Odds and Ends
Only Three Posts Today: Including this diatribe, we've got a look at both offensive and defensive lines later today. I'll also be finishing up the previews of Texas Tech opponents either this week or this weekend. I've got a ton of things to do to get ready for the game week.
What Happens When Your Local Paper Hires A Graduate From Your Rival: K-State fans can't catch a freaking break. Bring On The Cats breaks down the situation of one of the local papers that covers Kansas St. hired a Kansas Jayhawk graduate. Not only that, this new writer also had a Jayhawk fan website and in his writing, he made a number of derogatory remarks about Kansas St. Say what you will about LAJ's Don Williams (who I really like, respect and will stick up for his work if challenged), but Williams is one of us and that is comforting.
Texas Tech Football
Britton and Swindall on Opposite Side of Fence: LAJ's Don Williams expounds on the receiver situation, that SE Edward Britton has stepped up his game, but that IR Tramain Swindall has not. We're talking about the receiver depth chart here, but as Williams and the coaches note, Swindall needs to step up his game:
"When you have a guy, especially a young guy, that has success, you’ve always got to ward off complacency," Riley said. "It’s easy, it’s human nature, especially when you have success at a young age, to take things for granted. There’s been a little bit of that with him."
Riley called sophomore Adam James and redshirt freshman Cornelius Douglas "1A and 1B" at Swindall’s position with Swindall needing to step up to reclaim his spot. Last year, he caught 46 passes for 561 yards – and that was in a backup role, in his first season of college action.
"He’s still going to have opportunities," Riley said, "but he needs to step up and be the player we know he can be and that he knows he can be. I think he will, but it’s like I told him: ‘You dug yourself into this hole, and you’ve got to climb your way out.’ I have every confidence in the world that he’ll battle back, but right now those other two guys give us the best chance to win at that position."
My worry level is about a 7 out of 10. This method of motivation is not new to the coaching staff and as this team becomes more and more successful, the better the players and as the players get better then the competition gets more fierce. If each player isn't willing to step up their game then you'll be left on the sidelines. It's that easy.
As far as Britton is concerned, receivers coach Dennis Simmons is more than pleased:
"I think it started, really, after the Texas game he kind of raised his level of play," Simmons said. "It carried on throughout the bowl, through spring ball and through fall camp thus far."
Texas Tech Football Notebook: LAJ's Don Williams checks in on TE Omar Castillo, who is converting from the defensive side of the ball to tight end and he's currently being utilized as a scout-team tight end per receivers coach Lincoln Riley:
"That’s always been a problem here, never having a scout-team tight end," Riley said. "That’s so important for the defense, with all the big tight ends we have in the Big 12, having a guy that can give you at least some kind of look – not just sticking a receiver there or an (offensive) lineman that doesn’t know anything about running routes."
. . . DE Sandy Riley was injured in practice and as a result, DE Brandon Sharpe is practicing at both DE positions, but was primarily working with DE Daniel Howard. This injury opens the door for DE Ryan Haliburton to get some time . . . the coaching staff is still considering whether to redshirt WR Eric Ward:
"That’s a decision that hasn’t been made yet," wide receivers coach Dennis Simmons said. "Eric Ward is still working hard. That’s a subject that’s still under serious consideration."
Potts Keeps System Moving: FWST's Dwain Price talks with QB Taylor Potts and head coach Mike Leach about Potts learning to be the Texas Tech quarterback, but it wasn't just the on-the-field aspect that Potts learned, but the off-the-field stuff:
"I learned how to deal with certain situations and learned how to handle phases of the team and learned what not to do with the team, and learned how not to be and what people like and what they don’t like and how they like to be treated," Potts said. "I just kind of figured out what he did right and what he was doing wrong, and hopefully put my own kind of personal touch to it.
"But also be cognizant of what I’ve learned over the past few years when I’ve handled certain stuff."
That's refreshing to see, that Potts was and is cognizant of what his eventual role will be and that he's learned from one of the best collegiate passers of all time about what works and what doesn't. Go read the whole thing.
Leach and Bo: I can't remember how I ran across this, but your Captain was on the radio with Sports Talk With Bo, which is a radio station in Arkansas.
EDSBS Gets Its Own Subject Line: EDSBS's Spencer Hall (who is moving to SB Nation!) has two pieces that I think will pique your interest :: "The Detestable Mr. Leach Makes a Devious Wager" and "Screw You Brandon: Aggies to Go Undefeated". The video below was on the Leach post and it got me a tad bit excited, but whatever you do, go read them both and enjoy:
Texas Tech vs Oklahoma St. 2008 (via WildmanZ33)
Scouting the Enemy: Rock M Nation previews the Oklahoma Sooners . . . Burnt Orange Nation looks at the OU defensive line . . . One Bronco Nation Under God (the SB Nation Boise State blog) with an interesting look at whether size matters on the offensive and defensive lines . . . Kansan.com discusses the lack of pass rush with the Kansas Jayhawks . . .