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  1. AD3378: "I just want to start off by saying congratulations to Vanderbilt. They're a hell of a team, did a great job on both sides of the ball, and I wish @serwendel the best the rest of the way. This was certainly now how I expected this game to go. First half was pretty good minus a missed extra point, but the second half got away from us. That's on me and the staff. It seems we still have a problem finishing after having a strong showing early. Quite frankly, we showed we were capable of being good enough to win, and it's disappointing with the final result. Austin played a heck of a ballgame for us, didn't make any critical mistakes out there but could've been a little better. Still, he showed why he's one of the best in this conference. I'm proud of our team for not turning the ball over. I'm still a bit critical of the penalties we procured, too many of the 10 and 15-yard variety but overall better than the end of last year. Probably didn't give the ball to Jeffrey near enough and we'll have to figure out how we let that happen. Questions." Reporter: "Kevin Moore, Athens Messenger. Coach, your receiving core seemed to have a great game in the new setup. What did you think of their performance?" AD3378: "Very pleased. Wish we could've gotten Jordan to 100 yards, but he and Aaron did the job with the two touchdowns. No drops in the group which is what we're looking for. Austin just had a hard time hitting them as often as we'd have liked." Reporter: "Tom Joiner, WCMH-TV. A couple of sacks but not as much pressure as we might have expected. Do you feel you missed an opportunity to rattle Tyler Mackey?" AD3378: "Probably, but I don't regret the gameplan. We thought we could create tight windows that their quarterback couldn't fit and it bit us. I underestimated his ability and that's on me. We also gave up nearly 50% of 3rd downs which is an area we were hoping to get control of in this game. Overall, it was a miscalculation but also a lack of execution." Reporter: "Shawn Estes, Columbus Dispatch. You're first full season not off to the way you'd hope. You get a week off before UNLV. How do you feel about the time to prepare?" AD3378: "I think I'd prefer to play this week. The guys are angry with the missed chance today and I feel they're itching for another battle. We'll take the time to heal wounds and take a look at what UNLV's doing to get ready. Probably would be happier with a week off after a win to get the guys refocused. I think they're plenty focused on beating someone after how this one got away from them." ...(Any other questions may be added.)
  2. AD3378: “Nice to see everyone here today. It’s great to finally be at a game week here, isn’t it? I’m sure you’re all interested in what I did over the summer…so I’ll focus on Vanderbilt. The Commodores have a great team that’s young in some key places. I think they’re quarterback Mackey has a bright future and will be a nice test for our secondary, especially with Felder on the outside and Gresham inside. Defensively, Vandy has one of the best linebackers in the country. Dailey’s going to present some match-up problems not just for us but for many teams this season. I’m also looking forward to seeing what their freshman Terry brings to the table in his first game. He’s a star in the making, no question. When you look at what serwendel’s done as the head coach, he’s been much better than his record indicates. I respect what he’s been able to accomplish in Nashville, getting Vandy to three straight bowl games including an Orange Bowl. It’s things like that that we’d like to accomplish here in Athens. I know that seems laughable to many, but I scheduled teams like Vanderbilt, Ohio State, and Miami and will continue to do so to give us an idea of where we are and just how far we have to get where we want to be. On our side, we’re happy to welcome in Mike Cazares in but also sad to see Graham leave. We wish him well down in Manhattan. Aside from that, I’ve been pleased with what I’ve seen in fall practice thus far. Our team is getting antsy on the practice field so it’ll be good for them to be hitting guys in different uniforms than ours. As you saw with this past weekend, anything can and will happen in the beginning of the season. It’s the most unpredictable time of the year, and we’re hoping to open some eyeballs this Saturday.” Ohio Media Coordinator: “Questions for Coach? Yes, you.” Reporter: “Coach, Kevin Moore, Athens Messenger.” AD3378: “Always nice to see you, Kevin.” Reporter: “How do you deal with the depth at the quarterback position with Graham transferred?” AD3378: “Well obviously it was something we hoped to avoid, but you can never predict who will want to look for what they think are greener pastures. Graham was important, no doubt. He gave us a solid veteran at the position to back-up Austin and give us a safety valve in the worst-case scenario. I’m still going to trust that Noel will now step up and fill that void. Anthony will also need to step up and be even more important when giving our defense the right looks in practice to be prepared for Saturday. It’s been a slight adjustment, but they both are managing it pretty well.” Reporter: “Shawn Estes with the Columbus Dispatch. How comfortable are you about the future of the running back position with Mike Cazares?” AD3378: “I’m very pleased with Mike coming to Athens. He’s definitely a guy that’ll be in contention for the starting job after this season when he’s eligible and we’ll be without Jeffrey and Raymond. But Samir, Miles, and Jonathan aren’t just going to let the job be handed to Mike. He’ll have to earn it, and last I checked, we’re not going to be lazy in recruiting. We’re got our eyes on a couple guys we really like and hope to bring at least one if not both of them in. So I’m feeling pretty good where the position stands right now.” Ohio Media Coordinator: “Any other questions...?”
  3. AD3378

    [2022] Pre-Season Computer Poll

    MAC just sittin' here quietly saying "See you all in bowl season."
  4. Moderator: “Our final day at MAC Media Days will spotlight the Akron Zips. The Zips finished the 2021 season with a 9-5 record and a 6-3 mark to win the East Division. Akron would go on to win the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl 31-27 over Boise State in a remarkable comeback. Coach darkage has been with the program for nearly three full seasons and has a record of 22-13 at the school. Please welcome the head coach of Akron, darkage.” @darkage: “Wow. What a great year last year was. No one believed that we would end up where we did starting 2-4 and ending with a great bowl comeback in Boise that took everyone by surprise. This team is very excited to get back to doing what we do, but this time we have the conference title game in our sites. We fell short last year but make no mistake we will be doing our best to get back there. These boys have been training hard all season and are ready to impress. I'd like to give a shout out to our JuCo DT Oliver Ponder who had big shoes to fill with the one and only "world eater" going to the NFL and he has limitless potential. And on our offensive side I have to give a shout out to Griffin Donahue as he has led the practices for that side of the ball and done a fantastic job. Overall, we know this team can shake up the conference and to achieve that you must believe that. Thanks for your time I will now be taking your questions.” Moderator: “It’s now time for questions. We’ll start over here on this end.” (From @tsweezy): “Bart Ryans, Ann Arbor News. First of all, that was a stunning run last year to win the division, and it seemed like you had some great team leadership. With that said, it seems like nearly everybody is gone, and we’re anxious to see who’s going to fill in. Do you anticipate going with the more seasoned backups, or is there a chance we see some freshman thrown in there to start building experience for a future run?” darkage: “While I'm really not at liberty to discuss my red shirts to the media just yet, I can say that there is a big possibility of some freshman starting at our weaker spots. The running back situation has not been decided yet, but we will let you know soon." (From @npklemm): “Randall Fitzsimmons, Star Press. You guys won the division last season quite surprisingly, do you think you still have the talent to do that again?” darkage: “I wouldn't say surprisingly. In my opinion we are one of the best MAC teams, and of course I think we have the talent again these kids are thirsty to get back to that mac championship." (npklemm): “With Ruff and Bailey moving on to the NFLHC, who do you look to replace them?” darkage: “We have signed defensive tackle Olivier Ponder and he will be attempting to fill the shoes of the "eater of worlds." (From @AD3378): “Shawn Estes, Columbus Dispatch. Coach, with the MAC East seemingly up for grabs, how confident are you the Zips can repeat an appearance in Detroit for the title?” darkage: “Very confident. I think this team could even win it this year now that they got a taste for it, and coming off last season, I think they will have major confidence as well to get back there.” (From @johnkirk): “Coach darkage, Tim Jasper from the Morning Sun. Devin Frazier had an incredible year last season and has all the power to have a repeat performance and to catch the eyes of the NFL. How is he staying focused with all the attention and expectations coming his way?” darkage: “This kid is great. He is one of the hardest working players in the locker room and always stays focused, but most importantly he really just wants to be the best he can be.” (johnkirk): “Ron Sherwood of Toledo Free Press. Coach, was there any area last season your team performed better than you expected? What was the reason for that and can that area of the field keep up the good work?” darkage: “Our balanced offense worked very well last year, and though we did lose our very talented running back, this year will be no different. Strong senior QB passing game and young talent looking to make a name at running back.” (johnkirk): “Phil Woods, Sentinel Tribune. What would you say was your biggest struggle last season and how do you and your team plan to address it?” darkage: “Our CB/WR situation has not been good but we will have some players pulled off of redshirt for both of those positions.” Moderator: “This concludes our Media Days event. Thank you for your time, Coach, and thank you to the press and viewers that have joined us over the course of this week. We look forward to bringing you some great MAC-tion in 2022. Have a great day.”
  5. AD3378


    Roll Tide!
  6. Moderator: “Our seventh coach to speak at the podium will be Coach tsweezy of the Eastern Michigan Eagles. EMU was one of the most inspirational stories of the 2021 season as the Eagles finished the regular season with a seven-game winning streak after starting 0-5 to earn their first bowl appearance since 2018. While Eastern Michigan was not successful against Texas Tech in the Texas Bowl, they fought as valiantly as they had to earn their seven wins. tsweezy made his arrival after the fourth game of the season in the midst of coaching turmoil and quickly steadied the ship for the season, earning a personal 7-2 record in his first season. Please welcome to the stage Coach tsweezy.” @tsweezy: “Hello everybody. First of all, I’d like to start by congratulating our team on how hard they worked last season. I walked into a locker room that was starting 0-5, the players were hanging their heads, morale was very low. However, I’m very proud of the way they were able to turn it around, get that fire back and scrape their way to win out the rest of the regular season and go bowling. I think we’re going into this season with better preparation, a better mentality, and I think it’ll show in our play. This is my first chance to really get my hands on molding a team. Like I said, coming into the middle of last season the focus was on game planning and getting the players motivated to compete. It was late in the recruiting cycle, and while I think we picked up a few gems, now is the chance to take a birds-eye view of the program and plan out who we want to be and how to get there. We’re trying to identify what our needs will be and already have a good idea of the key targets for this upcoming recruiting cycle. I am very pleased that we were able to send the senior class out strong, and I wish all the best to them as they enter the next chapter of their lives. With that said, I think we return most of our production from last season, and from what I’ve seen so far in spring practices and heard from our strength coach, we may be even better next season. Very thankful to get Shaw back at QB. I think he really matured towards the end of the year and was able to lead our team very successfully. He has a ton of potential and I’ve seen him really work hard to make his last year his best. With that said, I don’t think he’s going to have to do it all on his own either. Last year we redshirted a RB, Tyler Pearson, and let me tell you, I think he is going to be special. We actually thought about burning the RS because he may wind up leaving early for the next level, he’s that talented. Of course, we have to see how well he progresses during fall camp, and he still needs to learn the whole playbook, but he has just massive potential. We will have to replace a few pieces on defense, but I’m pretty confident in our scheme and who we’ve got coming in. I would say the biggest loss was actually our kicker, Simon Hand. We had a lot of stressful games coming down to the wire and he never faltered, amazing accuracy. It’ll be tough to replace somebody like that because until the games start you don’t really know how the players can handle the mental aspect which is a major part of the kicking game. Things to watch for in fall camp will definitely be the line play. I think our back 7 on defense is coming along well, and the offensive skill players should be rolling. We do lose a few of our best players on the line though and it’ll be a shuffle to see how they get replaced. Some young players looking good and trying to take starting jobs so it all depends on how camp goes and how they progress. Aside from that, this should be a senior-heavy team and I anticipate we perform well. As for the rest of the league, we really haven’t started game planning too much for individual opponents. I know Jieret left WMU, and I wish him the best, he was very helpful for a new coach like myself. With that said, I think they will fall off a little bit with that turnover. The other heavyweight has been Toledo, and while they have a very talented team, they aren’t unbeatable. Overall though, I think that this is our year to try to make some noise at a conference level. We proved last year we can hang with just about anybody, so turn around the results against those two and the sky’s the limit. In addition, our OOC schedule as a whole is definitely easier than last season so we should be able to get rolling earlier and challenge for the MAC West, which in my opinion is the best division in the G5. That’s our goal for the year, and I won’t apologize for setting high standards for our guys, I know they’re up for it. Looking forward to the season starting and go Eagles!” Moderator: “Questions will start four rows back towards the middle.” (From @darkage): “Steadman Elliot, The Plain Dealer. Do you think your team has what it takes to win the MAC championship this year?” tsweezy: “Over the last few years, Toledo has definitely been the most talented team in this conference, but that doesn’t always translate to championships. I don’t know if you remember, but in 2019 Ohio came into the year without a whole lot of hype and were able to win the MAC over teams with more talent. Now I like our roster, and I definitely think it compares favorably to what they had. History has shown that you can put together a great year if your players buy in to the system and play hard. I think we showed at the end of last year that we could win consistently so this year it’ll just take playing at that level all year. In the end, yes, I do think we have a shot at winning, and I think that is something that is motivating our players through off-season workouts.” (darkage): “Are there any newcomers from the incoming recruiting class that have been catching your eye?” tsweezy: “It might not be the sexiest answer, but we signed a great local kicker A.J. Montgomery, and he’s looking every bit as talented as Simon Hand ever did. I think special teams is a really underrated component of this sport and hopefully this will solidify a clutch kicking game for the next few years. The rest of the class is looking good as well, but nobody has immediately seized a starting position yet, we’ll see how fall camp goes and who progresses well.” (From @AD3378): “Kevin Moore with Athens Messenger. You seem to feel your skill players will negate your line’s lack of experience. Does this mean we can expect you to build your team towards skill players going forward?” tsweezy: “That is the plan for this year, but it is not my personal philosophy in general no. I came in last year pretty late in the cycle so had to work with what we had on hand, and it so happens that we are much deeper at the skill positions. We actually do lose a lot of senior leadership along the line and are really hoping some players take the next step to becoming serious contributors in the future. With that said, I do believe the line plays a major role in winning games and that is probably the biggest focus of this upcoming recruiting cycle as we are just really thin there at the moment.” (AD3378): “Is momentum the key to this year? Or do you feel your team can hit the rest button when necessary?” tsweezy: “It’s going to be a tough balancing act. We ended last year really hot and I think that pushed us over the top in a few games. However, I think it’s too much to ask a team to perform that way over the whole season. You also need to start thinking about the physical toll it takes on the players bodies. As I mentioned earlier, we are a little thin depth-wise this season so it’s going to be tricky to find a balance between keeping the fire hot and staying competitive vs. perhaps downshifting a bit for some easier games. I do know that we scheduled a slightly easier OOC schedule for just that reason though, so hoping it pays off.” (From @johnkirk): “Coach tsweezy, Tim Jasper from the Morning Sun. Your team's winning streak to finish the season captured the heart of the college football world. What would you say, if there was just one, was the moment that caused your team to go from a winless season to bowl eligible. What was the spark that turned it all around it your opinion? Did it come from a coach, a player, a fan?” tsweezy: “I will say when I came in, the locker room was the lowest I’ve ever seen. Rynearson stadium was nearly empty in our last game, we were winless and getting pasted, and it really looked like a lost season with having to replace head coaches halfway through the year. In these situations though, you really have to get the players to mentally believe in themselves before you start seeing results. I walked in to my first meeting as head coach and laid it out just like that. I told the team that things looked bad, but I knew they weren’t quitters and they had the talent to win games. I had a separate meeting for the team captains, including C Atkins, QB Shaw, and DE Whitten. We had a long frank discussion about how they had kind of lost their excitement and motivation with all the losing and malaise around the program. We spent hours discussing why they liked football, and they told me how important it was to them that they support the team and try to pull through before they graduated. Remember, the seniors on this team were being recruited when EMU was winning double digit games under coach @Tammath. They wanted to bring that standard back and once they identified their goals, I stepped back and let them lead by example in game prep and practice. Of course, we also switched up our gameplans and made some depth chart adjustments to put the team in the best position to win, but I firmly believe that it was that leadership from our captains that changed the whole attitude of the team, and I am deeply appreciative of them. Hopefully that continues through to this year now that they have a completely blank slate for a successful season.” (From @npklemm): “Randall Fitzsimmons, Star Press. Your team had an incredible turn around last season. How do you keep that momentum flowing into 2022?” tsweezy: “Just taking that memory of success and using it as a motivator all off-season to improve. It flows from the top, and with how good senior leadership we have in QB Shaw and ILB Julien Rinehart we hope the rest of the team steps up and follows that example. I think we have a lot of confidence now in our abilities that should help when we get into the meat of our schedule.” I think nearly half of our starters will be seniors next season and with that much experience, and knowing it’s their last year in Ypsilanti, I expect they will be highly motivated to go out on a high note.” (npklemm): “You do replace quite a few seniors. How do you replace their talent and experience?” tsweezy: “By my count, we are losing 3 starters on offense and 4 on defense, plus our starting kicker and punter. As I mentioned earlier, we have some great incoming freshman on special teams. I have faith that we cultivate a “next-man-up” mentality and I think the backups will be ready for a starting role. In fact, SS Ibrahima Griggs should finally get a chance to show out on defense in addition to return duties this year. We will miss DE Kyle Whitten and might need to look at our scheme to create pressure this season. Overall, the only position that I really worry about is center. Brian Atkins did a fantastic job here, and so far this off-season we haven’t had anybody step up who can easily replace him. This is my challenge to the team, that is a key position on the offense, and if nobody wants to run away with it we may need to juggle the entire line to compensate.” Moderator: “That concludes our time for today. Thank you, everyone.”
  7. Moderator: “Day six of MAC Media Days brings us to the Ball State Cardinals. Ball State concluded the 2021 season with a 5-7 record and finished 4-4 in MAC play. In his first season with the Cardinals, Coach npklemm took a team that finished 1-11 the previous three straight seasons and brought them within just one win of playing their second bowl game in program history. With that, I welcome to the stage Coach npklemm of Ball State.” @npklemm: “We are very excited to get back on the field and start winning games again. We are going to be a young team and there will be growing pains associated with them, but those youngsters have a ton of potential and I can't wait to get them out there. We don't have an easy schedule, but we certainly feel like we can get back to Bowl Season for the first time since 2016. We have a few guys on offense that are going to shoulder a lot of the weight. Damani Laws takes over for Austin Laws at Running Back and I think he's going to be a star in the NFL. He gets a chance to let the world know who he is. Sebastian Amato and Steven Moya were starter last season, but we need them to step up in a big way this year to help out whichever QB wins the job. Speaking about QBs, Ron Kemp and Leonard McIntosh have started to pull away from the crowd but not from each other. At this point, I'm not going to name a starter as either guy can run the offense and one isn't separating themselves from the other. But, one of those guys will win the job. Defensively, we are going to start Geno Atkins at Free Safety over Eddie McGill. Eddie has been great for us and will continue to be great for us, but we just feel like Atkins brings us more at the position and we are trotting out true freshmen at CB, so they'll need all the help they can get behind them. Gregory Wilkins is coming off of his red-shirt and start as the Will LB in our 3-4 Scheme. He has a ton of potential and I think he'll come up big for us this season. We feel this team will be a bunch of fun to watch and I'm insanely excited to get this season underway. Ball State is starting to rise, and I think we'll take the next step forward this season.” Moderator: “First question goes to the person on the right there.” (From @johnkirk): “Coach npklemm, Tim Jasper from the Morning Sun. As Central Michigan certainly knew last year, having a young team can be exciting but also a nervous time for any team. But even though few in number, upperclassmen leaders are essential to a team's success. Are there some seniors on your team who have taken up this mantle in a visible way yet, even if they aren't projected to be starters?” npklemm: “Absolutely, one guy who comes to mind is Troy Odom. He was brought in under a different administration that favored his play style, and we've kinda gone away from that and put him in an odd position. But, he has fully committed to what we're doing and has been integral to getting these guys up to speed. We owe him quite a bit as a coaching staff.” (From @AD3378): “Kevin Moore, Athens Messenger. When it comes to recruiting landscape, how much do you feel the need to branch outside of the Midwest for your talent?” npklemm: “Well, the Midwest crowded. There are 4 teams in Indiana, 2 in Illinois, 3 in Kentucky, 5 in Michigan, and 8,000 in Ohio. So there are a bunch of schools competing for relatively few recruits. So we feel that Florida, Georgia, Texas, and California offer us great opportunities to find those hidden gems and get those kids up here to Muncie.” (From @darkage): “Landrum Vickers, Akron Beacon Journal. What are your expectations going into the 2022 season?” npklemm: “I expect to go Bowling. We plan on going to a bowl game every season. I expect to win the Bronze Stalk. I expect these young guys to get better throughout the season and keep us competitive in every game.” (darkage): “Who do you have your eye on going into the 2022 recruiting season?” npklemm: “There is a ton of Offensive Talent in Indiana, landing those guys would be great. But in general, we're looking for guys who are willing to come to the MAC and help us rebuild this program. That's gonna take guys with high character and grit. We want tough guys who aren't afraid of getting their hands dirty.” (From @tsweezy): “Troy Burgett, Detroit Free Press. Coach, coming into this season it seems like Ball State has been a bit stuck in mediocrity, unable to break through and make a serious run in the division. With a lot of teams in the conference having more talent on their rosters, what are you planning to do to counteract that? Do you think it’s a long term recruiting effort or will there be training and gameplan changes to put you over the top?” npklemm: “Well, coaching certainly matters. You can have all the talent in the world, but if you can't coach the kids, that doesn't matter. I don't think we're years away from competing for the division. I'm confident in our coaching staff's ability to get these kids to win games. But recruiting is important, you need the right kind of players for what we want to do.” Moderator: “Thanks for the questions, everyone. That’s all the time we have.”
  8. Moderator: “Today, our focus at 2022 MAC Media Days will be on the Central Michigan Chippewas. Central Michigan finished the 2021 season with an 8-5 record and 4-4 in conference play. The Chippewas finished a great season with their first bowl win in a 31-27 victory over Florida International in the Boca Raton Bowl. Head Coach johnkirk has led Central Michigan the last two seasons and went from two to eight wins between seasons. Please welcome now the head coach of the Central Michigan Chippewas, johnkirk.” @johnkirk: “Hello everyone, I'm thrilled to be here on this lovely day representing, along with all the other great coaches here, the MAC, one of the toughest conferences. I'm preparing to take over for a third season at Central Michigan University. After a difficult first year, last year's performance has been a marked improvement surpassing everyone's expectations. It's been amazing to watch guys like Byron Suggs and Joseph Aikman go from wide eyed freshman to leaders of the team. It's been great to see upperclassmen like Rory Bolin and Sebastian Simpson step up as leaders, and to be recognized for it not just in Mt. Pleasant but conference wide as well. Seeing a team start uncertain about itself in the beginning of the year to the team winning the school's first ever bowl game has been truly awe-inspiring, and I'm thrilled to be a part of it. We've grown a lot in the last year and I think we have the talent and drive to grow ever more. I've been impressed with our redshirts this year and I think many of them will have a major impact on our team next year and beyond. But the best part of my job is seeing these guys build up to their potential. If last year is any indication, I think we will have another fantastic year and continue to surprise people, including a few undecided recruits possibly. To conclude thank you for your time. I'm thrilled to be a part of the Central Michigan family and the MAC, one of the most exciting conferences in college football. I open the floor to questions.” Moderator: “We’ll begin the questions with Bart over here.” (From @tsweezy): “Bart Ryans, Ann Arbor News. Coach, I think we’re all looking forward to the offensive production this year with so many great skill players. However, looking at the defense, ILB and Safety are looking pretty thin this year and downright anemic next year with all the upperclassmen leaving. Is this an imbalance you’re looking to fix in the recruiting cycle, or are you going to lean into it and try to win games in a track meet?” johnkirk: “Thank you Bart. Those positions are certainly top targets for us come next recruiting cycle. With the allure of Michigan, Michigan State and a playoff bound Western Michigan, we focused on guys who really wanted to be a Chippewa and wanted the allure of playing for our unique culture. We've found some solid players but fewer players than what would be considered a standard recruiting class. Even still we have some exciting players coming up in those spots. Louis Dobbins has made huge strides during his redshirt season and should be a big contributor very soon. ILB we are looking forward to having players like, of course, Graham Frye, but redshirt James Burke and Justice Noriega. I will concede however we may be exploring a change from the 3-4 to the 4-3 either this season or the next.” (From @AD3378): “Kevin Moore, Athens Messenger. How much is your offense leaning on Byron Suggs this year?” johnkirk: “Thank you Kevin, Byron was the cornerstone of our offense last season and will for all intents and purposes will be for some time. However, I've been impressed with the progress of Daveed Huff. I don't want to ordain him the starter already, but I can assure you he will see significant playing time in the coming year and has the potential to light up the college football world. Expect a much more potent running game from us this year.” (From @darkage): “Landrum Vickers with the Akron Beacon Journal. Will you repeat last year and win another bowl game?” johnkirk: “That is the goal and always the goal. It goes without saying our players would love to return to the post season, but I think they are hungry for not just spending a winter week in Florida or elsewhere warm, but perhaps going up against a power five opponent and proving themselves as a forced to be reckoned with. I think we are fully capable of that next season.” (darkage): “Who are some of the strengths and weaknesses of your defense?” johnkirk: “I don't want to use the word weakness, but I think our linebacker corp will have a lot to prove in the coming season with the senior departures of Dwayne Boone and Bryce Sewell. But I do think they next men up are up for this challenge. Linebacker is very much a position of character, one willing to exploit an open gap, take a risk and make the big play with only seconds to react. While outside eyes our low on their skill, I like our chances with this group for next season.” (From @npklemm): “Nic Katz, Indianapolis Star. Byron Suggs looks to be the next big QB star in college. How do you keep him grounded and focused on football?” johnkirk: “Thank you Nic, Byron has been a professional from almost the moment he set foot on the campus. I regularly put him up against A'Shawn Ellison his redshirt season to let him know that while he is a very good football player, there are bigger fish out there. He knew that going to CMU would mean less cameras on him than if he went to a power five school just by nature, but I think he relishes that chance. He will have to be the absolute both on the field and off to earn the admiration of the NFL. I think he is poised to do that, especially after his huge growth as a player and as person last season.” (npklemm): “You finished 7-5 last season, how do you improve upon that?” johnkirk: “I'm happy with 7-5 but behind that were some painful losses. We lost both of the Michigan Trophy games, a loss to UTSA that I chalk up to too many youthful mistakes, and other issues we have to address in the off season and beyond. We have a much tougher out of conference schedule than last season and if we make those same mistakes, we won't even sniff seven wins. I want our players fighting in each and every game and playing smart, tough football at all times. I want us playing like we played against Toledo last season in every game. But it's not just what I want, it's what the players want. If they want it, we can exceed that amount of wins this season.” Moderator: “That concludes this session. Thank you, Coach.”
  9. AD3378

    [2018] Week 1 IRL Discussion

    1) Clemson 2) Wisconsin 3) USC 4) TCU
  10. Moderator: “Today, we’ll be focusing on the Toledo Rockets. Toledo has been in the running with Western Michigan for West Division supremacy over the last three seasons including winning the division in 2019. Head coach deathcpo has been at the helm since the beginning in the 2016 season and has been the standard bearer for longevity in the conference. Please welcome to the stage Coach deathcpo.” @deathcpo: “Toledo has a lot to look forward to in 2022. Senior RB Gabe Ciamo is our leader offense who will be running behind one of the most talented offensive lines in the country. QB is a big question mark coming into the season and we will rely heavily on the run game and experienced leadership on the line. Defensively we have some holes as we graduate two of the most talented DBs to ever play for Toledo. Again, we are going to rely on our experienced defensive line to give our younger guys in the secondary a chance to make some plays. We have a good team and we will be competing for our conference first and foremost. 2022 is the year Toledo will claim that elusive MAC championship. Thanks.” Moderator: “We’ll begin taking questions. Remember to state your name and media outlet. Over here on the left.” (From @AD3378): “Shawn Estes, Columbus Dispatch. You mentioned the questions at quarterback. There’s been quite a QB competition of sorts. How has that battle shaped up?” deathcpo: “Tough to say at the moment. We are still looking at potential change in the offensive scheme we've run since the 2017 season. We are looking at how are guys are performing in different looks. It’s still really too close to say for certain, but it’s a 3 way race right now between Baughman, Grubbs and Pierre.” (AD3378): “Kevin Moore, Athens Messenger. This team looks to be the most talented in the MAC on the defensive side of the ball. You talked about the line and secondary, but what are you seeing with your linebackers?” deathcpo: “Mike LB Ryan Carr is our anchor for sure. Generally speaking it’s a unit we are a bit thin at. We are looking at possible converting a safety or starting some younger guys, particularly Blake Gauthier at OLB. We are going to lean on our Line all year and we need those guys to make some plays and opens lanes for our LBs.” (From @npklemm): “Randall Fitzsimmons, Star Press. As the longest tenured MAC Coach, how far has the conference come since 2016?” deathcpo: “Light years, the MAC was the laughing stock of the country in our inaugural year. If you go back and dig up media from back then you'll see what I mean. But WMU has really put us on the map with their playoff bids in performance in recent years. And I feel like I’ve had a lot of success myself at bringing top level talent that was otherwise destined for the B1G. We are on our way to Power 6 status for certain.” (npklemm): “Nic Katz, Indianapolis Star. Do you think this team can take down Western Michigan and get to the playoffs?” deathcpo: “Without a doubt yes. We have the talent, we have the experience, we just need to put it all together. We had a strong start last season and fizzled, that’s been a common theme under my tenure and it’s not one I’m proud of. We need to stay focused and play hard every week and we will be champs.” (From @johnkirk): “Coach deathcpo, Tim Jasper from the Morning Sun. A stellar senior class is departing from Toledo this season, so you'll have a number of new starters with something to prove. Giovanni Baughman, Vincent McCabe and Quinton Wilkerson all jump out at us as hungry players. How have they been in practice and do you think they will be able to embrace this challenge?” deathcpo: “Well Baughman hasn’t quite locked down his spot yet but he’s looking good for it. Not starting McCabe last season was one of the hardest personnel decisions i had to make and i think it was the right one. He learned a lot last season and has improved immensely and i think he is ready to be an instant impact player on a very talented line. Wilkerson is the biggest question mark of the group. He looks good in practice but we haven’t seen him at game speed yet. We need him to be a ball hawk this season if we want to win the conference.” (From @darkage): “Could you name some key offensive and defensive players that stood out to you this offseason?” deathcpo: “On offense obviously we have our star RB Gabe Ciamo who’s become a household name here in Toledo. Aside from him I'm excited to see WR Prince Malone this season who has improved so much this off season. Our whole o-line, TEs included all look great and I think is our strongest unit on the team. Defensively DE Dwane Briggs and ILB Ryan Carr are both team captains and defensive leaders. They are both going to key to our success on defense this year. Also keep an eye out for our ballhawk at FS Singleton. He’s looking really good in practice right now.” (darkage): “Your biggest game will arguably be against WMU this year. How do you plan to stop the talented football team?” deathcpo: “No doubt about it that WMU is the team to beat in the MAC right now. I don’t wanna give away too much but that game needs to be won in the trenches no way around that. The good news is we have the guys to win that battle.” (From @tsweezy): “Bart Ryans, Ann Arbor News. As I’m sure you’re aware, Toledo has one of the most talented teams in the country, and on paper they certainly look like the team to beat in the MAC. What do you think is the reason they’ve been falling short of a championship, and what will you do differently this year to turn it around?” deathcpo: “Lack of focus from the coaching staff. I accept full responsibility for that short coming. We have had the talent now for a few years and the MAC championship alludes us every year and at the end of the day that responsibility is on me. I need to stay focused, keep the staff focused and the team focused each and every week. Take one week off and you can lose to anybody and nobody knows that better than me.” Moderator: “Thank you for the questions. This concludes Coach’s time at the podium.”
  11. Moderator: “Day three of the 2022 edition of MAC Media Days will feature the reigning MAC champion Western Michigan Broncos. The Broncos have set the standard for success in the conference the last three years with three straight 10-win seasons, the conference’s first appearance in the College Football Playoff and Top 15 finishes in each of the last two seasons. Western Michigan will be under new leadership with @Jieret now in Seattle to coach Washington. We wish Jieret good luck with his new opportunity and look forward to seeing Jieret and @Kirby battle each other in future Pac 12 title games. After their search concluded, Western Michigan introduced pskeate as the new head coach in Kalamazoo. Pskeate was formerly head coach at UNLV for the last four games of their season. I know he’s eager to get up here, so please welcome Coach pskeate.” @Pskeate: "First of all, I would like to thank the wonderful people and administration at WMU for giving me a chance at a great program and school. It is certainly a leap of faith to take an unproven coach on with such recent success. I hope to build on the program’s success here and maintain WMU as a top tear program. Like every year here we will expect greatness from our players and our coaching staff. We expect to win and compete for not only a conference title but a spot in the playoffs. I think we have the talent and determination to do that. Off the field our players will continue to be leaders in the classroom and the community. Our "No Bronco Left Behind" tutoring program will keep our players eligible and ready for a successful career after graduation for those not going on to the NFL. I am looking forward to a great year; I have a lot to be excited about here in Kalamazoo and I hope our fans feel it too.” Moderator: “We’ll take questions for Coach. Please raise your hand. Over there.” (From @darkage): “Steadman Elliot of The Plain Dealer. You have big shoes to fill coming into the 2022 season. How do you plan on filling them?” pskeate: “One toe at a time. Jieret was a great coach, but I think if we focus on doing the little things right we will be able to keep this success going." (darkage): “Your biggest game will arguably be against Toledo this year. How do you plan to stop the talented football team?” pskeate: “Well I won't give away any gameplans this early, but we just need to focus on the things that we can control like bring consistent effort and attitude to each game and practice." (From @johnkirk): “Coach pskeate, Tim Jasper from the Morning Sun. On behalf of our paper and the Central Michigan community, welcome to the MAC! You've probably fielded many questions regarding the massive shoes you have to fill at Western Michigan. But we at the Sun are curious, how are the players handling the move? Are they adjusting to your coaching style and the other changes this offseason? How has that process been going, and will it be a seamless transition into 2022?” pskeate: “The players are great, very receptive to our schemes and plans. I think that is a testament to their character. I think it’s hard to hope for a seamless transition from such a tremendous coach to a relatively unproven one but we are very excited about the opportunities here." (From @tsweezy): “Troy Burgett, Detroit Free Press. Congratulations on stepping in to a program with such storied success. While this year may have been slightly disappointing, it seems as though many impact players are returning. Do you aim to just continue what Jieret had going with respect to gameplans and roster building, or are you going to be putting your own spin on things moving forward?” pskeate: “I think you have to put your own spin on things. I can't try to be like Jieret or anyone else for that matter. I need to be authentic to who I am, and I think the players appreciate that. I am very excited about the team we have and am looking forward to another great season of Bronco Football." (From @AD3378): “Kevin Moore, Athens Messenger. Jieret left quite the impression with Bronco fans. How much pressure are you feeling from the community since taking the position?” pskeate: “Honestly the community has been great! I think everyone here is very invested in the football program and know what it takes to be a great program. Of course taking over from a coach like that will be tough but comparisons and what ifs won't help us win games moving forward." (AD3378): “Defensively, do you feel there’s enough experience to bring the young guys’ level of play up?” pskeate: “We are expecting a lot from our young players, but we expect a lot from all of our players. That is part of our paradigm. We are here to be the best we can be, and you don't get to be the best without being challenged to improve. We are looking forward to a lot of challenges and a lot of improvement." (AD3378): “Shawn Estes, Columbus Dispatch. How confident are you you’ll be able to keep up the success in recruiting?” pskeate: “We have a consistent message and a great program to sell here at WMU. I have no doubt that we will bring in great players and great young men." (From @npklemm): “Nic Katz, Indy Star. Western has won the conference the past two seasons, what's the blueprint to make that a three-peat?” pskeate: “Win the day. We can't talk about winning conference; we have to talk about winning each play, each day, and each game. We need to compete for everything." (npklemm): “DeSean Madison is clearly the face of the offense, but how important is Chase Sims to your success?” pskeate: "I think you'll be seeing more of Chase Sims than you might think. DeSean is of course going to be the headline but Chase is our leader and will need to control the game.” Moderator: “That’ll be the last of the questions.”
  12. Moderator: “Hello, everyone. Day two of MAC Media Days will focus on the Ohio Bobcats. Last season, Ohio was led for much of the year by @Chad_Michael before he departed towards the end of the season. @AD3378 was hired the week of their Miami rivalry game. His team then went on to win their last two games including the Bahamas Bowl, 28-20 over Marshall. With that, I introduce Coach @AD3378 of the Ohio Bobcats.” @AD3378: “Good morning, everyone. I’m happy to be here in Detroit to talk about our 2022 Bobcats. It’s been a good period adjusting to my first full season in the downtime. After some changes with the staff, we’ve sat down and evaluated what we have for this coming season and beyond. We’re certainly more confident about the short-term future at the moment. You all know our quarterback Austin Lowe who led conference freshmen in many passing categories while leading the team to eight wins. We hope to give him more opportunities to make big plays. He’ll have some great targets to work with like Aaron Thibodeaux, Jordan Barnes, and Caleb Holman. Austin’s had a good offseason and we’re looking forward to seeing how he handles the changes we’re implementing. Having Jeffrey Flowers will help keep balance in the system. Defensively, there are holes to fill. We’ll be anxious to see how those come together. Overall, defense was above average at the end of the season. We’ll need to be much better to help take pressure off the offense. Last year, this team had to deal with challenges under a volatile, short-lived regime. That’s come to an end. As I stated when I first arrived to Athens, my ultimate goal is to bring some stability for a little while and build a foundation that future coaches will be able to follow. Part of that includes winning MAC championships. We made sure to schedule some tough competition out of conference so we can test ourselves. We’ll be facing three Power 5 teams including an in-state series with Ohio State that the players, staff, and I are all extremely excited about. Finally, I want to say that I’m grateful for you guys covering our respective teams. Without your coverage, the lack of exposure would certainly hurt our chances of competing with the big guns in the NCAA.” Moderator: “It’s now time for questions. Yes, gentleman in the second row.” (From @johnkirk): “Coach AD3378, Tim Jasper from the Morning Sun. The Ohio – Ohio State game has already been circled as a must watch, at least by our paper. Could you elaborate a little more about how you are preparing for the in-state rivalry game and how you expect your team to do?” AD3378: “Well Tim, I’m quite frankly very excited about all of our non-conference opponents. Vanderbilt, UNLV, and Miami will also be some great match-ups. The fact is we’re getting prepared to face Vandy in early September, and that’s the primary focus right now. I’ll say this, Ohio State will be a great challenge for our team, and it’ll be a wonderful showcase for the state of Ohio.” (From @darkage): “Landrum Vickers, Akron Beacon Journal. You said part of it is winning MAC championships. Do you think your team is capable of winning one this year?” AD3378: “Certainly I have confidence in my guys to win a MAC title. I would think every coach that comes here has that mindset. I’m still well aware we’ll have a tough grind to get there, but you better believe that our goal is to get back here to Detroit. Our players have the belief they can get here, and I have faith in their ability. It’s just a matter of execution. (darkage): “Who are some star players on the defensive side of the ball?” AD3378: “I mean you guys certainly know about players like Shawn Tillman and Brady Whitaker. Personally, I think a guy like James Adam gets overlooked because all some people want to look at is future NFL prospects. You look at last year and what he did opposite Chase Woodson in picking up 6.5 sacks. Obviously, we’re also very excited about his counterpart for this year in Nicholas Blackwell.” (From @tsweezy): “Bart Ryans, Ann Arbor News. It looks like you’re stepping up your expectations and competition pretty sharply. With that said, a lot of very talented players just graduated, and we haven’t seen a whole lot from their backups. That stretch of coaching turmoil seems to have hurt your team depth. How do you plan on building that back up, especially with so many Ohio based teams to fight on the recruiting trail?” AD3378: “First of all, it’s true coaching blunders on the recruiting front put this team in a bit of a tough spot, but there’s enough to work with moving forward this season. It’s all going to be all about making sure our guys are doing what they need to do to improve and execute when game time comes around. Second, if you’re a coach and don’t hold your team to high expectations to win, I don’t know what you’re doing in this line of work. As for recruiting, the fact is Ohio is one of the biggest fields of talent to choose from and the place to come in the Midwest. We’re doing ourselves a disservice if we’re not competing for the recruits we need on a year-in-year-out basis in our own backyard. We’re not going to be intimidated by Ohio State, Cincinnati, Toledo, Akron, or any teams from outside the state. I was extremely disappointed my predecessor’s inability to pull in more quality players from our own backyard. My goal is to put an end to that.” (From @npklemm): “Nic Katz, Indianapolis Star. Austin Lowe had a good season last year. Does he have to have a great season this year for your team to take the next step?” AD3378: “I think Austin had a great season last year. At the end of the day, the running game has to come together to take pressure off of Austin. The defense also needs to dominate the game from start to finish. We can’t get complacent from a good start early, and we can’t get into a giant hole early. Austin isn’t the whole wheel. He’s a spoke just like others around him on offense.” (npklemm): “Who are you looking to lead your defensive unit?” AD3378: “As far as leaders, Shawn is our defensive captain. What I’d like to see are guys like Antonio Holder, regardless if they’re starting, stepping up to help the younger guys out. Of course, Jack Cowan is starting his first year at the Mike linebacker. I want to see him step up and be a young, vocal leader for the defense since we’re spread a little thin.” Moderator: “That’s all the time we have.” AD3378: “Thanks for the time, guys.”
  13. Moderator: "Good morning, and welcome everyone to the first day of the 2022 MAC Media Days in Detroit, Michigan. We have eight MAC coaches who will be here each day through next Saturday to give you a statement and answer questions on their respective teams. Teams not represented at this event include Buffalo, Kent State, Miami, and Northern Illinois. Today will feature the Bowling Green Falcons. Bowling Green finished 2021 with an 8-5 overall record with a 4-4 mark that tied them for second in the East division. The Falcons were the first of many MAC teams to win their bowl game with a 31-20 victory over South Alabama in the Camellia Bowl in Montgomery, Alabama. After the successful season, Coach @Kirby left to take the head coaching position at Utah. We here at the MAC wish Coach Kirby the best of luck in the Pac 12. Bowling Green hired @ecnirp to be the new head coach. With that, welcome to the stage Coach ecnirp of the Bowling Green Falcons.” @ecnirp: “Hello everyone, I'm Ecnirp. I've just been hired on as the head coach here at Bowling Green for the foreseeable future. First off, I understand that after the great success of last season, I am stepping into some big shoes. Coach Kirby led this team to great places last year, and our goal is that of continued success. I'm going to do my best to continue to build on a winning culture here and hopefully progress this team even further. I'll open it up for questions.” Moderator: “We’ll now take your questions. Be sure to stand and give your name and affiliation when you get the microphone.” (From @johnkirk): “Coach ecnirp, Tim Jasper from the Morning Sun. On behalf of our paper and the Central Michigan community, welcome to the MAC! Would you be willing to share any comments about your running game? You have a well-balanced group of running backs behind three NFL caliber prospects. Do you have anyone in mind that might stand out or will it be more of a running back by committee? How are your running backs treating the competition for the starting spot?” ecnirp: “It's a blessing to have the kind of running room we have, a lot of very competitive guys who want to win the job. That competition is only a good thing for our group and will only push everyone to be the best, so it's great to have. As of now I'm not going to comment on who I think will win the job, but I do prefer to have a lead back versus a committee. But again, if it's a tight race, I might play a few. A hot hand will come out of that and we can ride on that." (From @tsweezy): “Hello Coach ecnirp. Bart Ryans, Ann Arbor News. First question. As a new coach stepping into a tough G5 division, what are your ideas on how to continue the success Bowling Green has had?” ecnirp: “Yeah last season was huge for this school, getting the old head coach a very nice new position. So because of that we've got a good group here who expect to win. We're going to do our best to continue that success, but obviously it won't be easy." (tsweezy): “Will losing QB Eddie Connelly affect the offense much?” ecnirp: “I think it definitely will affect the offense. How much is yet to be seen, I think we've got options at quarterback. We'll be okay there.” (From @npklemm): “Randall Fitzsimmons, Star Press. Who needs to step up for you offensively in order to maintain your success from last season?” ecnirp: “As I've said in my previous comments, I like our run game and our quarterback room. But I don't know who stands out as a pass catcher yet. That'll be a competition here in camp and I hope somebody stands out." (npklemm): “Do you think you can win the division this season?” ecnirp: “We're going to take it week by week. Try to put out your best foot each game, and hopefully we'll be sitting well at the end." (From @AD3378): “Kevin Moore, Athens Messenger. Where are you seeing concerning gaps in your roster for this season?” ecnirp: “As I said, our receiving group is a question mark to me. There are some good guys there but we need someone to make an impact. It's an open spot, somebody just has to grab it. I love who we have starting at our interior offensive line, but we'll see how depth shakes out there, too. Depth on the edge of our defensive line is also something I'm going to keep an eye on." (AD3378): “Phil Woods with the Sentinel Tribune. The MAC East feels like a free-for-all this year. What’s the biggest catalyst for a trip to the MAC title game?” ecnirp: “Winning games I guess. But seriously, as I said before, it's week to week. Just keep pushing each week and we'll see what happens at the end." (From @darkage): “Landrum Vickers, Akron Beacon Journal. What are your expectations going into the 2022 season?” ecnirp: “I'd like to see good production from key players, good development, and hopefully win some games along the way. I always expect good things, but I'm not going to make any promises yet." (darkage): “Who are your standout players who have been showing up this off-season?” ecnirp: “Uh, I'll go with long snapper Gregory Dubose. Really showing a tight spiral on those snaps, kid could be a QB while bent over. An absolute beauty." Moderator: “That’s all we have time for today. Thank you, Coach.”
  14. That would be awesome. Possible solution: what if junior recruits were listed just like senior recruits with skill and potential publicly available to all users but the numbers could alter (some slightly, some drastically, some positive, some negative) between their junior and senior years? On top of that, schools could get points toward recruiting junior prospects, but they don't know just how they'll turn out their senior season. It would be a risk-reward system for those trying to get a leg up. Would that be possible?