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Find a way to get your young players quality reps in your scheme

More and more coaches and programs around the country and finding ways to get their underclassmen more reps in their schemes, even if they are heavily relied on during the week as scout team players.

Down at Vanderbilt, James Franklin and his staff are holding a ten minute skelly and one on one period after practices on Thursday nights so that their young guys get more accustomed to their schemes, terminology and expectations on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. That's just a small part of how they evaluate their freshman class, hear more from Franklin below.

Every level can benefit from doing something like this. Get your freshman and sophomores together after practice on a consistent basis to get them some quality reps running your schemes.

Sacrificing a little bit of post practice time, and getting those young guys some one on one coaching will definitely pay off for your program the road.

Program philosophy: "Be a technician"

Stanford sports performance coordinator Shannon Turley (2011 FootballScoop Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Year) has helped the staff (both under Jim Harbaugh and David Shaw) breathe new life into the Stanford football program since coming to The Farm in 2007. Each and every Saturday, the Cardinal have consistently been one of the most physical and disciplined teams on the field.

To develop that mindset, Turley and the staff believe in ensuring that every player become a "technician." 

"We define being a technician as being a guy who is going to concentrate on the factors that he can control. Things like his technique, effort, attitude, mental discipline...all of the intangibles that essentially take no talent to master." Turley explained.

Beyond the intangibles, being a technician also includes putting the proper fuel in your body to make sure it stays running all day, properly warming up individually, and making a conscious decision when your alarm clock goes off in the morning.

"One thing that we teach them is that in the mornings they set a deadline as to when they're going to wake up, and the alarm goes off and you've got a choice. Your first choice of the day. You're going to be a winner, or you're going to be a loser."

"A winner is going to snap up out of bed and have a great day. A loser is going to hit the snooze button." Turley says.

This is a very good overall philosophy. Get your players to understand these things, and your they'll not only be more self aware of what it takes to be successful, but leadership and discipline within your team will improve tremendously, and your players will enter game feeling as prepared as they've ever been. Even better yet, they'll be very well equipped for life outside of football.

Thursday TV - Football is back

After a few nights without games, football is back on tonight with a couple of college games and the Chiefs at the Chargers.

Eastern time listed.


Kansas City at San Diego - 8:20 - NFL Network


Eastern Michigan at Ohio - 6 - ESPNU

Texas A&M Kingsville at Valdosta - 7:30 - CSS

Virginia Tech at Miami - 7:30 - ESPN

Middle Tennessee at Western Kentucky - 9:15 - ESPNU

High School:

No games

Knoxville media getting a little chippy with Dooley

This afternoon we saw the clip below and found it a little odd.  

The audio quality is quite poor for the first few seconds but we believe the initial question from a member of the media is, "Would it be fair to say that coach Sunseri has not been effective in either teaching or communicating the scheme (to the players)?" 

Dooley, after offering "that's a pretty harsh statement" provides what we thought was a decent enough answer.

Shortly after Dooley provided his response to the initial question, another member of the media came back to Dooley with, "You didn't quite answer...is Sal having problems communicating with the players?"

Dooley doesn't duck the questions at all and seems to provide full answers. 

This probably won't shock anyone; but things seem fairly tense right now up in Knoxville. Settle down everyone. Let the man and his staff focus on coaching their team. They, like every other staff in the country, will be evaluated after the season. 

Video is courtesy of knoxnews.com

Mike Gundy explains what he's looking for when hiring coaches

Watch the video above and you'll see what Gundy says he looks for when hiring a new coach. Same exact advice I've given to every coach that has called me on this topic in the past few days. 

In short, for Gundy to even consider you, you have to be a smart football coach (which includes being a great teacher), have excellent work ethic and be loyal to your head man and this program. 

Mack Brown: "I don't like inexperienced players inside the 20"

The recent struggles of the Longhorn defense have led Mack Brown to a few conclusions on how to get things fixed as they move forward in their final four games of the regular season.

One thing that Brown has told both coordinators is to substitute some experienced players inside of the 20 yard line.

“I don’t like inexperienced players inside the 20 on either end. That’s something we’ve talked about a lot. That was a key play in the ballgame. We not only lost points, but we gave up the possibility of points offensively. That won’t happen again.” Brown explained, referencing a specific defensive play in their Kansas game where they had two freshman linebackers in.

The Longhorns have only allowed less than 170 yards rushing on just one occasion this season (week one against Wyoming). A year after finishing in the top ten nationally in run defense (6th - 96 ypg), the Longhorns have dropped to 108th this season, allowing opponents to run for 218 yards per game.

This week, after giving up at least 450 yards of total offense in the past four out of five games, Brown has been hanging around defensive staff meetings a little more, lending a fresh set of eyes to their defensive struggles, and how to get them fixed. Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz welcomed the new viewpoint.

“I enjoy it. The thing the head coach can control is maybe subtle changes to how we are practicing. This is Mack understanding our issues and the easiest ways to fix them.” Diaz explained.

The Horns will be tested this weekend on both sides of the ball against Texas Tech. Kick off is scheduled for 3:30pm ET on ABC.


"You just got your asses whipped by a bunch of g'damn nerds"

Last season, Vanderbilt went into Lexington hosted and beat Kentucky handily, 38-8. Included in that victory was a run by Vandy running back Zac Stacy where he absolutely willed his way into the end zone, with what seemed like the entire Wildcat defense (literally) on his back.

Before every meeting this week, Kentucky defensive line coach David Turner has showed that clip to his guys. Just in case that message hasn't been heard loud and clear, he also sent the clip to their cell phones.

Coach Turner also wrote on the board that the run was featured as one of ESPN's top 25 plays of 2011.

Coach Turner's message is clear. Don't let it happen again this weekend.

We're checking with sources  We have now confirmed; but we're pretty sure this classic line has been uttered at least a few times up in Lexington this week...

Video: Mike Leach shares great story about going to K-State

Only Leach could tell this story. Only Leach...