In a hallowed tradition that harkens back to the Days of Yesteryore, at least to the beginning of the cable TV sports era, football coaches meet the media on the eve of fall two-a-days to provide sound bites to whet fans’ appetites.
Bobby Petrino, U of L’s once and once again coach, honored the tradition yesterday.
During which, as is all pigskin mentors’ want, save for Spurrier and Schnellenberger, he essentially said, well, little of substance. (Truth be told, Coach Visor and Coach Pipe don’t provide much real info either, but each in his own way stands above the crowd in his particular entertaining manner.)
It was an interesting interlude anyway, if only to observe if Bobby P was any more relaxed in front of the cameras than his first pass through town as head coach?
Also to see how he handled the questions differently, if at all, than his predecessor, the similarly public-averse Charlie Strong?
The conclusion is yes, Petrino holds his cards close to the vest in a manner not the same as Strong holds his cards close to his chest.
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He is, of course, “excited” that practice is starting.1
Enough of my snide attitude.
One thing that does seem pertinent is that, due to a loosening of NCAA regs, coaches can have more off season contact with the players. That gives them a jump start on spring and fall practices, as well as a better idea how any individuals are acclimating to the system.
Petrino acknowledged how much that has helped this summer. “There’s no question we know more.”
Asked, if after scouting upcoming foes in the ACC, there was stylistically any difference in play than his Arkansas teams faced in the SEC, Petrino said, “There’s more variety of offenses in the ACC than in the SEC.”
He confirmed that depth on the offensive line has been a concern since he got here, but that it is less so than at the beginning of spring practice.
He also indicated that, should freshman Reggie Bonnafon get up to speed as quickly as hoped, he might play a series in the second quarter as backup.
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Guard/center Jake Smith also addressed the assembled scribes.
He did confirm one of my favorite observations. Which is that, year in and year out, offensive linemen tend to be the most articulate guys on the team.
When asked about any differences between the Strong regime and the current one, he talked about how there are certain aspects that must always be present for good results, and “to be successful you can’t deviate from the norm.”
He also mentioned the psychology of the team, when asked if it would be any different without Teddy Bridgewater calling the signals.
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Practices are open to fans today (Tuesday) through Friday.
Newcomers and some selected vets in the mornings at 8:50 a.m. Veterans in the afternoons at 4:20 p.m.
— Seedy K