Butch Jones believes coaching staff continuity is critical
Cincinnati head coach Butch Jones says four assistant coaches were offered jobs at other BCS programs this off-season and all four decided to stay at Cincinnati.
Jones told ESPN, “You win with continuity. At Central Michigan, we were very fortunate to keep our coaching staff intact. This year was extremely challenging, because we had four staff members be offered other BCS, high-caliber, high-profile jobs. And all four stayed. I think that speaks volumes about how they feel about the direction of our program and our players, loyalty, all that stuff. You look at what our defensive players have gone through, with three defensive coordinators in three years, and I'm just a firm believer you win with continuity. Everyone knows what's expected. That's been a huge benefit this offseason.”
“Everybody is saying they've got to get tougher. Everyone says to win you've got to be able to stop the run and be able to run the football, which is true. We're exactly the same. We've just got to live physicality every day.”
In his second year, Jones is still concentrating of laying the strong foundation, so the program can experience long-term success.
“In today's society, everyone is so results-oriented that a lot of times we don't care how you get results as long as you get them. Now when you don't worry about it is when it's short lived. So we're just making sure we're continuing to build from the ground up.”
One reason Jones is excited about this season is the return of quarterback Zach Collaros.
“In just one year, he (Collaros) can walk into a room, and he can teach the offense. We can go out and practice tomorrow, and he can call the whole offense and the plays, the right protections. He understands the philosophy and what we want.”
The theme of Spring ball is "Be a champion." Jones wants a bunch of individuals working together.
Cincinnati opens the season with five consecutive non-conference game against Austin Peay, at Tennessee, Akron, NC State, and at Miami (OH).
Pigskin Palooza is back at Texas A&M
Pigskin Palooza is back for its second year at Texas A&M.
Following the Aggies’ practice on April 14th, Texas A&M students can take the field to participate in drills with the players.
Want to catch passes from starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill? Get it line.
Want to throw a pass to All Big-12 wide receiver Jeff Fuller? Get it line.
There will be food, drinks, and plenty of opportunities to win prizes such as sideline passes to home games against SMU and Oklahoma State.
It's an interesting way to get the student-body involved in Spring practice. The Pigskin Palooza event even has its own Facebook page and YouTube video.
Skip takes USF through 170 play scrimmage
Skip Holtz put his team through a 170 scrimmage on Saturday. The Bulls have 39 practices remaining before heading to South Bend to play Notre Dame in the season-opener. (Who is Dr. Lou going to pick?)
Holtz said, “I wanted to make sure we got a great evaluation of some of the young guys and redshirts. This wasn’t a scheme scrimmage. This was about personnel. We’ll probably release a depth chart by Tuesday or Wednesday.”
“This was a physical day for them. They will be sore.”
“We are light years from where we where a year ago.”
Defensive coordinator Mark Snyder said, “We are nowhere near where we need to be. The overall tackling is just not where we need to be. The bar has been risen and we are going to push to get there.”
Offensive coordinator Todd Fitch echoed the theme of the day by adding, “We are way ahead of a year ago, but not where we want to be.”
USF opens at Notre Dame before hosting Ball State, FAMU, and UTEP.
Dan McCarney offers blunt explanation
North Texas head coach Dan McCarney warned us at his introductory press conference, "I’m a real passionate guy. I don’t sugar coat it.”
Ever since, McCarney has made it clear that he has a plan and that plan includes building a tough football team.
With the first day of full pads looming, McCarney offered a rather blunt description of what he’s looking for out of his players.
McCarney explained, “This is when we will really find out. You have to be a physical football player to have a chance to play. You can lift, you can run, you can be accountable, you can learn the offense and defense, but if you are not ready to make physical plays when contact starts, you are not going to play for me and this staff.”
It sounds pretty clear to us and it’s not surprising to hear from McCarney, a former assistant under Urban Meyer.
Just last Fall as the Gators were struggling, Meyer said, “Obviously, we’re down. We got to build this thing back up. How do you rebuild it? Tough-ass players and tough-ass coaches.”
North Texas will practice this week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. According to the North Texas website, Friday's practice session is set to begin at 6 am.
Boy, I bet the players are fired up for that one.
Saban posts signs in facility: Never forget. 28-27.
"Never forget. 28-27."
That is the sign in the Alabama weight room, locker room, and around the practice facility.
With Spring practice underway in Tuscaloosa, Nick Saban isn’t letting his team forget how and why his team lost the Iron Bowl to Auburn.
Saban says, “We left points out there by errors that we made. And then to not be able to control the game in the second half was just as disappointing. You put the 24-0 score up there and then put the final score up, 28-27, and you say, ‘Are we ever going to let this happen again in terms of our psychological disposition to compete for 60 minutes?'”
It was fundamentals, too. And that’s what the Crimson Tide coaching staff is preaching this Spring.
Saban says, “The most important thing that you do in the spring is establish fundamentals. We lost games last year because of lack of fundamentals, and I’m talking about something as simple as how you carry the ball, which got punched out in the Auburn game. The ball wasn’t being carried right.”
“That’s an issue. That’s a fundamental. We made too many mental errors last year.”
Lembo bringing back Bill Lynch as honorary coach
We noticed on this Friday afternoon that Ball State head coach Pete Lembo is embracing the history of Ball State football by selecting former head coach Bill Lynch and Paul Schudel as honorary coaches for the Spring game.
Lynch, who is now an associate athletic director for development at Butler University, led Ball State to a MAC championship in 1996.
Although Lynch is unsure if he’ll end up coaching again, we’ll guess he’s having fun in New Orleans as he watches the Butler Bulldogs once again DO WORK in the NCAA tournament.
Lynch explained, "I don't know. I'm looking forward to this, obviously it’s easy to go sell Butler, I have a passion for the place and spent a lot of time here, growing up and going to school here and playing and coming back as a coach. It's a great opportunity and I know Barry wants to get a lot of things done and I want to be a part of it."
It’s certainly a nice gesture by Lembo, who landed the Ball State job after going 35-22 in five seasons at Elon University. Before serving as the Elon head coach, Lembo led Lehigh to five consectutive seasons of 8 or more wins.
We’ve heard local referees in Muncie have been warned of potential explosive sideline blowups during the April 23rd Spring game.
Video: Jerry Kill introduces 'The Minnesota Way'
There are twenty-one new head coaches in college football this year. As you know, we cover the press conferences of all the head coaches throughout the year.
We must admit, we’re looking forward to covering Jerry Kill’s pressers as much as any. The guy has a sense of humor and often offers some unique analogies.
Today, Kill set the tempo for the beginning of Spring practice at the University of Minnesota.
We have transcribed most of what was said, but do yourself a favor and watch the 4 minute video. You’ll see a head coach that is ready to do some coaching.
Kill explained, “We want to teach our kids called ‘The Minnesota Way.’ We are going to expect him to play hard. How do we identify the personnel that’s going to play at the University of Minnesota in the Fall? It’s just what I told you, they are going to have to do it ‘The Minnesota Way.’”
“If they can’t do that, they are not going to play. Now we may only have 22 of ‘em out there that can play, but that’s what we’ll go with. We’re going to eliminate the ones that don’t do it ‘The Minnesota Way.’”
“The great John Wooden use to teach ‘em how to tie their shoe. That’s kinda what we gotta do. It ain’t going to be nothing fancy in the Spring. We’ll be simple cuz we have to be.”
“We will not give away playing time. I don’t care who you’ve been in the past, how many games you’ve started. It doesn’t matter to me.”
“It took me 28 years and I’m still getting to know my wife. That’s why I’ve been married 28 years. We’re trying to change the culture. You’ve got to earn playing time. We don’t want to get into the fourth game with somebody you can’t trust and rely on.”
“It’s like business. You don’t just walk in to a struggling business and you got all the answers today. You try to meet with as many people as you can to get a feel for the history of the football program here at the University of Minnesota, and then you got to figure out how you’re going to change it.”
“How quick that happens? I don’t know.”
Video: James Franklin introduces 3 on 3 'Dore Wars' drill
Spring practice has started at Vanderbilt under first-year head coach James Franklin.
Part of the first day of full pads is a drill called "Dore Wars," which pits offensive players making individual blocks against defenders that are pursuing a ball carrier in a confined space.
We initially thought the drill strictly featured Herb Hand’s offensive line against Sean Spencer’s defensive line.
On second look, we noticed #6, #45, and #35 lined up on the offensive front. We’re guessing these guys are not a part of Herb Hand’s offensive line, so the drill involves the skill position players as well.
We liked the “rope technique” to keep the extras behind the line.
Here’s the evidence: