Larry Porter lays out goals for Spring practice
Memphis begins Spring practice today under second-year head coach Larry Porter.
Two new coaches joined the staff this off-season. Former Utah assistant Blake Miller joined the staff as co-offensive coordinator / offensive line coach and former Arkansas – Pine Bluff assistant Jerry Mack joined the staff as wide receivers coach. Quarterbacks coach / assistant head coach Kevin McGiven will now call the plays.
Porter said today on Sports56 in Memphis, “Offensively, it goes back to establishing continuity on the offensive line and challenging our wide receivers to be more productive. We have to have the guys that play around the quarterback be more productive than a year ago.”
“We have to have a more aggressive style of play-calling. It won’t be completely spread, but it will be more up tempo offense and aggressive with the play-calling, and much more creative in the plays we are running.”
“Defensively, first and foremost we want to simplify things and then we must improve our tackling and third-down defense.”
Porter made sure to appease the Memphis supporters during Spring practice by announcing, “The facility is open. We want our town to come and be around us and enjoy the day as we go to work.”
Memphis open against Mississippi State, at Arkansas State, and Austin Peay.
Mike Riley: It's almost turning into AAU basketball
Oregon State head coach Mike Riley is not interested in dealing with a “middle man” during the recruiting process.
Riley told The Oregonian, “It’s almost turning into something like AAU basketball.’’
In recent weeks, certain recruiting service companies have come under question for the exact services they are truly providing to colleges.
One college assistant told FootballScoop, “There is one school out there that is paying a guy about $10,000. It’s supposed to be for video of prospects, but in reality it’s for that guy being responsible for bringing 5-6 top prospects in his area across country to summer camp. The money pays for the trip expenses and registration for the prospects. The guy keeps the rest and may send a few videos.”
Mike Riley told The Oregonian, “For the most part, our interaction has been through high school coaches, counselors, teachers, the kid, and his family. That’s been it. But there is a growing concern out there about other entities entering the picture, and it’s not healthy.’’
Perhaps the most subscibed to service by college coaches is The Coach Tracker database, which is sent monthly to over 110 college coaching staffs. The Coach Tracker includes the cell number & email address of nearly every high school head football coach in the country. The database is updated daily by the FootballScoop Staff. We can assure you that there is no "middle man."
Muschamp ready to begin Spring practice at Florida
Florida starts Spring practice on Wednesday and practice will be closed to the public.
It will be the first practice under new head coach Will Muschamp and his assistants that include Charlie Wies (offensive coordinator / quarterbacks), Brian White (running backs), Aubrey Hill (wide receivers / recruiting coordinator), Frank Verducci (offensive line / run game coordinator), and Derek Lewis (tight ends).
The defensive staff includes Dan Quinn (defensive coordinator / defensive line), Bryant Young (defensive line), Travaris Robinson (defensive backs), and DJ Durkin (special teams coordinator / linebackers).
Will Muschamp explained, “I’ve got to make a decision that I think is best for the program and about winning football games and doing it the right way. That’s something that will be evaluated in the fall by me and in the spring by me. If I think it’s best for the practices to be closed, they’ll be closed.”
Muschamp talked about goals for the Spring.
He said, “Develop the leadership. Come together for that common purpose. I know we’ll all be excited on Wednesday; I want to see how we are [at] practice 12. That’s really where you find out what kind of team you’ve got. We want to be a blue-collar, overachieving unit. We’ve got some good football players; we got a good football team on campus. We’ve got to come together as a cohesive unit, build for a common purpose and develop that workman-like attitude.”
So what type of defensive scheme will the Gators implement?
Muschamp said, “We want to be multiple. We’ll be more of an over team, a 4-3 team, a one-gap team at this point. We will co-mingle some 3-4.”
The Gators open next season against Florida Atlantic, UAB, and Tennessee. The month of October looks daunting with games against Alabama, at LSU, at Auburn, and at Georgia.
Stockstill opens Spring practice with new coaches and new goals
Spring practice starts today at Middle Tennessee State.
Head coach Rick Stockstill has two new coordinators and a couple of new assistants. Willie Simmons was promoted from running backs coach to offensive coordinator. Special teams coordinator / corners coach Steve Ellis is the new defensive coordinator.
Former Murray State offensive coordinator Buster Faulkner is the new quarterbacks coach / passing game coordinator and former Valdosta State defensive coordinator Joe Cauthen takes over the special teams coordinator / linebackers job.
Rick Stockstill talked about his concerns this morning.
Stockstill said, “Being a team. I did not feel like we were a close team last year like we have been in the past. I want to make sure it is WE and not ME. I have stressed with everyone to be on the same page, support each other, and pull the rope in the same direction. We have not mentioned one word about winning a certain number of games next year or winning a conference championship.”
“We have only talked about winning the day so we will focus on winning Wednesday and then worry about Thursday on Thursday. I have signs around our offices and locker room about winning the day with three code phrases. One is doing things as fast as we can, two is effort, and three is finish everything you start.”
Stockstill will focus on turnovers and protecting the football.
“I will also stress our tempo because we want to play as fast as anyone in the country while also protecting the football. Over the last two years we have won just one game when we lost the turnover battle and that was against Austin Peay. We also have to create more explosive plays because we were not effective in that area a year ago.”
MTSU opens at Purdue before hosting Georgia Tech in week 2. The other non-conference games are against Memphis and at Tennessee.
UCONN coaches looking for quarterback "escapability"
Football coaches have created a new word.
Although the term is not an actual English word, “escapability” has become accepted as the skill to impress with elusiveness in the pocket.
Trent Dilfer, the best analyst in football, used the term no less than 9,221 times on TV and/or ESPN Radio during the 2010 football season.
It’s the skill that UCONN head coach Paul Pasqualoni and offensive coordinator George DeLeone are looking for on the recruiting trail.
DeLeone explained the ESPN, “In the NFL, I look at the great quarterbacks. I look at Drew Brees. One of the great things he has is escapability. You look at Phillip Rivers. One of the great things he has is escapability. I look at Tom Brady -- as great a dropback passer as he is, I see him avoid people in the pocket. As great a dropback passer as Peyton Manning is, I see him live and in person avoiding people in the pocket.”
“My point is, number one, quarterbacks have to have some sort of escapability. In today's day and age, with the amount of blitzes and pressures you see, quarterbacks have to be able to escape and have to do something beyond the design of the play to keep the chains moving. When we had Donovan McNabb, he was the greatest example of that. On three of the four third downs, he'd sit in pocket and throw the ball. And all of a sudden on the fourth one, he'd run for a first down and keep the chains moving.”
UCONN begins Spring practice today. The high in Storrs today is 48 degrees and sunny.
Embree making sure Buffaloes form strong practice habits
9 of 21 new head coaches this year are first-time head coaches. Colorado head coach Jon Embree is one of them.
With Spring practice underway in Boulder, Embree admits he’s learning.
Embree explained, "You see stuff and you want to say something, but I don`t want to step on toes. I just find the right time to do it. I`m still able to coach. It`s just not as quickly as I want to or in the manner that I want to."
After Monday’s practice, Embree talked about the importance of playing physical football and having plays “to hang our hat on.”
Embree said, “There’s going to be some plays that we hang our hat on.”
As for the physical practice, he added, "Oh yeah, some guys got exposed, and that`s good because their teammates will know about them. It`s habits right now. That`s the problem right now. Habits. They want to feel sorry for themselves a little bit. More importantly, knowing how to work. We don`t know how to work yet. We`ll get it."
“We’re still up and down. We can’t get to a certain level and sustain it.”
Colorado opens at Hawaii (brick game). The Buffaloes then play Cal, Colorado State (in Denver), and at Ohio State.
Quick Hits: Muschamp, Jim Grobe, Fedora, Bob Toledo
Will Muschamp says he expects defensive coordinator Dan Quinn to call the defensive schemes on game day: "Dan and I worked together before, so that's kind of why we get along so well — we have a philosophical belief in how you play. I plan on him calling it right now as far as what we're doing, but I'm going to be involved. In my role, you play to your strengths, and my strength is on defense, special teams and recruiting."
Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe talks about staff adjustments: "This was a great opportunity to help ourselves offensively, and I don't think we'll miss a beat defensively. We'll be better just because our kids will be older, but it's really more of an opportunity for us. I hate to lose Brad, but in losing Brad we're able to make ourselves better on the offensive side, and hopefully with Brian coming over we don't miss anything because we've got another really experienced defensive coach coming over to help us on defense."
Southern Miss head coach Larry Fedora talks about Spring practice: “You look at our offense and think ‘Hey, If they can fill a couple of holes they’re not going to miss a beat. But on defense, it’s a whole new deal. It’s an entirely new system and there’s a learning curve. We need to get in as much as possible so (the players) feel comfortable headed into fall practice.”
Tulane head coach Bob Toledo talks about his concerns entering Spring practice: “I’d say our quality depth at offensive line isn’t as good as we need it to be, so that’s a concern. We have some good players there, we have four or five who have played quite a bit. But we just don’t have a lot of depth. If we get some injuries there, that could be a problem.”
“We gave up more big plays than the great majority of teams in the nation. We’ve got to eliminate the big passing plays — we gave up more than 40 — and then the only one who really performed well last season was (senior) Phillip Davis, he only got beat deep one time. … He’s the one we’re going to miss the most.”
Spurrier not interested in distractions during Spring practice
South Carolina begins Spring practice on Tuesday and Steve Spurrier isn’t in the mood for any distractions. For the first time ever, the Gamecocks hit the field as the defending SEC Eastern Division champs.
The practices will be open to the public.
High profile players like Marcus Lattimore and Alshon Jeffery return, and Stephen Garcia will presumably take the first snap of "Team Period" on Day #1, at least.
How about some autograph sessions for the children and frat kids?
Spurrier said today, "That’s a distraction we don’t need. If it becomes a problem, we will have to close practices. And we don’t want that to happen.”
Tuesday will be the first practice with new special teams coordinator John Bulter, who served as the special teams coordinator last season at Minnesota under Tim Brewster.
The Gamecocks have also shifted around responsibilities with several other coaches. Jeep Hunter moved from tight ends to safeties. Ellis Johnson is coaching the linebackers and Lorenzo Ward is coaching the corners. Running backs coach Jay Graham picks up the additional responsibility of the tight ends.
From what we hear, Spurrier will be installing a new running play for the Gamecocks this Spring. It's a play he ran during his days at Florida.