Category Archives: notebook

First Preseason Practice Under Bob Diaco And New Staff Is A Wrap (Updated)

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And it was inside the Burton Family Football Complex due to inclement weather…

What’s goin on?

The first preseason practice under first year coach Bob Diaco is a wrap and it was much different from first day of spring practice…

“A lot of times, you’ll go to a full-speed drill and people are flopping around on the ground, flying around all over, banging into each other, knocking each other down, grabbing each other. That’s not how professionals do their work,” Diaco said after practice Saturday. “Then on the other side you might go to a walk and talk teach installation part and guys are kicking the ground or moving around, not focused or looking off into the distance or something. That wasn’t present today. It was Day 1 in spring.” Continue reading

UConn Coach Diaco Satisfield With Depth On Defense? At Most Spots, Yes But….

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“I think we’re lean a little bit for the jobs,” UConn head coach Bob Diaco said Tuesday during AAC Media Day. “But the jobs at safety and outside linebacker are so complex and hard not only physically but mentally that create a depth issue. It’s not the players. It’s this new system.”

What’s goin on?

Diaco knows defense and depth. Notre Dame’s defense during 2012, where Diaco was defensive coordinator and when the Irish ran to the national title game, was ranked seventh in the nation. The Huskies will likely play a 50-50 split between the three-man front (3-4) and four man (4-3) fronts but either way the S and OLB has to be stronger.

Continue reading

More On The UConn Quarterback And What He Would Be Wise To Avoid

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What’s goin on?

UConn football coach Bob Diaco said Tuesday during AAC Media Day there will be a starting quarterback named but a second will play because the quarterbacks on the roster do different things well. And, honestly, the Huskies need to move the ball much better and easier so whatever way the staff sees fit to do that even it’s three quarterbacks playing that should be the direction to go.

Anyway, Diaco talked about how the competition will go between Chandler Whitmer, Casey Cochran and Tim Boyle (The fourth QB this year is walk-on Will Rishell. N.C. State transfer Bryant Shirreffs won’t be available until next season… Continue reading

Byron Jones: A Better Cornerback

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What’s goin on?

We saw some uncharacteristic play at times from senior cornerback Byron Jones last year but like any good corner should he’s forgotten about it but the lessons have been learned – and they’re still being learned.

Let’s keep in mind Jones is a heck of a corner who will probably being playing on Sundays after this year but there’s always room for improvement even for the best of them.


“The cornerback position you can do very small things you can do wrong whether it’s the beginning of the route or the end of the route or not making a play on the ball,” said Jones, fourth on the team in tackles last year (60) and first in interceptions (three) said. “It comes down to small technique you need to master to be a good corner, to be a great corner.” Continue reading

No UConn Football Preseason Practice Opportunity For Fans This Year

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What’s goin’ on?

Players report for preseason practice Aug.1 with the first practice scheduled for Aug.2. First game is Aug.29 at home against BYU on ESPN at 7 p.m.

As you know the 2014 season will be the first under Bob Diaco, the new man charged with making the Huskies’ football program steady, consistent and competing for league titles.

Usually, there are preseason practices open to the public but not this year. There will be no opportunities for fans to see the team practice before the season opener this year.

.While Diaco will still be out and about at times during the month mingling with fans and boosting support in UConn football, I’m hearing he really wants the focus in camp. And he’s got to get to know the team, too. It’s only a matter of weeks now before all he and his staff have done and are trying to do is on display for all to see.

There will be media sessions and we’ll do our best here to bring you the best of whatever that day has to offer and then some. The first two  media availability sessions are Aug.2 and Aug.6.



Holy Cross Coming To Town In 2017, Huskies Come Back To Town Next Week In Prep For 2014

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What’s goin’ on?

Here’s the release from UConn on Holy Cross coming to Rentschler Field in 2017.

Holy Cross, a member of the Patriot League and the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) began offering scholarships to freshmen last year and by the ’17 season will offer a full array of them to where games against Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), such as UConn, will count in the overall record for bowl eligibility. That game is scheduled for Sept.9, 2017. The Crusaders own a 19-8-1 record against the Huskies dating back to 1916 but the teams haven’t played since 1985. UConn won that one 22-2 at Memorial Stadium.

OK, save for a few Huskies doing summer internships, the team has been away but will be back in full force for summer conditioning on Monday at which time they’ll spend time working with strength and conditioning coordinator Matt Balis and his team. We’ll point out again  Balis and crew have done an excellent job already in building the players’ bodies for battle. The Huskies will do their own football-related stuff, too, with no coaches involved, 7-on7-7s, individual drills etc. (Note: freshmen report early July. All players report for preseason practice Aug.1. First practice for 2014 is Aug.2).

New UConn coach Bob Diaco has some expectations for the team in its return next week of course. There are some new rules for summer that will be beneficial. as well. Here are some recent thoughts from Diaco on both topics. Continue reading

Help The Cause: S4 Epilepsy Walk June 7

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What’s goin’ on?

Check this out folks, from our friend John Benish

Good afternoon all,

Please take some time to check out all the information regarding this year’s S4 Epilepsy Walk, Dinner and Silent Auction on June 7th in Southbury, CT.

f you cannot make the walk,  I have raffle tickets for sale!

Just $10 gets you a spot in the S4 Ball Drop

Here are the basics:

  • Three holes are dug in the infield at Ballantine Park on the day of the S4 Walk
  • Baseballs with raffle ticket numbers are dropped from crane above
  • When your ball lands in a hole – You win! Actually, you win either way as your contribution goes to a great cause:

Prizes include (1) 50” Flat Screen TV, (1) $500 American Express Gift Card and (1) Apple IPad and more


Contact me for tickets!  Out of town folks can email me to set up payment arrangements.

Please feel free to pass along to friends and family – Thank you!


John Benish

Supervisor, Production Planning

Hologic – Breast Health Division

36 Apple Ridge Road

Danbury, CT 06810

O: 203-731-8471




UConn Football: Talking Offense With ‘O’ Coordinator Mike Cummings

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If you saw the Blue-White Scrimmage Saturday then you know the defense dominated the offense .

What’s goin’ on?

The quarterbacks, four of them combined to complete 38 of 62 for 363 yards and a touchdown with most of the work being done by senior Chandler Whitmer (19 of 26, 163 yards and a touchdown). The QBs were sacked three times. Max DeLorenzo rushed for 51 yards on seven carries, a pretty good effort and Lyle McCombs added another 32 on 10 carries.

The receivers, led by Noel Thomas (4×55) and Kamal Abrams (4×51, 1 TD) were outstanding although there weren’t any real looks to them deep or on any other route really outside of hits across the middle.

“You didn’t think you were going to see everything in the spring game did you?,” Byron Jones said afterward.

Good point but not for nothing those short or intermediate-range passes have been awfully productive play in college football by the receiver and/or tight end, especially if they can make a guy or two miss in space. If not? well…  .

The offensive line showed it still needed work in both the passing and running game and UConn Coach Bob Diaco didn’t hide from it after the game calling the unit “still a work in progress.

Anyway, offensive coordinator Mike Cummings , a pretty cool guy, is confident the unit can and will be productive in the end. Continue reading