to work and your entire office is filled with packing peanuts

This is the scene Stanford director of football operations Matt Doyle saw when he arrived to work on Tuesday. I would love to see how, say, Nick Saban would handle this situation.




Get up close and personal during Texas' Circle Drill

The circle drill is football at its essence. It's you, the guy across from you and the ground, and two of those three are about to get acquainted with each other. It's football the way George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and the other Founding Fathers would want it. 

It's also the epitome of the toughness and competitiveness that Charlie Strong and his staff want to install at Texas.




Video: The Penn State coaching staff try to catch punts

It all started off innocently enough with James Franklin calling out a few of the big fellas to catch some "punts" from the JUGS machine to keep practice light and fun. Everyone loves to see that kind of stuff. Then, one by one, Franklin started calling out the coaching staff.

First went Herb Hand (OL), followed by Sean Spencer (DL), Bob Shoop (DC), John Donovan (OC), and then head athletic trainer Tim Bream got in on the action. Overall the coaching staff went an embarrassing 2/5 against the JUGS machine. Coach Spencer not only caught it, but it looks like he could have returned it to the house as well.

At the conclusion of the clip, Franklin reminds players "I want us to celebrate, and I want us to have fun as much as anyone in the country...but we're going to do it the right way."

Putting the height and weight of the players in there was a nice touch, and I really enjoyed seeing them to continue to do it for the staff attempts as well.




Akron may have black uniforms on the way

Days after the announcement of new gold chrome helmets, it looks like Akron may also be adding some sharp black uniforms to their 2014 combinations, according to a tweet from Terry Bowden.

These black uniforms with the new lids would look really sharp on the field together and would bring a lot of new energy to the program and excite the fan base. After all, who doesn't love new black unis?