Football players preparing to play football on the football field (and notes)


Prognostications are a nice divergence as we await football season. Media meetings whet our appetite for the game we love...and practice (not a game) tells us we're getting close, very close to something real and tangible in the college football world being upon us.

Danny Hope's second camp began today with unusually-temperate weather as August camp kicked off with low humidity and temps in the 80s...a nice way to start it off. The media was allowed into practice for a half hour- better than nothing, I guess, and better than just hearing about practice via Hope's reports. Last season, we pretty much heard that everyone was awesome in camp, but no one got to see just how great these guys were except the coaching staff and players. So I'm glad Hope's not completely continuing that tradition that marked Tiller's final years on campus. A bit of transparency ain't so bad.

Here are a few highlights from the first day back:
-Hope thinks the team looks very fast and talented...even in the positions (DB, specifically) where there's not a ton of experience.

-Everybody likes Justin Siller's potential at WR...Here's something to think about:
We could regularly see a group of receivers/TEs like this: Cortez Smith (6'2" 180) Keith Smith (6'2" 226), Justin Siller (6'4" 220) and Kyle Adams (6'5" 251). That's significant size, solid hands, decent speed and really tough match-ups for a small defensive backfield to handle. Then, if DBs start attempting to jump routes, we'll see a little O.J. Ross or Gary Bush sprinkled in...I like this receiving corps quite a bit.

-Ralph Bolden's not doing too much at this point...no surpise.

-Ryan Kerrigan and Gerald Gooden are good.

Even if we only get morsels at this point, this is info that I love to gobble up...Just 27 days until kickoff.

Feeling Old
I had a birthday last week that places me in the dead-center of my 30s...but that didn't make me feel as old as watching Jerry Rice and Emmit Smith get placed in the hall of fame. I'm now to the point where each year, the NFL season is kicked off by having at least a couple of players inducted to the HOF that I remember watching in college or getting drafted.

Touchy
I don't read a ton of other blogs- heck, I don't even get over to H&R often enough. But, I read that the Uof M faithful really didn't like Danny Hope's comments during the media days about Purdue not having a General Studies major while every school in the conference, except two, do offer such a course of study. Problem is, Hope really didn't directly point at Michigan in this case. No matter.

MGoBlog's post smacks of great insecurity here, but worse, their commenters sound bitchy and are making it tougher and tougher for me to continue to respect UM's fanbase. I've had a few co-workers and friends who graduated from Michigan...as a general rule, I used to like Michigan and its fans. I've always dismissed stories I heard of them being a bunch of whiny rich kids...but they sure sound like it in this case.

Sure, they're upset that the Roy Roundtree/Rich Rodriguez era has the Wolverines 0-2 versus Purdue...that's frustrating when your program is one of the most-storied in college sports. You're supposed to be one of the most-talented teams in the America, are paying a coach a boatload, kicked a pretty-damned good (and clean to boot) coach to get to the current head man, yet can't win the games you're supposed to...can't even make it to the post season. Yeah, they're angry about Hope calling DickRod to the carpet, understandable too. But read some of the comments...there's a lot of vitriol in Ann Arbor for Purdue and specifically, Danny Hope.

Hey, I don't get into the business of hating people...even cheating coaches who steal players in the 11th hour, that stuff happens. But, the more I read about Rodriguez and the more I read from Michigan fans, the more I think they deserve eachother.

Quick look at practice (Day 2)

The time to make this right, is now.

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