Baylor introduces three new uniforms
Art Briles has only been on Twitter since February 25, but he's made the most of his 18 tweets on everybody's favorite social networking site. When the tweets below are among your first four attempts, you are clearly a Twitter natural.
The Bears finished up winter conditioning with a big dance off this morning to the stanky leg!!— Coach Art Briles (@CoachArtBriles) February 26, 2013
Baylor boyz fixin to be turnt up for spring ball on Friday!?— Coach Art Briles (@CoachArtBriles) February 27, 2013
With that in mind, Briles dropped a bit of news on Friday afternoon by providing the universe a glimpse of one of Baylor's three new uniforms.
Live uniforms, live team. Baylor Bears 2013 twitter.com/CoachArtBriles…— Coach Art Briles (@CoachArtBriles) March 22, 2013
That ultra-chrome gold helmet has made the rounds online before, but this is the first time we've ever seen it presented in any sort of official capacity.
Baylor running backs coach Jeff Lebby also got in on the action, releasing two more new looks for the Bears.
Old School twitter.com/JeffLebby/stat…— Jeff Lebby (@JeffLebby) March 22, 2013
Icey White twitter.com/JeffLebby/stat…— Jeff Lebby (@JeffLebby) March 22, 2013
Not much has changed from Baylor's old kits, some different trim and number fonts, but those chrome helmets could prove to be a serious competitive advantage if worn in a sunny afternoon game. What do you think?
West Virginia is taking its players to the classroom this spring
On the calendar of football, spring is a time of learning. It's a time when players re-acquaint themselves with technique, study new schemes and maybe familiarize themselves with a new assistant coach or two. West Virginia has decided to extend that theme into the classroom, as the Mountaineers have assigned their players history lessons on the heritage of West Virginia.
“For our young men, it’s a way of recognizing we’re representing something bigger than ourselves,” defensive coordinator Keith Patterson told the Times West Virginian. “Sometimes it becomes me, me, me, so we’ve tried to create an atmosphere of respect and that has players thinking ‘I’m honored to be here.’"
This is an idea that other programs should adopt if they don't already have a similar program. It's important for players to know what it means to wear their school colors and to learn about all they represent when they take the field every Saturday. It's especially valuable for a program like West Virginia that relies so heavily on out-of-state recruits. These are kids that came to West Virginia because of they liked an assistant coach or how the depth chart pojected, not because of any past Big East championships.
“I was definitely impressed,” said quarterback Paul Millard of Flower Mound, Texas. “My dad went to Penn State, so I knew about Joe Pa and the history there, but I never knew about West Virginia. I really learned a lot.
"Learning about the players like Pat White and Steve Slaton or way before that, like Ira Errett Rodgers, guys I knew nothing about, to be honest with you. It’s been great learning the history of the sport here."
West Virginia is a proud state, with a proud football program to represent the state. It's a program with six College Football Hall of Fame players, not to mention modern stars like Pat White and Steve Slaton. It's the home of College Football Hall of Fame coach Don Nehlen, and where the legendary Bobby Bowden coached before constructing a behemoth at Florida State.
The education has stretched far beyond football, though. Head coach Dana Holgorsen has stepped inside West Virginia's famous coal mines to teach his team about where their program comes from.
"It blows my mind what those coal miners go through on a daily basis and the grime that they do,” Millard said. “We sometimes think we have a hard time playing football here, but at the end of the day those guys are sacrificing their life every single day.”
Video: Gunter Brewer mic'd up at North Carolina
Gunter Brewer's approach to coaching is a great example of coaching in an up tempo system.
If you're a team that pushes the tempo in practice, Brewer the type of guy that you want your coaches to emulate because he does a great job of coaching on the fly with a ton of energy while ensuring that his receivers know exactly what is expected of them.
Video: 'Faster, harder, smarter'
Steve Sarkisian's website, CoachSark.com, has done a nice job taking its visitors behind the scenes of the Washington program. Part of that backstage pass has been micing up the Huskies' assistants as the team goes through spring ball. Last week we brought you sights and sounds of a Washington practice through the perspective of quarterbacks coach Marques Tuiasasopo, and now linebackers coach Peter Sirmon takes his turn.
A native of Walla Walla, Wash., Sirmon followed defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox from Tennessee to Washington, and the pair is now entering year two in Seattle. The Huskies' defense was ranked 106th in total defense and 108th in scoring defense in the year prior to the arrival of Wilcox and Sirmon, and leaped to 31st in total defense and 39th in scoring defense.
Sirmon's unit has the luxury of returning its entire two-deep, and we get the chance to watch him coach that group in a recent Huskies practice.
'We try to break the offensive line on a daily basis'
P.J. Fleck, the youngest FBS head coach in the country at Western Michigan, is a firm believer that no offensive line in the country gets better instruction than his Broncos are getting during spring ball in Kalamazoo.
"When you sit there and think of it, coach Callahan, with his plethora of knowledge and the type of career that he's had and then you look at coach Kenney as you go throughout the country. You have two phenomenal offensive minds in that offensive line group." Fleck explained.
"It's amazing when you have two coaches, it's four eyes instead of two that see different things, and I think our players are really respecting what they're hearing and the type of coaching that they're getting. The coaching that they're getting is second to none, and you won't find better coaching in the country than the two coaches that we have here."
To provide a little background on where Fleck is coming from, tight ends coach Brian Callahan coached the offensive line at Akron from 2004-2009, and also has prior experience at UTEP, Eastern Illinois, Louisville, Oklahoma, and Pitt while Bill Kenney's experience (who serves as offensive line coach) spans over 20 years at Penn State coaching the offensive line. Overall, that's some great experience for the front line at Western to be soaking up.
Then Fleck explained an interesting strategy that they've put in place during the spring. The Bronco staff isn't focused on solidifying their first, second, and third string units during the spring because during the chances of the first group staying together all fall isn't very high. They're going to mix and match their front five to make sure everyone is comfortable playing with one another.
"What we're tyring to do is almost break the offensive line on a daily basis to try and get them to be comfortable being uncomfortable. Then, once the fall hits, then we say 'Hey that's our line, that's our one group that solid,' but they already know how to work if something does happen and understand the person next to you."
"We are doing some things a little bit differently, but that's how we like to do it. We like to be able to find creative ways to get better in case something does happen." Fleck added.
'We're one of the best in the country at developing young men'
When longtime offensive coordinator Dave Yost resigned at Missouri in early December, Josh Henson was ready to take on the added responsibility of being the play caller.
When you take a look at his experiences at recruiting and developing talent at places like LSU, Oklahoma State, and now Mizzou, it's easy to see why head coach Gary Pinkel knew he had the right guy on staff to take over for Yost. Henson has helped mold numerous NFL players and he also understands that his responsibility as a coach goes beyond the striped white lines.
"I think what's really unique about the way that coach Pinkel does things, and the way our staff does things is that we develop players. I think that we're one of the best programs in the country at developing young men." Henson explained.
"You look at these guys that are two stars...first round draft picks, then five stars...first round draft picks. We're going to get players here and we're going to develop them as players and as people. I don't think, that as a young man, you can put a price tag on that."
Coach Henson gets it. That's what coaching is all about.
Video: Suffer the pain of discipline, or the pain of regret
No matter what the weather is like is Annapolis, the winter workouts for the Midshipmen are always (and always will be) outside because it's the winter workouts that build the mental and physical foundation for the season. We saw a note earlier that said that the entire school is actually invited to come participate in the drills during winter to get a taste for Division I football.
Some of the video is actually shot from a players perspective, so you get the full experience of some of their workout without the sweat and fatigue.
"Suffer the pain of discipline, or suffer the pain of regret." The choice is yours to make at Navy.
Video: Ohio players compete in 'Minute to Win It' events
If you've ever caught an episode of "Minute to Win It" on NBC, chances are it had you hooked for at least a few minutes. The show has created a cult like following of people inspired by the show to submit YouTube videos of themselves competing in the same events from the comfort of their homes.
Here's a fun clip of players at Ohio competing in many of the events, while a few of the coaches sit back and enjoy the free entertainment.
Our personal favorite (for obvious reasons) is the game where you try to get the cookie from the forehead to your mouth without using your hands. For the record, it's much harder than it looks (video submissions of staffs competing are welcomed).