Monthly Archives: April 2009

Monday afternoon buffet

Meat and two sides, or you can just get the vegetable platter.


Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Media Punditry/Foibles, Urban Meyer Points and Stares

Where the rubber meets the road

By the way, for all this talk about having a program that helps kids make it to the next level, keep this in mind:

Andre Smith is one talented but very lucky guy: I was glad to see that after a series of bad decisions that could have cost him dearly, Alabama OT Andre Smith was the No. 6 player picked in the draft by the Bengals.

Not long ago it looked like Smith, the Outland Trophy winner, had blown his chance at becoming a wealthy man. He was suspended for the Sugar Bowl after it was determined that he or someone connected to him had had contact with an agent’s representative. He shows up at the NFL combine out of shape and then doesn’t work out. He then leaves the combine without telling anybody and gets a ton of well-deserved bad press.

Smith got his bacon saved because he fired his first agent and hired a pro in Rick Smith. Andre is also lucky because Alabama coach Nick Saban went to bat for him with the NFL teams who wanted the real skinny on this kid…

Say what you like about Saban, but that’s going to come across extremely well to an eighteen-year old on the recruiting trail.

And does anybody think that Junior’s got the gravitas to pull off something like that?


Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles, Nick Saban Rules

NFL Draft question: will the spread spread?

Well, another NFL draft is in the books.

It occurs to me that we’re about to see an interesting experiment unfold in the next few years with regard to the fate of quarterbacks coming out of college pro-style offenses vs. college spread option quarterbacks.  This year we saw two junior quarterbacks picked in the top five, including a kid in Mark Sanchez who only had fifteen collegiate starts under his belt.  What they had in common was that both played in pro-style offenses at Georgia and Southern Cal.

It’ll be worth watching to see how the three high profile quarterbacks in next year’s draft – Bradford, McCoy and Tebow – fare.  And, of course, how they develop over time in the pros in comparison to Stafford and Sanchez.

But the other issue here is whether the NFL finds itself over time adapting more elements of collegiate offenses to better utilize the quarterback draft pool.  Chris Brown (of course) has some thoughts about that.

… College coaches’ jobs are to win football games and succeed in college, not to run an offense the pro guys like. And, while some scouts might chafe at having to evaluate a guy who stands in the gun all the time with four or five wide, Kubiak at least recognizes that it is their job to succeed with whatever colleges are being produced. But all this — and the whole article — assumes an answer to Chase Daniel’s question:

“I’ve been telling some coaches I think that’s the way the game’s going,” Daniel said.

Is Daniel right? Or are these pro guys right? The best you get is Jim Zorn saying, “But they also find the whole game is not played that way at this level. It’s just not.” “It’s just not,” of course, is not an argument (it’s just not). But let’s assume that he is right that the all-spread (and this article is about the pass-first spread, not just the spread-to-run) is inappropriate for the pros: why? Is it the speed? The specialization of talent?

Chris doesn’t have an answer to that, and neither do I.

And that’s why I’ll be interested in following the NFL career of Pat White.  The Wildcat offense is the trendy offensive development of the moment in the pros and it will certainly be intriguing to see White given a shot to run it in Miami.  But the real question for me is whether he’s limited to running a exotic scheme for a few snaps a game, or whether he’s given the opportunity to develop into something more – either by becoming a full-blown NFL quarterback in the traditional sense, or as a result of Miami, or some other team, making a leap and embracing the spread as its primary offensive scheme.

Because if this experiment – and that’s pretty much what it is at this stage – succeeds and Pat White, or someone with a similar skills package, becomes part of the status quo at the next level, that’s going to make it easier for a college coach to sell himself and the kids he’s looking at for his program that the spread attack isn’t merely a way to win on the college level, but something that his players can immerse themselves in without giving up their dreams of playing on Sundays.

And that’s going to have a significant effect on the college game’s approach to the recruiting and development of offensive talent.  We’ll see where this goes.


Filed under College Football, Strategery And Mechanics


For those of you NFL mavens who mock college football fans for showing up in great numbers to watch meaningless spring practice games, I would submit that showing up for an indoor event in your team’s jersey to watch a frickin’ draft is infinitely lamer.

Exhibit “A”:

Get a life, morons.

Get a life, morons.


Filed under College Football

The physics of football

There will be a test on this afterwards.


Filed under Science Marches Onward

Kiffin watch: it’s never easy saying goodbye.

It sounds like it’s suddenly dawned on the UT brain trust that there are only so many kids you can lose in an off season without having some potential ramifications.

… Hamilton said Friday there was no foolproof method to predicting possible departures during a coaching search in any sport.

“I don’t know that there’s an expectation,” Hamilton said. “We’ve had changes where we haven’t had folks who have left. But with a sport with the squad size of football’s, with a change I’d think it would be a normal occurrence where you’d seen some turnover.

“I don’t think you can put a finger on exactly how many will leave or the reasons for them leaving, but I think that’s always a possibility.”

Rarely do summers pass without additional roster turnover, and one more departure would put the Vols into double digits. That naturally raises eyebrows in the era of stricter NCAA student-athlete academic legislation.

The NCAA’s Academic Progress Report — or “APR” — was designed to evaluate every program’s eligibility retention and graduation figures…

And if this isn’t the lamest thing Junior’s let out of his mouth, it’s gotta be in the top three.

… Kiffin made multiple references this spring to urging departed players to keep attending classes — something he said would benefit the futures of each player and their former teammates.

“There’s a right way to do it, and we certainly hope that happens,” he said after one practice.

Let’s see… I’m a kid leaving a program, voluntarily or otherwise, and the guy who’s created the situation that’s caused me to leave – a guy who didn’t even bring me into the program in the first place, by the way – wants me to stick around awhile to help him out?  Seriously?

Were that me, my response would be along the lines of the immortal words of Sergeant Al Powell – why don’t you wake up and smell what you shovel’n?

But that’s just me.  Maybe Demetrice Morley is hard at work earning his degree as I type this.  After all, everybody wants to help the Laner.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

By the way, if you think any of this is seeping into the consciousness of the Vol faithful, you might want to read this analysis of how Junior handled the quarterback controversy he faced in his first year as head coach with Oakland and think again.  The Raiders went 4-12, his quarterbacks were inconsistent, the Laner blew hot and cold with them seemingly on a weekly basis and arrogantly dismissed fan concerns.  Somehow that is construed as support for this blogger’s premise that since being named the Tennessee head coach “… Kiffin has been handling the quarterback situation as it works best for the program.” The Kool-Aid is lip-smackingly good in Knoxville these days, it seems.


Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin

Can’t say I blame him.

Now you know why Stafford left early.

That should make for a nice recruiting pitch for Richt, Bobo and Garner.


Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

Kiffin watch: the fix is in.

I really wasn’t going to comment on the B. J. Coleman situation because it’s to be expected that there’s always a group of kids that leave a program in the wake of a change at head coach and I didn’t find the news anything out of the ordinary.

Until I read this article about his departure in the Chattanooga Times Free Press, that is.

This is the quote that I had seen previously…

“It’s the best move for me,” the former McCallie School star said. “What changed my mind is, after this spring, I don’t see myself getting a fair shake. Based on conversations with coaches and things that happened this spring, I feel the staff has goals that do not include me…”

and it’s the kind of quote you see all the time from kids in Coleman’s situation.

But the article goes on to note that Coleman met with Junior and his position coach to ask for an assessment of his future with the program, got blown off twice about a follow up meeting for an answer and then met with the athletic director.

From there, it turned ugly, at least according to Coleman and his high school coach.

… After meeting with athletic director Mike Hamilton and the UT compliance office, Coleman returned to Kiffin’s office later Thursday afternoon to inform the coach of his decision to leave. According to Coleman, Kiffin became agitated.

However, Thursday evening a university athletic department spokesperson said he was unaware of the finality of Coleman’s decision.

“That’s hard to believe,” said Ralph Potter, who coached Coleman at McCallie and now is the athletic director and football coach at Brentwood Academy. “I know for a fact that B.J. met with Mike Hamilton, the director of football operations and Coach Kiffin and told all of them he wanted his release to separate himself from the team so he could pursue other options.

“I heard that directly from B.J. before and after Thursday’s meeting.”

Hey, at least it wasn’t Coach O who “became agitated”.

In his defense, the kid had a pretty good spring, especially compared to his competition for the position.

… In the three spring scrimmages that were treated as game situations and played in Neyland Stadium, Coleman was a combined 41-of-60 for 425 yards, with four touchdowns and no interceptions.

By comparison, Crompton was a combined 31-of-70 for 324 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. Rising junior Nick Stephens, who missed much of the spring work with a broken right wrist, was 13-of-25 for 159 yards and two TDs.

So why the brush off?  Coleman has an explanation for that, too.

“I believe the reason I wasn’t moved up is because it would hurt them in recruiting if they name a sophomore as their starter,” Coleman said. “Some of the high school guys they’re recruiting might not want to go where they think they’ll have to sit for a couple of years…”

“They” really means “he”.

“It’s been frustrating to hear Coach Kiffin talk about how the quarterbacks have struggled so much this spring when I knew I didn’t. It seemed like, for Coach Kiffin, the day was based on how Jonathan does.”

Ouch.  I can’t wait to hear the damage control on this puppy.  If Junior’s been surprised at the level of negative recruiting he’s faced to date, wait ’til the competition gets ahold of this story and uses it on the recruiting trail.


Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin

Thank you for flying AirMoreno: a few last minute thoughts

If this isn’t the essential summary of Knowshon Moreno’s game, I don’t know what is.

“This guy, he runs fast enough. The field’s not that big. If you’re on your own 10, somebody might catch him before he gets to the end zone. But if he’s at the 40 or 50, there’s no difference As long as you can get to the corner, as long as you can make a long run, which he can . . . will he finish every run? Maybe not. But he’ll finish enough of them.”

“The field’s not that big.” Kinda reminiscent of that great quote from Herschel about the ball not being that heavy.

Then there’s this.

“Plus, he’s a combative, competitive guy. He’s got to be the first guy off the ground [after a play]. I like that kind of stuff in a guy.”

Sometimes he’s the first guy off the ground during a play.

Its a long way down.

It's a long way down.

We’ll miss you, man.


Filed under Georgia Football

Stay classy, Mr. President.

I know the guy’s got a lot on his plate right now, with two wars and a collapsing economy, so it’s understandable that he has a moment or two when his mouth disengages from his brain, but still, this was a dumb comment by Obama from yesterday’s ceremony honoring the Florida Gators team that won the 2009 BCS title game.

“I don’t want to stir up controversy. You guys are the national champions — I’m not backing off the fact we need a playoff system. But I have every confidence that you guys could have beat anybody else. And so we’ll see how that plays itself out.”

So in one breath, he denigrates the championship Florida won and in the next says that a playoff would have been meaningless because the Gators would have won anyway.  Helluva sales job there.

No wonder Obama noticed that “… they got all quiet.”


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Gators, Gators..., Political Wankery