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1309, 2016

Coach Longo Part III of IV – The Air Raid Way of Life

By |September 13th, 2016|Football, Real Deep, Sports|Comments Off on Coach Longo Part III of IV – The Air Raid Way of Life

In Part III, Coach Longo discusses the Air Raid offense!
Air Raid Takes: Leach and Kingsbury

The greatest coaching influence I have is the Air Raid purist, Mike Leach. Mike is still running what he ran ten years ago at Texas Tech. When I visit with him each year I am reminded of one of the main rules of the Air Raid, and that is to remain simple in order to be really good at a few things. In his world they can beat anybody with what he is running, it doesn’t matter what he calls, they can beat any coverage. It comes at a high premium because it is hard to play instinctively at a high level consistently. He caters to his talent base and he wants to be really good at a few things. The other influence I have is Kliff Kingsbury at Texas Tech, he was Leach’s quarterback at Tech. Where Kingsbury excels is that he thinks outside of the box, he is the master of game planning and wrinkles. He is not restricted by what people say you can do. He is as good as it gets with game planning outside of the box and offense, putting the defense in conflict and getting the ball in space. They are two high-character guys, two of the best people in college football. They are also exceptional coaches and surprisingly humble for their success. They have been really good to me both personally and professionally. How much can you ask for when you embrace somebody’s approach for an offense?

Air Raid Theory

We at Sam Houston State are no different than Mike Leach’s offense. We are going to run a few good plays that will beat the defense […]

308, 2016

Recipe of Champions (Recruiting) Part III of III

By |August 3rd, 2016|Football, Real Deep, South Carolina, Sports, State|Comments Off on Recipe of Champions (Recruiting) Part III of III

Clemson Tigers: Recipe of Champions (Recruiting) Part III
The final ingredient to a recipe of champions is the players that choose to come to Clemson University. As the well-known football saying goes, “It’s about Jimmies and Joes, not X’s and O’s”. Any college football team needs depth and talent in order to compete for conference and national championships, and recruiting is how the players are acquired. Since there is no draft, it is up to coaches to convince teenagers into playing for their program for the next few years. Once the players are on campus, the coaches must help the players develop to the best of their ability. While rankings don’t matter once you are on campus, the talent base a team draws in has a correlation to their level of success. Regardless, recruiting is the lifeblood college football and if you can’t recruit, you can’t coach.

In order to fully appreciate how far Clemson football has come, lets take a look at the recruiting classes from 2002 onwards (when data was consistently available). It is worth noting that in 2001, Clemson signed the third best player in the country in WR Roscoe Crosby whom had a mental breakdown and did not pan out. Here is a chart of the recruiting classes from 2002 until 2008, when Coach Tommy Bowden was fired. The data is drawn from 247Sports Composite Rankings:

Year
National
ACC
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
Total

2002
29
5
0
3
13
21

2003
43
9
0
2
14
18

2004
46
10
0
3
9
22

2005
18
4
0
2
18
25

2006
13
3
2
4
13
22

2007
17
5
0
4
14
24

2008
10
2
1
8
12
23

Swinney first came to Clemson in 2003 and was the WR coach and recruiting coordinator. It is obvious that it took some adjustment for him to get the hang of the job because the 2003 and 2004 classes were mediocre. It appears that in 2005 he finally found his niche, because he pulled in top […]

2507, 2016

Recipe of Champions: Clemson Tigers – Part II of III

By |July 25th, 2016|Football, Real Deep, Sports|Comments Off on Recipe of Champions: Clemson Tigers – Part II of III

Coaching:

Tommy Bowden helped to resurrect Clemson from the dark ages, but Coach Swinney is a perfect fit for Clemson’s football program. Coach Swinney is a hard worker and excellent coach, but he is not a ‘villain’ like Saban, nor is he a statue on the sideline. Swinney is an enthusiastic man whom has a passion for building excellent men and winning football games. Swinney’s personality is a perfect fit for Clemson (and despite speculations, not a good fit at Alabama). Some places have to engineer slogans to make fans feel good, but at Clemson they come naturally. People in Clemson testify that the ‘Clemson Family’ is real – letter-men and fans alike. ‘All In’ is one of Coach Swinney’s signature phrases that was so catchy that other programs would occasionally ‘borrow’ it.   People sometimes get the perception that Swinney does not know schematics because of his expressive personality. Opposing fans often call him a ‘cheerleader’ in order to degrade his coaching skills.

This is far from the case – in fact he has ascended into a higher order of coaching. New head coaches (and coaches in general) feel the need to micromanage and to have their fingertips on everything. If they are going down, at least they outworked everybody until they have heart attacks. Swinney has football knowledge – he played college football for Alabama, was a graduate assistant, and finally a wide receivers coach. But Coach Swinney is the opposite of a stereotypical head coach who spends hours poring over schematics. He focuses on maximizing people’s potential and using this to create a winning culture. I don’t know if he knows it, but he is carrying out this Ronald Reagan quote to a ‘T’: “Surround […]

2804, 2016

Panthers Draft Preview

By |April 28th, 2016|Football, Real Deep, Sports|Comments Off on Panthers Draft Preview

The NFL Draft is upon us and Premium
News Network is here to keep you informed!
We will keep you updated on where every Clemson player lands, all of the players the Carolina Panthers take, and much more. Stay tuned throughout the weekend and follow @corbinnfldraft for even more opinions, information, and hot takes.

Panthers Draft Preview: The Carolina Panthers have the thirtieth overall pick in a 31 selection first round as the New England Patriots forfeited their selection from Deflate Gate. It is impossible to take more than a shot in the dark at who the Panthers will take since twenty nine teams pick before them. What it is possible to do is to take a look at positions of interest and who the Panthers could target. The Panthers famously do not draft on need and instead draft to a ‘best player available’ policy. In his press conference last week, Gettleman addressed how in his first year he made a mistake by selecting Edmund Kugbila over AJ Klein in the fourth round (they ended up getting both).
Primary Needs
Cornerback: This is the most prolific of the Panthers needs because of the Josh Norman fiasco. The Panthers have slot cornerback Bene Benwikere who is coming off of injury, Brandon Boykin, and journeyman Robert McClain leading the group along with other roster fillers. The good news for the Panthers is that this draft is chock full of cornerbacks to select. The consensus top prospects are Vernon Hargreaves, Mackensie Alexander of Clemson, William Jackson III, and Eli Apple. Mackensie Alexander would be an excellent player, but I’m not sure if he as a man cover corner fits in the Panthers’ primarily zone scheme. Eli Apple has a super high bust […]

2204, 2016

TJ Green Scouting Report

By |April 22nd, 2016|Football, Real Deep, Sports|Comments Off on TJ Green Scouting Report

Name Position School: TJ Green – Safety – Clemson
Games Watched: Alabama, Louisville, Florida State

Measurables: Green is 6 foot 2 inches and has 32 inch arms while weighing in at 209 pounds. He ran the fastest 40 time in NFL history for a safety at 4.34 seconds. He could play wide receiver, cornerback, safety, and return man at the next level. He also had an elite broad jump at 129 inches and a solid vertical at 35.5 inches. His bench press time was weak but it is not as vital to the type of player he plays as because he relies on speed and instincts. Green is more of an athletic freak than Kearse despite the label being placed on Kearse.

Strengths: He has elite speed and the 4.3 forty time was not a fluke because it showed on the film. He also has elite acceleration which lets him play up close and close holes in the run game, come off the edge in the passing game, or cover down the field. He has excellent instincts and can track the ball well. He has the range to cover the entire length and width of the field. He has the ability to flip his hips and run in coverage which is crucial.

Weaknesses: He made several mental errors in coverage which were devastating to Clemson. He is not good at playing the deep ball and can get burned, the cardinal sin for a safety. He has a slender frame which can be blown up by linemen. His tackling is adequate at best and a liability at worst. He did manage to solo tackle Derrick Henry at the line of scrimmage.

Summary: TJ Green is a one year starter at the […]

2204, 2016

Jayron Kearse Scouting Report

By |April 22nd, 2016|Football, Real Deep, Sports|Comments Off on Jayron Kearse Scouting Report

Jayron Kearse – Safety from Clemson
Games Watched: North Carolina 15, Florida State 15, Notre Dame 15

Measurables: Kearse is an athletic freak at six foot four and 216 pounds. He ran a 4.62 forty time and a 7.06 three cone time. Despite this, he struggles in changing direction fluidly. He has arms as long as offensive linemen at 34 and a quarter inches long.

Strengths: Jayron Kearse has an intimidating size coupled with great speed and acceleration. He has the ability to punish receivers with huge hits. He theoretically can cover well although his lack of agility hurts him in this aspect. He is the nephew of Jevon “Freak” Kearse and inherited his athleticism.

Weaknesses: He has elite athleticism but does not use it. His size causes him to not be that agile. His tackling is terrible because he arm tackles, tackles high, or flat out misses the tackle. He does not have instincts and hesitates to get involved in contact. He also had a couple of tackles that could be penalties because they were on the head or shoulders. His angles are terrible and often times he runs straight into the blocker. He cannot disengage blockers. He will often hit the wrong hole when it is a running play. What is most frustrating about him is his effort. While taller players give the illusion that they are loafing because of their long legs, with Jayron Kearse it is not an illusion. You could visibly tell a difference from when he was ‘on’ and ‘off’. That is one of the worst traits a player can have.

Summary: Teams should not touch him until the sixth or seventh round and even then it would need to be in an established […]

2803, 2016

Shaq Lawson Scouting Report

By |March 28th, 2016|Football, Real Deep, Sports|Comments Off on Shaq Lawson Scouting Report

Image Credit: TigerNet.com
Clemson University’s Shaq Lawson
Scouting Report
Shaq Lawson will forgo his senior season at Clemson and opt for the NFL draft.

Measurables: Shaq Lawson checks in at six feet and 2.75 inches and weighs at 270 pounds which are solid measurables for an NFL end. His arms are shorter than the NFL pedigree which is 33 inches while he has 32.75 inch arms. This is some cause for concern because he could struggle with NFL tackles that have longer arms. His 40 time at 4.70 seconds is adequate, and his ten yard split is 1.63 seconds. His bench press abilities are unknown because he did not lift at either the NFL combine or the Clemson pro day. His vertical jump was 33 inches and his broad jump was 120 inches. His shuttle time was 4.21 seconds while his cone time was 7.16 seconds. The measurables are not the most important part of an evaluation but it can alert teams to red flags or athletic freaks.

Games Watched: Florida State, North Carolina, Alabama, Notre Dame

Medical: Note that he was injured during the Florida State game and again during the Oklahoma game. He played the Alabama game at around fifty percent and he had a shoulder issue from his freshman year that was tagged for recheck at the combine. He turned out to not need corrective surgery. He has mild medical concerns but nothing that will have his stock slide.

Strengths: Shaq Lawson uses his hands well and has a variety of pass rush moves in order to beat offensive linemen. He can choose to go around or through you, but he is not exceptional at either. His spin move is excellent. It appeared that his first responsibility was to […]

802, 2016

Super Bowl Debrief

By |February 8th, 2016|Football, Real Deep, Sports|Comments Off on Super Bowl Debrief

The Carolina Panthers were an excellent team
but sometimes records do not tell the whole story.
The Pythagorean Wins Formula is much better for determining how good a team is. The Carolina Panthers scored 500 points on offense and had 308 points scored against them. The Broncos had 296 scored against and scored 355. The formula is: (PW = (pf^2.37)/(pf^2.37 + pa^2.37) x 16 to get your total wins. The Panthers had 12.15 Pythagorean wins while the Broncos had 9.7 wins. This suggests that the Panthers were the significantly better team but that both teams were overrated. The caveat to this is that the Broncos switched between two quarterbacks in Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler while the Panthers started hot and slowly lost players due to injuries.

Since the Pythagorean Wins Formula established that the teams were both overrated but that the Panthers were better – how did the Panthers lose? Most losses are caused by multiple factors that compound and eventually send the house of cards tumbling down. Carolina was not a fraud and was the second best team, but at some point the math catches up.

Injuries are not the most important reason, but they are an important factor when playing almost twenty games in a year. The Broncos only had one major contributor out for the Super Bowl – Tackle Ryan Clady. The Panthers lost Kelvin Benjamin before the season but as the season wore on two key players were lost for the season at the same position, cornerbacks Bene Benwikere and Charles ‘Peanut’ Tillman. Cornerback Robert McClain did not record a defensive statistic until Week 17, and he had to face a combination of Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas. It did not help that the […]

1109, 2015

Revenge Tour: New Side of Eastside

By |September 11th, 2015|Football, Real Deep, Sports|Comments Off on Revenge Tour: New Side of Eastside

Watch out! Here comes Eastside!
I wanted to learn more about the Air Raid offense, so I was awake at six thirty in the morning on one of my last days of freedom before fall classes begin again. I drove the forty minutes from my house to Eastside High School and witnessed something more interesting and more important than the Air Raid passing concepts of Flood, Stick, or Smash.

The grass was wet from the dew of August and the humid heat beamed down on this large grassy field. I did not know a single soul there but I was looking for the offensive coordinator Rich Hargitt. I introduced myself to the man I found on Twitter of all places, met the other coaches, and observed the military-like organization of the stretching routine.

From there I learned various minute details that non-players would never think about and realized the amount of detail and precision that go into the game of football. I observed head coach Steve Wilson install stunts to the defensive linemen so well that I knew what every stunt involved by the end of that period.

The day wore on as I continued to soak in the football knowledge I was privileged to be able to observe. The guys grew tired and didn’t meet the tempo expectations of Coach Hargitt. He confided, “This, Mr. Corbin, is called dragging a–.” Followed by, “You won’t see this in a couple of weeks,” he stated with confidence. He then ordered the entire offense in an impromptu set of up downs which resembled a form of torture. After three long hours, the practice ended in FSU drill – four downs, ten yards, and winner takes all. The defense won on fourth […]

2307, 2015

Real Deep with Jovan Haye

By |July 23rd, 2015|Football, Real Deep, Sports|Comments Off on Real Deep with Jovan Haye

“I cried after the first day when I didn’t get drafted.” ~ Jovan Haye
“I moved to America when I was six years old. In Jamaica we were poor – you fended for yourself. You cooked outside, butchered your own meat, had your own garden, used an outhouse and took a cold shower.” Jovan Haye described his early childhood in Jamaica before moving to the United States. He wants better for himself and his family, and he perseveres for it daily. His advice to me was “It’s gonna be tough, but keep believing. Fight the good fight. It will build character and manhood or womanhood. Always strive to better yourself, and strap on your boots.”

Jovan Haye was recruited by many top level programs such as Miami, Ohio state, and Michigan because of his abilities on special teams. He turned down these offers to go to Vanderbilt because “I’ve always believed in being different.” This includes being dyslexic.

He made noise at Vanderbilt and decided to go professional instead of play his senior year. He does not regret his decision because he would rather lose at the highest level than to play at college. But this does not erase the false promises of the draft process. “I had people saying I would go late first to early second round, no later than the third round. I cried after the first day when I didn’t get drafted.” The draft was split into rounds 1-3 on day one and 4-7 on the second day. He didn’t care about the money involved with a higher draft slot; he just wanted to be justified in leaving for the NFL. But then the fourth round went by. His feelings went from confident to […]