NFL rule changes
A few big rule changes are taking place for the 2012 NFL season, one regarding overtime, and the other involving instant replay.
Last season's new overtime rules took hold in the postseason only, stating that each team would get one possession unless a touchdown was scored on the first possession of the overtime period. This season the rule will apply to the regular season as well.
Also, all turnovers will be subject to an instant replay review, similar to the way instant replay is currently used for touchdowns.
The NFL has also expanded its rules on hitting defenseless players to crackback blocks. The new rule will prohibit hits to the head and neck, along with the rule already in place barring players from hitting too low on crackbacks.
Two other rules were also passed including adding a loss of down for a illegally kicking a loose ball during play, and making too many men in formation a dead ball foul.
A few more changes have been tabled until the May owners meetings including changes to the trade deadline date (moving it from week 6 to week 8) and rules regarding players placed on injured reserved.
The owners voted on, and decided not to pass a rule that would take all video replays to the booth as well as a rule that would have removed the exception for horse collar tackles on quarterbacks within the pocket
NAIA workout: Training for 3rd and 1
Ross Cimpl hasn't been a head coach for more than a few months, but him and his staff have the Dakota Wesleyan program getting after it. Cimpl was promoted from interim head coach / defensive coordinator to the head coaching position back in January.
For Cimpl, the off season is all about creating a type of mindset. "We've been in third and short, we've been in fourth and short. We can handle it! We know how to operate in those situations, but you have to train yourself constantly to be that guy. You've got to get it in your mindset that all of a sudden 'Hey it's third and one...I've been here before' ".
Quality NAIA video below.
Coaches weigh in on Dabo's proposal
Coaches from around the country took some time to weigh in on Dabo Swinney's proposal to participate in a spring scrimmage against a non conference opponent within reasonable driving distance.
Keeping the distance in mind, many schools would be able to scrimmage an in state foe as long as they aren't in the same conference. That would surely pack the stands and bring in some revenue ($$$).
Take a look at what a few coaches had to say to the Atlanta Journal Constitution about the proposal.
Larry Fedora (UNC): “I think that would be great. I think you would get a pretty good idea on where your team is at that time. Putting on spring games against yourself is difficult just because of the amount of kids you have on scholarship that time of year … with your seniors gone and your freshmen not being there yet … plus you have other players out for the spring with injuries. All of that really makes it difficult to do an intra-squad scrimmage. So I think you could benefit from something like a scrimmage opponent in a lot of ways.”
Paul Johnson (Georgia Tech): “Off the cuff, it sounds like it might be a good idea but I really haven’t thought much about it … It can get old practicing against yourself. Anytime you can play or scrimmage against somebody else, it would be good. The NFL certainly does it in training camp. Basketball plays an exhibition before their season.”
Kevin Sumlin (Texas A&M): “Dabo wants a jamboree? Why not? I don’t know. That’s a different deal. I think it’s different when you’re in the first year of your program like I am and you need every practice you can get … put it that way. If you ask me a couple of years from now, I might think differently.”
Joker Phillips (Kentucky): “A lot of teams use their spring practices and spring game to get their team better with fundamentals. I would be opposed to playing another vicious game and losing a kid for the rest of the season.”
Mike London (Virginia): “I know Dabo personally. It’s an innovative idea, particularly when you look at conference realignment and television money. Playing against another team than yourself in the spring may bring in revenue to go toward other sports, non-scholarship sports, or other entities around the university … I imagine there would be some support for that idea if people really started talking seriously about it.”
Dabo proposes scrimmaging other teams in spring
Dabo Swinney wants to take a page out of the book of other NCAA sports, and have the ability to scrimmage an opponent during the spring.
Swinney told the Atlanta Journal Constitution, "I don’t know if it will ever happen but it’s fun to think about.”
If Swinney has his way, there would be a few guidelines. You would have the option of scrimmaging yourself, or another team. If you choose to scrimmage another team it must be an out of conference opponent and within reasonable driving distance. The head coaches would set the structure of the scrimmage and other parameters beforehand.
“Personally, I think it would be a good thing for college football to do, college football takes in a lot of money. I think it would be an opportunity to give something back to your school or a charity."
Dabo went on to say that last season they were missing over 30 guys for spring practices, but will have more guys on hand this spring. But still, every time you scrimmage yourself, you've got 22 of your own guys out on the field at one time.
"Every time you practice against each other in a scrimmage, you’re 100-percent invested with your personnel, as opposed to if you go and scrimmage somebody else. You’re scrimmaging their defense, while your defense is on the sidelines. When your offense is out there, your defense is on the sidelines. You’re not 100-percent vested with what’s going on. I just think there’s something good with that" he explained.
Swinney went on to suggest that the NCAA could put a limitation on the miles away from campus you could travel, perhaps 100 or 200 miles (for the record, the University of Georgia is 75 miles away from Clemson's campus).
“I think it would be fun. I think the players would enjoy it. I think the fans would enjoy it. But that’s just one guy’s opinion” Swinney added.
Virginia: Offensive line work
University of Virginia offensive line / tight ends coach, Scott Wachenheim, had the camera crew on him for a recent practice, and they came away with some great practice footage.
Wachenheim says that their main points of emphasis under his guidance are footwork and hand placement. He expects to make big strides in their second year under the same scheme. In the clip he talks about getting better every practice, so at the end of the year they've got a ton of practices under their belt where they've gotten better each day.
Take a few minutes and take a look at this link. It's full of great practice footage, and it's evident that Wachenheim is having a blast and feeling right at home out on the practice field.
Lane Kiffin to Jim Mora: Welcome to the neighborhood
Everyone thank twitter for this gem....
Guess who just bought a house right around the corner from Lane? Yep, UCLA head coach Jim L. Mora.
Mora said in an interview, "He (Lane) sent me a text...'Standing in front of your (new) house. You know you're in Trojan Country!'"
Not sure we could afford the real estate; but wouldn't it be fun if the FootballScoop guy bought the other house for sale in that block? Donations?
Ball State making impressive strides
Ball State has made some impressive strides off the field in Pete Lembo's first year at the helm, largely in part to new strength coach and conditioning coach David Feely.
In March of last year, the Cardinals had 31 players benching 300 plus pounds, and four players benching 400 plus pounds.
This season, those numbers have doubled. 60 players are benching 300 plus pounds and 8 guys are putting up 400 plus pounds. Similar gains have taken place in the squat rack and the Cardinals have also added the power clean to the workout regimen for some added versatility..
One player, Keenan Noel, who is making the transition from fullback to nose guard, has been more than impressed with the changes. "Looking at people when they first come in to now, it's ridiculous just the way people's bodies have changed, shoulders have got wider, chests got bigger, legs got bigger, everything toned up. Now you look and you're like, we're big. We're a football team."
"Inside the Lines": RB coach Bobby Erhardt
Running backs coach / special teams coordinator Bobby Erhardt, the newest addition to the Bronco's staff, was the featured coach in Western Michigan's latest release of their "Inside the Lines" series.
Erhardt says that words cannot describe how happy he is to be back in Michigan and working under Bill Cubit. The phone call to join the staff really "rejuvenated" him, he said.
This is another good addition to the series with some great practice clips mixed in with the interview.