Illinois defense meshing ideas and schemes
Illini Productions shadowed linebackers coach Mike Ward at practice the other day, and also got a few thoughts from the players on the adjustments they've had to make to the new coaching staff.
Ward says that they aren't trying to overhaul the whole defensive structure, but are instead focusing on trying to bridge the gap between what they did last season and some schemes and things that the new staff wants to install. The end goal is to successfully mesh the two philosophies and terminologies.
Vandy planning creative seating option
Vanderbilt is planning some exciting new additions and renovations at the stadium after the spring Black and Gold scrimmage next Saturday.
One of the additions will be a large hill, or "berm", at the open end of the stadium outfitted with a large JumboTron. The hill was inspired by Wake Forest's "Deacon Hill". Vice Chancellor of Athletics David Williams said he wouldn't call it a hill, "...but it certainly won’t look like it’s looking now”.
Williams, further explaining the difference between the two, said "Ours is on the line of, but not to the same effect, as Wake’s. Wake’s is a natural hill. Ours is something we’re creating. With Wake’s, I think you enter from the top. Ours won’t be like that. I don’t think there’s any place that has it like this because ours is not going to be that huge.” The new hill will sport the grass from the playing field when the field switches to FieldTurf and improved lighting will also be added to the stadium as part of the renovations.
Steve Walsh, Vandy's director of sales and marketing points out that their goal is to make it a more family friendly environment. “We want to appeal to fans with young kids, where their kids can run around and they can still watch the game and keep an eye on the kids. We want to make it more of a ‘blanket in the park’ thing.” Blankets will be allowed in the area, but coolers and lounge chairs will not.
James Franklin is a fan of the change, partly due to the fact that it's not a permanent fixture.
“There have been discussions of building a football complex there, there have been discussions of closing the stadium in (with permanent seating). But until we prove we have a demand for those things, it’s hard to justify. This is a way to do something inexpensive, relatively speaking, that isn’t permanent. It can be bulldozed if we decide.”
Great way to kick off a practice
Navy started off practice yesterday with "The Ring Drill".
Coach Niumatalolo calls two guys out to go head to head. This is good stuff...mano a mano.
Great way to kick off a practice.
Urban Meyer: Getting better every day
A week has gone by since the start of spring ball in Columbus, and Urban Meyer still feels a sense of urgency in finding consistency in the offense, and finding the play makers for the Buckeyes.
"We're not where we need to be. But I'm not upset. I just wish we would grasp it a little faster. There's not one position. It's like offensive football, anytime you install, anytime you do something new, nine guys do it right and two guys do it wrong and it just looks like the most disgusting thing you'll ever see. So we've just got to get a little more consistent" he explained.
Meyer still feels that progress is being made daily. "We're a lot better today than we were yesterday, so as long as we keep doing that, it means there's still the bar is being raised."
New Mexico coaches talk about returning
Lobos offensive line coach Jason Lenzmeier and running backs coach DeAndre Smith each spent time as Lobo assistants in the past, and couldn't be happier or more excited to be back on campus.
Lenzmeier, who worked as a graduate assistant and eventually earned a full time spot after finishing up his playing career as a Lobo, told the local media "I was never not a Lobo". After spending the past three seasons at in state rival New Mexico State Lenzmeier explained, "Obviously the profession takes you places that you have to go along your career path, but I have always been a Lobo."
Lenzmeier said he had a lot of former players and others involved in the football program throw his name in the mix when Davie got the job, and that eventually led to his interview.
Smith says he is probably more excited about being back around the program now than his first time on staff in 2008 because of the growing support from campus and surrounding community. Lenzmeier threw Smith's name at Coach Davie and a day or two later Davie was in San Francisco (where Illinois was playing in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl) sitting down with Smith and his family talking about the job.
"I have been fortunate to work for a lot of great coaches in college football, and he's another one of those guys" Smith said about the opportunity to work under Coach Davie.
Kliff Kingsbury mic'd up
Kevin Sumlin, Kliff Kingsbury and crew have finally taken the field in Spring and now they get to really see what tools they have to work with.
As you will see in this video, Kingsbury is evaluating a number of quarterbacks; and he's trying to teach them his style (up tempo, and sling it a lot).
This video will excite your fanbase
This one is going viral on the iternet as we speak.
Sit back, go full screen, grab some popcorn and enjoy this gem from Louisiana Monroe.
Push-Pull drill at West Virginia
Good (unedited) practice footage of Mountaineers new defensive line coach Erik Slaughter working his guys.
Slaughter is running the push-pull drill here teaching the defensive linemen to use great leverage, and fight through the head of the defender to the ball carrier.