this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
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|19 weeks 5 days ago||Ah, I didn't remember that||
Ah, I didn't remember that about Speight.
|19 weeks 5 days ago||Amen. I feel for the kid.||
Amen. I feel for the kid.
|19 weeks 5 days ago||It's just one video and a few||
It's just one video and a few choice reps, but yes, it looked crisp.
There remains something I just don't like about the way Morris throws. I once saw a video of Joe Montana throwing with his two sons, talking about the finer points of delivery, and emphasizing the idea of driving the football straight at your target as opposed to bringing the ball around and just letting go at the right moment. It was very hard to describe in words, and it was a very subtle thing to see. But I went out an experimented, and I think I could feel what Joe was talking about. And it's something my uncle, a former Central Michigan QB in the '70s, used to try to explain to me, too.
Well, it looks like Morris brings the ball around more, if that makes sense. The results were fine here, but under pressure or when things break down, that can lead to some inaccuracy. So it worries me.
In contrast, I continue to love Speight's delivery. Tight, compact, and no wasted movement. It's not quite as pretty as Forcier's was—that thing was a work of art—but it's close. I like it.
Malzone's is somewhere in the middle, but very classic.
|19 weeks 6 days ago||I don't think it will play||
I don't think it will play out that way, either, but I think you are right that it would be one of the better chains of events, at least long-term.
But let's not write off Morris yet (and I'm not saying that you were). The "light coming on," as you describe it, requires reps, and it looks as if he's finally going to get a whole bunch of them. A change of coaching staff can also be helpful, as a kid with a rough start can shake it off, start fresh, and clear his mind a bit. Finally, being the senior QB on the team should also help, as leadership fuels confidence. So this is about as good a situation as Morris could ask for.
That said, and while I certainly want the best QB to play, I find myself pulling for Malzone. From what I've seen of him in high school, he's likely to be my favorite kind of QB to watch—smart, accurate, and good in a tight spot. That's just a hunch. We'll have to see how it plays out.
|19 weeks 6 days ago||There are a few elements to a||
There are a few elements to a quarterback's accuracy, and they develop differently.
First, there's the mechanical aspect of just being able to hit a bull's eye. This is the aspect that is most like a jump shot, and it can be improved with repetitions, plain and simple. When I was a high-school kid, I threw through a tire for hours. This is how you work on that. In a game, you need the ball to go where you intend it.
This mechanical aspect of accuracy is really important unless you are typically throwing to wide-open receivers (who can then adjust and still make the catch). But alone, it is not sufficent to have what is typically described as an accurate QB.
The second aspect is knowing where the bull's eye is, or identifying the right target. I don't mean identifying the right receiver, but instead identifying the exact spot where the ball should get to the receiver. At his belt? In his numbers? At his knees? In stride? A little behind him (i.e., between zones)?
This is much harder to develop, as it requires a lot of study so that the QB knows what to expect, as well as a lot of reps with a full passing offense and defense so that the QB can practice adjusting from expectations.
Finally, there's a timing or feel aspect that is very much related to the second aspect. Imagine Brian Griese running the classic TE waggle play. As Griese turns back after the fake to face the D, he's giong to have a number of ways to get the ball to the TE. Does he need to fire a rope between a couple of 'backers? Does he have a soft hole to lob the ball into? And this is complicated by his own options. Can he step up all the way and throw as hard as he is able? Is there a charging DE in his face that limits his forward step or forces him to throw on the run? All of these things affect the number and location of the bull's eyes Griese can hit.
These last two aspects are much harder to improve than the first. But any improvement on the last two is almost irrelevant if the first aspect—the ability to hit a target—isn't mostly there.
So the question really comes down to: What is Morris's problem? That really can't be answered by looking at film, because when we see him miss a target, we don't know why he missed. Did the ball not go where he wanted? Did he pick a bad place for the ball to go? Did his receiver run a terrible route? Coach Fisch is probably assessing this better in drills right now.
If Morris's—or any QB's—problem is with the first aspect, that's a big problem. That needs to be fixed before much work can be done on the others. If the problem is with the other aspects, well, those are more advanced problems, and those are the sorts of skills Harbaugh & co. seem very good at helping a QB develop.
|25 weeks 5 days ago||I believe that number was||
I believe that number was split over his sophomore and junior seasons. So at least part of the story here is that before his senior year, he was good but not world-beating against poor competition. And I'm not sure how much he camped until last summer.
|27 weeks 22 hours ago||He seems a shoe-in for the #1||
He seems a shoe-in for the #1 jersey, no?
|27 weeks 5 days ago||Yikes. Even a QB guru like||
Yikes. Even a QB guru like Harbaugh would have his hands full fixing this kid's technique.
|34 weeks 15 hours ago||I expected nothing less from||
I expected nothing less from him. He's a classy, big--hearted guy who loves Michigan and the players. I'm sad that firing him was the right decision, because I doubt anyone has wanted to be Michigan's coach more, or put more effort into it, than Brady Hoke has. Good luck, Coach, wherever you go.
|44 weeks 22 hours ago||Gardner or Morris||
I think that Gardner can be fixed, in that he can be set up to regain his confidence and be successful—within a limited definition of that word—this year. You come out with a slightly simplified gameplan, give him a bunch of reps at plays and reads that he can is comfortable with, and help him feel more free to use his feet. Really play to his strengths for a game or two This will all help rebuild his confidence and make him a compentent—and at times, thrilling—player again. While Gardner, unfortunately, is not likely to be as good I believe he could have been with years of consistent coaching, he'll still be better than Morris would be right now. And I think it is imperative that we keep Morris on the bench.
As Brian has pointed out here, our QB situation is terrible. Morris is really our only hope at QB for the next year or two (as I'd like to avoid playing a freshman). So we need to make sure that he is going to be as good as he possibly can be in 2015 and '16.
So, if Morris isn't an upgrade over Gardner this year, then the only reason to play Morris now would be if it would make him better in 2015 and '16. But I don't think that playing in this offense is going to help. Instead, I think Morris needs lots of practice reps, lots of game film, and some mop-up action, all without the pressure of trying to save the program and his coach's job. Because if we destroy Morris's confidence this year, who else is there to turn to?
Plus, I just love Gardner when he's on, and I think he's got a few more of those games in before it's all over.
|3 years 35 weeks ago||You hit both nails on the||
You hit both nails on the head.
Nail 1: Denard is thinking too much. The kid is very coachable, and while that can be an incredible asset, when the things on which he has been coached have not yet been learned to the level of near-instinct, it can cause a lot of slowing. You can almost see Denard think, "Am I too anxious to scramble here? Maybe I should wait a second longer. That's what the coaches always applaud when it leads to a big play." His purpose was much more clear last year, and thus, his confidence was higher. He needs to get that confidence back.
Nail 2: Reps. More than really any other single part of playing QB, the option requires reps. Think of it like free throws. Denard should be ending every practice with 100 option reads (that wouldn't take very long, really) and 100 pitches with each hand (which he could do running up and down the field with Devin). Or 50/50. Whatever. The point is that it has to be like that for an option QB until he gets it.
That is why those old Nebraska option teams were so deadly. High schools ran a lot more true option then, and really taught it. So Nebraska could find someone like Tommie Frazier who had six years of option drills and experience under his belt. That is harder to come by, now; even a spread-option QB like Devin really didn't learn how to read in high school, since his athleticism allowed him to gain 10 yards on a bad read.
So, I think that will improve next year if Borges really embraces it and has Denard do option drills all summer. It only takes two additional guys to do the read drill, and one other to do the pitch drill. Actually, since catching the pitch and reacting properly to a long option ride are key skills for RBs, this practice would benefit them, too.
|3 years 37 weeks ago||Forget walking past the||
Forget walking past the facilities and silence. How did he not act to stop it right then and there? He's the one person (at least related to the 2002 incident) to actually witness the crime and have a chance to stop it while it was occuring. What did he do? Back quietly out of the room? Be a man.
|3 years 37 weeks ago||That's sort of the part I||
That's sort of the part I don't get. McQueary failed those kids in the same way Paterno did. I'm not sure what would prevent the Board from deciding to fire McQueary, as well.
|3 years 37 weeks ago||Dammit, I've got a new||
Dammit, I've got a new touch-screen computer, and I clicked the "moderate" button on your comment by mistake. I'm not sure what I did, but I sure didn't mean to do anything. Sorry about that.
|3 years 37 weeks ago||This Is Your Penn State Thread||
In this thread, I threw in a post of a PSA-type nature that I'd actually considered as it's own thread topic. But, seeing a Sticky-ed thread, I decided to put it in there first. It was marked as "trolling." What gives? I'm sure it wasn't Pulitzer-worthy, and maybe it didn't ultimately deserve it's own thread (and has not become one), but I'm curious as to why it was marked as "trolling." Can someone explain, please?
|3 years 37 weeks ago||I'm sorry, how is this||
I'm sorry, how is this trolling?
|3 years 37 weeks ago||I'd like to start a new||
I'd like to start a new thread to make one, PSA-type point. But I'll make it here first. Mods, you tell me how you want it done...
Abuse Victims Are Not Damaged Goods
There is one troubling statement I have seen in a number of sportswriter opinion pieces which I feel needs to be addressed. These writers have made statements like, "These kids will never be able to love," or "These kids will never be able to trust anyone again," or "These kids' lives have been ruined." I'm sure the writers are trying to convey the enormity of these crimes, to sypathize as best they can, but unintentionally, they send the message to anyone reading those articles (including, likely, many silent victims of these crimes) that there is no hope for a normal life after something like this. And that is not true.
Recovery is hard. Recovery is long. But it can happen. Victims can learn to love, can learn to trust, can learn to be wonderful members of our society. I have personally worked with people who started off as "sexual abuse victims" and now consider themselves to be "someone who was abused as a child." I'm sure I'm saying this inartfully, so let me try again. While sexual absue will always be something that happened to these victims, it need not be the thing that defines their lives.
I think this is something we should all keep in mind as we talk about this case with the children - and the adults - in our lives.
|3 years 37 weeks ago||I've been thinking about Bo's||
I've been thinking about Bo's Lasting Lessons a lot lately, which I am in the process of reading. I lived most of my fandom after Bo's retirement from coaching, and with no real insider knowledge of the program, I cannot know how much Bo lived as he later preached. So I am not making a Bo vs. JoePa comparison.
However, I'm reminded how often Bo wrote about being able to sleep at night after making a tough, but right, decision. That seems worth pondering lately.
|3 years 37 weeks ago||Thank you for writing this,||
Thank you for writing this, and well done.
Of course, the victims of Coach Sandusky are, and should be, foremost in everyone's thoughts and prayers. But I understand what you are saying here, Six-Zero, and feel much the same. No matter how many horrible stories we hear of both small and large evils, we like to believe that there are people and places who are above it. Sometimes, those people become institutions whose values become defining characteristics to which many look to with hope. Paterno did that at Penn State. Even though I never was a fan, I always listed Paterno among the coaches to whom I would entrust my three boys.
So, when we find out that we were wrong, and that the institution and the man that we believed were above such things (not perfect, mind you, but willing to do what was right even when it was hard), we lose something, too. That loss is incomparable to that of the victims, but it is still a loss, and worthy of acknowledgement.
All that we can do is pray for those boys, and remember that there are still good people in the world worthy of our trust and faith. Some of them are leaders of men in prominent roles, and some are posters on this blog who are great dads, uncles, big brothers, and friends. So hold the kids in your lives tight, and promise yourself that you will do what is right, even if it is hard, if ever put in the position to do so.
|3 years 37 weeks ago||Precisely.||
|3 years 37 weeks ago||Thank you. "Fondling or||
Thank you. "Fondling or something of a sexual nature" is enough to mandate (morally) calling the police. And if you're not 80, probably beating the shit out of Sandusky with a handy barbell.
|3 years 37 weeks ago||I haven't read it, and don't||
I haven't read it, and don't want to. I've heard enough of these stories through my wife's work to have a pretty good sense of what happened. I do not need the details.
That said, can someone quote for me what Paterno admits that McQueary told him? That is really the only part that matters to me in my judgment of JoePa. As far as I understand from various sources, what Paterno admits being told was enough that he had a moral obligation to call the police, as it was clear that something worthy of investigation had occurred. I just want to confirm that for myself without digging through the report if I can avoid it.
|3 years 37 weeks ago||Thanks, all. Sadly, this is a||
Thanks, all. Sadly, this is a topic I can write about with some authority, at least second-hand. My wife is an expert in these areas who has testified as an expert witness on these cases. She has a Master in Social Work from U of M, and has dedicated her career to working with the kids whoa re the victims of these awful crimes. As a result, she has a lot of experience working with prosecutors and law enforcement in these cases.
Thankfully, they win more of these cases than they lose, and many bad guys are put away, at least for a little while. But most prosecutor's offices have a higher bar before they'll bring these cases because of the difficulties I've described, and their win rates are usually lower than for other, more "normal" crimes. Other prosecutor's offices have a practice of prosecuting very few of these cases because of their difficulty and the high poltical cost of losing one. ("How dare you, Mr. Prosecutor, go on a witch hunt against this nice, innocent man? You should not be reelected.")
We have a rule in my house - you want to tell me about one of your cases after 8:00, you'd better make me a drink first.
|3 years 37 weeks ago||This is the hardest thing for||
This is the hardest thing for prosecutors bringing these cases. We can convict the thief, because wanting more money makes sense. We can convict the guy who kills his wife's lover, because we all understand jealousy and hurt. We can convict the guy who punches someone in a bar, because we've all been there. All of these things are rational, if improper, actions in our minds. So, when a prosecutor says, "That man over there did this bad thing," we can believe it.
But none of us want to believe that child abuse occurs, and particular child rape, and that the perpetrators are usually great with kids and look normal. Those factors only make sense when you think about it; for a child molestor to be successful, he usually has to be someone a kid would trust, someone who can build a good bond with a kid, and someone who seems "normal" and "safe" to the kid's parents. They often have jobs of trust - teachers, priests, cub scout leaders, coaches.
So, to convict one of these people is scary. A juror who votes guilty has to accept that this "nice man," maybe a "trusted teacher for years," maybe "the great neighbor who always loved watching the kids play basketball," did something monstrous. And that means accepting that your neighbor, your kid's teacher, your kid's coach, hell, your friend or family member, might just be capable of doing the same thing.
That is hard. That is really, really hard. No one wants to believe that happens. Or if it does, it certainly doesn't happen HERE, in MY COMMUNITY, to kids who look like MY KIDS, and perpetrated by people who look like ME. We want to believe that it happens OVER THERE, to THEM, and is caused by THOSE PEOPLE. Accepting that is not true is very hard.
And don't get me wrong. Most people who are "normal," are normal. Most people who seem to like kids and are good with them, are good and kind people. Most teachers, most priests, most cub scout leaders, are good caring people who would have laid Sandusky out on a slab if they walked in on this. I'm not saying that we shouldn't trust.
But these crimes cross every socio-economic, racial, geographical, etc. line. They are inexplicable, and leave us asking, "How could someone do this?" It makes convictions so much harder to achieve.
|3 years 37 weeks ago||I'm sure it's not||
I'm sure it's not lawyer-speak. This guy is going to have to say "I didn't do it." And his lawyer is there to advocate his case, so the lawyer will say the same thing. He has the right to deny the allegations against him.
But don't get me wrong, I'm just explaining the statement. It sure sounds as if he's guilty as sin.
|3 years 37 weeks ago||The cover of the book is even||
The cover of the book is even worse. The Onion could cover this part of the case straight.
|3 years 37 weeks ago||Are you an attorney who||
Are you an attorney who handles criminal stuff? If so, trust this guy on the bond question over me. I've been in civil practice my entire career, and was going off of memory when I said that flight risk was the biggest issue.
|3 years 37 weeks ago||I don't disagree, but it||
I don't disagree, but it matters little. He has enough cash to post whatever bond is necessary, and is a big enough name that he's not a huge flight risk. A TSA screener sees "Jerry Sandusky" on a passport and they might shoot first and ask questions later. Bond is not usually set with regard to the nature of the crime.
Plus, this guy would be a pain for the state to have in prison right now. They have to protect him - he's innocent until proven guilty - but jail populations are notoriously unfriendly to those who hurt kids.
|3 years 37 weeks ago||Pardon me, but where do I||
Pardon me, but where do I sign the first half of this post?
|3 years 37 weeks ago||This doesn't really clear||
This doesn't really clear things up, but at least provides some information regarding the laws at issue.
I still think that if you've got three school officials, JoePa and the two men he went to because of their positions within the school, are sitting around an office deciding not to do anything, I could get to a jury on the question of whether they were acting in their capacities as PSU employees. I'll bet PSU pays out here, or at least tries to settle.