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Texas Tech Red Raider Notes for 08-19-07

DTN News:

I spent my entire day cutting down another very large tree yesterday. Huge shout-out to my father-in-law, my brother-in-law and two great friends who helped. The diameter of this tree was about 2.5 feet, it was gangly and it was close to a neighbor's home. The tree came down only damaging some of the fence, which I consider a huge victory. I'm just glad I tackled this project in August and not on a tremendous football weekend in the fall.

I'm a little tired this morning, but the Texas Tech season rolls on and so must DTN.

Texas Tech Football:

LAJ's Don Williams delves into the weakside linebacker battle with Blake Collier and Julius Howard. Don acknowledges that both Chad Hill and Marlon Williams are battling for the starting position, while Collier and Howard scrap for playing time. Collier admits that he's much more comfortable playing this year:

"I'm definitely a lot further along than last year," Collier said after Saturday's practice at Jones AT&T Stadium. "I'm starting to be able to just play out there, instead of worrying about what I'm supposed to do or where I'm supposed to be. Now that I have a little more knowledge on the field, I can just go to where I'm supposed to be and actually play."

I've always liked Collier's ability, but love the fact that he flat out makes plays. Collier is also incredibly fast, so he can make up for mental mistakes because he's got so much speed. Collier feels like the weakside linebacker position is the best fit for him:

I like (the weak side) more," he said. "It's kind of more my position. Bront Bird and somebody like (Kellen) Tillman's more (strong side). They've got a little more weight on them. They'll be covering big tight ends. A&M, UTEP, they've all got tight ends that are 250-plus. You need a little bigger guy on them. I fit more the (weak side) type."

Perhaps the most interesting item of Don's article to note is the following:

Though not starters, both are being given chances to earn playing time this season. Collier runs with the first unit in the team's 65 defense, a package with one linebacker and extra defensive backs, and has been used in the two-linebacker "Cougar" package. Howard gets time in the team's "Jet" pass-rush and the two-linebacker "Bronco" package.

This is something for Red Raider fans to pay particular attention to throughout the season, it will hopefully enable each of us better identify some of the defensive packages.

Howard felt that redshirting benefited his play this year:

"That helped me learn the defense," he said, "because during the season (last year) I played scout team, and during bowl season I played (middle linebacker). It helped me learn the defense from the (weak-side) position and the coverages and different packages."

There are more quotes from Howard in the article as well as a quote from DC Setencich, go check out the whole thing.

As an aside, the moral to this story is this: I'd rather have too much talent than not enough. Not being able to find playing time for talented players is a good problem to have.

Don's Red Raiders Football Notebook focuses on the outstanding play of the secondary, giving mention to LaRon Moore, Pete Richardson, Marcus Bunton, Chris Parker and Daniel Charbonnet. That's all good news.

Don further notes that Danny Amendola may best his previous high of 5 TD's this year and we may see combinations of these guys returning kickoffs: Michael Crabtree and L.A. Reed and Shannon Woods and Jamar Wall. Interesting.

Finally, Don's players of the day: Ra'Jon Henley, Sandy Riley, Phillip Jones, Sam Fehoko, Paul Williams, and Jordy Rowland.

Texas Tech Basketball:

While looking around, I found the the men's 2007-2008 basketball roster. Darryl Ashford and A.J. Hardeman didn't make the roster, which means that they may be headed to a JUCO for a year or two. I'd still love to have these kids play at Texas Tech.