4-8-13 Spring Ball Wrap-up
By Ben "Napoleon" Wilson
Hands down, the best part about springball at BYU was Robert Anae. A+, 10-out-of-10, crushing the media scrum and enjoying every second of it. I'm telling you, Coach Anae played the game to perfection this spring. Don't believe me? Here's a compilation from all his spring availability with the media:
Of Course there were A TON of story lines to follow with this BYU team other than Coach Anae and his new "Go fast, go hard" offense. Here are some of the stories that played out through springball:
A quick look at some of those stories.
QB's: Taysom Hill cemented his role as the starting QB. Anae was impressed with his size and speed as well as his ability to lead the team and get them into the faster tempo. Hill isn't 100% yet after last year's debacle where he blew his knee out when he shouldn't have even been in the game. But he's not far from 100% either. He moved well all spring. They have all the QB's getting out of the pocket and throwing the ball on the move, and Hill looked pretty good, especially when rolling right. Taysom left several ball short on the carpet when he'd load up for a fastball, something he did in games last year as well.
Ammon Olsen is slotted in the 2 spot with "Stew" (Christian Stewart) in the 3 hole after springball. Olsen is bigger than Stew but Stew moves better on his feet. Stew also has more experience as he's a JC transfer out of Snow who was playing live reps just last year, something you can't say for Olsen. Overall, neither QB was sensational but both will be servicable backups.
Formations: Everything will be run out of the gun and BYU won't be huddling. They'll get the call from position groups with large signs on the sidline. The position groups have the play loaded up as the previous play is finishing up. Anae has reduced the time spent waiting on the call, which has the offense running more plays per contest. Many of the formations come directly from Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez. The Cougs are spreading the tight end out wide to create matchups they like and runnig a good deal of quick lazers and bubbles that are essentially runs but go on the stat sheet as a pass.
Culture: Football is a nasty, violent, mean game. Practice shouldn't sound like an Elders Quorum social. Coach Anae and his guys have brought a new edge to practice. They spent all spring yelling and cussing at their guys. It made me smile to see the coaches get a little ugly with their boys. If you were to get Coach Anae off the camera and you asked him about football being fifth at BYU, I bet he would tell you that it may have been that way but it's not that way now. Under Anae, I get the feeling that football will be 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th AND 5th.
It's hard to judge these college football programs based on just a few practices. Sometimes they're not in full pads and hitting, sometimes they're working on the mastry of one particular route or blocking scheme or what to do vs. a particular defensive front. Add to that the fact that the ammount of practice that I was allowed to watch was limited by BYU. All together you need to remember that it's an all new system, no returning starter at QB, the schedule is a beast, and there are still personell question marks. That said, I classify BYU's springball as a huge success. I think the new Anae offense is going to be potent and will take care of the ball. The D is proven and should be able to re-load. Overall, I think BYU fans should be VERY optimistic about 2013 and the future of football at BYU.
3-30-13 Blue vs. White Spring Game Report
By Ben "Napoleon" Wilson
12,000 BYU fans can attest, the B/W Spring Game was a home run. The fans came out, the offense was incredibly efficient, the weather was perfect, and the BYU coaching staff made the gutsy decision to have their QB's go live.
The offense had the defense playing from their heels rather than their toes, and that's the whole idea of this new fast & hard offense that Robert Anae and company are installing.
Coach Anae wasn't satisfied with the pace and started the interviews off by barking to the media that he was not satisfied with the tempo. He reiterated a few times that his offense didn't go fast enough or hard enough. Here's the full Anae interview:
I had a chance to catch up with BYU QB Ammon Olsen:
As well as QB Christian Stewart:
But my favorite QB of the day was a guy who won't be taking snaps for BYU for a while. Freshman Tanner Mangum will be going on a mission in the fall but he's in early to Springball. He has a better arm than any quarterback in the BYU stable and he's learning how to move as well. I caught up with Mangum after the B/W game:
Quarterbacks Coach Jason Beck tells me the battle for the starting QB job is down to Taysom Hill and Ammon Olsen. Listen here:
Offensive Line Coach Garrett Tujague was intense as ever. After you talk to a coach like Coach T, you just wanna run through a wall. Here's my interview with the new BYU assistant:
And finally, I caught up with tough-guy JD Falslev. He's been held out of Springball because of injury, but JD is a good interview and a guy who will always give you everything he has when he's on the field:
3-18-13 Practice Report
By Ben "Napoleon" Wilson
It was day 7 of Spring Ball down in Provo yesterday (Monday). BYU has new Spring availability policies regarding the media. That means that the media is not being allowed to watch the majority of practice. They're only giving us about the final 10 minutes of action or so.
No worries, along comes Robert Anae, a gold mine of information when it comes to filling us in on the details of practice. Here's today's report:
And here's the full interview from Jay Drew's You Tube:
3-12-13 Practice Report
By Ben "Napoleon" Wilson
It was day 4 of Spring Ball down in Provo yesterday (Monday). BYU is changing their Spring availability policies regarding the media. BYU was letting members of the media watch many of the practices but they are now cutting access so media can only watch the final 20 minutes of practice. That means that BYU doesn't want you, the fan, to have access to the program. Buy your ticket and watch the late-night game like the other 60,000.
Even with limited access, 1320 KFAN still has the inside story into BYU practice. Here's today's practice report:
3-4-13 Practice Report
By Ben "Napoleon" Wilson
Day 1 is in the books for BYU and fans have a lot to be excited about. A new high-tempo pace of play, an increased level of intensity from the offensive coaching staff, and a Taysom Hill injury that is recovering quickly enough to allow the sophomore triggerman to take the starting reps at QB are just 3 of the storylines that we look at after day 1 in Provo:
3-4-13 Spring Ball Preview
By 1320 KFAN Football Expert Will Smith
Spring Football kicks off in Provo today at 4:20 PM. Of course the new offensive coaching staff will be a central storyline throughout spring ball. It will be interesting to see how the new Anae philosophy of "Go Fast & Go Hard" will translate on the field. Most assume that the "fast" element refers to tempo. College football is trending toward a higher tempo game where pace of play puts defenses on their heels.
Today on 1320kfan.com we take a look at several players that have captured our eye as we go into spring ball. Here's a look:
Terren Houk 6'-4" 213 lbs Redshirt Sophomore (The Next Cody Hoffman)
Terren comes from Enumclaw High School, a small High School in Washington in a town of 10,000 people. Houk was barely recruited until the BYU coaches found him late in the recruiting process. He will be a playmaker with his great length and his good speed. Needs to work on his route running to see more time on the field, but hey, Ross Apo has only learned the streak route in his 3 years at BYU, so this spring ball will be huge for him to make a push up the depth charts.
Trent Trammell 5'-11" DB 185 lbs JUCO transfer Junior
Trammel will replace the graduating Preston Hadley at corner. By BYU standards, this is a top notch recruit. He has good size and speed, which seem to never come to BYU in one player. Trammel was originally recruited by Utah until the Utes signed Davion Orphey, another JUCO prospect who originally committed to BYU. Nick Howell did a good job getting him to BYU and should compliment Jordan Johnson at the other CB position.
Jamaal Williams RB 6'-0" 190 lbs Sophomore
This is Jamaal’s year, even with a healthy Mike Alisa. He came to D1 football at 17 and when given the chance, made big time plays. He gives me flashbacks to Ronnie Jenkins tearing it up during his brief stint at BYU. Jamaal is more talented than Alisa, and Robert Anae has always fed the ball to his star player, a missing strategy during the Doman regime. He was a state champion track star in California with a mom who ran at UCLA. Give this guy the rock.
Alani Fua 6'-5" LB 215 lbs Junior
BYU fans, this guy is going to be fun to watch and will step in nicely in the linebacking core. His brother Sione was drafted by the Panthers in the 3rd round of 2011 NFL Draft. He’s an athlete who played TE in HS with great length and long arms.
Adam Hine 6'-1" 202 lbs RB Sophomore
Adam’s freshman season came on the heels of his LDS Mission, so he didn’t get a chance to play much as he was still getting back into game shape, and with the depth at RB the coaches need to find a way to get him on the field. He is a special talent originally from Miami who ended up going to High School in St George, where he was the entire football team, even getting reps at QB his during Sr. season. He’s a 3 time long jump and high jump state champion. BYU fans may have forgotten about him after changing his name from Timo after high school. Check out this video of him doing a back flip on a bike: