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Video: NFL scout gets laid out at Pro Day

Denver Broncos director of college scouting Matt Russell returned to his alma mater this week for Colorado’s Pro Day.

In his second year as director of college scouting, Russell was in Boulder to take a look at offensive tackle Nate Solder.  Back in the day, Russell was the an All-American and Butkus Award winner.  He was a nasty linebacker to say the least.

But on this day, when Russell tried to fill the hole during a drill with Solder, he got laid out…much to laugh of the other NFL scouts on hand.

We are hearing that Broncos’ general manager Brian Xanders was excited about Russell’s quick play recognition, but disappointed in his pad level at the point of attack.

Todd McShay now has Russell going in the 3rd round now based on quick play recognition.  Solder is expected to be a first round draft choice.

Here's the tape:

 




Nebraska offensive coaches wearing ALL BLACK

We think, for the first time, the Nebraska blackshirt tradition is taking to the offensive side of the ball in Lincoln.

Well, sort of.

To incorporate the blackshirt mentality on the offensive side, offensive coordinator Tim Beck and the other offensive assistants have worn ALL BLACK at practice this Spring.

Head coach Bo Pelini has alluded in the recent weeks that he wants the style of offense to resemble the attacking style for which has become a staple of the Huskers’ defense.

The ALL BLACK wardrobes are likely a symbol for the change in mindset on the offensive side under Tim Beck.

The blackshirt tradition dates back to the 1960’s.  It is mainly understand that high performing defensive starters wear black jerseys on the practice field.

The only suspension of the tradition came in 2007 and 2008 when the Nebraska defense was essentially not a defense. In 2007, opponents scored pretty much at will against the Huskers… 49 (USC), 76 (Kansas State), 65 (Colorado), 45 (Oklahoma State), 40 (Ball State).

The Huskers will conclude Spring practice with a game on April 16th.

 




Colorado offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy explains his style

After serving as the running backs coach with the Minnesota Vikings for the past five seasons, Eric Bieniemy has return to his alma mater as the offensive coordinator / running backs coach.

With Spring practice underway in Boulder, Bieniemy explained his style of coaching to the Daily Camera.

Bieniemy said, "I always tell my guys, I coach hard, but I coach fair. I'm your biggest fan and I expect you to be great at all times. If we make a mistake, things happen. If we physically get beat, things happen. If we make a mental error, I take personal issue with that."

"I think it takes a while to get used to, but one thing I always tell them is don't confuse the message with the speech. Make sure you listen and hear what I'm saying. The thing is, we spend X amount of time making sure we're giving you the correct information, and when they do it right, I'm going to be the first one to praise them. When they do it wrong, I'm going to critique them and make sure they understand why they did it wrong and make sure I stay on their tail so that that they don't make the same mistake again.”

Biemieny is working with Rip Scherer (quarterbacks), Bobby Kennedy (wide receivers), Steve Marshall (offensive line), and JD Brookhart (special teams coordinator / tight ends / passing game coordinator).

Colorado opens at Hawaii (brick game).  The Buffaloes then play Cal, Colorado State (in Denver), and at Ohio State.




Les Miles fires up Tiger fans by eating grass before first pitch

Inspired by The Hat, the LSU baseball team completed a three-game sweep of Cal State Fullerton this weekend in Baton Rouge.

Les Miles threw out the opening pitch before Friday night’s game at The Box.  Leave it Les, however, to eat a little infield grass before tossing out the first pitch.lsu-les-miles-grass-alex-box

One of our viewers emailed in, “It was classic, Les.  I think he had a good bullpen session early in the week.  Felt good in pre-game.  Was amped up in the dugout.  But then he got to the mound and I don’t know if he’s ever been on that kind of stage before.  We have won 5 national championships and it was Friday night against the #6 ranked team in the country.  To find his mojo, he reached down for a couple of blades of grass.  Next thing I know, he’s delivering a Louis Coleman like heater.”

The Tigers’ football team has started Spring practice, which will culminate with a nationally televised (ESPN) Spring game on Saturday April 9th at 4 pm EST.

It will be the first chance for LSU fans to see their offense led by Steve Kragthorpe.




Tulane football sets big announcement for Wednesday

Tulane is set to make an important announcement this Wednesday evening regarding the Green Wave football program.

At 5:45 pm, athletic director Rick Dickson and president Scott Cowan will unveil “The Playbook,” which is expected to illustrate a new commitment to success.

The most program’s most recent significant success came in 1998 when Tommy Bowden, Rich Rod (offensive coordinator), Shaun King, and JuJuan led the Green Wave to a 12-0 record.  That year, Tulane (seriously) had the nation's best receiving core (JuJuan Dawson, PJ Franklin, Kerwin Cook, Andrian Burnette, and John Wilson) and a kick-off coverage unit that would knock your ass off.

The Tulane administration has reportedly created a road map of changes that will take the program to another level.  The goal is long term on-field success that will rejuvenate a fan base in New Orleans and throughout the state of Louisiana.

There is talk that Dickson and Cowan will address the possibility of a new football stadium.   The Green Wave currently plays in the Louisiana Superdome.

That announcement of “The Playbook” will take place on campus at the Wilson Center.

Bob Toledo returns for his 5th season as head coach next season.  The non-conference schedule includes Southeastern Louisiana, at Duke, at Army, Syracuse, and at Hawaii.




Quick Hits: Bronco, Rich Rod, Hud, and Borges

Bronco Mendenhall says the core of the offensive will remain the same under new offensive coordinator Brandon Doman: "I think it will be different, but not to the point where the fans will watch and say, 'That doesn't resemble anything like we've seen before. It will be simply preserving the core of what we've done at the highest level over six years and then stimulating some progress around the outside of it that could possibly complement what we already do well.”

 

Rich Rodriguez says Ohio State didn’t negative recruit again Michigan, but others did: "(We experienced) … a lot of negative recruiting (while at Michigan). People just bashing individual coaches and schools and programs, and I think that's a bad practice to do.” 

"Some people would think Ohio State-Michigan is such a big rivalry, they probably did a lot of negative recruiting. They didn't. There were other schools that did, but they didn't, and that to me sends a message they're trying to do things the right way."



Chris Petersen talks about allowing Bob Stoops to attend practice: "He was the one always saying early on he wanted to come out and watch us practice after we played them. We just couldn't make the time. I'm the one that said 'hey, I'm coming to watch you practice.' He was good enough to let us come out there, then decided he wanted to come this year. We usually don't let guys in, to tell you the truth ... we do get a lot of requests."

 

ULL head coach Mark Hudspeth excited about moving into new facility last week: "It's going to be a big-time Division I facility. Totally new offices, totally new everything. The only thing that's not new is the brick on the outside of the building."

 

Michigan offensive coordinator Al Borges says the running backs are fired up: "I think, I can just sense it, and maybe I'm missing a read on this, but our running backs are more fired up about this transformation than anybody on offense. Because they're going to get the ball."

"This offense is more complicated for a running back than the other offense. It's two different spectrums. In this offense, you're involved in every scheme of protection, you're involved in all the run game. It's not like you may get it — you're going to get the ball. And then the passing game becomes so sophisticated because you have to know everybody else's route, because it dictates what your route is."

 

West Virginia AD Oliver Luck says the university will honor former head coach Don Nehlen throughout this Fall: “I like the schedule. We’ve got a great home slate and I love the fact that we’ve got Bowling Green coming down. That’s Coach (Don) Nehlen’s alma mater and we are going to recognize him over the course of the weekend (Sept. 30/Oct. 1). I don’t want to go off on a tangent here, but I don’t think that we have ever properly honored Coach Nehlen for all that he did for the football program and we are taking the opportunity to do so this year. We will have more than 40 former Mountaineer quarterbacks return to campus for the game to honor Coach Nehlen (Remember, Don was a quarterback himself at Bowling Green). In the process we are raising some significant funds in order to endow four “Don Nehlen Quarterback scholarships.” In addition to Bowling Green, we have LSU and Marshall coming in. I’m glad that we’ve got a lot of early games. We are going to have a more explosive offense this year so it probably helps not playing a lot of conference games in November when the weather can get bad.”




Michigan AD: They said don't put the damn advertising in our stadium

Athletic directors are always searching for new revenue streams.  Unlike most athletic departments, Michigan is one of the few schools that doesn’t make much money off in-stadium sponsorships at the Big House.

Apparently, it will remain that way in Ann Arbor.

AD Dave Brandon says the Michigan fans don’t want to see advertising in the stadium.  They certainly don’t want the feel of a minor-league baseball stadium.

Brandon explains, “The first instinct is to play commercials and display advertising (in Michigan Stadium). We did research with our customers and they said don’t put the damn advertising in our stadium.

“Would I like the advertising streams? Yes, and does everyone else do it? Yes. Our customers didn’t want it.

By the way, how cool is it that Michigan will play Notre Dame under the lights in the Big House.  Kick-off is set for 8 pm EST on September 10th.

 




Jimbo does not want FSU strength numbers going public

Florida State offensive coordinator / tight ends coach James Coley says the program is done releasing forty times and strength statistics.

Coley explained at a recent Seminole Club meeting, “NFL teams use any published times and number they see, and it’s not fair to the kids. A lot of the numbers aren’t accurate, as they’re taken, say at the end of a workout, when the guys are already wore down. Those numbers affect how the NFL looks at them as a prospect, so we’d rather they not get out.”

Strength coach Vic Viloria, who once had roughly 25 tackles every Friday night as a linebacker at John Curtis HS (LA), is working to make the Seminoles a much bigger football team.

Coley said, “When Vic got here, we were not a big football team. That’s something that Jimbo wanted, and he understands you HAVE to be big in today’s football. Vic’s not as worried about the chest. The chest is for the beach. The muscles that are used in football, area like the back, shoulders and hamstrings. Those are important.”

“It’s shown in the whole team. Kids like Lamarcus Joyner arrived at 170, and is up to 195 now. Kenny Shaw going from 160 to 175. It’s not just the big guys.”

Florida State will host ULM, Charleston Southern, and Oklahoma to start the season.