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Camp Fired Up

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. RSSBot

    RSSBot News Junkie

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    By Stuart


    [h=3]Camp Fired Up[/h] What are those opening lyrics to Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.”?
    Born down in a dead man town
    The first kick I took was when I hit the ground
    You end up like a dog that’s been beat too much
    Till you spend half your life just covering up
    Colorado fans have every reason to feel “like a dog that’s been beat too much”.
    Never before the 2012 season had Colorado lost 11 games in one year.
    Never before the stretch between the 2006 and the 2012 seasons had Colorado, in the 123-year history of the program,*endured seven straight losing seasons.
    And it wasn’t just the 1-11 record from last year – which is quite bad enough in and of itself, thank you – it was the way CU lost the 11 games. The Buffs gave up 46.0 points per contest in 2012. CU had never before been sliced and diced so badly, with the old record from the debacle season of 1980 a full five points fewer per game.
    The Colorado defense gave up a record-shattering 488.5 yards per game, surrendering a ridiculous average of 7.11 yards each and every time an opponent snapped the football.
    The Buffs gave up 35 points to Fresno State … in the first quarter. The 55 first half points surrendered to the Bulldogs wasn’t even the worst half of the season, as Oregon posted 56 points on the Buffs*by the break. The Ducks went on to settle for 70 points on*a day in which triple digits were a real possibility.
    In November, Colorado lost to Washington, 38-3,*with the 38 points the lowest point total by an opponent in any game*the last two months of the season.
    I can go on and on, but you get the picture.
    Of course you get it, you lived through it.
    In the ensuing eight months, you have endured the firing and hiring of a new coaching staff, the hoping and praying for a few three-star recruits to commit in February to push CU’s recruiting Class into the top 70 nationally, the defection of over ten percent of the roster, the firing and hiring of a new athletic director, the universal condemnation to a last place finish in the 2013 preseason magazines, and the never-ending wait for a shovel to be turned on facilities improvements.
    Hell, CU fans have even had to endure taunting from CSU -*a team which has gone 3-9, 3-9, 3-9 and 4-8 the last four seasons, and is mired in a conference which will, going forward,*net them roughly 10% of the television revenue CU will enjoy.
    Truly, right now … It’s tough to be a Buff.
    And yet … there is hope.
    New CU head coach Mike MacIntyre has brought in a fresh set of coaches, the first complete turnover in*a coaching staff since 1979. Every new head coach brings with them a fresh slate and an infusion of enthusiasm – it’s a given with any regime change.
    But MacIntyre has one notation on his resume which has the Buff Nation excited about*CU’s future.
    Mac has*been there, done that.
    Four years ago, San Jose State was not just miserable, the program was on death’s door. The Spartan athletic department was in such disarray that dropping down a division, or even giving up football altogether, was contemplated. Instead, Mike MacIntyre came in, and, even with scholarship limitations due to NCAA sanctions, was able to turn the program around …*and do it quickly.
    You know the numbers. After enduring (there’s that word again) a 1-12 season in 2010, the Spartans went 5-7 in 2011 and 10-2 last year.
    No one realistically believes CU will become a ten-win team in 2015, but there is real reason for hope for a relatively quick turnaround.
    And it starts with coach MacIntyre and his staff.
    Players are loyal to their coaches, and there was certainly some negative words and hurt feelings which came with the firing of Jon Embree after only two seasons in Boulder.
    The language*from the players since the firing, however, has*become more and more open,*and the picture which is being painted is one of a coaching staff which didn’t have the full package. It was widely*noted at the time*when Embree, offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and defensive coordinator Greg Brown were hired, that there was only one season of coordinating experience between them. The lack of coordinator experience, though, was supposed to be more than offset by the NFL experience the trio was bringing to Boulder.
    Embree, Bieniemy and Brown were supposed to be the perfect mix of professional experience and a strong CU background.
    Instead, it was the perfect storm.
    I’m not in the collegiate coaching profession, so I can’t say what does work and what does not; what can work and what won’t, in making a program successful.
    But some of the quotes from the players are telling.
    “With the PRP’s (the Player-Run-Practices this summer), we’ve had much more organized practices and I think that’s helped a lot,” junior tight end Kyle Slavin told cubuffs.com. “Last year it was players get there, do some one-on-ones, kind of do whatever you feel like. There was no organization to it, really. Practice was set up to just kind of do as you please. I told the coaches I think the organization has helped us a lot this year.”
    Slavin went to say, “MacIntyre has brought more of a business-like attitude to this. That’s not to say he hasn’t had personal moments where he talks to players one-on-one, but I think he’s got a much better grasp on college football being a business and you’ve got to handle it like that.”
    Junior receiver D.D. Goodson called the Buffs’ summer work “excited work, more competitive work rather than just ‘I’ve got to do this or that.’ And that’s what I’m excited about – to see how things are.”
    And it’s been the little things.
    - The Buffs took the unprecedented step of naming six captains for the season. It’s perhaps no coincidence that there is a captain – offensive tackle Jack Harris, defensive end Chidera Uzo-Diribe, defensive back/linebacker Paul Vigo, linebacker*Derrick Webb,*wide receiver Paul Richardson and quarterback Connor Wood – representing each of the six main units on the team.
    - Colorado held its*15th spring practice after the spring game, just to give the players a blueprint for how to run summer practices. “To outside eyes it’s a small thing, but from the inside it’s very big,” MacIntyre said in April, right before*the Buffs embarked on practice No. 15. “The way we practiced and the way we scrimmaged as the spring went on, it seemed like the young men enjoyed playing more. They were excited for each other, with each other, they were happy when other people made plays. They competed like crazy. The team was enjoying the work process (and) if they’re enjoying their work process, they can get better. If they’re not enjoying it, I don’t think they can get better. I think it’s a mental state and I think that’s true in any business.”
    It may be*grasping at straws to say that the team will be better prepared for battle come September than they have been the past two seasons, but, at least until the product is put on to the field of play,*straws*are all the Buff Nation has to cling to.
    Because it has not an easy eight months.
    For every*article stating that Mike MacIntyre was one of the best hires of this past off-season, there is the reminder that Dan Hawkins*was universally*hailed as a great hire in 2006.
    For all of the excitement about how much better the defense will play this fall, there is the sobering reality that the Buffs lost three of their best players on defense – lineman Will Pericak; linebacker Jon Major; and safety Ray Polk – from an objectively horrible team, so this fall will be nine players from the 2012 squad and three players who are not as experienced as the three starters who were lost, all trying to keep the opposition under 40 points per game.
    For all of the hope for the future of the pistol offense, the fact is that*Connor Wood*is the only quarterback with any Division 1 game experience, and that experience*- 42 career pass attempts and a 91.8 passer rating – does not amount to much time behind center in live action.
    For all of the expectations about the bright future of Colorado football, it has to be acknowledged that even miracle-maker Mike MacIntyre opened with a 48-3 loss to Alabama in 2010, and finished 1-12 his first season.
    It’s going to be a long road back to the top for the Colorado football program, but it says here that I believe CU has the right man for the job.
    We’ve endured seven straight losing seasons. We’ve endured the last eight months with the yoke of the 2012 season weighing down any positive momentum.
    But, with the opening of Fall Camp, 2013, the nightmare which was the 2012 season is finally – officially – behind us. The 2013 season is finally here.
    It’s time to write the next chapter in CU history … with hopefully a few more positive memories.
    Go Buffs!



    Originally posted by CU At the Game
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  2. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

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    Sorry, Stuart, you lost me at the mention of "little things". Honestly, if I never hear that cliche again it will be too soon.
     
  3. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    Every single coach of every sport uses that cliche. I don't think you're going to get away from it. Besides, it's not like the concepts Hawkins would parrot that were the problem... it was his inability to stick to a core philosophy and drive the implementation. You know, the way leaders do. It took a while, but people finally figured out that he's an empty suit.
     
  4. Lt.Col.FrankSlade

    Lt.Col.FrankSlade Well-Known Member

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    The fact is - to be successful at football you have to be good at the little things. Proper footwork. Proper technique. Everything from weight lifting technique to proper blocking technique to route running, etc. It's what Dan Hawkins meant when he said "be the bow."
     
  5. Pale Ale

    Pale Ale Well-Known Member

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    Fact is DH used every cliche in the book ad nauseum. I even read a Rick George quote in the Gazette article about staying out of the peaks and valleys and wanted to puke, but I guess that is part of the healing process. Maybe one day I will be able to stomach a cliche again, better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.
     

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