Holgorsen talks about WVU talent, developing players, and Blackmon
West Virginia offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach Dana Holgorsen believes his system can help develop an average player into a great player.
This spring, Holgorsen is putting an emphasis on evaluating talent and developing players.
Asked to compare the talent at West Virginia against the talent at the previous schools he has coached at, Holgorsen admitted, “I don’t know yet.”
“One thing this offense allows you to do is develop kids. You take a guy like Joel Filani, who was a 2-time all Big Twelve first team receiver his junior and senior year, went to the league and played a little bit, he was absolutely terrible for 2 straight years. So guys do develop. This is the beginning product. I mean, I think the talent is fine, but the way guys develop is what is most important to me.”
“Last year at Oklahoma State, Justin Blackmon was the third best receiver about 2 weeks into camp. Just based on development and maturity, ended up being pretty good.”
“Maturity is the biggest thing. He (Blackmon) was 180 pounds in high school, so you don’t know how kids are going to develop from ages 18 to 22. He absorbed a lot and was really dedicated in the weight room.”
Geno Smith returns at quarterback for the Mountaineers.
Holgorsen said, “We’re playing at a fast rate. I’m force feeding Geno (Smith), too. They (the quarterbacks) stare a hole through me sometimes because they don’t get it. They get it, they turn. They don’t get it, they stare at me. That bothers me at times. I get aggravated, tell them to hurry up, go, and yell at them. We’re teaching them. I’m doing that on purpose.”
One thing Holgorsen doesn’t worry about is arm strength.
“I don’t care about arm strength. That’s about #9 on my list.”
West Virginia opens with Marshall, Norfolk State, and at Maryland. In week #4, LSU travels to Morgantown. The game will undoubtedly be nationally televised. We’re hoping to see Holgorsen crush a Red Bull just before kick-off.
Skip Holtz pretty blunt after 5 turnovers & 16 penalties
South Florida held a scrimmage on Saturday. Following 5 turnovers and 16 penalties, Skip Holtz started his post-practice media session with, “You had to be a football enthusiast to enjoy that.”
Holtz said, "It was ugly to watch."
“Right now, we’re not playing base defense. I don’t mean this negative, but we’re not good enough to play base defense. That’s why we’re doing what we’re doing. We’re not good enough to play base defense and hold a gap. We’ve got to create confusion.”
“Move, twist, stunt, stand up, drop, zone, blitz, man…that’s what we’re going to have to do to be good.”
On the flip side, Holtz continues to worry about the Bulls’ ability to throw it and catch it.
“Offensively, I worry if we can run it against a good team that runs base. It’s hard for us in turn to get that because that’s not what we do defensively. Same thing, it’s hard for us to get a really good feel for the secondary because we can’t challenge them offensively. We don’t throw it and catch it well enough.”
Translation…Dr. Lou reminded Skip to tell the media how God awful his team is performing. South Florida travels to South Bend to play the Irish in 5 months. It's the season-opener for both teams.
Who will Dr. Lou pick? Do you care?
Muschamp in a bind for Saturday's spring game
Will Muschamp says the Gators are down to 7 total bodies on the offensive line.
Muschamp told ESPN, “We're working about seven [offensive linemen], and that's total bodies. That's all we've got. Injuries are part of the game. There's nobody feeling sorry for the Gators right now, I can tell you that.”
This should make things interesting for offensive line coach Frank Verducci.
Speaking of the Gators’ offensive line, check out the up close video of 1 on 1 pass rush from this weekend’s practice.
The Gators will hold their spring game this Saturday. The SUN Network will broadcast the game at 12 pm EST.
Other spring games on TV this Saturday include LSU (4 pm EST on ESPN), Clemson (4 pm EST on CSS), and Mississippi State (6 pm EST on CSS).
On April 16th, you can watch several more spring games including Georgia (CSS), Michigan (BTN), Notre Dame (Versus), Arkansas (ESPN), Alabama (ESPNU), Auburn (CSS), and Ole Miss (CSS).
Briles pleased, Phil Bennett "tickled to death"
Baylor wrapped up spring practice on Saturday with a scrimmage in front of 3,500 fans.
Art Briles seemed very pleased, especially because the Bears stayed healthy throughout the spring. Three new assistant coaches joined the staff in the off-season. Former Pitt assistant Phil Bennett is now serving as the defensive coordinator. Former North Texas corners coach Carlton Buckles is coaching the corners, while former Stony Brook defensive coordinator Jim Gush is the new linebackers coach.
Following the scrimmage, Briles said, "(We're) healthy is the main thing. Everybody that's in the huddle will be ready to go against TCU, and that was kind of our plan when we started back in late February. We felt good about the way it progressed. I think we lost a little bit of our energy as the scrimmage went on today, but that's to be expected. It's our eighth workout in the last 10 days. So that's going to add up a little as you go along.
“The crowd was good, the energy was good. It was a great atmosphere for our recruits. We had a lot of great recruits here. And that's always important. But the main thing is we stayed healthy. (We) did pretty good up front, both sides of the ball. Protected the ball on offense and then had some good stops on defense.”
Defensive coordinator Phil Bennett said, "We've got to make (opposing offenses) earn everything they get and make them know you're going to line up right and be physical and that nothing's going to be given to them. During the last seven practices, I've been tickled to death. I really thought we made some good strikes. I told them we can be anything we want. There are no limitations."
That is encouraging to hear since the Bears allowed an average of 47 points in their last four games - Oklahoma State (55), Texas A&M (42), Oklahoma (53), and Illinois (38).
Baylor opens with three consecutive home games against TCU, Stephen F. Austin, and Rice.
As only Ellis Johnson and Spurrier can describe it
Want to know a coach who never sugarcoats it, but hardly ever comes across as being negative?
We can't think of a coach, any sport, that does it better than South Carolina assistant head coach for defense / linebackers coach Ellis Johnson.
Following Saturday’s scrimmage in Williams-Brice Stadium, Johnson said, “The thing that I have not been able to see right now is the ability to do things consistency over and over and over. It’s too many mistakes and lack of improvement. Improvement has got to start coming along.”
“This isn’t about playing a game. It’s about trying to developing players. What I’m disappointed in is not consistently improving.”
“We just don’t have guys who are consistently taking care of their assignment.”
“I thought it was the same old stuff. I haven't seen a lot of progress and that is to be expected. We have a bunch of guys in and out of the lineup.”
“It looks to me the same things are occurring too often. When you see the same things over and over, you get a little concerned. Things at some point in time just have got to turn around.”
“We’re not a very physical football team. Just to be honest with you, we’re not very physical.”
“What I see is some players that haven’t played very much before not making a lot of progress.”
Just across the field, Spurrier was typical Spurrier. It was beautiful.
Pleased early with the quarterbacks, but then same old $^%%.
“You noticed how the quarterbacks threw the ball early? Then…they started flee-flarting around as we call it and nothing good happens. Until we teach these quarterbacks to get back there and make a decision, we’re always going to struggle.”
“It was disappointing, but not surprising.”
When asked if Stephen Garcia was his guy, Spurrier said, “Ahh, we’re not putting them in categories this spring.”
“I really think it could be the guy who ever has the best summer.”
As only Spurrier can describe it.
Greg Mattison: I know what Michigan defense is
Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison is focusing on developing leaders and creating a fundamentally sound defense that Michigan fans were accustomed to in the 1990’s.
Mattison says, “I know what a Michigan defense is. I know how it’s supposed to be played because that’s where it started was here. That aggressive, that’s running to the football, playing tremendously fundamentally sound, and playing as a team not as an individual.”
“They have to play the way Michigan defense has always played. There is no either or. That’s what comes with wearing that helmet.”
A heavy concern for Mattison this spring is the lack of leaders on defense.
“I wouldn’t be able to tag one guy and that is a concern. I haven’t seen that yet,” admits Mattison.
“The Michigan defense of old, they were all leaders. We have to develop leaders. Anybody who wears that helmet and plays defense has to be a leader. That’s the way we do it.”
As the former Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator, Mattison has shared stories of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed to help the Wolverines understand what it takes to be successful.
“Ray Lewis would come out to practice every day as if he was a rookie. Ed Reed the same way, Haloti Ngata, Jarret Johnson, all of those guys that had any success, you wouldn't have know they were 15-year, 10-year, eight-year veterans, because they knew every day they had to come out and improve or somebody would go by them.”
"That's one thing you'd love for our players to understand, that when you're a fourth-year or fifth-year player, you better keep working as hard as you can or somebody's going to pass you. It may not be on this team, but somebody you play against is going to be better than you. (Those Ravens) would never let that happen."
Michigan will hold their spring game on April 16th.
Jimbo thrilled with his quarterback following today's scrimmage
Following Monday afternoon’s scrimmage inside Doak Campbell Stadium, Jimbo Fisher offered high praise for quarterback EJ Manuel.
Manuel, the 6’4 234 lb junior from Virginia Beach, will take over at quarterback for Christian Ponder.
Jimbo said, “Just control of the game…total control of what’s going on. Poise…managing people, getting on people, leading people, encouraging people, making throws, making runs. It was just like you want the guy, you feel very comfortable with him running your unit.”
“If it was a bad play, he pushed it off and went to the next play. If it was a good play, he pushed it off and went to the next play.”
The scrimmage format was ones vs. ones, twos vs. twos.
Jimbo added, "We moved the field, did two drives - two 12 play series and moved the field. We did third downs, we did coming out, we did red zone, we did goal line, did two minute. We covered a lot of situations. We got a lot of things in."
Jerry Kill mic'd up...This is classic
A record 1200 coaches showed up for the Minnesota Foootball Coaches Association clinic. The high school coaches in Minnesota are excited about the new head man for the Gophers, Jerry Kill.
Kill served as the keynote speaker of the clinic, which was held in St. Louis Park. His underlying message was the importance of hard work.
Kill explained, "We're going to push, we're going to work, and we're going to build from the ground up. I only know one way to do it - I'm not changing. I've been doing it for 28 years, and I'm not giving in. We are going to work hard."
On Saturday, Kill led the Gophers through their first scrimmage of the spring.
Kill said, “We don’t have the depth we need right now. We have 6 receivers that are healthy and they’re running two huddles…running 60 yards down the field. They probably ran 20 miles today.”
“It’s a long, long journey here. We’re going to take one step at a time. No guarantees. I’m not doing those kinds of things.”
Here’s a 24 second clip of Coach Kill mic’d up. You don’t want to miss this: