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Dooley explains the importance of this Spring practice for Vols

With inclement weather in Knoxville, the Vols went outside, inside, outside, and back inside during the second day of Spring practice.

It sounded as though Dooley wanted a little adversity.

Dooley explained, "They didn't take a step back but a lot of the change disrupts routine. I mean it when I said it. It's good when things get a little disrupted because you have to get it back quick. You can't let the momentum shift on you.”

The Vols will go full-pads later on Thursday.

Dooley said, "I hope it's a physical practice. I told them today that I've never seen one team win a conference championship that wasn't physical. It doesn't happen. They need to go to bed tonight with a physical mindset tomorrow. It's going to be day one of turning us into a physical football team."

One thing is for sure.  Dooley is glad his first spring at Tennessee is behind him.

“There was so much emotional baggage that was out there (last year) that it was difficult to get your arms around everything.  This year, I think everybody understands each other.  There is not a lot of newness.  I think we’ll be able to dive into the teaching, coaching, and improving without all the other stuff on the periphery.  And because of that, we’ll be able to get better.”

Dooley said perhaps his biggest concern is, “the freshman turning into dependable SEC starters.  That is a giant leap from getting out there a few plays, flashing a few plays, everybody getting excited.”

 




Mike Stoops: Our skill level has never been this high

Mike Stoops enters his 8th year as the head coach at Arizona.  During Stoops’ tenure, the Wildcats have finished 3-8, 3-8, 6-6, 5-7, 8-5, 8-5, and 7-6.

As the Wildcats begin Spring practice, Stoops says, "Our skill level has never been this high. This is the best group of receivers we've ever had. We've got to get the ball in our playmakers' hands."

The coaching staff made a couple of new additions during the off-season.  Former BYU assistant Robert Anae has joined the staff as offensive line coach / run game coordinator.  Former San Jose State assistant (2009) Joe Salave’a is the new defensive line coach.  Also, Stoops promoted defensive grad assistant Ryan Walters to defensive backs coach.

Stoops says, “I really like this team.  Each year, our maturity and our overall team experience is much better."

Arizona hosts Northern Arizona in the season-opener.  The Wildcats will travel to Stillwater to play Oklahoma State the following week.  Arizona will finish the season with a non-conference game against UL-Lafayette.

At one point, the schedule includes a stretch at Oklahoma State, Stanford, Oregon, and at USC.




Not sure how to describe the latest Miss State marketing video

Dan Mullen led Mississippi State to a 9-4 season in 2010, the Bulldogs best season since 1999 when Jackie Sherrill led the Bullies to a 10-2 overall record.

Since defeating in-state rival Ole Miss and demolishing Michigan 52-14 in the Gator Bowl, Mississippi State has tried to capitalize on the momentum by finding unique ways to market the positive energy surrounding the program.

You may have heard about the “Welcome to our STATE” billboards alongside the Mississippi highways.

MStateBillboard

Alright, pretty good.

But wait until you see this video, released last week on the Mississippi State youtube channel.

WARNING: Before you watch this video, no, you will not get back these 1:49 seconds.

 




Addazio begins practice at Temple: Our trademark will be toughness

Temple begins Spring practice this morning in Philadelphia, where snow is expected to fall throughout the day.

It’s the first practice under new head coach Steve Addazio.  Scot Loeffler and Chuck Heater are the two coordinators.  The rest of the staff consists of Matt Rhule (assistant offensive coordinator / tight ends), Justin Frye(offensive line), Tyree Foreman (running backs), Zach Smith (wide receivers / special teams), Sean Cronin (defensive line), Sean McGowan (inside linebackers), and Ben Albert (outside linebackers).

Addazio told the Philadelphia Inquirer, “Our trademark is going to be toughness. That's where it's at. So where are we, and how do we get to where we want to be? When your number's called, can you make the play? I've been in the business a long time, and you see a lot of guys who look great, who've got a lot of measurables. But who can do it when plays are available to be made? We have to figure that out, starting here.”

"We're not putting a square peg into a round hole. We'll see what we do best and build around them, whatever that means.”

"[At Florida], we went through that process. We went in wanting to do one thing, and midway through the first year we had to switch back because it wasn't working. I'm not going to do that here. We're not going to make wholesale changes just to do it.”

Addazio made it clear at his opening presser that he is following Urban’s plan.

He explained, "I've been in a lot of offenses in my career: wishbone, I-formation, West Coast, option, spread. At the end of the day you have to play great defense, run the football, score points in the red zone, win the turnover battle and win the kicking battle.”

Temple will host Villanova to start the 2011 season.  The Owls then play at Akron, Penn State, and at Maryland.




Quick Hits: Muschamp, Joker, Mack, Jay Norvell, and Dooley

Will Muschamp says the Gators are extremely well-conditioned: “We have a very fit football team right now. We have very few guys that have a weight issue as far as being overweight. You probably could count them on one hand, which is unusual.

 

Joker Phillips is optimistic as Spring practice begins at Kentucky: "We hear it; we're not in a cave. We hear people's concerns. We've lost this, we've lost that. We've lost a lot of production before. We didn't have a tight end for a couple of years and we made do with it. So it's not a concern of ours."


Quoting Mack Brown: "We're starting every day with special teams and ball security and turnover-forcing drills. The most important thing in college football is turnover ratio."

 

Quoting Oklahoma co-offensive coordinator / wide receivers coach Jay Norvell: "We played our best football down the stretch last season -- Baylor, Oklahoma State, Big 12 title and Fiesta Bowl. We feel like we can build on that. We basically have all of our skill players back other than DeMarco. He did a lot of things well. It's hard to replace a guy like that. But we think we will have more leadership with Landry, Stills, Broyles. That's exciting and encouraging, guys who have done it in big games." 

 

Derek Dooley is glad he is past his first Spring practice at Tennessee: “Last year I spent three days telling them we don’t do chants during practice.”

 




Saban: We don't hire people to come in and do what they do

Alabama has opened Spring practice with three new assistant coaches.

Former Clemson defensive ends coach Chris Rumph is the new defensive line coach.

The offensive staff has two new coaches with former Miami (FL) offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland and former Louisville quarterbacks coach Mike Groh joining the staff.  Groh will coach the Alabama wide receivers.

Although Spring practice has just started, Nick appears to be in mid-season form.

Saban explained, “We don’t really hire people to come in and do what they do. We hire them to do what we want them to do. … I’m pleased and happy with the staff chemistry that we have — the way the guys work together.”

Our Saban translator broke down the aforementioned quote in other words.  Basically, Saban is saying, “I know what the hell I’m doing.  I just need a couple of guys to implement my plan, recruit, and keep players accountable.  Aight, now, if we can do that, then I will make sure the right team in this state plays for the national championship.”

ESPNU will televise Saban walking around in a light blue sports coat on April 16th at 3 pm EST.  




Dan McCarney: I'm better now than when I was at Iowa State

North Texas is set to begin Spring practice tomorrow under new head coach Dan McCarney.

McCarney, who served as the head coach at Iowa State for twelve years, accepted the North Texas job after serving as the defensive line coach at Florida the last three years.

The new coaching staff includes Mike Canales (offensive coordinator / quarterbacks), Clint Bowen (defensive coordinator / safeties), Kent Riddle (special teams / tight ends), Mike Nelson (defensive line), Anthony Weaver (linebackers), Justin Gaines (corners), Mike Grant (running backs), Nick Quartaro (wide receivers / assistant head coach), and Mike Simmonds (offensive line).

McCarney said today, “I feel like I'm a lot more relaxed and more comfortable now. I took a lot of mental notes along the way and there's no doubt I'm better now than when I was at Iowa State.”

He also talked about his goals for Spring practice.

“On offense we want to establish a physical presence, find our playmakers, and work on creating mismatches. We have to find out who our best players are going to be because right now I don't know who that is. This spring is going to be about what you do, all 22 starting positions are up for grabs. I don't care if you were a three-year starter, we have to find out who can make plays for us, block a punt, return a kick, you name it, every single position is going to be wide open.”

“On defense we have to get much, much more physical, work on our fundamentals, and get better tackling. I think we have made great strides in our attitude and expectations, but what I need from those guys is for them to give me all they have for 4-6 seconds every play. I don't need 60 seconds worth of effort, it's not like that, I need them to give me there best for just that length of time.  If we can get better in our tackling, I told Coach Bowen that if we are able to do just that, you will see the results.”

North Texas opens the 2011 season with a conference game at FIU.  The Mean Green will then play four consecutive non-conference games against Houston, at Alabama, Indiana, and at Tulsa.

 




Lane Kiffin says USC has "gigantic depth issues"

Lane Kiffin begins Spring practice today at USC.

It will be the first practice with new assistant coach Ted Gilmore, who replaced John Morton as wide receivers coach.  Morton joined Jim Harbaugh’s staff with the 49ers.

Kiffin said yesterday, "Our fans have extremely high standards just like we do. None of us was pleased with [last year], not the fans or the coaching staff. We've just got to get better and improve next year, learn from our mistakes. Three games came down to one play."

"It'd be real tough to say this team is better than last year with all the questions at linebacker and offensive line."

The Trojans somehow figured out a way to have more injuries this off-season. Twenty players will not practice today.

"It's extremely frustrating. You've got a lot of people out," Kiffin said. "We have gigantic depth issues in the offensive and defensive line."