After some morning reading here are some of thoughts and links following the Gophers first day of practice.
Did Tim transfer with Clint? - there are multiple reports of a "calmer" and "more relaxed" Coach Brewster. While this is hard for me to believe, it must be flabbergasting for others to comprehend. But it is true and I have the quotes below to prove it. Not only is the head coach more comfortable in his surroundings but rather than hyping everyone up with talk of what may or may not happen after Jan. 1st, 2009 he's preaching one play at a time.
There are more quotes below but Kent Youngblood summed it up best...
"In one year, Tim Brewster has gone from talking Pasadena to preaching one play at a time, from pie in the sky to feet on the ground."Adam Weber - "There is a calmness about him."
Willie VanDeSteeg - "He's taken a little step back"
Personally, I like the willingness to admit winning more than the Sun Bowl is a goal worth striving for, but exuding some form of calm and in control demeanor is exactly what a young team needs to see from their head coach.
New Guys I'm Excited to Watch
- Cedrick McKinley is getting more and more ink that he is a physical specimen who will help out that defensive line immediately.
- Simoni Lawrence is currently listed at a starting LB and he should really add some speed and coverage skills to the mid level.
- All defensive backs - pass defense was so bad last year that I'm really excited to see how Tramaine Brock, Traye Simmons and Keanon Cooper help us out in the backfield.
- David Pittman did not make the initial 2-deep but I'm excited to see how he is utilized as a play maker in this offense.
Each player weighs in at the beginning and end of practice to keep track of hydration and other health measures. Nobody dropped double-digit pounds, but it was close. Two Gophers lost nine pounds, while a handful of others were in the seven- and eight-pound range.One afternoon's practice led to the loss of 7-9 pounds?!? Of course that is water weight and most of it will be put back on after some hydration and a healthy meal, but I found it rather interesting.
How the athletic training staff takes care of the athlete's bodies is incredibly high tech and is vitally important to the success of the team, I truly believe that. They and the strength training staff are two of the most unheralded but critical elements of preparing the athlete to perform at the highest possible level.
Missing Some of that 2008 Class - When all was said and done Brewster delivered nearly all of his massive recruiting class. But a couple of the key guys are not going to be Gophers this fall.
- Sam Maresh was our best defensive recruit and is not playing due to open heart surgery. Clearly not Brewster's fault, but I was looking forward to seeing him play in 2008.
- Spencer Reeves is one of the Skyline 4, which currently is only the Skyline 3. The LB has not yet qualified and the staff is anticipating he'll be at the U in January.
- Vincent Hill was expected to at the very least add depth to the WR position and possibly moved to DB to help out that thin area of need. Who knows how effective he would have been but he was a 4-star recruit and his inability to gain entrance is disappointing.
- Tim McGee was going to be a defensive line addition and also did not qualify. This one doesn't concern me as we knew at least a couple kids were not going to make it and JUCO transfers are always a bigger risk, but I'm listing him as one that got away.