News, Notes & Quotes - May 2

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Tuesday May 02, 2017

- How do you evaluate the film of a small-school player? Former NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah goes in blind.

During the NFL Draft broadcast, Jeremiah said of one player, “He passed my small school test. When I get a small school player, I don’t like to look up the number. I like to find him on the tape. I found this dude in about 3 plays.”

That idea can work for an NFL team looking at a college player, or a college looking at a small high school system.

- The most interesting part of Peter King’s long behind-the-scenes look at the 49ers draft might be trading up to draft a player who wasn't on their board.

Kyle Shanahan pushed hard for Utah running back Joe Williams for the final day, even though John Lynch had kept him off due to issues on and off the field in college.

“Joe Williams was a tough one for me,” Lynch told The MMQB. “He was off my board. So when I got in the building Saturday morning, I had to call him. … It was dead. No chance. I wasn’t interested. But I knew how Kyle felt, so I figured I should at least talk to (Williams). When I got in, I called him. When I got him on the phone, I said to him, ‘Joe, to be honest, I was done with you.’”

But Williams was open and forthright with his mistakes and other issues he faced in his lie. It convinced Lynch, who traded up to get him in the fourth round. Lynch and the 49ers were praised for their maneuvering in the draft, but changing your mind on a player during draft, who you had taken off your board, is a big leap of faith in the player and Shanahan. In evaluating players, Lynch had six criteria:

- Football passion — do they love it?
- Contagious competitiveness
- Dependability — “protect the team”
- Mental toughness
- Football IQ
- Accountability to other players and themselves

- Nevada has new uniforms. Going with a nice, simplified look.

- New Fresno State defensive coordinator Orlondo Steinauer says good defense is simple.

“I always say, there is no magic defense,” the former CFL coordinator said after Fresno’s spring game. “All this stuff about defensive gurus, I think is a bit overrated. The plays are made by the players. Now, we can put them in some situations where we think they’re advantageous for us, but at the end of the day, the players make plays and it is our job to make them as prepared as we can, and allow them to play fast and put the right players out there that we feel can get the job done the majority of the time.

“It’s really not that tough. We try to complicate it all the time as coaches, but at the end of the day, we need to keep points off the board and when we’re dealt a bad deck of cards, we’ve got to hold them to a field goal or turn the ball over. It’s real simple.”

The Bulldogs were No. 83 in scoring D last year, allowing 30.9 points per game.

- Kyle Whittingham says the elimination of two-a-days means some scheduling needs to change.

“We’re going to have to take a look at when we have our media day, because right now, it’s scheduled to be right when everyone’s going to open camp, now that two-a-days have been abolished,” Whittingham said on the Pac-12 coaches teleconference.

“That’s something that’ll be debated, how we’re going to handle that, whether we leave it and coaches and players leave training camp, how that goes down. There’s enough rule changes to keep us busy.”

- Check out Paul Chryst mic’d up at Wisconsin’s spring game.

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