I'm more optimistic but the grade is about right. If Zeke has a good year, we get through the first four games and our key players stay healthy it's a good step. I think Smith will work out. The cowboys team doctor performed the surgery, he's probably the most capable member of the cowboys. If we go into next year having won ten games, turned out with four starters from this draft with a top five potential rb, a 90 percent smith, improved byron, Lawrence, Gregory and two of our later picks pan out we should be Happy. We'll bring in more pass rushers and corners by next year. I really believe most of those things could happen and we can make a run in the second and third year of this window. Obviously a disaster has a 50 percent chance of happening with the cowboys but that would doom the season anyways. Ramsey wasn't all we needed to get to the promise land, and I don't think he was the piece that was taking us to a Superbowl. We're still close to being close. Would have preferred Payton Lynch, but not enough to be tied to him. Also, not trading with Baltimore was just stupid. We'd have another 4th round DE coming into camp.
I had hoped they would pick Ramsey as well. However, if we end up with two pro bowlers in this draft then it's a huge success. If Elliot produces 80 percent of what demarco did, and they hold off the first four games then they could win the division. The defense was pretty bad that year as well. I was only hoping for a top twenty defense last year, and they were 16th. With scandrick back, a second year for Jones And the suspended pass rushers along with lee healthy. If the cowboys can have a top 15 defense this year by week 8, we can win the NFC east. Nothing was really giving us a super bowl this year. With a three year window I think a healthy romo has, the pieces added could certainly help make that happen before this decade ends. Am I stoked about the draft? No. But I'm not pulling my hair out either. If everything clicks, a ten win team and maybe a playoff win could be a step towards where we want to be. Hopefully we'll add some average vets. If this was difficult to read, sorry. New garbage phone.
This is Matt McGuire's NFL Draft blog, where he'll talk about the NFL Draft, anything that has to do with football and whatever else is on his mind. Send Matt an e-mail here: [email protected].
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Posted April 4, 2009
UTCC Day 1
I was lucky enough to attend the University of Tennessee Football Coaches' Clinic yesterday. No, I am not a coach, but I was informed to attend coaches' clinics to improve my scouting of NFL prospects and get a better feel for the game.
The day started out with Monte Kiffin speaking to about 400 high school coaches from all across the country at Thomas-Boling Arena on the UT campus. I knew how energetic and crazy Coach Kiffin was because I saw his press conference the day the Bucs drafted Gaines Adams.
The audience loved Kiffin's demeanor, as did I. He talks really fast and is a 24-year-old in a 69-year-old's body. The guy could coach for possibly another 10 years.
During his presentation, he dissected the Tampa-2 defense and we watched about 15 minutes of Buccaneer footage. MIKE linebacker Barrett Ruud was very impressive on film showing great instincts, fluid hips and athletic ability.
Remember how I said Monte was crazy? While he was showing Buc film, he would get really excited when Derrick Brooks would take on a block with force. He called this type of player a "slobberknocker" - and no I am not kidding. "WE NEED SLOBBERKNOCKERS ON OUR DEFENSE!" Kiffin exclaimed.
Later, Cato June on a weakside power lead knocked the ball out for a fumble and Kiffin hollered again, "THAT'S A CAPOFF! WHEN YOU HAVE SLOBBERKNOCKERS AND CAPOFFS ON YOUR DEFENSE, THEN WE REALLY GOT SOMETHING."
The audience laughed hysterically - it is impossible to translate Monte's passion, energy and hilariousness onto a Web page.
Monte Kiffin's Defensive Coaching Philosophy
I. Coaches must be great teachers - HAVE PASSION. "If you coach them to be a good football player, they will do whatever you tell them to do."
II. First rule to getting better - SHOW UP
III. Do you really care? - DON'T FAKE IT
IV. Discipline - Tell players what they need to hear; not what they want to hear.
V. Don't beat yourself
VI. Field - Totally organized. Do not waste time; key drills, be on it. Reps are necessary.
VII. Need energy on the field - hustle drill to drill. "Coaches: keep your hands out of your pockets!"
VIII. Play physical - it is a contact sport.
IX. Quickness - Can't beat it. "Take quickness over size."
XI. Play hard - play fast - play together.
Tampa 2 Notes
-Tampa-2 is a two-deep, 5-under zone. Cornerbacks are rolled up on WRs, two safeties have half-field coverage. MIKE has middle read.
-Corners jam, then they flip their left hip a.k.a. "exit."
- "Spill (pursue) ball to sidelines."
-"Sign of undisciplined teams is foolish penalties.
- Monte spoke VERY highly of new Tampa Bay head coach Raheem Morris.
Jim Chaney - Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line Coach
Monte Kiffin was great, but no question it was Jim Chaney who stole the show. I talked to around 20 high school coaches and they all raved about Chaney's presentation. Chaney was an offensive coordinator at Purdue for nine seasons and an assistant coach with the St. Louis Rams for the previous three years.
Chaney is obviously an extremely smart guy. He was extraordinarily detailed � I just can't imagine an offensive coordinator in college football doing more of the little things and research than what Chaney reviewed. His presentation was over offensive management and game planning.
Chaney reviewed the coaching staff's responsibilities in developing the game plan, which was pretty interesting. For example, wide receiver coach Frank Wilson will do self-scouting and Tennessee's own offensive tendencies.
He continuously stressed exploiting the strengths and weaknesses of both your own offense and the opponents' defense. He told the coaches to rank your opponents levels of the defense on a 1-3 scale, and then they would be able to devise a game plan to exploit the weakest level(s).
Chaney takes no prisoners in play-calling. He wants his best offensive guard on his opponent's weakest defensive tackle to open up a big play.
The offensive coordinator's PowerPoint presentation was ridiculously detailed. Chaney would speak about different sets and at times I just lost him, but he was very entertaining and I learned a lot about what goes through a play-caller's mind before a football game and in the pre-call reads.
Chaney emphasized knowing the personality of the play-caller and team you are going up against. He said, "The only way to predict future behavior is past behavior." He said getting a feel for who a coach is, and not just in the football sense, can give you a huge edge on game day.
No doubt about it, if Chaney can get a big time quarterback in Knoxville he will win a national championship with this talented and hard-working coaching staff. He clearly knows what he is doing and seems to be extremely detailed, yet he always gets back to the roots of football. At times he is five steps ahead of the opponents' defensive coordinators.
If Tennessee doesn't have the best coaching staff in the country, then they are the second best. However, I still don't see this offense being productive based on what we all saw out of Jon Crompton last season.
Ed Orgeron � Asst. Head Coach/Recruiting Coordinator/Defensive Line
Orgeron was a very enthusiastic coach who is arguably now one of the best defensive line coaches in the country. Expect to see a very productive Tennessee defensive front next season. He raved about defensive end Chris Walker (6-3, 232) and says he will be a very good player.
Here are a few notes I took on Orgeron:
-When being reach blocked, a defensive lineman should use his hands and disengage violently.
-He emphasized how a coaching staff can only focus on their team, "Only you can block you," and said coaching your team is never about the opponent because it gives your players excuses.
-Orgeron stressed getting "vertical" when coming off the snap, and that means just getting straight up the field to wreak havoc in opponents' backfields.
-Orgeron's philosophy is he wants his players to go after the ball as opposed to the quarterback. His players are constantly drilled on stripping the ball from the quarterback when he is making his progression reads out of a 5- or 7-step drop.
Lance Thompson - Linebackers Coach
Thompson is clearly a solid position coach; he was very knowledgeable in his theories regarding practice drills and technique.
-A tip for all of you that scout college players. When watching a linebacker tackle, watch his inside leg and inside shoulder. A linebacker should step into the tackle with his inside foot as opposed to keeping it behind his outside foot. If your inside foot is behind a linebacker's outside foot, he loses his balance and is adept to being trucked by the ball-carrier.
-When stack and shedding, a linebacker needs to create space with his arms when placing his hands on the blocker's shoulders. You create space for two reasons: for play vision and to escape/rip.