Practice Buzz from Demens

Submitted by jbibiza on March 7th, 2013 at 9:34 AM

In a free article on Scout Kenny Demens has good things to say about Drake Johnson and Chris Bryant (among others)

some teasers:

Johnson:  "gave us problems on scout team.  Drake ....... did his thing, got loose on us… "  

Bryant: " I don’t care if you were Mike Martin, Ryan Van Bergen.......when Chris Bryant pulled, you were nervous......... Chris Bryant brings the pain."



March 7th, 2013 at 9:58 AM ^

I've been excited to see what Chris Bryant can do, but the praise Demens heaped on him was unexpected. I really want Kenny to do well on M pro day.


March 7th, 2013 at 10:37 AM ^

I'm waiting on Bryant to do well.  I was really high on him coming out of high school, but he's struggled with weight and injuries so far.  But he's only a RS sophomore, so he still has time.

Sauce Castillo

March 7th, 2013 at 9:57 AM ^

Is it crazy to say we maybe see D Green get a bulk of the carries this yr with Drake getting the 2nd most?  I know fitz is going to be given every oppurtunity to win the starting job if not get #2 RB touches but with the things being spoken about Drake over the past yr, hard, fast, powerful runner, maybe he gets a shot.  should I be excited or nervous that the position is so wide open?


March 7th, 2013 at 1:50 PM ^


 Personally, I really don't think that the RB positon is as wide open as you do.   I highly doubt we'll see Drake be the #2 RB next year.   I think people are ignoring a Fitz a bit to much as well, it's one thing to have a few comments about you (And outside this one I haven't heard a ton about Drake) and another to have on field results.


 Granted, Fitz is coming off a gnarly leg injury.  But I still think our Fitz will without question be in our top 2 RBs, and in all likelyhood I think he'll be the starter, atleast when the season starts.

swan flu

March 7th, 2013 at 1:57 PM ^

You can't say a guy is "without question" our number 2 back when there are many questions regarding his health. You can say "IF he's healthy he will be our number 2 back" ... But saying anything more is erroneous unless you are personally overseeing his rehab and know his progress. In which case, HIPAA and stuff.


March 7th, 2013 at 10:03 AM ^

This is from Sam Webb's interview with him on WTKA.  The podcast is available on the station's website if anyone's interested.


Whenever I think of Demens now, I can't get out of my head "at the end of the day, my thighs are breathing" from the countdown to kickoff videos last year.


March 7th, 2013 at 9:55 AM ^

I like hearing this sort of thing from actual players.  But even still, you have to run their words through a translator to figure out how much to believe:

  • What he says about Drake Johnson is very specific and references actual plays where Mattison got upset that Johnson was able to play well.  This seems like something to be optimistic about.
  • His comments about Hayes were vanilla and don't offer much either way.
  • His attempt to find something positive to say about Rawls indicates there's not much there to be optimistic about.
  • I like the Bryant comment.....but I worry that it was based more on his pure size than his skill.  This is a fairly generic compliment, but it seems like there's some reason for optimism.  The team needs Bryant to be a good player and take one of the guard spots.


March 7th, 2013 at 11:34 AM ^

That is quite a shot you are taking at the athletic training staff. I'm curious if you have some real info on this. I personally couldn't criticize them based on anything reported in the media because my experience tells me the media typically get very little actual information with regards to injuries. Care to offer any evidence that injuries "get misdiagnosed or improperly treated" to support your criticism of our medical staff?


March 7th, 2013 at 1:52 PM ^

Per the phrase, "my experience" when I was competing in the BIG my doctors misdiagnosed my injury for 3 years and as such I needed constant treatment and training room time until I finally was referred to a new specialist outside the program, who operated on me and had me 100% for my 5th year.

Given that my comment did not directly call out a specific member of the M training staff, but rather referred to an actual situation in my own training room at NU, my intent was not to criticize the M staff.

The difference being, the commenter I replied to has directly criticized Hayes as being the problem. I'm simply asking how he can be sure that only Hayes is the problem when, in my experience in BIG training rooms, there were other reasons one might spend a lot of time in the training room or missing games due to injury.


March 7th, 2013 at 11:36 AM ^

I know he didn't mean that he's polite or something. But it still reads as an overly broad, not even remotely specific description. It's like Demens thought "uh oh, gotta say something about Hayes now..." and threw out a vaguely positive comment. It's basically like Demens said "he's not awful."


March 7th, 2013 at 10:06 AM ^

I was pretty disappointed that only Denard got invited to the combine.  Here are some thoughts on our other seniors:

  • Demens - I think he has a legit shot to get picked up by a team for a tryout, possibly even a late, late round pick.  He could be a two-down linebacker and special team player in the right situation.
  • Omameh - His issues the last two years lower any expectations, but he has good size and athleticism.  I think in a combine-format he'd excel and might get a long look by an NFL team.
  • Campbell - Maybe a token mini-camp invite.
  • Floyd - I guess if Mundy and Stevie Brown can make it anything is possible....but no.
  • Kovacs - The pro-day isn't a place for him to shine unfortunately.  The sooner he can get into coaching and work his way up the ladder the better. 
  • Mealer/Barnum - Good guys, enjoy life after football
  • Roh - Not explosive enough for the NFL.  Might get a snif for some mini-camps. 

Ali G Bomaye

March 7th, 2013 at 10:23 AM ^

Omameh is a very limited player, but I think he could be awesome on a team that uses a pure zone-blocking system like the Texans or Redskins.  He sucks at pulling or at driving defensive linemen straight back, but if his job is to move and find guys to pick up, he can turn LBs into safety-destroying missiles.


March 7th, 2013 at 1:17 PM ^

You're comparing JT Floyd to Stevie Brown and Ryan Mundy?  Brown and Mundy were big time recruits who were uninspiring as underclassmen but ended up excelling before they left school.  And they were both big time athletes.  I liked JT Floyd, but he really doesn't fit that mold at all.  


March 7th, 2013 at 10:51 AM ^

Someone (maybe Magnus) said this yesterday (or at least recently): Miller was a RS freshman competing against a RS senior. That's always going to be a stacked deck agaisnt Miller, so don't take his inability to crack the line-up to mean too much at this point.

That said, I'm actually more skeptical than a lot of people around here about the interior of the line. More than likely, there will be three new starters, possibly multiple freshmen, between the tackles. The potential is definitely there for them to be good, but it's far from certain.


March 7th, 2013 at 10:57 AM ^

I'm with you on the fact that reconstructing an interior OL from all underclassmen isn't probably the best thing, but I'm optimistic based on the fact that most of the options are highly touted, and secondly, how much worse could it get? (knock on wood)  I'm expecting some regression to the mean in a postive way this year.


March 7th, 2013 at 11:25 AM ^

I agree.  I think it's not the only reason, but another reason why people are hoping Bryant takes one of the guard spots.  Having a line of Sr, RF, RSoph., RSoph., Sr. sounds better to most people than the possible Sr., RF, F (Kugler possibly), RF, Sr. 

This could also be the argument for moving Schofield inside, giving us a line like: Sr., RF, RSoph., Sr., RF.  

Regardless, I don't expect it could be much worse than last year.  To be fair to them, we were asking kids who were recruited to run a zone blocking scheme to man-up and block one on one.  Even though it was the second year in the system, you're still asking kids to do something that does not fit their skill set very well.  

I've got faith in the coaching staff.  Our line is in good hands.  I'm sure they'll do well.  


March 7th, 2013 at 1:21 PM ^

That was me who made that point yesterday, but it's not exactly ground breaking.  Although Mealer wasn't a star, he wasn't terrible either and it's likely that his age and extra 20 pounds was enough to keep Miller off the field.  Lots of RS frosh aren't ready for starting jobs at lots of positions.

Kenny Demens was an absolute ghost as a RS frosh, I don't think he ever saw the field, even though Obi Ezeh was our starting MIKE.  Guess what?  He bulked up, learned the position a little better, and halfway through his RS soph season he took over the starting job and never gave it away.  

Do I think Jack Miller is the next David Molk?  Probably not.  But being a Demens-level player at Center is still completely within the realm of possibility.

Blue boy johnson

March 7th, 2013 at 10:53 AM ^

Shocking that  a RS freshman couldn't beat out a 5th year senior. Never heard of such a thing.

Miller must have been sitting out any play Drake Johnson broke big runs causing Mattison to become apoplectic, because we all agree Miller just ain't no good. Hit the road Jack and don't you come roun' here no more no more.

Mr. Yost

March 7th, 2013 at 1:30 PM ^

Miller was actually considered midway through the year to replace Mealer. However (like has been said before)'re talking about a RS Freshman vs. a RS Senior. Also, the coaches didn't feel like a "shake up as necessary" and they went with the guy that they trusted in games.

Kalis and Barnum was a similar situation actually. Although from what I was told Kalis actually passed Barnum, however it was too late in the year and they couldn't burn his redshirt for 3-4 games.

I think this line will be A LOT better. Will it be GREAT? I'm not sure, but it'll be at least "good." Last year was as average as average can be.


March 7th, 2013 at 11:07 AM ^

It seems like there are three candidates for center at the moment - Miller, Glasgow and Burzynski. As causual fans, we have very limited info on which to evaluate any of them.

On Miller
- 3 star
- practice buzz is that he has a mean streak
- some practice buzz sowing concern he is not ready
- behind Burzynski last year as first lineman off the bench

On Burzynki
- walk on
- first guy off the bench last year

- walk on
- some positive practice buzz

For me, the most indicative piece of information is that when it counted - Burzynski played. For this reason, he's the one I am expecting to win the battle.


March 7th, 2013 at 1:28 PM ^

We have a little more to go on than that, but you're mostly correct.  That said, Brzynski is a year older than the other two, and that might have played more of a role in him coming off the bench first than anything else.  He has more experience (and more bulk than Miller).  But Miller is the scholarship player, and once he adds more strength and size, I would expect him to take over the position.  

At least we have three non-freshmen (true or RS) who are fighting for the position.  That's a positive.


March 7th, 2013 at 9:24 PM ^

Centers block, don't they? If Miller was a better blocker, I expect he'd have been in when they needed a player. Funk has explicitly said, the best five will play, even if it means teaching one of them to snap.

Mealer was supposed to be a gaurd, but he played center. And Burzynski has been practicing at center. You are perfectly free to your opinion, but I don't think basing my opinion on a battle between Burzynski and Miller is totally pointless.

With regards to Burzynski being older, according to the rosters on Mgoblue, he has only been on the roster for two years, even though he'll be a redshirt junior next season, so it seems he in fact has the same amount of time and experience in the program.


March 7th, 2013 at 9:24 PM ^

Either way, who was better last year only has so much to do with who will be better this year.  Maybe Burzinski's body was most ready for Big Ten football than Miller's was last year (maybe because he's a year older, maybe not).  And maybe Burzinski was better by the smallest amount, but because we never needed two subs, Miller never came in until garbage time (where he played center with the second team).  

I think people are putting to much emphasis in where Miller was as a RS Frosh when projecting where he will be.


March 7th, 2013 at 9:45 PM ^

Why are you comparing Burzynski and Miller when it comes to the guard position.  When you talk about "first off the bench" it was to fill a spot a guard. 

We haven't heard anything about MIller taking snaps at guard.  If we needed to sub in someone at center and Burzynski came in before Miller then you have a point.


March 7th, 2013 at 10:26 PM ^

The actual coach of the offensive line has said the best five will play. He can teach someone to snap. He doesn't even need to Burzynski since he's also been practicing at center.

I am infering from that philosophy that the sixth guy to come in would therefore have been yhe sixth best offensive lineman on the team iregardless of position. That would mean last year, Burzynski was better than Miller.

It is quite possible that Miller could improve more than Burzynski. I am just expressing my opinion that Burzynski will be center. I could be wrong. We'll know in September


March 7th, 2013 at 10:45 PM ^

Irregardless is not a word.

I don't think you're correct that the first guy off the bench is the same regardless of position. If Lewandowski went down, Burzynski was not going to play LT. Funk said he wanted to start the five best OL, but it doesn't always work out that way, especially with subs. Because Miller was a RS Soph, it's possible he hadn't been around long enough to know more than one OL spot.