Watson: Teach QB play from the defense's perspective
Midway through the third game of the season, Louisville's starting quarterback went down and the coaching staff replaced him with freshman Teddy Bridgewater, who went on to win Big East Rookie of the year honors.
Quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson is entering his first full season as the offensive coordinator for the Cardinals after taking the reigns with five games remaining last season. His main focus during the off season has been spent on three things; improving individual players based on performance from last season, improving the scheme, and "pushing the learning curve" for the veteran quarterbacks.
"As a quarterback coach and coordinator I believe this...the most critical time in a quarterback's life is the off season. If you're trying to learn the things you need to know during training camp, you're in trouble." Watson said of the learning progression.
Watson plans to be more multiple this season than they were last year, all while being able staying in the same personnel groupings.
"I love multiplicity because that allows you to play to your skill set and your team but at the same time be creative in the way you use them to create touches for the playmakers. Our installation right now has that in it. So now we develop the way we do our business, creating touches and matchups that our players can take advantage of. And it's conceptually driven so it allows you to be multiple without being hard. The thing for us to teach our guys is the how and the why. Last year we were teaching the how. This spring and summer, we're getting to the why."
In order to learn the "why" behind the scheme, Watson makes a point to teach from the defense's perspective.
"I always teach quarterback play from a defensive perspective first. I want them to know how a defense is put together. That's the why part. Why do we do what we do? Why are we trying to attack in this particular way? People forget that part. I start at the very beginning, and they have the whole summer, so now they can study defensive football and how it relates to opponents that we are getting ready to play, and also the management aspect of the game."
Watson says when different staffs come to visit, he wants to feel comfortable giving the floor to his quarterbacks teach it just like he would.
"If a kid knows why we do something or why something happened, that means it's in their DNA. If we had a visiting staff in here, my goal would be that they know this stuff so well that our quarterbacks could get up and articulate a play on the board and explain the how and why of what we're doing, and why it works, just the same as I would." Watson explained.
Video: What a successful HS camp looks like
Linfield College has hosted a first class football camp for the past 25 seasons, and it is highly regarded in the Northwest by high school coaches.
High school programs from Washington, Oregon and Northern California travel up to the northwest corner of Oregon to participate in the camp.
The video below shows highlights from their controlled scrimmages amongst a handful of other activities that make the camp such a hit.
"We drink twice as much Red Bull as any other staff"
Coaches' love of Red Bull, and caffeine in general, is well documented. You don't have to go too far at any given convention to hear stories about guys like Dana Holgorsen, Ed Orgeron and Todd Monken slamming Red Bulls throughout the day.
However, when North Carolina quarterbacks coach / offensive coordinator Blake Anderson was asked about things that are unique to Coach Fedora and the UNC program, he noted the tempo and music out at practice, the high energy coaches with their hats on backwards running around at practice, and the fact that they drink twice as much Red Bull as any other staff in the country.
Sounds like a challenge to us...
Money quote only:
NFL Network gets an early start on new show
The NFL Network has announced a new four hour morning show to start airing on July 30th devoted to bringing NFL news to fans year round.
The show will begin at 6 a.m. Eastern time...but will be filmed out on the west coast in Los Angeles. That means the show will get started at 3 a.m. Pacific time, and NFL Network executive producer Eric Weinberger expects the hosts to be in at about 11:30 p.m. to start prepping for the show.
Wow...talk about a rough sleep schedule.
The show, appropriately named "NFL AM", will reportedly have no shortage of content during the off season. In fact, according to Weinberger, one of the advantages of the schedule is the fact that the show can touch base with coaches "before they start their days".
"It's mind-boggling how much content is out there. How can you fill up four hours dedicated to the NFL every morning? It's surprisingly easier than it sounds." Weinberger added.
GA of the Day - Sam Williams (Vanderbilt)
Meet Sam Williams, offensive grad assistant at Vanderbilt. So, technically, he's not a GA; but when we hear so many positive things about a guy, we don't disqualify based on a technicality.
Sam, as you will hear in the video, has a fascinating story...showed up at Vandy with the possibility of a D-1 job...only to have it not quite available yet. What did Williams do? He made it work; and as every guy in that building will tell you, he's got quite a future ahead of him.
Want to hear what James Franklin thinks of Williams (and offensive grad assistant Joey Orck)? Watch the first 15 seconds of this video...
Holgo: "We're not going into a hornet's nest"
While the Mountaineers are entering new territory in the Big 12, half of Dana Holgorsen's staff has at least one year of experience coaching in the new conference.
“We probably know a lot more about the Big 12 than the Big 12 knows about us. We know a bunch about it." Holgorsen noted on the experience that him and his staff have going into the new conference.
Holgo, Joe DeForest, Robert Gillespie, and Jake Spavital are familiar with the new landscape from their time working together at Oklahoma State, and Bill Bedenbaugh brings some added experience from spending seven seasons at Texas Tech. Corners coach Daron Roberts also brings some experience from his playing days at Texas, before going on to coach in the NFL.
“We're not going to go into a hornet's nest without knowing about it. Now, that in itself isn't going to win you any games, but I do think it will be beneficial in the long run.”
Their inaugural Big 12 schedule looks pretty good with road games at Texas and Texas Tech (in back to back weeks), before eventually traveling to Oklahoma State and Iowa State, meaning that they'll get Baylor, Kansas State, TCU, Oklahoma and Kansas at home. Their conference road opponents went 31-20 last season, while the teams they'll see at home racked up a record of 43-22 (and an impressive 41-11 not counting Kansas' 2-11 season).
HS Video: Adventure training
Head coach Chad Frigon and his Liberty HS (MO) football team took 88 guys out to an adventure course Thursday to work on building team camraderie, trust, and respect amongst teammates in an off the field, non-football setting.
Earlier in the offseason, Frigon and his staff divided the team into groups to work out and used those same groups to run through the course.
Looks like a great idea, and the course looks like a refreshing change of pace from the every day off season training program.
New uniforms at Eastern Michigan
Eastern Michigan just unveiled their updated Adidas uniforms for 2012.
The new look features new green, white and gray choices for the jerseys, pants (complete with a new sleeker belt-less design), and helmets. The jerseys added a wing design on the shoulders and have either "Eastern Michigan" or "Eagles" across the front.
To go along with the green helmet and traditional block "E", they've also added matte white and gray helmets with the same block "E" logo. All in all, Ron English and the Eagles will have 20 fresh uniform combinations once socks enter the mix.
"We are excited to be a part of an elite number of schools that Adidas chose to promote on a national stage. It's a compliment to the growth of our program and something the players are really going to enjoy." English said in the official press release.