March 24, 2009
• Angry naysaying is all part of The Process. In a stunning development ... Nick Saban is not happy. Specifically, this time, he's fuming over Alabama's effort on the first day back from spring break (emphasis in the original):
"Focus wasn't what it needed to be, mental energy wasn't what it needed to be, intensity. And the biggest thing that I see is guys (not) playing with the kind of discipline that you need to play with which comes from focus and mental energy."
"I would say we need to make a significant amount of improvement in all those areas. And I'm not pleased with where we are," Saban said.
Highly entertaining video of those comments is here ($), and worth the price of admission solely for hearing Saban insult reporters' work ethic, then bite off a reporter's head for taking for granted in a question that 'Bama has depth at running back. Those assumptions are part of what the coach described as the "cultural problem" at Alabama, otherwise known, after coming half a quarter from the national championship game, as "reasonable expectations."
Saban did not mow anyone down with a golf cart, according to reports, but it's early yet.
• Welcome aboard! If you touch anything you're meat. The USA Today has a pre-spring look at the Tebow Child's new position coach, Detroit Lions refugee Scot Loeffler, who comes to his new job with a very simple mandate:
"Coach Meyer said just don't screw him up," Scot Loeffler said.
Actually, the other part of Loeffler's job is to make Tebow a little more NFL-ready, a dangerous proposition as a) That could mean "screwing him up," where Florida is concerned, and b) Though he taught Brian Griese, Tom Brady and Chad Henne at Michigan, Loeffler's only year of pro experience was as position coach of the worst position on the worst team in NFL history. Just as interestingly, the story includes the dubious claim that Tebow nearly signed with Michigan out of high school to play for Loeffler, which is just cruel to Wolverine fans, really.
• If you can figure out what you're actually supposed to do, you're hired. Speaking of offensive assistants: If you ever wondered what it would take to land on a big-time college staff, other than having a father on said staff, the Eugene Register-Guard has the complete job ad for Oregon's open offensive assistant position, including a short list of qualifications (Bachelor's degree? Check. Experience coaching the passing game? Uh ...) and a long, long list of responsibilities. Number one, of course: Recruiting. There's also this:
As a position or event specialist, evaluate student-athletes to identify strengths and deficiencies, and design instructional opportunities to improve technical and strategic execution based on sound motor learning and bio-mechanical principles.
Which I think means, "coaching." But Chip Kelly is the offensive genius, not me.
Quickly ... Tennessee ups the intensity by keeping score during practice. ... First Kansas State, now Florida: Nobody wants a piece of Miami down the road. ... For the second time in two weeks, the Lancaster County Attorney's office has decided not to pursue charges against a Nebraska player, this time tight end Ben Cotton, accused of minor consumption and disturbing the peach during a dorm room scuffle in February. ... Quarterback Blake Joseph, left in the dust last year by eventual national passing leader Case Keenum, won't be back at Houston for his final year of eligibility. He leaves with a degree. ... Clemson finally hired ex-Tennessee assistant Dan Brooks to coach the Tigers' defensive line. ... Auburn opens spring practice today, with all eyes on the quarterbacks. ... South Carolina actually turned a profit on its trip to the Outback Bowl. ... Backfield injuries forced Florida State into shorts for Monday's practice. ... Bill Stewart looks on the bright side of losing the best player in school history. ... After largely ignoring special teams last spring, Georgia Tech is focusing on the kicking game. ... I don't know if outgoing Wisconsin defensive tackle Mike Newkirk can play in the NFL, but he at least he's honest. ... Jim Leavitt is actually a patient, reasonable guy in the offseason, if only to save the vocal chords for his transformation into a screaming, scowling madman come August. ... And just one more reminder to never give up.