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  • The Bengals have won April Fool’s Day

    In late February the Cleveland Browns unveiled the most uneventful logo change in the storied history of the National Football League.

    Browns1On Wednesday, the Bengals unveiled some changes of their own.

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    The new updated logo for the Cincinnati Bengals gives a nod to players of the past while looking forward to things to come.  The iconic orange of the helmet and logo has been energized with a bright, vivid orange.  The new color pops against the contrasting black of the classic Bengals stripes.

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    Pranking their fans while also trolling their rivals? Well done, Bengals.

     

  • No one wants to buy South Florida’s spring game posters

    South Florida is trying to build excitement around its program. As a program that’s 14-34 over the past four seasons, playing in a mid-major conference and located in a pro sports town, that’s proven understandably difficult.

    To stoke the fires of Bulls football, South Florida gave away a pair of 11×17 posters during Saturday’s spring game.

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    USF poster 2

    Again, a pair of attractive posters if you’re into that kind of thing.

    However, here is where we run into some problems:

    The posters are being sold – after they were apparently given away Saturday – auction style. Minimum bid is $10. How do we know they were given out? Because the official auction page says the poster was “given out at the 2015 USF Football Spring Game.”

    After entering a bid, USF fans must then wait a week to find out if they’ve won their 11×17 poster. The auction ends at noon ET next Wednesday. We all may be dead by next Wednesday.

    A couple questions:

    1. Are there only two of these posters left in print? That’s the only reason I can fathom as to why I can’t just purchase the poster immediately.

    2. Are we to assume if I drove down to the USF football offices I couldn’t just have a poster which, again, was given away on Saturday?

    3. Really?

    Anyway, let’s check on the progress of each auction.

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    So, to recap, I can’t pay $5 for a poster that was free three days ago? Seems like the marketing department may want to rethink this one.

  • Oregon has new practice goals for the staff: “Every coach interacts with every player”

    Mark Helfrich isn’t the type of person to become complacent after an outstanding season, like the one that saw the Ducks lose to Ohio State in the national title game after a one-loss regular season. So, always looking for ways to improve, he and his staff decided to make some minor changes to their practice routine, starting with their first spring practice yesterday.

    When asked about changes to the practice organization, Helfrich explained that they have made a minor change in how coaches interact with players. Starting yesterday, the new goal for the Oregon offensive and defensive staff is to have every coach interactwith every player (at least on their own respective side of the ball, from what I gather).

    “We’re doing a few things a differently, going back to the blocking and tackling emphasis of making sure that every coach touches every player, on both offense and defense. So if I’m the defensive backs coach, a couple times I’ll be coaching the linebackers, or the front.”

    For example, if the defense is doing a tackling circuit, the players rotate from station to station and each coach takes a group to go through a tackling or turnover drill. For the offense, it could be stations focused on blocking. The goal being for each coach to interact with every player on their side of ball, while they send a unified, clear message on fundamental football skills.

    “A lot of that is carried over, making sure everyone is hearing the same terminology and teaching the same thing the same way,. A lot of that carries over to special teams as well.” Helfrich explained.

     

  • Beaty: “Effort’s a minimum expectation” for new staff at Kansas

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    Back on December 5th, Kansas made it official by hiring David Beaty (who had been coaching the receivers at Texas A&M) to lead the Jayhawk football program into the future.

    You could argue that no one that interviewed for the KU job had more love for the program, the university, and the city of Lawrence quite like Beaty, who had two previous stints as an assistant with the Jayhawk program prior to landing the head coaching job. Since taking over, Beaty and his staff have hit the ground running and are working their tails off to get things turned around.

    His first order of duty was to hire a quality staff of good, loyal guys that he could trust to relay a sense of urgency to the players.

    “It’s a way of life, there was a plan from the beginning in terms of what type of folks we were looking for. It’s not necessarily yellers and screamers. It’s teachers, but we do want (the players) to feel urgency.” Beaty told KUSports.com.

    “A long time ago, a good buddy of mine told me the definition of urgency is an immediate call to action, and that’s what we want them to feel in everything we do – between drills, before practice starts – and we’re trying not to lower that standard on anything.”

    Beaty went on to note that good practice habits, like maximum effort, are where it starts in order to get Kansas back to the days when they were winning Orange Bowls and challenging for Big 12 titles.

    “Effort’s a minimum expectation. We tell ’em we’re not gonna spend a lot of time on their effort, because we expect that every day. We expect (them) to produce. You look across the world, it’s the guys that produce that are the big winners.”

    We’ll have to wait until fall to see what Beaty’s stamp on the Kansas program will look like on the field, but this is one of the handful of teams that I’m most excited to see the change in come the season opener against South Dakota State on Saturday, September 5th.

    Read the full piece here.

  • North Dakota wants your help picking a new nickname

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    North Dakota has been the Fighting Sioux since 1930. But not anymore. Despite an entire mountain of controversy, the NCAA has forced North Dakota to change its nickname to something less “native.”

    And now they want your help. North Dakota is soliciting help throughout the entire month of April in finding a new moniker. If history is any indication the new nickname will have “Green” involved, following the footsteps of similar nickname-changers Stanford (Cardinal), Marquette (Golden Eagles) and St. John’s (Red Storm).

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    The folks at Reddit have a suggestion that we think won’t make it past the first round of cuts.

    If you’re so inclined, please join me in creating a groundswell to honor the immortal mid-90’s Disney classic by dubbing North Dakota the Big Green.

    To suggest your own nickname click here.