News, Notes & Quotes - Aug. 16

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Tuesday August 16, 2016

*Days until Cal and Hawaii kick off the CFB season in Australia: 11

- USC’s entire team, including the coaches, ran a gasser after a recent practice, because a player’s phone rang in a team meeting.

Helton was actually surprised it took until practice No. 9 for that, but he was glad it did.

“Anytime that happens, they know we have the longest gasser in the history of college football. We go from one wall and back, coaches and all. Just to teach a point,” Helton said. “Little things, attention to detail can cost you big. That was the lesson today. There has to be an art of discipline and an art of accountability. As small has having a phone in a team meeting is, that little thing can cost you the game. That was the lesson.

“You knew it was going to happen sometime in camp. I’d been waiting for it. They’d been so damn good. Today, finally, a rookie messed up, so we taught them a lesson.”

- Mark Richt isn’t just looking for a kick returner who can take it to the house. There are more important keys.

“A lot of people want the most prolific return man, but I want the most dependable return man, first,” Richt said Monday. “If he happens to be the most prolific as a runner and can stick it in the end zone, great, but if he’s great at that and doesn’t field the ball well or secure the ball well, he won’t be the guy. I want the most dependable guy. We’re working so many guys. The good news is we have more than two, three, four that can do kick and punt.”

- Lovie Smith worked under Monte Kiffin and ran a lot of Cover 2, but says Illinois’ defense isn’t simply a Cover 2.

"I just think that's the wrong description, 'The Cover 2 defense,’” Smith said this week. “We're not the Cover 2 defense. We run a two-deep coverage at times, but we're not just about that. Our success isn't determined on the Cover 2. We're a gap-control, single-high, eight-man front, man-coverage team is what we are. Those are the things we need to do.

“To get pressure, we're not going to rely on all-out blitzes every down. We rely on a four-man rush. That's kind of more of a description on who we are. Occasionally, you will see (Cover 2). There was one day we only played that for the most part to get a little bit of work on it. But that's a coverage you use on long-yardage situations pretty much."

- Is Bud Foster phasing out the WHIP linebacker in his defense due to spread offenses?

It’s the wide-side outside linebacker, but Foster says it’s often limited to heavy offensive sets.

“That position is slowly phasing out, but at the same time, it’s still a critical position for us,” Foster said. “We are going to be play some teams that are going to be physical and want to get into multiple backs and multiple tight ends. We need a guy that can be firm at the point of attack, but (6-foot-1, 213-pound linebacker Anthony Shegog) is doing a great job right now. Our backup will probably be one of our backers working that spot at the end of the day.“

- The AP’s Joe Reedy tweeted the top Rick Trickett quotes from Florida State media day. Some of the gems:

“Kids are scared of the W-O-R-K word. They want to run for cover. I get guys that have never mowed a lawn."

“I'm probably going to be cussing until the day I die. That ain't a great thing to brag about. Just me.”

On his first FSU OL meeting in 2007: “So bad I told somebody that I almost called (Rich) Rodriguez and asked him, could I get my job back?”

- Charles Woodson shared a good story of when he almost transferred from Michigan, and how then-DB coach Vance Bedford got Woodson’s mother involved to make him stay. Take a listen from the Rich Eisen Show:

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to