Niumatalolo setting the tone early

Navy struggled to a 5-7 record last season (with five of their losses coming by a combined 11 points), and Ken Niumatalolo is wasting no time setting the tone for 2012 in spring ball.

Instead of easing into things, Coach Niumatalolo is starting spring ball in full pads and full contact for everyone.

“I’m taking a big risk and making our quarterbacks live this spring, but we need some work,” he said. “Not only him, but the guys tackling him need some work. Our team needs some work.”

Niumatalolo also added that they'll likely put the ball in the air a little more next season, more along the lines with what they did in the 2010 season when they averaged almost 12 passes per game (this past season they averaged 9 per game).



Urban's incentive system mirrors the real world

It seems like most staffs we talk to have some type of incentive based system in the off season to motivate players. Whether it's jersey colors, or the difference between steak dinners and franks-and-beans, each staff has their own system.

For Urban Meyer at Ohio State, he feels that the incentive system is the most realistic for players once they get out in the real world. 

"When you get away from Mommy and Daddy, it's a tough world out there, people who work in corporations who do a really good job have corner offices and trips to Cancun and bonuses. And if not, you don't. So I think a lot of kids aren't taught that. So everything we try to do is incentive-based." Meyer explained.

Pac 12 Tour - Day One

So, yes, the trip really began Monday. Other than running into Drew Brees in the Houston airport, the highlight of the day was Joey Restaurant in Seattle. Right on Lake Union... Good recommendation from the UW coaches.

Tuesday morning we (Scott and Mike from @OT_Software) spent about 45 minutes with UW athletic director Scott Woodward and then we visited with the football staff. No denying the positive vibe in the place. The stadium is being completely renovated and an entirely new football ops building is being constructed as well. Just saying...it's going to be hard to compete w Sark and crew once this is done (prior to 2013 season). 

Side note> Brilliant, and appreciated, move by UW staff having the cheerleading squad working out during our tour of the weight room. 

Secondary side note> Watching the UW staff's eyes light up as Mike demo'd his software reminded me exactly of what I did the first time I saw their software. It's that good. 

Full tour of their facilities ensued, including a viewing of where Sark docks his boat. All as good as expected. Seriously, come 2013 season these guys are going to be a force. 

We spent this afternoon and tonight with the coaches at Oregon State. I had never been to Corvallis before. It's a very nice town. The facilities have been improved significantly over the past few seasons and are impressive for this smaller market. 

Full facility tour followed by dinner with the staff at the training table (food was very good...loved the potstickers). A few of the guys joined us in downtown Corvallis to ensure the beverages being served were truly frosty (they were). Great night. Coach Riley was nice enough to invite us back tomorrow morning to discuss a few ideas with the staff. 

After we finish up at State, we'll head south to Eugene. The rest of the day will be spent with the Oregon staff. Real time updates (with pictures) on Twitter all day. 

Stay tuned for more Pac 12 tour highlights...

Venables: New scheme to rely more on "instincts"

According to Dabo Swinney, new defensive coordinator Brent Venables new scheme will be much simplier than they have been used to in the past.

As far as checks at the line go, Venables says that they are no longer asking as much out of those guys as they were last season.

Venables went to add "We are still going to have man coverage, but we are going to have some zone principles mixed in. They can use their eyes a little more, their instincts."

Good practice footage out of OK State

Oklahoma State opened up their spring ball practices yesterday, and the video guys got some good practice footage.

A good portion of the video shadows the quarterbacks and offensive coordinator Todd Monken, but their is also some drill tape that spans some work with the defensive backs, linebackers, and defensive line.

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