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More clinic thoughts

by Busco21, Monday, March 28, 2011, 15:52

As for the ND assistant coaches, I attended Chuck Martin's chalk talk.
Kerry Cooks was there as well. They did a good job answering questions
and even handled a few uncomfortable moments with class. Every now and
then in these chalk talks a coach will ask a really stupid or basic
question, and the two times it happened Thursday night these two
handled it well. After the second one, I promised not to ask any more
questions. (I'll be here all week...).

Martin will be a HC soon. I have no doubts about it. He knows football
and he knows how to communicate with players, coaches and the public.
As the chalk talk was winding down I threw them a bone and
complimented them on the way they rolled to Cv 3 in the bowl game 4
times, which resulted in HSmith's 3 picks (many of you saw my
breakdown of HSmith's INT's from last season). Cooks broke out
laughing, while Martin simply showed a big grin and was very humble
about it. Cooks stayed after and answered some questions I had about
the way their corners sink in Cv2 when their zone is flooded. Coach
Motta (Zeke's Dad) stayed with me and Cooks did a good job explaining
their philosophy.

I attended Mike Denbrock's session on Using the TE in the ND Spread.
It was very interesting but not as detailed. Denbrock is a very
personable guy, and really enjoys shooting the bull with other
coaches. Given the right type of HS coach, I can't imagine them not
being in his corner when it comes to a recruit.

Next was Diaco, who is still just as dreamy as ever. He talked about
the basics of OLB play. He does a great job getting the crowd
involved, and anyone with some experience who paid attention could
have coached OLBs through a practice or two by the time he was done.
He's very talented at explaining fundamentals and movements, and I'd
love to hear him teach a 200 level course now that I've learned his

I then attended Tony Alford's talk on WR drills. He's very demanding
and will continue to improve our WR's, but he did make a few comments
about missing Floyd and holding our hope he might return. Alford's
talk didn't help me much, simply because most of his ball drills
involve several managers running around retrieving balls for the rapid-
fire drills, and I haven't had a manager to help me

As a sidenote, ND managers are AWESOME. They work their asses off and
keep things running at top speed. At one point, they screwed up and
brought one of Coach Martin's and Coach Cook's drills to a screeching
halt. Martin was hilarious chastising them, saying "This is the
easiest job in the world. You guys' scored 36 on your ACT's, and
you're screwing this up?" You could tell he was just busting balls,
and the managers righted the ship immediately.

Next up was Ed Warriner's talk on the Spread Run Game. He did a great
job using game clips to show each major running play. One nugget for
next year: Watch for speed option. He has a major option coaching
background, and it was obvious he has been pushing for ND to
incorporate speed option into its gameplan. As he showed a few clips
he was making jokes about how speed option is almost like stealing,
it's such an easy 10 yards in many circumstances.

The last assistant coach I listened to was Paul Longo. I could kick
myself for not choosing his session last year. He has some really
interesting ideas that fly in the face of much of what I've learned
over the years. He values Work Volume, which he believes leads to
better conditioned athletes in the 4th quarter. His strongman/
unconventional lifts are a great way to change things up and create
healthy competition between the players. I'll be working hard to get
my coaching staff to join me for a day or two this summer at Camp

We are forced to pick one coach or another during each session, so I
hated to miss Coach Hinton and Coach Elston. I heard their talks were
very, very good.

More on the practices soon.



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