News, Notes & Quotes - March 31

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Friday March 31, 2017

- There are 8 spring games this weekend — and the last team to open spring ball. Here are the games:

Northwestern (open practice) – 11 a.m. (BTN)
Georgia Southern – Noon ET (no TV)
South Carolina – Noon (SEC Network)
NC State - 1 p.m. (ACC Extra)
UAB – 2 p.m. (
Michigan State – 3 p.m. (BTN(
UNLV - 3 p.m. (no TV)
Texas Tech (in Frisco) – (Fox Sports Southwest)

Old Dominion opens spring practice on Saturday, the final FBS team to do so. See all spring game dates here.

- NFL coaches want to get more offseason time with players.

The CBA signed in 2011 cut back on a lot of offseason work. It expires in 2020, and coaches are working channels to let it known they’d like some of it back, citing poorer quality of play and depth.

“You go to training camp and you’ve got one practice and a walkthrough,” Chargers coach Anthony Lynn told The MMQB. “I never would’ve played in this league with one practice and a walkthrough, because I never would’ve been discovered. A lot of players today aren’t getting discovered. We don’t get to see them.

“You can’t evaluate someone in a walkthrough, and then you throw them in a preseason game with the half the reps they normally would’ve gotten. So not only is it affecting the players’ play, we’re missing out on talent. You think Terrell Davis would be here today? He was seventh on our depth chart (with the Broncos).”

- Brent Venables knows how a player grades out isn’t the biggest factor in reps. You need to find the balance of a lack of busts with playmaking.

“You try to reward guys with reps based on the percentage of playmaking and those things,” Venables said. “Sometimes, a guy can grade at 85 percent, but he never makes any plays. He just doesn’t have any major busts. Sometimes a guy grades at 70 percent, but he leads the team in production points per play.

“What am I doing wrong as a coach? I have to get this guy to improve and be more consistent, because he’s a playmaker. You have that (balance) at every level on both sides of the ball.”

- The NFL is offering to help research into position-specific helmets.

Dr. Jeff Crandall, chairman of NFL’s head, neck and spine engineering subcommittee, said the NFL is willing to share its concussion research with manufacturers. That could become a game-changer in the equipment world and trickle down.

“We know that players in different positions receive different types of severity and frequency of impacts,” Crandall said. “So we think a position-specific helmet makes sense.”

- Pete Carroll isn’t happy about the NFL banning field goal leaping, but he understands other teams didn’t do it like the Seahawks.

"Well, the examples that they showed us were the really bad examples," Carroll said. "They didn't show the examples of how pretty it is when a guy leaps over with great body control and makes the play and all. Guys were landing on their head and falling all over each other. It was a mess when we looked at it, so I couldn't vote against it the way it was going because they really did have examples that looked dangerous.

"It didn't look like what we looked like at all. I was kind of disappointed they didn't show our clips, but I understand why they didn't. It wouldn't have sent the kind of message they were trying to get done."

- Take a behind-the-scenes look at UCF football in the latest episode of “Rise and Conquer.”

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