NFL to require knee and thigh pads in 2013
The league has announced that all players will be required in to wear thigh and knee pads starting in 2013.
Owners approved the rule change earlier today.
The league noted the focus on player safety for the rule change. That is all. Move on.
The "Andrew Luck Directorship of Offense"
Stanford has announced a large endowment from a very generous, yet anonymous, donor in honor of Andrew Luck.
The donation changes Pep Hamilton's title from offensive coordinator to the newly appointed "Andrew Luck Directorship of Offense". It definitely has a unique ring to it.
In Stanford's official release, David Shaw described the gift as "pioneering a new way to support the school that you love. Our supporters don't just like their school; they love Stanford University, what we do and how we do it. They rally around the class and character of the scholar-athletes who attend Stanford. We are extremely grateful for this support, which helps set Stanford University apart from our competitors."
For those that know Pep, it is now fair game to introduce him to others as the "Andrew Luck Director of Offense" for the Stanford Cardinal. Flows right off the tongue. Enjoy.
As you might imagine, several witty characters on twitter have come up with a few other proposed endowed positions / titles for other coaches. Follow us to see a few of the more interesting ones we've seen this morning.
GA of the Day - Marques Hagans (Virginia)
Marques Hagans, UVA's offensive grad assistant, is a humble young man. Hagans came to Virginia to play quarterback and won the starting job...but then Matt Schaub took over as the starter. Hagans learned to play receiver, played special teams, anything to help the team... When Schaub graduated Hagans took back over as the starter and went on to become the fifth highest passer in UVA history.
Hagans went on to play four seasons in the NFL...all as a receiver.
Watch the video and you will see and hear a humble young man who has a passion for the game and for teaching and working with young players. Marques Hagans is an impressive young man and is coaching for the right reasons.
Kiffin to Spurrier: "I was just trying to be like you"
ESPN released an interesting article yesterday detailing a recent encounter between Lane Kiffin and Steve Spurrier at a hotel.
Kiffin was in Phoenix for the Pac-12 conference meeting, and made his way to the hotel's workout room where he saw The Old Ball Coach. Kiffin politely interrupted the workout to say hello to the coach whose offense, visor, and overall wit he had idolized growing up.
Spurrier congratulated Lane and the Trojans on a great season last year, despite the sanctions and numerous critics saying it couldn't be done. Kiffin responded by saying, "Coach, I was just trying to be like you, say the things that you used to say all the time. They hated me saying it."
In typical Spurrier fashion, the Head Ball Coach responded by saying, "Boy, I said those in the summertime and you say those in the season." Classic Spurrier response.
Take a look at any preseason ranking and you'll see USC near the top (even though we all know how much those matter at this point). Kiffin and the Trojans return 19 starters off of last years team and open the season up with Hawaii at home before wrapping the season up with three out of four home games against Oregon, Arizona State and Notre Dame.
This guy has a great job
As you may have heard, last week Mike Leach took a hunting trip up to Canada and bagged a 7 foot 4 inch 350 pound black bear.
Over the weekend, Leach posted a picture of himself, his hunting guide (former Cal quarterback and outdoor enthusiast Mike Pawlawksi), and the bear. Even though you can't see all of it, you can tell its a monster. Pawlawski has been doing hunts like this for 15 years and says that it's the biggest bear he's ever seen.
To top it all off, the hunt was filmed and will be aired on a new series from the Outdoor Channel called "Gridiron Outdoor". In the series Pawlawski heads to the woods, and their various lakes and streams, with various football personalities including coaches and NFL players.
After the hunt with Leach, Pawlawski headed down to the Keys to spend a few days fishing with Urban Meyer and his son Nate and tweeted that they landed a barracuda, two grouper, a nurse shark and plenty of others.
A short clip of the show can be seen below. Pawlawski has a nice thing going.
Video: It's great to be a Gamecock
South Carolina released a very good video today to hype up their season opener that's only 100 days away.
In the video the narrator asks where you go after achieving the unprecedented? Where is there to go from there?
"Right now we have two choices. We can either admire what we've done, or we can keep pushing, building, keep demanding more. This is about creating a legacy, not living off one...Earning titles, not acting entitled."
Great stuff. Much more below.
Graham planning an interactive game day experience
Starting with his introductory press conference at Arizona State, Todd Graham has been adamant about involving the crowd, specifically the student body, at football games come fall.
In a recent interview with StatePress.com, Graham provides details of some of those plans including a sideline signal for the games, music cue'd up for certain game situations, and even letting the student body pick the uniform combinations for game day.
"One of the things I want to do is I want to get our students involved in game day. When we’re on defense, one of the things we used to do is signal. A fist is the signal for fourth down, so before third down we want the crowd to get loud and I would step out on the sideline, give a fist in the air and get them going crazy. We want them to be loud and proud."
"Our kickoff team, we want to call them the ‘Wild Bunch,’ so it cranks up ‘Wild Thing’ and our students would know that’s something we are going to do every time we kick the ball off. On third down a lot of places I’ve been they play ‘Hell’s Bells.’ When our defense took the field, which is tough, physical and all that stuff, we would play ‘We Will Rock You.’ When our punt team goes on the field, we call them the ‘sharks,’ they will play the ‘Jaws’ theme, so trying to make it fun like that."
"I want to do things that no one else is doing. That’s one of the great strengths we have. There are 70,000 students on four campuses or something like that. We’ve got power in numbers. This has got to be a place that’s difficult to play in. I know we had 10 or 11 thousand students at the games last year, I want that to double."
While talking with the Dean of Engineering on campus, Graham got the idea of letting the student body have input on the uniform combinations for both home and away games. With, or course, some consideration from Nike as well.
"What I’d say is if it’s going to be a blackout, you have flags all over campus, you raise the flags and everybody knows it’s going to be a blackout, that’s what we’re doing. Maroon, everyone is wearing maroon so we’re all sequenced according to what we’re doing."
No egos in San Francisco
As we told you back at the beginning of the month, former Washington State head coach Paul Wulff joined Jim Harbaugh's staff as an offensive assistant, and has since been buried in the new playbook getting used to the new terminology and formations while lending a hand on the field with the offensive line.
“This first week and a half I’ve just been trying to learn the scheme, the terminology. It’s pretty large right now. Like anybody, I’m learning the whole playbook so I understand. When you’re not 100 percent confident, you go a little slower and right now I’m spending a lot of my time on the field learning the script, a lot of formations and plays."
The past few months, Wulff traveled around the country visiting with different staffs. After arriving in the bay area to get started with the Niners, Wulff was very impressd with the environment that Harbaugh has created in only one season.
"They do a great job here of having everybody involved, and it’s not about who gets the credit. Everyone’s chipping in everywhere they can. It’s a big part of why I wanted to be a part of Jim’s staff. Great continuity, nobody with egos. It wasn’t about individuals.”
However, before officially accepting the position with the 49ers, Wulff explained that he had some other things to iron out..
“My No. 1 feeling all along, up until about a month and a half ago, was doing everything I can to make contacts and call coaches for all of our assistants,” Wulff told the The Spokesman-Review. “I felt them and their families got a raw deal, and I was in better shape than them, so I did everything I could to help all the coaches move on to jobs. That was very important to me, and it was the least I could do.”