News, Notes & Quotes - July 8

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Friday July 08, 2016

- Arizona State’s athletic director wants Todd Graham to hold back on the hype.

A year ago, Graham was a very confident coach who was talking championships and saying it was his best team. That’s his style. But the Sun Devils went 6-7, and AD Ray Anderson wants to focus on results.

"One of the things, very frankly, that we're trying to do better around here is to talk less and deliver more," Anderson said, per AZCentral. "We'll be minimum on the bravado and all the predictions about greatness and just let our play speak for us."

- Urban Meyer says he’s working with coaches and the AFCA on the creation of a combine for underclassmen.

Nick Saban recently called for Junior Days on campuses in the spring, involving players who have finished two years. That way, NFL teams can get an early look at players who may come out early the next year, and those players get a more accurate evaluation.

“It’s not a process that’s well done right now,” Meyer said, per Pro Football Talk. “There’s a rule that says the NFL can’t look at juniors. Well of course the NFL (scouts) are going to look at a junior. And they should look at a junior.

“We’re going to try to get something where there’s a time those (scouts) can actually come in and they can work out the juniors. Because information is good. (The players) are getting their information somewhere, so why not get it from the experts — the scouts, the general managers, people who have the right information? They’re getting it from agents and they’re getting it from wannabes, and that’s not good information.”

- Baylor lost its QB of the future, as sophomore Jarrett Stidham announced he will transfer.

Jim Grobe said Stidham didn’t want to sit behind presumed starter Seth Russell, but Russell is a senior, meaning Stidham would still have had two years to start. Stidham threw for 1,265 yards and 12 TDs and 2 INTs as a freshman last year.

Baylor has lost 11 of its 22 incoming recruits, the current roster has 70 players, and the 2017 class is down to one player. The Bears will have talent this season, but whoever the next coach is will take over a roster with problems, even as Grobe tries to stay positive.

- Calvin Johnson says concussions happen somewhere on almost every play, and trainers are in a tough spot regarding players and injuries.

"In football, concussions happen," he said on E:60. "If not on every play, then they happen like every other, every third play, you know. With all the helmet contact, guys hitting the ground, heads hitting ground. It's simply when your brain touches your skull from the movement or the inertia, man. It's simple to get a concussion, you know. I don't know how many I've had over my career, but I've definitely had my fair share."

He added later, "The team doctor, the team trainers, they work for the team. And I love 'em, you know. They're some good people, you know. They want to see you do good. But at the same time, they work for the team, you know. They're trying to do whatever they can to get you back on the field and make your team look good. So if it's not gonna make the team look good, or if you're not gonna be on the field, then they're tryin' to do whatever they can to make that happen."

- Jim Mora has been hard on Josh Rosen, but also isn’t afraid to say he would have been the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft after one season at UCLA.

The physical talent is there, but Mora has been hard on him to make sure he doesn’t get ahead of himself, from publicly bashing him at practice last fall to saying he doesn’t want him to become the next Johnny Manziel. After talking with Mora, Peter King said he gets the same feedback from NFL personnel.

“They have questions about Rosen’s maturity,” King wrote. “As it’s been explained to me, scouts will be keeping an eye on whether there’s a sense of entitlement in how Rosen carries himself. This fall will provide a good test on that end, with UCLA going from a spread offense to a pro-style look, which should accentuate Rosen’s strengths, but also will require plenty of work.”

- Michigan-Notre Dame is back, as the two will play in 2018 and 2019.

While it’s a great rivalry, it’s unfortunate Michigan bought out a series with Arkansas to play the Irish. Harbaugh-Bielema would have been a fun mash of power football.

What will Arkansas do with the $2 million? “Maybe host a satellite camp in Cabo?” Bielema told the Chicago Tribune.

- Why did Kevin Durant choose the Warriors? To win, but also because it was a family culture.

“I was shocked that those four guys came to meet me a couple of days ago (Curry, Thompson, Green, Iguodala),” Durant said. “The team won 73 games and a championship before. I didn't think they would be interested in a player like me because they've had so much success. But to see them together, they all walked in and it looked like they were holding hands. It was just a family.

“I could tell they enjoyed being around each other, and like I said, that was something I couldn't ignore. It was just a great vibe throughout the whole day. I'm glad I'm here, man.”

- Nick Saban, Jimbo Fisher and Rick Trickett are collecting football equipment to aid high school teams in West Virginia affected by the floods. Details here:

- Why did nearly the entire Edmonton Eskimos staff leave for Saskatchewan right after winning the Grey Cup last year? The assistants found out they wouldn’t be paid when head coach Chris Jones left.

The Edmonton Journal has the details on the staff exodus. The team’s GM decided not to pay them for their final two weeks leading up to the Grey Cup because he knew Jones was going to Saskatchewan. So they left, and the coaches were compensated for the entire month by their new team after the move. 

“I was looking for a new head coach and I wanted to give the next head coach an opportunity to hire his own staff,” Eskimos GM Ed Hervey said. “I wasn’t interested in holdover, I was interested in new. That’s the direction I wanted to go in. I wasn’t going to be put in a situation where (the next coach) had to interview anybody from the previous staff to hold them over. To me, it was an all-or-nothing move (to Saskatchewan).  That’s what I was comfortable with, and it was what I was hoping for.  And, it happened that way.”

- Follow Pitt DB Avote Maddox around a spring practice through a GoPro Camera.

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