Saban confused by "stockpiling" comment, says Bama has room for lots more
A week away from the season-opener against San Jose State, Alabama head coach Nick Saban is unsure how many true freshman will play this season for the Crimson Tide.
Saban doesn’t necessarily like the perception that Alabama is totally loaded with talent.
Saban explained, "The proof is in the pudding. Just because everyone says you're going to be a great player because you're a four-star or five-star or whatever, what are the qualifications of the people who made those judgments. And when you come here, do you really have the right stuff to do it? I'm talking about physically, emotionally, mentally, the right intangibles, the right maturity and how important it is to you.”
Alabama will host San Jose State before Penn State comes to town on September 11th. The new expansion at Bryant-Denny Stadium brings capacity to over 101,000.
Chris Petersen praises coaching staff, talks VA Tech special teams
At Thursday’s press conference, Boise State head coach Chris Petersen praised his coaching staff and talked about the challenge of playing against Frank Beamer’s special teams.
“I probably can’t say enough about the coaches we have here. I don’t say it enough. I truly believe that we have unbelievable coaches. I think these guys could coach anywhere in the country…some of them could go there for a lot more money. It has a tremendous amount to do with our success. I think it always start with the players, but equally as much as how these guys are coached, how they are treated, how they are developed and it goes to the assistant coaches. Without question, (it's) one of the number one things to our success around here.”
(on going against the VA Tech special teams) “It’s going to be a tremendous challenge without a doubt. When this game first came on the schedule, we didn’t have to say anything about their special teams. Our kids were saying that to us. With that being said, it doesn’t make the challenge any easier. You put their tape on and you’re like ‘Ok, yeah, this is a problem.’ Coach Beamer made the comment about this year in terms of blocking kicks that they they have as much skill as they’ve ever had, which didn’t make us feel any better around here.”
“When you just look at their team, offense and defense, they have top caliber athletes and they are coached well. It’s the exact same thing on special teams. He’s the point man on them, so they are coached well. If the head coach is in charge of it, he’s going to make sure he stacks the deck. I guarantee you that. Once you get the track record of all these blocked kicks and all these big plays and how it translates in to wins, it makes it a lot easier. With so much history of it, he probably doesn’t have to say much about it.”
The Boise State / Virginia Tech game is set for Monday night, September 6th. The game will air on ESPN at 8 pm EST. See the entire Week 1 TV schedule right here.
Sarkisian pumped up about the Huskies
Washington coach Steve Sarkisian has proven to be as open and honest with the media as any coach in the country. Just over a week away from the season-opener at BYU, Sarkisian is pumped up about his team.
Sark said, "I love where we're at. I love our kicking game. We are so much further along than we were last year at this time.
"Defensively, to watch our guys fly around and play, we are playing faster football and I think part of it is that we are almost appearing faster than we really are because our knowledge of the defense is so much better in year two than in year one, and that's a credit to nick and his staff to get that done, so I love where they are at.”
"I wanted to make sure our screen game improved offensively. I thought we were very poor to average last year on offense (in the screen game) and I think we got that done. I wanted to see us defensively play more man-to-man coverage and challenge more routes, and I think we have proved we can do that in this training camp. And I wanted to make sure we are a physical football team. We've got a nice array of skilled athletes on our team, but at the end of the day this game is about blocking and tackling and to do that you've got to be physical and I think we got all of those things accomplished.''
"You have to put them in situations to allow them to be physical. You can talk about it all you want, but you have to do short-yardage and goal line live scrimmages. Have to scrimmage and tackle and block, and have to talk pad level and stress it and do board drills and things of that nature that let the players know that one, it's okay to do that, and two, they are capable of doing that.''
UW will travel to Provo, Utah to take on Sarkisian's alma mater on September 2nd.
Pete Carroll, Seahawks spooked by prank
Pete Carroll isn't scared to pull a prank on the players. He did it at USC (Will Ferrell). After Carroll fell for this particular prank at Seahawks camp this week, he decided he wouldn't be the only one.
The video is pretty funny.
Ben Malcolmson of Seahawks.com writes, “Nothing like a little prank to spook the Seahawks and provide the players and coaches with endless laughs this week.
Snakes on a plane?
Spearheaded by the team’s equipment staff, players were pranked this week by a contraption that featured a stuffed snake that would pop out of a Gatorade cooler in frightening fashion. To set up the practical joke, the most common question around Virginia Mason Athletic Center the past few days was, “have you tried the new Gatorade?” — which invariably led to players, coaches and staffers getting spooked by the real-looking snake.”
Here is the video:
'The Pistol' offense moving around the country
Nevada head coach Chris Ault takes a great deal of pride in his invention of “The Pistol.”
In 2010, expect to see UCLA, Arkansas, LSU, Duke, Indiana, Alabama, Kansas City Chiefs, and Miami Dolphins to incorporate the backfield set into their schemes.
Ault says, “The Pistol now is a hot topic all around the country. I can't tell you how many coaches call me in the off-season and want to talk about it. That's what I do in the off-season now. I go and talk to coaches all over the country. I could do that every week if I wanted to.”
“It's incredible. But it's a lot of fun. We've enjoyed talking to a lot of people all over the country.”
Over the last two seasons, Nevada has finished in the top three in the nation of rushing offense by utilizing 'The Pistol.' Last season, Chris Ault's team led the country with 344 yards per game on the ground.
Nevada opens on Thursday night, September 2nd against Eastern Washington. Other non-conference game for the Wolf Pack include Colorado State, CAL, and BYU.
Houston Nutt and Dan Mullen update quarterback situations
Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt and Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen spoke Thursday morning on different radio stations regarding their quarterback situations.
Nutt, who has yet to name a starter, said, “All three of them are doing really well. Nathan (Stanley) has taken off since the spring. Jeremiah (Masoli) has raised everybody’s level. Until you see Randall Mackey live, his arm is very strong, very accurate. He can do so many things.”
“Jeremiah has the most experience. He’s still not stamped clean with the (NCAA) waiver. Should be done in the next few days. He has all the intangibles a quarterback needs. If you meet him, you would wonder how does a guy like this get in trouble. Being around the right people (is important). When you meet him, you see his genuineness, how humble he is. He’s been doing everything we’ve asked him to do. Just appreciate how he’s gone about things.”
Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen compared Chris Relf to former Bowling Green quarterback Josh Harris. He compared redshirt-freshman Tyler Russell to former Utah quarterback Alex Smith.
Regarding Relf, Mullen said, “He’s a completely different guy. Everything from his throwing motion, balance in the pocket, a lot of it is different today than a year ago.”
Mullen explained the bottom line is winning.
He said, “If our quarterback has a bad day, we’re going to be in trouble. A quarterback that fits our offense is one that knows how to win. Style is not as important to me as if they can win.”
Mullen added, “The 1 offensive line is a strength on offense. There is just no experience behind them. That’s the one position we don’t have a whole lot of depth.”
Nutt appeared on WHBQ56 in Memphis. Mullen appeared on “Out of Bounds Show” with Bo Bounds.
Thursday morning Coaches Quick Hits
Some interesting quotes from around the country:
Brian Kelly upset with Irish practice: "I start with the premise that we're here to win. The coaches that were here last year are no longer here and the players that were here didn't do such a good job either. So, everybody's starting with the same premise: you're here to win and I expect you to be ready to practice and be locked in for Notre Dame every single time you come out here. That message needs to be reinforced sometimes. Today was a good day to reinforce it."
David Cutcliffe talks about plan for unofficial visits: "When we came here to Duke we knew the unofficial visit would be a premium," said Cutcliffe, whose Blue Devils have 22 commits so far. "Kids will rip through this state and see UNC, NC State, Wake Forest and East Carolina. We knew we had to develop a standard routine for unofficial visits from a [campus] tour, academics, coaches and faculty. Everyone had to be ready on a minute's notice. I like this system. This way is better. You just have to be prepared for it. I actually enjoy it. It's more laid-back and I get to know the kids better we sign."
Quoting Houston Nutt: "The defense got after us today. We couldn't make a first down."
Dooley talks about the mock game: "There are 26 things I wrote down that we've got to clean up administratively, with coaches headsets, adjustments and how we do things. This is why this was important and it was good. "I told the players that they were very professional about it, they approached it the right way and I think we got a lot accomplished. We didn't really get better as a football team but we got a lot done in the hopes that the first game we can play well, and that's what we were here for."
Mark Richt says quarterback is still learning: “He’s still learning. He’s still a freshman. It wasn’t really bad, but there were a couple of times where he could have made a better decision. I’m just thankful we got into those situations and it happened today. Hopefully, the point will be driven home a little bit better because it was more of a real situation. Hopefully, he’ll learn from it.”
Quoting San Jose State head coach Mike MacIntyre: "50% of our 2-deep our first-time players, first time every playing in a major college football game. I would say we have 'diaper rash' as a football team. We are young."
Quoting San Diego State offensive coordinator Al Borges: “Once we master our domain here, we’ll get more flamboyant. But right now we’re going to run these plays and run them and run them until we know what we’re doing.”
“Right now, we’re not running the ball like we should. We’re not where we need to be from an offensive perspective. We know a lot of stuff we didn’t know a year ago, but we still have too many errors.”
Dwayne Walkers and New Mexico State will play 12 consecutive weeks: "Just gotta be real smart and keep these guys healthy. We have depth in some places, some places we don't have depth ... I'm not beating up on them this camp as much as I did last year. Just trying to be sensible, I guess you could say."
Fresno State WR Devon Wylie praises wide receivers coach Keith Williams: "He's an amazing coach.Not only does he coach you up on the fine details of how to be a great receiver, but he also coaches you up about life. So many dudes have just turned around who they are as a person off the field and on the field.""He's taught me not to just be an athlete but to be a receiver. To be a more technically sound receiver. To basically be the best wideout I can be. He takes what you can do as a wideout and brings it out of you."
Bill Stewart: We need to get the ball to #7
Bill Stewart spoke with Vince & Cook of 93.7 in Pittsburgh this afternoon.
The key to the West Virginia offense, Stewart said, “We do have some weapons, (but) you have to watch that you don’t become a jack of all trades. You need to be a master of some. We need to get the ball to 7. Let’s start with Noel Devine.”
Stewart added, “Right now the play of Geno Smith has been pretty solid. We can do a bunch of combo packing with him. I really like the play of our young receivers. The line seems to be getting a little bit better.”
“We’re fast. I don’t know if we are as fast as when we had Patrick and Stevie Slaton. But we are quicker. These guys are quicker, the foot hits the ground and they are right up the field….very, very explosive.”
Regarding the defense, Stewart said, “We need to do a better job disguising. I keep telling the defense ‘don’t stand there.’ If we can do that and stay healthy, we have a chance on that side of the ball.”
On the conference picks, Stewart said, “I think both Pitt and UCONN were good choices. I think both Cincinnati and West Virginia can win it. Don’t count out South Florida and Rutgers. It’s such a tough league.”
West Virginia opens with four consecutive non-conference games. The Mountaineers play Coastal Carolina, at Marshall, Maryland, and at LSU.
Below, you can West Virginia DC Jeff Casteel talk about the defense.