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Coleman Feeley

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Everything posted by Coleman Feeley

  1. submitted Today, 02:13 PM in Texas Longhorns Football By Coleman Feeley Even with the diminished expectations for the Texas and Oklahoma programs in the 2015 season, as always, the Red River Rivalry is one of, if not the, most important game on the schedule. The rich 110 year history of this game cannot be summed up by anything less than “fantastic.†In all of college football there are few rivalries that can match the Red River Shootout. Losing 31-26 last season left a bitter taste in the mouths of Texas fans, and Charlie Strong is set for vengeance. In 2014 season the Sooners won eight games. Despite one of the wins being over UT, there were losses to “less than outstanding teams†and a blowout loss suffered at the hands of the Clemson Tigers in the Russell Athletics Bowl. OU fans are asking many of the same questions that Texas fans did at the end of Mack Brown’s tenure. However, Oklahoma still boasts some impressive talent and a solid pool of experienced players. Plus the Sooners play well in the RRS under Head Coach Bob Stoops. The Texas-OU game is never one that the Longhorns should treat casually. Offense The University of Oklahoma’s offensive line coach, Bill Bedenbaugh, is entering his third season with the Sooners and his twentieth year coaching. In his previous years at OU, Coach Bedenbaugh put three offensive linemen in the NFL and last season produced the number one offensive line in the nation by allowing only 9 sacks all season long. Entering this season with three, three-year lettermen, Coach Bedenbaugh should have the right amount of talent and experience to produce similar results. The projected starting line-up is: #55 Josiah St. John (SR), #52 Jamal Danley (JR), #56 Ty Darlington (SR), #54 Nila Kasitati (SR), and #72 Derek Farniok (SR). The Sooners lack a true star returnee, but Darlington and Kasitiati form a solid interior tandem. The other three spots are essentially open with the names above considered the favorites to start. Defense Also entering his twentieth year of coaching, Diron Reynolds was named the defensive line coach for the Sooners in late February. Coach Reynolds has an impressive track record including four years with the Indianapolis Colts, one year as the defensive line coach for the Miami Dolphins, and another five years with the Minnesota Vikings. Coach Reynolds’ vast knowledge of the game and the different types of defensive fronts and schemes will undoubtedly improve the Sooner defense. However, in what ways specifically are still a mystery. With Oklahoma’s aggressive and unique pass rush, it remains to be seen if the Sooners’ defensive linemen or their linebackers will take a majority of the pass rushing responsibility. Generally with a three-man defensive line, the nose tackle and defensive ends are tasked with maintaining the line of scrimmage and attacking the offensive line. Coach Reynolds’ NFL experience will aid OU – NFL linemen are taught to play more ‘base’ techniques as to not have seasoned quarterbacks and offensive linemen exploit complicated stunts and blitzes. The Sooners’ starting defensive linemen are projected as: #92 Matthew Romar (SO), #93 Jordan Wade (JR), and #91 Charles Tapper (SR). Also in the rotation will be #87 D.J. Ward (SO ), #99 Dwayne Orso (rFR), and #97 Charles Walker (SO). The Sooners’ lack of experience on the defensive line almost guarantees a more frequent rotation of players. As the lone senior, there is tremendous pressure on Charles Tapper. After being named to the 2013 All-Conference team, last year Tapper only earned an honorable mention. In 2015, Tapper needs to recapture his production from two season ago, and give the talented linebacking corps room to make plays. “It’s 2:15 in Austin and..."
  2. submitted Today, 03:47 PM in Texas Longhorns Football By Coleman Feeley With football season fast approaching, Chalk Talk’s summer series is examining the expected offensive and defensive line play from each of Texas’ 2015 opponents. Afer starting with Notre Dame, the series progressed to the rest of nonconference play with a look at Rice and California. After opening Big 12 foes with Oklahoma State and TCU, this week looks at K-State and Iowa State. After Oklahoma opens fall camp and I get one additional piece of intel, I will definitely add the Sooners to the mix. Kansas State Kansas State enters its (essentially) twenty second year with Coach Snyder at the helm. With a team full of experience and talent, the Kansas State Wildcats should be poised for another bowl run in 2016. K-State’s offense will be led by a stacked offensive line that returns four starters and a quarterback who has no starts. Favored starter, Joe Hubener, has never played quarterback in a game before, however, while he’s untested, his athleticism is quite remarkable and could cause problems for opponents this season. The Wildcat defense is anchored by an impressive secondary and a solid, experienced defensive line. All-Conference defensive tackle Travis Britz certainly enhances the already accomplished pass defense of Kansas State. Offense Kansas State will continue to operate from a spread system utilizing a lot of passes and zone runs. With newcomer Joe Hubener at quarterback, Kansas State’s offensive line will be tasked with the enormous job of protecting an inexperienced leader. The predicted line-up is: #55 Cody Whitehair (LT), #77 Boston Silverman (LG), #71 Dalton Risner ©, #68 Luke Hays (LG), and #65 Matt Kleinsorge (RT). With mobile quarterbacks, offensive linemen have to be even more aware than usual of their surroundings. The pocket can be moved and the play can be extended on any given down, and without protection Hubener’s mobility will be of little advantage. With the return of four starters there’s a good chance that Kansas State can maintain solid pass protection throughout the season. Senior left tackle Cody Whitehair was a second team All-Conference player in 2014 and currently finds himself on the Lombardi Trophy as well as the Outland Trophy watch lists. With more than 80 combined starts, Kansas State’s offensive line will be a formidable challenge for the Texas defensive line. Defense Kansas State’s defense plays almost every snap from a four man defensive front. This front allows the Wildcats to utilize their talented defensive linemen to execute a very disruptive pass rush. This relentless rush, along with their extremely talented secondary, makes it very difficult to pass against the Wildcats. Snyder operates somewhat differently in having both a defensive tackles coach and a defensive ends coach. This differentiation of the two positions puts a heavier emphasis on the importance of each position’s role. Senior defensive tackle Travis Britz is a three year letterman with twenty three starts in the last two years and is a force in the middle. He plays the run extremely well by shedding blocks at the right time to limit plays to only one or two yard gains. He also does a tremendous job of collapsing the middle of the pocket on pass plays. By collapsing the middle, you allow your defensive ends to put pressure on the quarterback and rush more freely. Iowa State 2014 was a tough year for the Cyclones - going winless in the Big 12 is tough on fans, players, and coaches. However, ISU’s loss against Texas was anything but a blow-out as the game was decided in the final seconds with a field goal by Nick Rose. With a good majority of their players returning, Iowa State is a team that is destined for greater success this season. Offensively, with newly added receivers, quarterback Sam Richardson is set for a big year while their defensive counterparts will be forced to improve. Finishing 124 out of 125 in total defense last season, Iowa State’s defense hit rock bottom…the only good thing about rock bottom is there’s only one way to go from there. Offense As the program dealt with redshirted and injured players, Iowa State’s offensive line was a job by committee for the last few years. This fall nearly every predicted starter has experience, and several players spent some amount of time starting. Even so, OL is a question mark for the Cyclones. The starting line-up for ISU will likely be: #67 Jake Campos (LT), #77 Oni Omoile (LG), #53 Patrick Scoggins ©, #76 Jamison Laik (RG), and #72 Brock Dagel (RT). Senior right tackle Brock Dagel has played in 29 games and started 15 of them making him the most experienced player on the line. However, last season Dagel’s year was cut short due to a knee injury which always produces a level of uncertainty for the following season. If Texas’ defensive line plays aggressively and creates an adequate pass rush, Iowa State will be forced to run the ball which is not one of their strengths. Defense The Cyclone defense was abysmal last year, finishing second to last in the nation statistically. However, with the addition of Junior College players, Iowa State stands a significant chance of improving and will be forced to do so if they expect to win. The projected starting line-up for Iowa state will be: #45 Dale Pierson (DE), #94 Devon Cousin (DT), #97 Demond Tucker (DT), and #98 Trent Taylor (DE). The addition of Demond Tucker should significantly improve the interior line as Tucker was ranked a four star recruit out of Junior College and was the NJCAA Defensive Player of the Year in 2013. Iowa State will, like most teams, platoon their defensive line and consistently play a four man front.
  3. submitted Today, 10:40 AM in Texas Longhorns Football By Coleman Feeley Chalk Talk's summer series will be a preview of line play for each of the Horns' 2015 opponents. With a focus on each side of the ball, there will be discussion of players, coaching, depth and scheme. How Texas matches up with teams in the trenches will play a big role in whether the team stumbles to another 6-6 record, or if they improve on last season's result. Last week’s preview included analysis of both Rice and California. That finished nonconference opponents – this week launches into Big 12 foes: Oklahoma State and TCU. The Longhorns get the Cowboys at DKR but have to face TCU in Fort Worth. After last season’s performance against the Horned Frogs, Texas must improve up front to win at TCU. Oklahoma State Last year Texas handled Oklahoma State 28-7. With Tyrone Swoopes throwing for more than 300 yards and two touchdowns, Texas earned their sixth win and became bowl eligible. However, Oklahoma State improved in their final games, and became bowl eligible as freshman, Mason Rudolph, took over the starting quarterback job. This year, picked to finish fourth in the Pre-Season BIG12 polls, Oklahoma State will have a wealth of experience returning. Offensively, OSU will retain its identity as a ‘spread’ team and will be returning eleven players who all have started. Even with that offensive experience, OSU’s strength will be its defense. With three players on the first team All BIG12 Pre-Season team (Emmanuel Ogbah [DE], Ryan Simmonds [LB], and Kevin Peterson [CB]) Oklahoma State could be poised for a stand out season. Offense Oklahoma State’s offensive line coach,Joe Wickline, is a tremendous coach that has placed many offensive linemen into the NFL as well as boasting some of the top performing lines in the nation. The Cowboys’ offensive line coach’s name is Greg Adkins. He is a twenty-four year veteran of coaching and spent the last two years coaching tight ends for the Buffalo Bills. Previous to his NFL tenure, he coached in the SEC and the Sun Belt. While at Tennessee, his 2007 offensive unit claimed the number one spot for offensive lines by allowing just four sacks all season long. Adkins is an unknown, so it’s impossible to know which players will be used, or what style of blocking they’ll employ. It is, however, safe to say that Mike Gundy’s Cowboys aren’t going to change what they do. The projected starters for OSU, from left to right, are #60 Zachary Crabtree (So.), #66 Lemaefe Galea’i [lem-AH-eh-feh naw-LAY-eye] (Fr.), #57 Paul Lewis (Jr.), #74 Michael Wilson (Jr.), and #79 Jack Kurzu (So.). The two most experienced players on the unit will be right guard Wilson and center Lewis. Wilson started every game last season and started at four different positions along the offensive line; four at right tackle, two at left tackle, one at right guard, and one at left guard. Like Wilson, Lewis is a redshirt junior. At center, Wilson needs to display excellent communication for this young, but experienced offensive line to shine. Defense The Oklahoma State defensive line is led by (I’m not making this up) Joe Bob Clements. Coach Clements was a four year starter for Kansas State and went to five bowl games from ’94 -‘98. Since his arrival in 2013, the Oklahoma State defensive line has amassed 52.5 sacks.Coach Clements, like most coaches, platoons his players, playing a fast and aggressive style on the DL. With one of his players up for both the Nagurski and Lombardi awards, Coach Clements unit will be a team strength. The projected starting lineup for the 2015 season is #92 Jimmy Bean (DE, Sr.), #96 Vincent Taylor (DT, So.), #95 Vili Leveni (DT, So.), and #38 Emmanuel Ogbah (DE, Jr.). Even with other players platooning and splitting reps, expect to see Jimmy Bean and Emmanuel Ogbah in the mix more than others. Ogbah is on the Nagurski Trophy’s watch list as well as the Lombardi Award watch list; he won the team’s most valuable defensive player award last season; and he is on the first team All Big 12 Pre-Season team. On the opposite side from Ogbah is defensive tackle Jimmy Bean. Bean has started every game for the Cowboys over the last two seasons and in that time has recorded 76 tackles. Bean plays especially well against Texas, recording seven tackles in both of the last two meetings between OSU and UT. Texas will need to execute and take advantage of weaknesses in the Oklahoma State pass defense in order to win the game against the Pokes. It will be important for the offensive line and quarterback to be on the same page throughout the game to make sure they identify and account for the talent located on the OSU defensive line. TCU The Horned Frogs finished last season with a 12 – 1 record and are ranked number two in many of the nation’s pre-season polls. With nine starters returning on offense and six more on defense, TCU is poised for a Big 12 Championship run, as well as having a solid chance at making this years’ College Football Playoff. TCU’s offense, led by superstar quarterback Trevone Boykin, finished last season second in the nation in total offense and set a school record for most points in a season (604). With All-American linebacker Paul Dawson graduated the TCU defense has some holes to fill, however, with Gary Patterson at the helm it won’t be surprising if some new, impressive talents fills those holes. Offense TCU’s offensive line coach, Jarrett Anderson, is entering his eighteenth season in Fort Worth and his second season as TCU’s offensive line coach. He has coached wide receivers, running backs, and now offensive line while. Last season Coach Anderson had three players receive All-Big 12 honors and one, senior Tayo Fabuluje, was drafted by the Bears in the 6th round. Normally with the loss of an NFL caliber player certain units suffer, but this is not the case at TCU. The Horned Frogs will feature a stout offensive line that boasts 97 combined starts and is composed entirely of seniors. The projected starting lineup is #69 Aviante Collins, #77 Jamelle Naff, #55 Joey Hunt (2014 2nd team All-Big 12), #65 Brad Foltz, and #74 Halapoulivaati Vitai (2014 2nd team All-Big 12). Center Joey Hunt will lead this unit not only by assignment but with experience. Hunt has started every game over the last two seasons and experience is tied to Trevone Boykin and the efficiency of the TCU offense. In order for Texas to beat TCU, the Longhorn defensive line will have to disrupt the TCU offense and capitalize on every opportunity at a negative play. TCU will score points, and Texas will have to match that to stay in the game, however, if Texas can force miscues and turnovers the Longhorns could pull off the upset. Defense TCU’s defense is in a ‘rebuilding’ phase. With the loss of All-American Paul Dawson and the surprise exit of safety Chris Hackett, TCU’s defense lacks the household name fans are used to in Fort Worth. With TCU running their nickel defense (4-2-5), most of the run game responsibilities fall to the linebackers. In the Horned Frogs scheme, defensive linemen generally play less aggressively in an attempt to hold the line of scrimmage and allow the safeties and linebackers to do a majority of the tackling. With that said, TCU has a talented bunch returning to the defensive line which could cause some changes in responsibility and assignments. TCU will rotate it’s defensive linemen, however, the starting lineup is projected as: #94 Josh Carraway (DE), #57 Davion Pierson (DT), #97 Chris Bradly (DT), and #93 Mike Tuaua (DE). Last season against Texas, Carraway had one of the best games of his career – he forced a fumble, which was returned for TCU’s first touchdown, and returned an interception thirty three yards for a touchdown. Defensive tackle Davion Pierson, is another familiar face to the Longhorn coaching staff. A three year letterman and fifth year senior, Pierson was a team captain last year and is expected to uphold his position. With four seniors in the possible rotation, the defensive line should be one of TCU’s most experienced units; and for the Horned Frogs to keep winning their line will have to play big. For the Longhorns to avoid another disastrous game against TCU both the offense and defense need to execute at a near-perfect level. There can’t be missed opportunities (like taking a field goal in the redzone, or not scoring off a turnover), and Texas cannot allow points on special teams, or off turnovers. TCU will be one of Texas’ toughest opponents, however, it is not an unwinnable game. The Longhorns will have to work to win, but if they protect the football and execute a great game plan, Texas could leave Fort Worth with a win.
  4. Not a bad idea! Only problem is my access to game film haha. If I had a projector with a 'cowboy controller' (a remote designed for football game film) I could get really technical and probably include favorite blitzes, stunts, and games for defense, as well as percentage of zone based, gap based, or man based runs on offense. I'd also really like to see how some teams designate their pass protection! Most teams slide TOWARDS the 'three technique' (DT), but some teams operate off of linebacker movement and safety alignment. Others lines, like Notre Dame has done in the past, operate on 'man' pass protection. High-shcools call it something like "M.O.M." (man on man) or "Fan" protections.
  5. submitted Today, 05:01 PM in Texas Longhorns Football By Coleman Feeley Chalk Talk's summer series will be a preview of the line play for each of the Horns' 2015 opponents. With a focus on each side of the ball, there will be discussion of players, coaching, depth and scheme. How Texas matches up with teams in the trenches will play a big role in whether the team stumbles to another 6-6 record, or if they improve on last season's result. Last week’s preview was on Notre Dame. This week wraps up the non-conference slate with a look at both the Rice Owls and the Cal Golden Bears. Coaches and fans hope the game against Rice can serve as an early injection of confidence for the Horns’ new offense. In order to keep pace with Cal’s offensive fireworks, the extra momentum might be necessary. Rice Owls Rice is coming off its third straight bowl appearance, having won two of those three games. Led by David Bailiff, the Owls are a solid team returning a majority of their players, and with only a few key personnel losses, the Owls should be poised for another bowl run. They will rely heavily on the run from a spread formation with Jowan Davis (RB), Darik Dillard (RB), and Driphus Jackson (QB) taking a majority of the rushes. Offense Rice’s offensive line is an experienced unit with a solid coach. However, returning only two starters leaves some question marks for the O-Line. Rice’s offensive line coach, Ronnie Vinklarek, is entering his sixth season at Rice and has quality experience that includes some time in the NFL. His starting line-up (from left to right) is projected as: #66 Calvin Anderson, #77 Andrew Renue, #52 Spencer Stanley, #51 Peter Gober, and #75 Caleb Williams. Two returning starters from the previous year gives Rice a decent offensive unit anchored by fifth year senior Caleb Williams. Williams has thirty-five career starts and has been a vital member of this unit since 2012. The other returning starter, Andrew Renue, has been playing since 2013 and has started several games. Defense Rice plays the majority of time from a four man defensive front, and that defensive unit prides itself in sound fundamentals. Defensive line coach Michael Slater has two productive years with the Owls, totaling 38 sacks by his defensive lineman in that time. Slater is a 12 year veteran of high school football in the Houston area where he also coached the defensive line. Sixth round draft pick, Christian Covington (Texans), leaves a hole to be filled. A key player for their defense, Covington leaves a gap that should afford some new faces an opportunity to appear in the rotation. The new defensive starters are listed as: #44 Brian Womack (DE), #97 Stuart Mouchantaf (DT), #99 Ross Winship (DT), and #94 Graysen Schantz (DE). The strength of this unit will remain at defensive tackle with Stuart Mouchantaf and Ross Winship both in their fifth year, as well as being three year lettermen. The matchup With the number of returning starters Texas has on both sides of the ball, the Longhorns have a clear advantage with experience. However, Texas will have to play sound football in order to take advantage of their depth and talent. Rice isn’t quite a tune-up game, but if the Longhorns remain focused it shouldn’t be too surprising of a win. Cal Golden Bears The University of California missed bowl eligibility last season by only a one game, and really, only by a few points. Last season Cal had the tenth highest scoring offense in the country, led by superstar QB Jared Goff. Goff has thrown for nearly 7,500 yards and 53 TDs in his career at Cal. However, Cal also returns a defense that struggled in 2014. Cal’s defense gave up over 31 points to each of their last ten opponents and allowed 61 TD’s on the year. With a number of new signees on defense and the returning players on offense, the Golden Bears could be in for a big 2015 season. Offense Cal’s offensive line is an interesting mix of experience and young talent. The projected starting lineup (from left to right): #64 Steven Moore, #66 Chris Borrayo, #74 Matt Cochran, #73 Jordan Rigsbee, and #59 Brian Farley. Currently Matt Cochran and Addison Ooms seem to be in a position battle for the starting Center spot. Cochran has the advantage of being a two year letterman; however, Ooms is a young and surprising talent that could edge out the veteran for playing time. Right Tackle is also in a heated battle. Brian Farley is entering his fifth year at Cal and is a two year letterman. At 6’7†and weighing 280 pounds, Farley is a lean and athletic lineman who has a great reach advantage. But just behind him on the depth chart is #55 Dominic Granado – a junior college transfer who’s currently listed as the number two deep-snapper as well. Along with uncertainty at a few positions comes a solid performer in Jordan Rigsbee. With 36 starts, Rigsbee has moved across the offensive line, splitting time at Left Guard (16 games), Center (8 games), and Right Tackle (16 games). Rigsbee’s ability to shift roles will greatly contribute to his NFL stock and the overall success of the Golden Bears. With superstar QB Jared Goff, Cal emphasizes the passing game, making pass protection a key for the OL. Defense After a poor showing in 2014, Cal signed six new players on the defensive line. Following the popular trend in college football, Cal platoons defensive lineman, most likely allowing eight or more players to see action. The starting lineup is projected as: #13 Kyle Kragen (DE), #90 Mustafa Jalil (DT), #9 James Looney (DT), and #75 Puka Lopa (DE). Also returning are #33 Noah Westerfield (DE) and #97 Tony Mekari (DT), both returning first year letterman; they will see significant time in the game against Texas. After lacking defensively last season and with fall camp still upcoming, the Bears have plenty of time for their six junior college players to receive playing time or possibly even starting. The Cal defensive line operates differently than some teams by having players rotating between defensive tackle and defensive end. A prime example of this is Puka Lopa, a three year letterman and fifth year senior playing in twenty six games at both defensive end and defensive tackle. At 6’2†and 260 pounds, Lopa has a traditional body type that allows him to play inside and out. The matchup The Golden Bears could be poised for a fantastic season if their defense supports the high powered offense. Texas needs to take advantage of their aggressive and complex defense in an attempt to rattle Goff and throw him off his game. Offensively, Texas will try to take advantage of Cal’s poor pass defense which ranked last in the nation last season. If inconsistency at quarterback is a problem for Texas, the Cal game could turn out to be quite the contest.
  6. submitted Today, 10:00 AM in Texas Longhorns Football By Coleman Feeley Chalk Talk's summer series will be a preview of the line play for each of the Horns' 2015 opponents. With a focus on each side of the ball, there will be discussion of players, coaching, depth and scheme. How Texas matches up with teams in the trenches will play a big role in whether the team stumbles to another 6-6 record, or if they improve on last season's result. Brian Kelly and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish will be one of the Longhorns' toughest tests this fall. Not only is the Irish roster talented along the lines, the two teams play each other in the first game of the season for either team. With Texas replacing veteran leaders from 2014 and relying on youthful inexperience for depth, playing the Domers in the opener is going to be a big challenge. Offensive Line The offensive line in South Bend is a stout group to say the least. With three returning starters including one who is a three year letterman and team captain, and another who is a projected NFL first round draft pick, the weakness of the Fighting Irish will not be in the trenches. Offensive line coach Harry Hiestand is a thirty-one year veteran of college coaching and a twenty-five year offensive line coach. He has coached all across the country in conferences like the SEC, The Big 12, and The B1G. Hiestand is a tried and tested coach with the knowledge and toughness to improve talented groups the way he did in 2012 to help the Fighting Irish average over 200 rushing yards a game. Notre Dame will lean on its offensive line to pave the way for a run-based attack implemented from a spread system. Coach Hiestand stays true to the coaching axiom that your best five linemen should play regardless of their listed position – it is not only possible, but likely, that he will reshuffle players to best fit the talents on the roster. The projected starting line-up (from left to right) will be, Ronnie Stanley (Sr.), Nick Martin (RS Sr.), Matt Hegarty (RS Sr.), Steve Elmer (Jr.), and Mick McGlinchey (Jr.). Fifth year senior Nick Martin has seen playing time every season since his redshirt year in 2011, all of which was at center. The younger brother to first round draft pick Zack Martin (Cowboys), Martin was an anchor in the middle of the OL until the fourth game last season when he was moved to left guard. With experience and talents that are invaluable to the run game as well as pass protection, Martin’s ability to change positions seamlessly has added to his NFL stock. Additionally, with another fifth-year senior at center, Notre Dame’s O-Line won’t necessarily take a hit without his guidance. Senior left tackle Ronnie Stanley is also a three year letterman who made his debut at right tackle back in 2011. Standing 6’5’’ and weighing in at 313 pounds, Stanley is a textbook offensive tackle and a projected first round pick in the 2016 NFL draft. After only allowing one sack in the entire 2014 season, Stanley is a terror on the field and isn’t afraid to let his opponent know about it – he is a noted trash-talker. Choosing to forego a potential first or second round draft selection following last season, Stanley says he’s returning to South Bend with the goal of winning a national championship. With Stanley and Martin playing side by side it really will be, in the immortal words of Gary Bertier, “Left side! Strong side!†The Fighting Irish offensive line will average 6’5.5â€, 313 pounds, making it one of the biggest OL’s in Division 1. Texas’ defensive line will play aggressively and will be expected to disrupt the Irish offense. By switching between three and four-man fronts, Texas needs to disguise rushers and catch the Notre Dame offense by surprise. If the Horns can do so, there will be possibilities to capitalize on some big tackles for loss. However, with Notre Dame’s firm commitment to a solid run game, Texas will most likely play more four man fronts and keep their heavy defensive lineman in the game for a majority of the snaps. Defensive Line Notre Dame will operate a four-man defensive front and add four players to that rotation. However, with a brand new defensive line coach things are poised to change. Keith Gilmore is a thirty year coaching veteran with stints at North Carolina, Illinois, and Cincinnati. Gilmore tutored four NFL draft picks while at Illinois, and has four first round NFL draft picks on his resume. Often times defensive lineman are taught to occupy the offensive line in order to free linebackers and safeties to make tackles, but that is not the case with Gilmore – he coaches his players to act aggressively and cause a great deal of disruption in the back field. Similar to the Irish’s offensive line, it’s highly probable that the projected starters will mix up their playing time and positions along d-line. However, going into the season the four projected starters are: Isaac Rochell (DE, Jr.), Sheldon Day (DT, Sr.), Jarrod Jones (DT, Sr.), and Andrew Trumbetti (DE, So.). Sheldon Day is a three year letterman and team captain for the Fighting Irish whose first playing time came as a true freshman. Previously a defensive end, Day moved inside and continues to play at an extremely high level. Standing 6’2’’, and weighing 285 pounds, he has a great frame to play defensive line. Day’s experience and skill will allow him to play both on the interior and on the end of the defensive front. Following a somewhat underwhelming 2014 season, Kelly and Gilmore have high expectation for Day to lead a seasoned group of defensive linemen throughout the season. Accompanying Day is sophomore Andrew Trumbetti. Last season Trumbetti played in all 13 games with his first start coming in the last game of the season. Prognosticators agree that Trumbetti is poised to have a tremendous career at Notre Dame. Standing 6’3’’ and weighing 250 pounds, he has the potential to gain even more “good weight†in his years at Notre Dame which should elevate his play. There are great expectations for Trumbetti as he enters his second year – only time will tell what his potential holds. Regardless, the Horns will locate 98 before every play. The Texas offensive line will be tested throughout the game to defend this experienced and extremely talented group. Like any team, much of Shawn Watson and Joe Wickline’s production will be dependent upon successful blocking. With an offensive line that returns all of its starters, Texas’ blockers should operate smoothly and communicate more efficiently than they did in 2014. The aggressive style that Texas’ own defensive line plays in practice will help UT's offensive line prepare for the Fighting Irish. In the trenches, Game #1 projects as one of the toughest games of the season. However, with the loss of starting quarterback and Heisman-hopeful Everett Golston to transfer, as well as starting running back Greg Bryant to a suspension, the tilt in South Bend could be a low scoring affair. It will be a game decided in the trenches and, as such, it will have an impact on the attitude of both Texas lines for the remainder of the season.
  7. No Kidding, you HAVE to work hard if the coaches don't necessarily need you there! My old roommate was a former walk on from Era Texas. Overlooked in H.S. due to his 1-A Football Team, but a phenomenal player and real leader of the offensive line.
  8. submitted Today, 05:20 PM in Texas Longhorns Football By Coleman Feeley “The eyes of Texas are upon you, all the live-long day. The eyes of Texas are upon you, you cannot get away…†Every year in college football, tens of thousands gather in stadiums all across the country to watch their teams play the game fans love. With trumpets blaring, drums booming, and fans screaming, the noise can be quite deafening. In fact, in 1988, as Louisiana State faced off against rival Auburn University in Baton Rouge, LSU found themselves on the winning end of a last minute drive that sent Tiger Stadium into a frenzy. The celebration following LSU’s 7-6 victory was so tremendous that it actually registered as an earthquake on a nearby seismograph, leading to the now infamous name, “The Earthquake Gameâ€. Not unlike “The Earthquake Gameâ€, one of the greatest college football games of all time, the 2013 Iron Bowl, created quite a commotion, as Tiger fans poured onto the field in celebration of Chris Davis’ 109 yard field goal return. Often referred to as one of the best college football games in history, Auburn and Alabama winded up tied with only one second left on the clock (a one second that actually required multiple replays and lengthy conversations between Nick Saban and referees to ensure that it should, in fact, be on the clock). Alabama attempted a 54-yard field goal, only to have it fall short and into Chris Davis’ hands and the rest is history. The resulting celebration measured on seismographs all across the state of Alabama. Speaking from personal experience, I have had unforgettable opportunities to play in some of the loudest college stadiums across the country, including Alabama’s Bryant-Denny Stadium, LSU’s Death Valley, and Clemson’s Memorial Stadium (also affectionately named Death Valley). All of these stadiums, their institutions, and fans are rich with unique traditions, and while specifics differ, the common thread was the electricity in the cheers and cries of fans. I have been in the middle of Bryant-Denny’s most overplayed song, “Sweet Home Alabamaâ€, as fans add their own lyrics of “ROLL TIDE ROLL†after the chorus. As the opening kickoff was set to go up at Clemson’s Memorial Stadium, the fan noise was so deafening that our kicker stood an extra ten seconds before he realized that the referees had indeed blown the whistle to begin the game. I have also been in the crosshairs of LSU’s most notorious “Neck†chant (if you’re unfamiliar feel free to check it out online, however, make sure that there are no young children present). Aside from stadium-wide chants, I have heard my name called directly in an attempt to distract me from my responsibilities. I always kept my cool except on one occasion in Lafayette, Louisiana…let’s just say The Ragin’ Cajuns are a harsh crowd. Nearing one hundred thousand fans, crowds take on an identity of their own. With cheers and waves in unison, the mob becomes, as many stadiums claim, the twelfth man. Oddly enough, none of my memories come from on-field time – the silence that develops within a player’s helmet during game play is surprising. But when you exit the white lines and sit on the bench, the earsplitting roar comes back to life. In DKR Texas Memorial Stadium, Longhorn fans may not be as nasty as some of their counterparts, but they certainly bring energy. As the season approaches, I expect a swarming crowd of fans all clad in burnt orange to bring a nearly indescribable presence to each home game. “…Do not think you can escape them, at night or early in the morn’. The eyes of Texas are upon you, ‘till Gabriel blows his horn!â€
  9. Oh yeah! There are some interesting new theories about training this explosion in football players. One of my old Strength Coach, Frank Wintritch, believes that you can either create Olympians or Football players. He uses NO Olympic lifts due to the time and technique it takes to perfect Hang Cleans, Power Cleans, Hang Snatch, or Clean and Jerks. He is now the Director of Football Performance at BYU and was listed as one of the Top 12 "under the radar" coaching moves. Keep an eye out for Lord Frank! I imagine his practices will begin to gain momentum, and he has several pod-casts and web-casts further explaining his methods if you're interested in human movement the way I am.
  10. Absolutely! This 'explosion' is why you see football players throwing medicine balls, broad jumping, and performing Olympic lifts. The Explosion is best utilized with the largest muscle grouping in the body (Hips and Quads).
  11. First of all, thank y'all very much for the ego boost. Secondly Michael Eletise is going to be a very good offensive lineman, but you're correct he does seem to have a tendency to absorb instead of explode. Offensive-line play is basically made up of five key areas. Alignment Assignment Base Hands Feet It's hard to evaluate the first two if you don't know the play prior to its execution so, just worrying about Base, Hands, and Feet he seems to have two out of the three down great. He constantly has a solid base in both his pass protection and run blocking and other than having to stay a little lower when coming off the ball his technique is pretty solid (Kudos to his H.S. O-Line coach). This is great to see in High School lineman because with a solid base the other two phases come more quickly. His footwork only makes him more impressive in both the run and pass game because of his fast and powerful steps. His pass sets are quick and accurate and his wide base keeps him in great position most of the time. His hands however, seem to lack some suddenness and violence. He's still, clearly, a strong cat because he's still finishing kids with that massive frame and lower body strength. Bad news is that he won't be able to out muscle Division 1 football players. Good news is his college coaches can get him not only more explosive, but more skilled with his hands. "Violence into the block, drive through, and finish"
  12. submitted Today, 05:25 PM in Texas Longhorns Football By Coleman Feeley Simply put, there is no substitute for a confident coach. Confident coaches are tested and tried while still having the knowledge and fortitude to do what it takes to win. Charlie Strong, as a coach, has been a part of seventeen bowl game victories, seven conference championships, two national championships, and two Big East Coach of the Year awards. To me…this looks like a confident man. In terms of wins and losses, the worst season of Charlie Strong’s coaching career, 1999, saw South Carolina go winless and lose eight games by two touchdowns or more.Clearly it wasn’t just Coach Strong’s defense that needed improvement, but it was evident that Charlie Strong needed a new approach. Strong found the solution to his problem by reviving a defensive philosophy that had been written off as simply a fad – the ‘30-Stack’ (3-3-5). By utilizing the 30-Stack, Strong boosted his defense from 58th in the nation in 1999, to 6th after the 2000 season. Putting his career and reputation on the line, Coach Strong’s new defensive philosophy essentially carried him to two national championships at Florida, the head coaching position at Louisville, and most recently, the head coaching job at Texas. In the past, Strong stated that the identity that he’s looking for is, “an aggressive football team.†Strong’s unorthodox defensive play calling gave him a reputation as a supremely confident coach within the ranks of college football. He clearly displays this confidence with a smile, startlingly honest discussions about his team…and a mock turtleneck. College football coaches live in a surprisingly small world, and reputation is everything. Coaching for Urban Meyer, Lou Holtz, and Steve Spurrier gives any coach an instant credibility boost, however, when you hear what these coaches have to say about Strong, you begin to understand why he is so well respected. Lou Holtz hired him on two separate occasions and is quoted as saying, “[He] found as [they] went along that [Coach Strong’s] greatest asset was common sense. He's great with players…but he's not a hip-hop coach. He really, truly could have coached for Woody Hayes with no problem whatsoever." Many Texas fans already understand what Holtz meant, considering the endured The Great Reckoning that came before the 2014 season – Strong dismissed nine players for various violations of team policy before the season ever started. Strong’s actions announced the official beginning of the Charlie Strong era at Texas. While some point to a 6-7 finish last season and a looming quarterback battle this year, it’s Strong’s quiet confidence that should give fans hope.
  13. The beginning of last football season these are the 32 Teams that sold beer... 5 Texas teams leading the pack, making Texas officially the best state for beer at football games... buy you already knew that. Akron Bowling Green Cincinnati Colorado State Houston Kent State Louisiana-Lafayette Louisiana-Monroe Louisville Minnesota Nevada North Texas SMU Syracuse Toledo Troy Tulane UNLV UTEP Western Kentucky West Virginia Off-campus stadiums Connecticut Georgia State Hawaii Massachusetts (3 games at Gillette Stadium) Memphis Miami San Diego State South Alabama South Florida Temple Texas-San Antonio
  14. submitted A day ago in Texas Longhorns Football By Coleman Feeley The summer “off-seasonâ€, which falls between spring camp and fall camp, is often referred to by players as the home stretch. Similar to the period between the regular season and spring camp, players use the summer to focus on developing themselves physically more than on honing their on-field skills. This is particularly true for all the athletes currently injured and trying to get back to the field in time for fall camp. A successful rehabilitation depends upon multiple factors, including: the athletic trainer, the strength coach, and the athlete’s hard work and determination. During the rehabilitation from a significant injury or even a surgery (as with Dalton Santos or Sheroid Evans), the athletic trainer will be in charge of the injured limb and the strength coach will, essentially, be in charge of everything else. Athletic trainers and student trainers, especially at Texas, have some of the most cutting edge information and tools to help athletes in their recovery. Division 1 football players can’t afford to lose any strength, speed, or explosion no matter how serious an injury is. Yet it is almost impossible to not lose some of these traits while combating an injury. Luckily for the University of Texas, they have one of the best strength coaches in the country, Pat Moorer. Coach Moorer is a certified Master Strength and Conditioning Coach (Collegiate Strength & Conditioning Coaches Association), which is the highest honor and certification anyone can receive in this field. Coach Moorer refers to himself as a “results oriented†coach; but saying that the “process†is just as important as the result…but they don’t measure the process. Moorer is noted as having “unbelievable passion [for] the student athletes [he] trains†and that the UT football players are “going to be in such great shape that [they] will be able to play the game the way it’s supposed to be played.†As a former NFL and NFL Europe player, you can believe Coach Moorer knows how the game is supposed to be played. Known for being an extremely hands-on coach, it’s not uncommon to see Moorer jump into workouts from time to time, most frequently in a specialized workout routine for injured athletes that he has affectionately named ‘The Pit’. While it’s not usually the athlete’s fault that they’re injured, there is still a considerable negative stigma attached to players who can’t stay healthy. Along with athletes who can’t stay healthy, there are athletes who play the victim or use their injury as an excuse to try and take a day off from practice. While the types of players who would willingly give up reps to get some extra rest are uncommon, they do exist. For Texas however, Coach Moorer has made sure that The Pit is not a place you want to go. The Pit is a continuous circuit of exercises intended to work an athlete’s healthy limbs to exhaustion. Ideally, time in The Pit causes student athletes to beg to go back to practice. Athletes with knee or ankle injuries see massive upper-body strength gains. Increases come not only through weighted exercises, but countless push-ups and pull-ups as well. Seated tug-of-wars, medicine ball throws, one-footed plyometrics – everything is on the table. Coach Moorer is always ahead of the curve and has athletes compete with one another while in The Pit. While it is not a new idea, nor is it a new routine for Coach Moorer, at the University of Texas The Pit has an aura of mystery. By taking injured athletes away from the practice field into the bubble, Moorer’s workouts remain unseen. The result of The Pit being separated from the team’s practice is that the workouts grow like tall tales only known by the athletes that endure them. Rest assured that the work being completed in the Bubble will keep injured Longhorns on the correct schedule for their rehab.
  15. Thanks Doc, Coaching Trees can sometimes be a little boring but when you start to uncover how small coaching really is you can see a lot of trends within football!
  16. submitted Today, 12:44 PM in Texas Longhorns Football By Coleman Feeley In football, a coach’s pedigree is almost as important as his success. In many ways a coach’s pedigree will determine the amount of success he has. Mack Brown was a student of Barry Switzer and Jerry Stovall; and Charlie Strong was a student of Lou Holtz and Urban Meyer – great teachers of the game. The experience a new coach gains from a boss or a peer is often referred to as a “Coaching Treeâ€. Coach Strong began his journey into college football as a player for the University of Central Arkansas playing in the defensive backfield. After college ball and with his eye firmly fixed on landing a coaching job, he accepted a Graduate Assistant (GA) position for the University of Florida. As a GA he assisted with multiple position groups and worked under head coach Charley Pell. In Coach Strong’s first season at the University of Florida he was a part of a 9-2-1 campaign that ended with a victory in the 1983 Gator Bowl. After a short stint at Texas A&M, Coach Strong landed his first official (meaning paid) coaching position at the University of Southern Illinois, coaching Wide Receivers under Coach Ray Dorr. After the 1987 season, Dorr parted ways from Southern Illinois in order to accept a coaching position at USC, and as is often the case when head coaching changes are made, it was time for Coach Strong to find a new home. In 1988 Coach Strong accepted a position coaching outside linebackers and returned to The University of Florida under Coach Galen Hall. Coach Hall had been the offensive coordinator for the University of Florida while Charley Pell was in charge (are you starting to see the trunk of the tree?). During Coach Strong’s second stint at Florida, the Gators ended up with a 9-1-1 season, resulting in the first-ever Southeastern Conference championship. The Gators however were still suffering from sanctions imposed by the NCAA (involving recruiting) and in 1990 Coach Strong left to coach wide receivers at Ole Miss under Coach Billy Brewer. In 1990, the Rebels narrowly missed the SEC championship by losing to Tennessee and appeared in the Gator Bowl against the Michigan Wolverines. After a single season with Ole Miss, Coach Strong returned, once again, to the University of Florida under their new head coach, Steve Spurrier.During Coach Strong’s tenure with Steve Spurrier the Gators went 40-10. Coach Strong was responsible for defensive ends from 1991-1993 before being named Assistant Head Coach. In his new role, Strong took responsibility for coaching the defensive tackles. In 1995, the University of Notre Dame and Lou Holtz offered Coach Strong a position coaching the defensive line, which Strong accepted. Holtz had been at Notre Dame since the 1986 season and consequently coached against Strong in the 1991 Sugar Bowl. Coach Holtz instantly formed a bond with Coach Strong saying that his charismatic personality and strong work ethic allowed him to trust Strong immensely. This respect was proven again in 1999 when Coach Holtz was offered the Head Coaching job at South Carolina, where Holtz subsequently hired Strong as the Gamecock’s defensive coordinator. Fast forward a few years to 2002 when Ron Zook offered Strong an opportunity to come back to Florida and become the Defensive Coordinator/ Assistant Head Coach. Coach Zook was formerly the defensive coordinator at Florida from 1991-1993. Through Strong’s seven year stay at Florida (2003-2009) his title changed multiple times, including being the interim head coach during a portion of the 2004 season. Fast forward again to 2010 – Coach Strong accepted his first head coaching position at the University of Louisville, and began creating his own coaching tree. His first defensive coordinator was a man named Vance Bedford, who worked for Strong in 2008 and 2009 at Florida coaching cornerbacks. His offensive coordinator was Mike Sanford, who coached quarterbacks for Notre Dame while Coach Strong was there. After releasing Coach Sanford, Charlie Strong hired Shawn Watson. While it may be a “small worldâ€, the world gets much, much smaller in the realm of college football. Coaches depend on their assistants to keep the team moving in the direction they have planned. Without reliable, successful assistants, a head coach is sure to fail. Reliable and successful coaches almost always influence their disciples, creating well known coaching trees, if not coaching forests. Coach Strong is a very accomplished coach, but he likely was unaware that the company he kept along the way was going to be so famous in college football. It remains to be seen if Strong will have as much success as Steve Spurrier, Lou Holtz, Urban Meyer, or Mack Brown, but the pedigree is there. Texas fans are hoping the acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree.
  17. Maybe "generally frowned upon by coaches and officials is more appropriate? ....filming signals certainly is illegal though.
  18. In football now they use a double sided tape and actually tape your jersey to your pads which makes it much more difficult to grab any cloth.... and c'mon J.B..... I never cheated
  19. submitted Today, 08:35 PM in Texas Longhorns Football By Coleman Feeley At all levels of competition there are people willing to do anything to win, and at the highest levels of competition, winning is everything. With the recent suspension of NFL superstar Tom Brady, a spotlight has been put on dishonest play of the past and present. However, this spotlight is nothing new. Players, as well as coaches, have always come under scrutiny for the lengths they are willing to go to win. From deflating game balls to players using steroids, there’s only one word for it: cheating. Tom Brady and the Patriots just received penalties for the deflate-gate scandal in which New England equipment managers under-inflated game balls, making them easier to squeeze and therefore easier to catch and throw. In the NFL and NCAA every sports related action taken throughout the week is geared towards one end result, winning the game. NFL and college coaches meet with trainers, nutritionists, athletic trainers, doctors, and even psychologists to factor in everything from what the players eat for breakfast two days before a game, to when they should go to bed and wake up while traveling. With such attention to detail, it’s preposterous to think that somehow 11 out of 12 game balls became under-inflated in the Patriots locker room before the game. The physical condition of a ball is a key factor in not only the throwing process but the kicking and catching processes (catching a softer football is less difficult just as kicking a more rounded football is less difficult). Brad Johnson of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers admitted to taking similar actions by paying equipment managers to remove the slick polish off the game balls before Superbowl XXXVII. The condition of the ball is not the only aspect of the game teams try to change. In the past, instead of deflating game balls, receivers used a product known as stick’um – an adhesive aerosol glue that receivers spray on their gloves to increase the chance of catching the ball. Recently one of, if not the, all-time greatest wideouts to play the game, Jerry Rice, admitted to using the spray. Other athletes cheat in different ways by improving their physical skills with steroids or PED’s. In football the only tool a player has is his body; there are no rackets, bats, mitts, or clubs. This puts a greater importance on size, strength, and speed, leading some players to use steroids and/or HGH. The NFL began testing for Performance-Enhancing Drugs or PED’s in 1987, but didn’t begin dishing out punishment until 1989. To no surprise, despite the addition of a punishment there were failed tests throughout that first year. Players have since admitted to using steroids as far back as the 70’s, and make no mistake, players still use them today. In college football a recent trend in cheating is stealing the opposing team’s signals – most teams call their plays from the sideline with hand signals and, generally speaking, most teams have similar signs or even share signs. Due to this similarity, and the willingness to do whatever it takes to win, coaches ‘pick’ signals to help out their team. For example, if an Offensive Coordinator ‘picks’ the signal for an “All Go†passing play from the opposing team, he’ll tell his Defensive Coordinator so he can adjust accordingly. Because a majority of this comes from the coaches in the booths, teams began to hide their signals with hand-held signs. While some teams operate solely off of these signs, most just block their signaler from the opposing team’s booth (fig 1, you can see the QB with the headset is still signaling). Just as you can be sure there will always be football, you can be sure that someone will cheat. Whether they’re coaches or athletes, equipment managers or trainers, teams will always push the limits of the rulebook in an attempt to gain a competitive edge. This can all be summed up by an revealing piece of information I learned in college from a defensive backs coach, “If you ain’t cheatin…you ain’t tryin’.â€
  20. submitted Today, 02:37 PM in Texas Longhorns Football By Coleman Feeley The defense Vance Bedford showcased at the Texas Spring Game was complex, aggressive, and full of surprises. Coach Bedford utilized zone blitzes and stunts regularly while disguising coverages on nearly every play. Part of this complexity is Bedford’s utilization of the ‘Fox’ end, enabling him to shift his defense from a 3-3 to a 4-2 very easily (Fig 1). These shifts helped the defensive line, along with freshman linebacker Malik Jefferson, become the most productive group of the scrimmage. Over the course of the game, the Texas defense intercepted the ball several times and forced a few fumbles – each of the turnovers was forced while Texas was executing a zone blitz or a pre-play shift of responsibilities. Unpredictability from complex defensive schemes keeps an offense off balance; however, it also puts added pressure on each defender to maintain his responsibility. In Bedford’s schemes, defenders must think in terms of the ‘gaps’ between players more than the alignment of the players themselves. When blitzing it’s vital that each defender gets to his assigned gap or the offense could take advantage and rip off a big play (Fig 2). For the most part, the defensive line played fairly well and maintained a high level of intensity throughout the spring game. The ‘first group’ of defensive linemen for the spring game was composed of Quincy Vasser (#92), Paul Boyette Jr. (#93), Jake McMillion (#96), and Bryce Cottrell (#91). The ‘second group’ was made up of Naashon Hughes (#40), Poona Ford (#95), Hassan Ridgeway (#98), and Shiro Davis (#1). My expectation is that the ‘second group’ will be the ‘starting group’ come fall – the best performances came from the more familiar players: Ridgeway, Ford, and Hughes. Ford maintained his gap integrity almost the entire game and played with great explosiveness. With the ability to reach top speed within only a few steps, Ford’s quickness is crucial because defensive lineman only travel between 5 to 10 yards on any given play. Ford was not only impressively quick, his stout punch and solid base allowed him to handle double teams and zone combinations well. Despite Ford’s best efforts, the top performance involving strength belonged to Ridgeway. Physically, Ridgeway doesn’t appear much larger than last season, but he does seem more explosive and powerful. Ridgeway also plays with great technique, consistently keeping blockers locked-out and away from his body, allowing him to separate and make the tackle. When playing defensive line it’s vital to control the blocker in front of you with your hands. If defenders allow blockers to get close there’s less chance of separating from the block to make a tackle. Run Defense Texas’ offense made it difficult to judge how effective the defense will be against teams that use traditional run-based systems. However, when given the opportunity to defend against Texas’ run game, the d-line was very effective at stopping runs up the middle (with the exception of improvised QB runs). Ridgeway, Ford, and Boyette consistently shed blocks and were involved in tackles at the line of scrimmage. The biggest struggle for defensive linemen was complex stunts and blitzes (when linemen were forced out of their gaps). The ‘Feast or Famine’ mentality comes to mind when watching this Texas defense. While many of the stunts played to the defense’s advantage, on several occasions the defense was caught out of position resulting in huge gains (fig 3). Pass Rush Texas’ pass rush was persistent and aggressive. Coach Brick Haley has clearly been working on the D-line’s hand placement and ‘hand fighting’ (refers to the movement and placement of hands).Pass rushes remained steady and active even when met with double teams and perfect pass blocking technique. In addition to zone blitzes that required defensive linemen to exchange gap responsibilities, ‘stunts’ and ‘twists’ were also used. A ‘Twist’ refers to two defensive linemen exchanging responsibilities by swapping spots during a play. A ‘Stunt’ refers to movement of the entire defensive line (fig 4). Coach Bedford didn’t use many twists in the spring game, but he did use stunts frequently. Frequent stunting resulted in d-linemen with hands on hips and heaving chests late in some drives. Coach Haley touched on this recently in a “Mic’ed†up video of practice by telling his players, “When you get tired, don’t you start to lose your mind!†The movement of a defensive line creates a great deal of opportunities, not only for the linemen themselves, but for players like Malik Jefferson, Duke Thomas, and Jason Hall to make plays. Similar to the way an offensive line propels a team’s skill players, the defensive line provides countless opportunities for their teammates. If a defense can supply an effective pass rush with just four players, it takes a lot of pressure off linebackers and the secondary. Defensive linemen can provide a great deal of support in the run or pass game by holding offensive linemen to the first level. By freeing up linebackers to make tackles, or better yet, by making tackles themselves, defensive linemen can control an offense’s attack.
  21. Haha... Swoopes isn't a runner, but he's definitely mobile enough to run. Similar to Andrew Luck or Aaron Rodgers, neither are 'running' quarterbacks (and Swoopes is no Aaron Rodgers) but both averaged around 60 carries per season always for positive yards.
  22. submitted Today, 06:06 PM in Texas Longhorns Football By Coleman Feeley This year’s annual Orange-White Game was an exciting showcase of young talent and veteran performances. As expected, the Texas offense (in orange) stayed fairly simple while presenting its new spread, up-tempo scheme. The defense (in white), however, remained fairly active and unpredictable most of the game. Vance Bedford disguised a majority of his coverages by ‘rolling’ secondary players as well as utilizing the zone blitz. The simplicity of the offense paired against the complexity of the defense will give coaches a great look at what they need to evaluate. The newly implemented spread system allows Texas to gain two distinct advantages. The first is the ability to obtain what’s known as “favorable numbers†in the running and passing game. In a spread offense there are normally three to four wide receivers on the field on any given play, forcing the defense to have to have at least three to four players out wide as well. With the defense spread to match the offense, there is an even number of blockers and defenders, which is ideal for run plays (Fig 1). The second advantage of spread offense is the ability to utilize mobile quarterbacks. In the Orange-White game, the first team offensive line consisted of (left to right) #65 Marcus Hutchins, #66 Sedrick Flowers, #74 Taylor Doyle, #76 Kent Perkins, and #55 Connor Williams. The second group was #58 Brandon Hodges, #51 Darius James, #50 Jake Raulerson, #72 Elijah Rodriguez, and #75 Tristan Nickelson. Overall these groups preformed fairly well but lacked consistency in pass protection and the ability to reach second level defenders in the run game. Taylor Doyle (#74), Marcus Hutchins (#65), and Brandon Hodges (#58) all played very well and were my top performers grade wise. Aside from the physical play of Taylor Doyle, give him a lot of credit for calling the correct pass protections. Texas’ defense used a wide variety of zone blitzes and about 90% of the time the first string offensive line was in the correct protection. Hutchins handled the diverse pass rush from Malik Jefferson and Hassan Ridgeway admirably for a majority of the game. He kept a solid base throughout the game and in each pass set. Brandon Hodges’ outstanding use of his hands was surprising and could easily put him in the playing rotation. Hodges didn’t always use good technique; however, he was able to make up for it with quick, violent, and accurate hands. Run Game The Texas run game showcased all three blocking schemes (man, gap, and zone) to perform zone reads, counters, veers, power plays, sweeps, and zone runs. Almost exclusively in ‘11’ (one tight end, one running back) personnel, the offense relied heavily on its five offensive lineman to get the job done. In the scrimmage, it was clear that this first team OL played with improved fundamentals and technique. Each lineman’s first step was precise and sudden, directly corresponding to the play. For offensive linemen, speed is not a highlighted physical attribute; therefore, each step becomes more important because if a lineman falls a step behind he’s unlikely to be able to make it up. Assisting Texas’ lineman in this speed mismatch, Coach Wickline has implemented another system of alignment in regards to a lineman’s vertical spacing (instead of only the familiar horizontal ‘splits’). In the official rule book it states that players on the line of scrimmage must have their helmet break the ‘belt line’ of the center. So, Coach Wickline is having his offensive line take full advantage of this alignment by using what most coaches refer to as ‘on’ and ‘off’ alignment (Fig 2). When ‘on’ the ball, linemen reduce the space between themselves and a defender that helps assist with both man blocked and gap blocked plays (fig 3). When ‘off’ the ball, linemen are able to move a few more steps before contact is made. This allows linemen to stretch and reach defenders in zone blocked plays (fig 4). Pass Game Texas’ pass protection was decent in the Orange-White game, however, it lacked consistency. Pass protection is unique due to the fact it’s imperative that all five linemen engage and maintain their blocks in unison. If four linemen are perfect and one lineman gets beat, the quarterback is forced to break the pocket, or worse, take a sack. Texas’ linemen were consistently in the right place at the right time, but lost blocks late. For example, Flowers (#66) and Perkins (#76) played with great explosion and a great first punch, but both lost battles to a defender’s second move. Tackles Hutchins (65) and Williams (55) played very differently on Saturday, however, both played fairly well. Hutchins played with good technique and deadly hands. Williams, however, reverted back to high school techniques as he back-pedaled instead of kick-sliding. The execution of a proper kick-slide is crucial to the success of pass protection at the tackle position. When linemen back-pedal their momentum moves backwards too quickly and doesn’t allow the blocker to deliver a punch. If a lineman allows a defender to get close to his body, then the lineman almost always loses the pass rush. Texas’ defense really tested the communication skills of the offensive line. The first group responded well, however, the second group found its greatest struggle in setting the correct protection. As Coach Bedford rolled his coverages and blitzed secondary players, Texas’ protection was strained (fig 5). The life blood of every team is its offensive line. Without solid blocking every play turns into a failed attempt. Coach Wickline is making great strides with his players and is determining who should be in the starting lineup. Spring practices were a time to evaluate and educate – as Coach Strong said before the game, he’s trying to “see if guys fit into what [we’re] trying to do.†With spring camp concluded it will be an important offseason stretch for the team. Many players will be focusing on rehab, others will focus on developing their strength, and some will focus on playing technique, but one thing is certain: everyone is preparing for game time.
  23. submitted Today, 03:51 PM in Texas Longhorns Football By Coleman Feeley Spring Games are conducted differently from one institution to another across the country. Some coaches divide their players into two teams and conduct a ‘draft’ where seniors select their teammates onto their respective squads. Other programs divide players into two teams based upon the depth chart – for instance, the first string offense will be on the same team as the second string defense and vice versa; ensuring that the first string offense faces the first string defense. Some colleges pair their first string teams against the second stringers, then spot the second string team a several touchdown lead to begin the game. Texas, however, has a different format than most schools. The Longhorns split offensive and the defensive players on opposing sidelines. Offense: Generally speaking, offenses in spring games stay fairly basic or ‘vanilla’ as coaches often call it. There are two primary reasons for teams to keep things simple on offense. The first reason is that running basic plays provides coaches the opportunity to see players compete at the most fundamental level – can your guard beat the defensive tackle? Can your receiver beat that cornerback? Secondly, by keeping the offensive play calling vanilla, teams don’t give any plays away to future opponents. When preparing for the season, coaches watch as much film as possible on opponents in an attempt to gain competitive advantage. But, for teams like Texas, all opponents have to do to get spring game film is hit record on a DVR. Based on what I’ve been told, expect Texas’ offense to run a lot of plays from shotgun formations. Texas will most likely run only a few different plays, adding what are known as ‘tags’. A ‘tag’ refers to an additional read to the play. For example, if Texas were to call their zone read “22†they could add an additional tag to make the play “22, X-Hitchâ€. The quarterback would then only perform the “22 action†if the correct number of defenders were in the box (in this case 6). If not, he would throw the “hitch†route (fig 1 & 2). Defense: In my experience, defensive coaches handle a spring game in one of two ways; they play very basic defense, or they dial up every blitz in the playbook. Defenses keep play calling basic for the same reasons that offenses do: to see who plays fundamentals the best. Some defensive coaches also find an advantage in maintaining an air of mystery when the season starts.<br> It will be interesting to see how Coach Bedford plays this scrimmage. So far this spring, Coach Bedford has mixed defensive coverages and fronts, but Texas’ most consistent package has been what’s known as a “Nickel†package.<br> This means that the defense has five defensive backs on the field instead of the traditional four. One of the benefits to the Nickel is that it allows Texas to use its hybrid players like Malik Jefferson and Jason Hall to shift from odd fronts to even fronts without changing personnel (fig 3&4). Spring games are always different, and honestly can be hard to follow. Regardless of the format Texas employs, spring football’s focus remains the development and evaluation of players.<br> Every rep on Saturday will be analyzed, evaluated, and graded; all to optimize the development of Coach Strong’s team. Setting a depth chart isn’t easy; it takes tremendous thought and attention to ensure the best players are on the field. The spring game is an integral and interesting part of that process and it always leaves us hungry for August, when the real fun begins.
  24. submitted Today, 07:46 PM in Texas Longhorns Football By Coleman Feeley In college football injuries are not a question of if, but rather a question of how and when. In fact, the NCAA found that nearly 41,000 injuries were suffered by ‘student-athletes’ between 2004 and 2009. Reality is a best case scenario for any player is that their injury will occur when their in-season competition will be unaffected. So far this spring Jermaine Roberts, Sheroid Evans, and Dalton Santos all will be missing the remainder of camp due to injuries. Each of these players’ injuries will result in a different course of rehabilitation and recovery; however, each one of these athletes has the goal to return before fall camp. While not always likely, it is possible to recover before the season from a severe injury that occurred in spring. During my senior year of college my final spring camp was cut short due to an injury to my left elbow . The injury was a complicated incident that ended in a small fracture of my humerus producing a ‘loose body’ which is any piece of bone or cartilage that detaches from its place of origin and moves freely in your joint cavity. In my case, this loose body settled in the Olecranon Fossa of the Humerus and wedged itself deeply enough to cut my range of motion in half (fig 1). The surgery took almost 3 hours and nearly ended with an intentional dislocation of the elbow to remove the loose body. The end result was not pretty (fig 2). I was fortunate enough to have a dedicated athletic training staff who spent an extended amount of time planning and executing my rehab. Their dedication, along with a lot of hard work, helped me return to football activity before August. Universities spend hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars on their trainers and training rooms to ensure that their players stay as healthy as possible. Even advanced facilities can’t stop every injury.<br> Here’s a look at injury reports from Texas’ 2015 schedule: Notre Dame - Jarron Jones (DT): LisFranc [foot], Drue Tranquill (Safety): ACL, Sheldon Day (D-Line): MCL, Cody Riggs (Corner): Stress Fracture, Daniel Cage (D-Line): Knee-UNDISCLOSED Rice – NONDISCLOSURE Cal – Steven Moore (Tackle): Both Shoulders [surgery], Jalen Jefferson (Linebacker): Hamstring, Stefan McGhee (Safety): Quadriceps Surgery, Griffin Piatt (Safety): ACL Oklahoma State – Devin Davis (Tackle): Knee [retired], Brandon Shepard (Receiver): Finger TCU – Trevone Boykin (Quarterback): Wrist, Aaron Green (Running back): Hamstring, Josh Doctson (Receiver): Hand OU – Jordan Smallwood (Receiver): ACL, Rodney Anderson (Running back): MCL Kansas State – NONDISCLOSURE ISU - Quenton Bundrage (Receiver): ACL, Dondre Daley (Receiver): UNDISCLOSED, Martinez Syria (Running back): Neck, Kamari Cotton-Moya (Safety): Concussion symptoms, Levi Peters (Linebacker): Knee Kansas –Joe Dineen (Linebacker): Shoulder, Corey Avery (Running back): Shoulder, Colin Spencer (Corner): Shoulder, Will Smith (O-Line): Shoulder, Joe Gibson (O-Line): Shoulder, Lay’Trion Jones (D-Line): Back West Virginia – Donte Thomas Williams (Running back): Knee-UNDISCLOSED Texas Tech - Braylon Brown (Guard): Shoulder-UNDISCLOSED Baylor -Xavien Howard (Corner), Ryan Reid (Corner), Terrell Burt (Safety), Orion Stewart (Safety) – All four members of the starting secondary missed time during spring camp with undisclosed injuries. As you can see, injuries are not just an issue for the University of Texas. Spring injuries can be frustrating and disheartening, however, sources confirm that Coach Strong is not planning to reduce the intensity of his practices – the Longhorns value toughness and are not willing to sacrifice any of the much needed practice time. With position battles brewing in vital spots, each rep becomes more valuable to the coaches and players. Coaches need as much information as possible to determine their starting lineups for fall and each player needs as many reps as possible to prove they deserve to be in that starting lineup. Spring camp is all about self-improvement. Each player has to focus on improving the ‘little’ things about their game; footwork, hand placement, alignment, assignment, and every other possible component of their job. “The key is not the will to win… the key is the will to prepare to win.†– Bob Knight

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