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Impressions from Media Day 2016 vs. Media Day 2015

Discussion in 'Colorado Football Message Board' started by Justin M Guerriero, Aug 6, 2016.

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Over/under on the number of Buffs wins this season?

Poll closed Aug 13, 2016.
  1. Over 5

    38 vote(s)
    92.7%
  2. Under 5

    3 vote(s)
    7.3%
  1. Justin M Guerriero

    Justin M Guerriero Well-Known Member Club Member

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    Ah, Media Day at Folsom Field. A day of observing and analyzing our beloved Buffs in anticipation for the upcoming season. This past Friday, members of the press gathered at Folsom to listen to head coach Mike MacIntyre preview his team and address relevant concerns/issues. The way that Media Day 2016 played out was very similar to 2015's Media Day.

    The ever-confident MacIntyre expressed great confidence in the young men on his roster.

    "I think this group of young men is gonna win a lot of football games this year" is one of Mac's go to phrases that I've noticed in covering the last two Media Days. We shall see.

    I remember the atmosphere of Media Day last year. The level of confidence and optimism in the locker room was impressive. Over and over again, from both coaching staff and players, I heard the same response, in regards to the Buffs' ever elusive task of reaching a bowl game. "It's not a matter of "if," we ARE making a bowl this season."

    Unfortunately, the confidence I and many saw that day did not generate the desired seasonal outcome. The 4-9 Buffs missed a bowl, granted however, they were so, so close in many of those heartbreaking losses last season.

    Media Day last year featured that level of confidence for a number of reasons. The first was depth. Last year's team featured the most impressively structured depth chart since Mac took the helm of the program in 2013. The relationship between quarterback Sefo Liufau and wide receiver Nelson Spruce was another one. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, was the level of frustration held by the entire team due to the constant losing. "Enough is enough", I remember hearing repeatedly.

    Minus Spruce's impact, the themes from Friday's Media Day were quite familiar to last season's. There's a lot of returning starters and this group of guys is especially eager to finish out games and become a more efficient team for a full 60 minutes every week.

    I have to admit though, last season, my personal expectations of the team were raised by what I considered to be a pretty manageable first month of football leading into Pac-12 play. This year, the positives of having the most experienced group of returning starters in program history, Sefo having a chip on his shoulder, and the idea that these last few rough seasons have molded this team into something respectable are balanced by a tougher schedule.

    We won't be warming up against UMass and Nicholls State this season. The Buffs are going to have to take on an intimidating Michigan Wolverines team in Week 3 in Ann Arbor.

    With all of that being said, there were a few specifics that stuck out to me this past Friday.

    One was Mr. Phillip Lindsay. Last season, the then-sophomore tailback led the team in rushing attempts, total yards, yards per carry and touchdowns. Lindsay has put on some sheer muscular weight over the last few months. The guy is 5'8" and now weighs 190 pounds. He is absolutely shredded.

    An offensive problem last year that irritated the hell out of me was how many times Christian Powell took a painfully predictable handoff up the middle for a net gain of half a yard. Seriously. It was like a broken record player replaying the same awful tune ten times a game. But Lindsay's bulking leads me to suspect that Co-Offensive Coordinators Darrin Chiaverini and Brian Lindgren may be preparing to use him in a more physical manner at the tailback position. I think Lindsay, with his speed and his new and improved physique, could do some serious damage cutting up the one and three/two and four holes...provided he isn't handed the ball up the middle on EVERY first down, as it felt like with Powell last year.

    The defensive backs will be a strength for the Buffs in 2016. Much respect to Jered Bell and Ken Crawley, but put bluntly, the Buffs can do without them. There are capable young men to take over. I'm talking about Tedric Thompson and Chidobe Awuzie. They came in second and third, respectively, in total tackles last season, trailing only linebacker Rick Gamboa.

    We have witnessed Thompson's skill over the last few seasons. I think that he reads receivers well, which was a big factor in his three interceptions last year, a team lead which he shared with Bell.

    As for Awuzie, I'll make my opinion on him very clear: I don't think anyone on that roster has a higher football IQ than Chido. The man plays his position with grace and in an intelligent manner, which is exactly the reason that he's FINALLY starting to earn some respect and admiration from college football analysts across the country.

    Thompson and Awuzie will be complemented in the flats and downfield by Afolabi Laguda, Ahkello Witherspoon and former walk-on Ryan Moeller, all of whom proved their worth last season. Are they as good as Thompson and Awuzie? Well, I wouldn't say that. Will any of them be NFL draft picks? Probably not. But the point is that their combined experience will be a positive factor for the Buffs' defensive 11 this season.

    One final impression from Media Day: the offensive line. Last season, Colorado ranked next to worst in the Pac-12 with 41 sacks allowed. Last season I remember chatting with Alex Kelley after practice one day in the week leading to their Pac-12 showdown with Oregon at Folsom. He told me that he and his linemates were confident in their ability to take on a Pac-12 opponent.

    As we all can recall, the Buffs' O line did not fare well against Pac-12 teams. Now, a lot of that was due to an ungodly amount of injuries to starting offensive linemen, but still, the question remains: Can a healthy Buffs offensive line hold their own against the defensive counterparts of an opposing team? We're going to find out in just a few weeks.

    At the end of the day, the two media days were quite similar. The book has been closed on 2015. The team was confident and experienced, but simply could not play a full 60 minutes of good football. Mac referenced the many "bonehead mistakes" made during each game in his postgame press conferences last season.

    As for the players, after so many of those losses by one possession, I think a lot of them were simply out of answers for why they couldn't win. Every week it was a different deflating mistake that sunk the team.

    This year, the pieces are in place for the Buffs to get out of the cellar of the Pac-12. But it's all up to the players. Once they step foot on the field, they control their own fates.

    Let's. Go. Buffs. #TheRise
     
  2. 30Something

    30Something Distinguished Brotha Club Member

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  3. cu2x

    cu2x Club Member Club Member

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    very nice, thanks
     
  4. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    The time for talk is over. We've heard it all before. The only meaningful statement they can really make at this point is the CSU game.
     
    Big Jim likes this.
  5. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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    Yup. Bowl game or bust time.
     

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