News, Notes & Quotes - March 16

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Thursday March 16, 2017

- Four schools open spring practice today: Memphis, Middle Tennessee, Pitt and Troy.

Memphis has a new offensive coordinator in the promoted Darrel Dickey, MTSU has a new defensive coordinator in Scott Shafer, Pitt has a new offensive coordinator in Shawn Watson, and Neal Brown’s Troy team coming off a 10-win season.

Memphis’ spring game is April 14, while the other three are on April 15. Keep track of all spring dates here.

- New Arizona State offensive coordinator Billy Napier told every player to write something down.

“There’s a certain level of responsibility that goes with being one of 11 guys that go out and represent our team,” Napier said. “We’ve evaluating each and every one. I asked the guys to write it down this morning. What do you need to do to become a complete player at your position? Every guy in the room.

“Whether you’re the right guard or X receiver, evaluate yourself every day. What are your strengths and what are your weaknesses? What do you need to attack and improve on? If we get each player doing that, the cumulative effect will be positive.”

- Pat Narduzzi is on his 3rd offensive coordinator in 3 years, but his advice to each is the same.

Shawn Watson takes over an offense that was No. 10 in scoring. But an offense that utilized tight ends is now short. Narduzzi wants his OC’s to take advantage of whatever they do have.

“We don't have a lot of bodies here. We have a lot of bodies coming in. Wish they were coming in mid year, but maybe we'll play with five wideouts. I don't know,” Narduzzi said. “When you talk about our offense, people always talk about where our offense was a year ago. Where is it now? Where was it two years ago?

"Your offensive philosophy develops based on who your people are. If you don't have a lot of tight ends and you build your offense around maybe a lot of tailbacks. So we're going to put our best people on the field and do what our personnel does. Will our offense look exactly like it did last year? I hope points-wise it does, but structurally, it will be different.

“… I think I'd be handcuffing an offensive coordinator coming in and saying I want you to do exactly what you did in the past.”

- The MAC commissioner defended the fact the league has zero Saturday games in November this fall.

Most of the league’s coaches have said the positives of national exposure outweigh the problems, but some don’t like all of it, like Central Michigan and Western Michigan playing their rivalry in a mid-week game.

"We've been playing mid-week games since 2003," Jon Steinbrecher told The Sporting News. "There's not been a change of philosophy or anything else. We only had two Saturday games last year. I guess I'd like to see a couple, but this year it just worked out there weren't any. In some ways, it provides for fewer short weeks.

"You try to be sensitive to the fans' concerns. We walk a tight rope. We want to make sure we provide a great fan experience at stadiums, but at the same token we have a very unique and valuable opportunity to gain some national exposure and provide resources back to our institutions." 

- Check out Matt Canada mic’d up at LSU spring practice.

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