What’s goin on?
– We should see a spring football roster, UConn Coach Bob Diaco said today in New York, probably some time tomorrow. Spring practice starts Monday, the first of 15 practices including the April 12 annual Blue-White spring game at Rentschler Field. We should also be seeing a media schedule soon although we were told for practice Monday we can watch the first 20 minutes and get what we need afterward.
What’s Diaco hoping to accomplish?
“I’m talking about 15 practices…if we can walk out of the spring after 15 practices and the team understands how we expect the games to be played, not necessarily what the plays are, but how we expect the games to be played with the proper energy, effort and detail and mental toughness necessary to execute over periods of time, if we can end spring football with that implanted into the DNA it will be a positive thing.”
Diaco said we can expect to see a depth chart too after spring practice and heading into preseason so everyone knows where they are.
– Diaco said no stock will be put into what he’s seen of the players on film.
“Zero, zero. We have enough contact with these guys. We’re with them eight hours a week right now. It bounces up to 20 in a few days and they’re going to use our systems, play our brand of ball and we’re going to do our evaluations. I mean we need everybody. Everybody is going to play a role.”
– Diaco is still mum on the status of safety Ty-Meer Brown who had a neck/spine thing going on last season. He said last week offensive lineman Gus Cruz, who missed much of 2013 with a shortness of breath issue, is back doing some work on the field. Diaco said he’ll talk more specifics about the roster after Practice 1.
– The Huskies have a new running backs coach in David Corley Jr. from William & Mary…
“It’s a very exciting thing. He’s a great, great guy and he fits with the DNA of our organization. He was a fantastic player. He played the game like it should be played. He’s got instant credibility as a great player. He’s had nothing but people rave about him since he put the whistle around his neck and gotten on the grass in that capacity. He’s just a class individual and he’s got an expertise with the running backs…
“I have familiarity with him and I have familiarity with a lot of people that know him very well.”
– UConn’s Pro Day is Tuesday. Diaco said he’s expecting all the NFL teams to be represented.
“I’m proud and honored and excited to help support the former UConn football players from a year ago that are going to try to crack into that world and we wish them the best and we open our facility and minds and hearts and programs to them to get better and they’ve been doing that. We’ve put together a classy, professional, high-character day together for the NFL and the media that will be there in attendance so that we can be sure we’re representing, truthfully, UConn which is one of the finest institutions in all of America and we want to be sure every day that when we have a formal day like that that’s it done that way.”
– Diaco said former players will return often, including during spring practice.
“We’re going to have a day where we welcome them back in the spring here and we’re going to have them fully integrated with our team as much as we possibly can and we’ll have a social after that practice just to continue to engage the former players, as part of our engagement program, just continue that engagement piece.”
– Yes Diaco had an opinion on the proposed 10-second rule which would have penalized offenses for snapping the ball with 29 seconds left on the 40-second clock, The football rules committee tabled the proposal Wednesday.
“What do you think? I actually do. I think Coach [Nick] Saban is 100 percent right. That’s just a fact but I’ve also had an opportunity, like he has, as a defensive coordinator, to watch the players who are completely exacerbated that want to come off the field and need to come off the field and they can’t. They can’t, because there’s no time. The team is ready and they’re ready to snap the ball. It doesn’t mean they’re going to or they’re not going to but we need to be prepared because we’re all reactionary.
“…you see players that are so physically exhausted that they really cannot function. How many games have you watched like that? Wouldn’t it be nice to give that guy a chance to get off the field so he can protect himself?
“I think it would be a great service to the officials. They’re doing a fantastic job in fact I think it’s almost impossible the job we’re asking them to do. If we’re not going to slow the game down then you probably need to add a few more officials to the game, almost, and it would be a great service to the officials if the game slowed down a little bit.
“It’s all a good conversation anyway. It might be a what came first the chicken or the egg so I don’t know who’s right or wrong. I know most of the country wants to see points and they like offense and they like a lot of plays and they like a lot of scoring so, most people kind of laugh and the defensive coordinators are probably in the minority of the whole thing and the defensive head coaches but I think there’s definitely validity to it because I’ve seen it.”