Chavis: A different challenge than I've had in a while
LSU defensive coordinator / linebackers coach John Chavis says the Tigers’ youth on defense will be a challenge to overcome.
Chavis told The Advocate, “This is a different challenge than I’ve had in a while, but nothing I haven’t gone through before. We’ve got a lot of young guys that we’re going to have to count on a lot, and they’re eager to get out there and show what they can do.”
“This defense is going to be a lot of sophomores and a lot of freshmen, and that doesn’t put any fear in me because I love coaching a young football team that’s aggressive, a young football team that’s eager to make a name for itself or themselves — each individual and then us as a team.”
“The opportunities were there last year, and now we have to figure out how to capitalize better. Our goal is always to make it a short field for the offense. We want to score on defense, but at the same time, if you take the ball away it gives you momentum.”
The Tigers’ defense finished 26th nationally in total defense during Chavis’ first season in Baton Rouge. In 2009, LSU finished 87th in the country in sacks with 1.62 per game. The bright spot was that LSU allowed just 16 points per game, 11th best nationally.
LSU opens against North Carolina on Saturday night in the Georgia Dome. Kick-off is set for 8 pm EST.
Monday morning Coaches Quick Hits
Some interesting quotes from around the country:
Quoting Nebraska tight ends coach Ron Brown: “I think the players are starting to find out who they are, what kind of players they are, and what kind of culture we have on offense. We’re seeing a tremendous dose of physicality and the ability to open up, too.”
Jim Grobe says Wake Forest defensive line is a concern: “The defensive line is our biggest concern. But I like this defense. We have some kids who like to play, who fly around the ball and want to hit you. That's a good place to start.”
Wisconsin OC Paul Chryst talks about facing UNLV: "You've got to look at Montana and then look at UNLV's returning personnel. And then say: 'OK, what are they going to be able to do?' You've got to be pretty broad-based and cover a lot of things you probably won't even see."
Quoting ULL head coach Rickey Bustle: "There's a lot of talk about winning that seventh game and getting over that hump. But the thing we're talking about is winning a championship."
Florida OC Steve Addazio talks about Gators' offense: "Who we are isn't going to change - you're just going to see these tweaks. You're
You've got to take advantage of Chris Rainey, you just have to do that. Different guys have different talents - that's where you'll see different tweaks. You'll see changes, but what are we about? We're about toughness. We're about getting the ball in the hands of our playmakers. We're about doing what our players can do great. Fundamentally, that is so locked in. "
Oklahoma quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel talks about Landry Jones: “I think Landry wants to play perfect. We understand that he’s not going to play the perfect game, and we’ll make sure that that doesn’t inhibit him during the course of the Saturday afternoon. But I think he’s striving for perfection. He’s been very focused and emphatic in detail during his approach to every practice and every rep. That’s why he’s made the strides he’s continuing to make.”
Quoting Southern Miss DC Todd Bradford: "We're going to take 11 (defensive linemen) to the game and play all of them. They're the strength of our team. They have the most snaps under their belts -- we're talking thousands of plays when you add all those guys up together. We need them to play well.
"We're going to have a plan to substitute them where they're probably going to be running on the field as the play is ending or as quickly as you can."
Doc Holliday on containing Terrell Pryor: “Hope and pray I guess. I'm not sure you can totally contain him.”
“We are not going to be line up and just be able to knock them off the ball. We have to be a little creative both offensively and defensively. Billy Legg will do a good job with that. We have to do some things to try and help our O-line out.”
Skip Holtz talks about Randy Edsall: “If 20 years ago you would have said that Connecticut football is at the level it is now, everybody would have laughed at you. It makes me proud to see the great job that Randy has done.’’
Quoting NC State head coach Tom O’Brien: “There isn’t any reason why we can’t be (a top ACC program). But you can’t be unless you have the pieces in place to be that way. And for the last three years, we haven’t had enough guys to do what we wanted to do.”
South Carolina assistants describe Ellis Johnson
Steve Spurrier calls Ellis Johnson, “the best defensive coordinator in America.”
Johnson, who enters his third season at South Carolina, certainly shares his own unique style.
Johnson told The Post and Courier, "To me, I'm a glass half-empty (person). If the glass is half-full, somebody else has to fix the other empty part or maybe it won't get fixed. You know, coaches are made to find problems and fix them.” Johnson said.
South Carolina assistant Lorenzo Ward says, "He's not a friend of yours, as far as player-coach relationship. That doesn't mean he doesn't care about the players, but he's demanding. He wants things done the right way, all the time. I think that's what separates him from other coordinators that aren't as demanding. It's all about respect. He gives them respect. They're going to respect him. His voice demands respect.”
Special teams coordinator / strong safeties coach Shane Beamer says, “He's not the most positive guy in the world, in a lot of ways. But our players need that sometimes, too. He keeps things in perspective. He does a nice job of constantly coaching, never letting them feel like they've made it or arrived or got all the answers.”
South Carolina hosts Southern Miss on Thursday night. Kick-off is set for 7:30 pm EST on ESPN.
Sunday afternoon Coaches Quick Hits
Some interesting quotes from around the country:
Dave Christensen says Wyoming offense will have new look: "I'm not sure we'll get the full effect, but we'll certainly be different offensively than we were a year ago. We've got different personnel now at different positions, so we're going to be able to do more things that we weren't able to do in the first year. We'll be able to implement more this year."
Ohio State OC Jim Bollman describes Tressel: "He's going 5,000 miles an hour. He's been that way ever since I've known him."
Miami (OH) head coach Mike Haywood unsure if his team truly believes: “At the time that game was scheduled, Miami was looked at as a team that was headed in the same direction as Boise State They were accepting all comers at that time. Unfortunately, things changed and took a different course. We’re trying to build it back to where it was at that time.”
“They believe they can compete, but I don’t think they always believe they can win it. We’re trying to build the confidence that you always believe you can win. We want to go in there and play hard and finish plays. We want to become a dangerous football team.”
Quoting Charlie Strong: "We have two goals here. We're going to get our degree from this university and we're going to win some Big East titles. That's going to happen. How soon? We're working to get that done."
Quoting MTSU offensive coordinator Mike Shultz: "I'm an old school guy, so I think you won't know what you have until you get into game two. I could say game one, but I think it takes at least a couple of games for that picture to clear up. I really don't know where we are or how good we are. I just really don't know, but I guess we'll find out soon."
Quoting Western Kentucky head coach Willie Taggart: "First and foremost, I don't care what team it is, I think you've got to have a really solid defense. We're going to try to put our better players on defense. I think defense wins championships and we've got to stop people."
Air Force defensive coordinator / inside linebackers coach Matt Wallerstedt talks about Troy Calhoun: “He’s going to see some things, and he’s got a bright mind. He sees schemes and the flow of the game, and he’s going to put in some great suggestions to us when it’s needed, and sometimes you don’t hear from him.”
Louisville palyer Greg Scruggs describes Charlie Strong: "He's a players' coach. He's intense. He's really in-your-face but, at the same time, he takes care of us ... and that makes it easier to go back out there and really just give everything you have. I really like that style of coaching."
Memphis player talks about DC Jay Hopson: ''One thing he always tells us is you're fighting for your brother next to you. We always break the (defensive) huddle by shouting '11 brothers.' We're 11 brothers, and you'd do anything for your brother.''
Kansas assistant coaches describe work under Turner Gill
During an interview with the Kansas City Star newspaper, Kansas defensive coordinator / linebackers coach Carl Torbush and offensive line coach JB Grimes shared their thoughts on Turner Gill.
Torbush said, “What you see in Turner is exactly what you get. There is no fake or pretentiousness. He’s the type of man that, as an assistant coach, you do not want to let him down.”
“After football, somewhere down the road, you’d like to think players are gonna come back to you, be your friend, say ‘Thank you for the role model you were for me.’ I’ve seen some guys that wouldn’t come back to their college after they finished. That’s not what this game’s all about.”
Grimes said, “There’s a lot of different ways to skin a cat. The way Turner does things appeals to me. It appeals to my sense of being a parent. I tell people, ‘Before I’m a coach, I’m a dad.’ Obviously, we need to win football games. But you know what? I do believe there is a broader responsibility we have.”
Grimes added, “I played the game, and no one has more respect for Coach Bryant and his accomplishments. But I think he set football back two generations at Junction. Because you don’t have to do it that way. I think it’s a positive thing, what we’re doing right now. You don’t have to tear them down to build them up.”The new coaching staff at Kansas under Turner Gill will open the season against North Dakota State. The Jayhawks will host Georgia Tech the following week.
Joker Phillips creating new atmosphere at Kentucky
Joker Phillips will coach his first game as Kentucky’s head coach on Saturday afternoon at Louisville.
Kentucky running back Derek Locke told the Courier-Journal, “To be honest, by far this is the hardest camp I've ever had in my life. People don't understand. Coach Joker's not playing when he says he's going to have tough people out there and we're going to be physical.”
Wide receiver Randall Cobb said, “It's different from Coach Brooks. Coach Joker's a little bit younger. We can relate to him more. The communication's better because we feel like he's more of a big brother to us instead of, like, a … (long pause) like a grandfather.”
Phillips won’t be the other Kentucky coach in a new role. Randy Sanders takes over Phillip’s former role of offensive coordinator. Tee Martin (wide receivers), David Turner (defensive line), and Mark Summers (offensive line), and Greg Nord (tight ends) are also new additions to the coaching staff.
Kentucky vs. Louisville kicks off at 3:30 pm EST on ABC.
Rich Rod describes his life over recent years in lengthy Q&A
In a lengthy Q&A with Free Press reporter Mitch Albom, Rich Rodriguez essentially described his life over the past few years.
Here are a few of the interesting quotes from Rich Rod:
“I've got thicker skin now. I've got alligator skin. ... But anybody who says they don't care what people think about 'em is probably not telling the truth.”
“Probably the misperceptions that are out there. You meet somebody for the first time, and you spend 15, 20 minutes with them ... and they say, ‘Geez, Coach, you guys aren't what we thought you were.’... And I say, ‘Well, how did you think we were?’ Cause I don't read the papers. ... Why put myself in a bad mood by reading something that's so far off base?”
“I wish every one of our fans could spend a week in Schembechler Hall. If they spend a week here just hanging around with the coaches and the players -- they'd know everything is OK -- and they would probably be surprised it's not what (the perception) is out there.”
“I'm healthy. My family's healthy. We got a great job. We're in a great place. I'm as happy as I can be. Rita (wife) and I talk about how much happier we're gonna be when all this other stuff is gone and we're winning and we're having success. ... Boy, it's just gonna be terrific, you know?”
You can read the entire Q&A right here.
Saturday night Coaches Quick Hits
Some interesting quotes from around the country:
Spurrier would like to begin season with Clemson: “I have wished we could play Clemson in the first game of the year. It would give fans something to talk about all summer.”
San Diego State head coach Brady Hoke hoping to follow Padres: “They (Padres) weren’t expected to be anywhere near where they are. We talk about it as a team that they are a great example of teamwork, guys who care about each other and making plays when you have to.”
Mark Dantonio pumped up about running backs: "One of the biggest differences in our football team between this year and last year is experience at the running back position. And we've got some very good young players. We're going to be able to run the football. I've always tried to pride ourselves in that fact and we're going to continue to do so."
Derek Dooley embracing General Neyland’s game maxims: "Our number-one game maxim is the team that makes the fewest mistakes will win. It's the same thing in life. Don't go out there and make mistakes this weekend.''
Ralph Friedgen talks Terps: "I kind of take the approach of just look at the next game. That's kind of how I've been my whole life. If you do that, things will usually turn out okay for yourself. When you start looking too far ahead is when you get in trouble."
"I think good things will happen if we get going. If we can get some confidence, we can be pretty good. We have more team speed on defense. We've got a couple guys like Isaiah Ross I'd like to get back and things like that, but I think we'll be faster on defense than what we've been."
"I have a lot of faith in these kids. I really think we're still a very young team. We only have 12 seniors. I think the future's really bright here. With another good recruiting class, I think we have a chance to be good for some time."
Quoting ULM head coach Todd Berry: "If you look at where college football is, and college football is cyclic, I think the cycle right now is you have to have a great quarterback, a great defense and don't beat yourself in the kicking game. Those are the teams that traditionally are winning right now.”
FIU head coach Mario Christobal pumped about running backs: “They're all dependable. They get downhill fast and make people miss. They add a dimension to our offense that we really haven't had in a while.''
Carl Pelini talks about defensive staff: "I just think Year 3, the four of us (assistants) are all on the same page. I know what Marvin is teaching and I know what Eck is teaching and our vocabulary is the same. I don't mind jumping around and talking to one of their guys because I know the terminology they're using. It's just a comfort level being in the third year that allows me to let go a little bit of the D-line."