Tag Archives: Brian Kelly

My interview with Butch Jones, part II

Two weeks ago, I was invited into Butch Jones’ office for a little question and answer session. I hadn’t met Jones yet, so I was interested to see him in his new digs, how he was adjusting to his new job and how he would answer my questions. Here’s part II of III of my interview.

Josh Katzowitz: Not many people have talked about this, but what kind of defense do you run?

Butch Jones: First of all, we’ll be real multiple with a four-down and three-down front. We’ll be very, very aggressive, but we’re going to be fundamentally sound. We’ll be a great, great tackling team. We’ll pride ourselves on playing with great fundamentals, not only on defense but on the other phases as well.

Read the rest here.

An interview with Butch Jones, part I

Last week, I was invited into Butch Jones’ office for a little question and answer session. I hadn’t met Jones yet, so I was interested to see him in his new digs, how he was adjusting to his new job and how he would answer my questions. Here’s part I of III of my interview.

Josh Katzowitz: So, you’ve been here a couple weeks. How’s everything going?

Butch Jones: The transition has been extremely smooth. We really benefitted from being here very early. Getting a head start on everything, a head start on recruiting. Being able to evaluate things, so all of a sudden after the Sugar Bowl, we’ve come in and hit the ground running.

Read the rest here.

Kelly closes one chapter of his life, kick-starts a new one

I wanted to go to South Bend, Ind., two weeks ago for two reasons. One was to cover the Brian-Kelly-to-Notre-Dame presser; the other was to see the hallowed campus of Notre Dame. It was nearly 10 hours of driving round trip, but I got a pretty good story out of it on CBSSports.com and I got some good color of the event, just in case.

Oh, and Touchdown Jesus was pretty cool.

UC-Syracuse preview

Brian Kelly sees the similarities between Syracuse and UC. He can think back to 2007, his first year at the helm of the Bearcats squad, and he can compare it to this season’s Syracuse squad – in its first year under coach Doug Marrone.

He comes to this conclusion: the Orange of 2009 and the Bearcats of 2007 are more similar than you might think.

“The first thing that stands out is Doug Marrone has done a great job of getting players to play hard for four quarters,” Kelly said. “I told our team this is the first time I’ve seen some similarities to our team in the first year in terms of playing hard. Everybody has been focused on Syracuse’s quarterback situation. (Greg) Paulus did a good job of coming into this year and adding some maturity and stability to the offense.”

Read the rest here.

A surreal paradigm shift

(1:16 p.m.): When Craig Carey first arrived at UC in 2005, he watched during his redshirt year as the Bearcats struggled to win games in their first Big East season.

Penn State gave them a beating. Miami University decimated them by four touchdowns. And West Virginia, South Florida and Rutgers slapped them around in the final three weeks of the season by a combined score of 113-25.

The season was over by Nov. 27, and to a team not used to having a major postseason presence, that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing for the Bearcats.

Read the rest here.

UC vs. Ohio State: who wins?

(11:45 a.m.): I understand why UC fans want to compare themselves to the school up north, I can understand why they want to be the ones to proclaim that the Bearcats are the best college football program in the state and I can understand why they get excited when sophomore running back Isaiah Pead says something like this about Ohio State:

“If we ever have to strap it on with them, we’re going to win it.

Read the rest here.

Short week isn’t a problem

(5:10 p.m.): If you remember last year’s UConn-UC game, you remember what a disaster that game was for the Bearcats.

A 40-16 pounding that had people questioning what kind of team the Bearcats ultimately would be. Quarterback Tony Pike having to leave the game at halftime because he had lost feeling in his arm. The inability to stop Huskies running back Donald Brown. The 0-for-25 stat on third downs.

It was brutal. And you know what the Bearcats did the next day? They practiced. They had to practice, in fact, because South Florida was coming to town five days after UConn pasted UC. That Sunday workout, though, was a huge event. You could make the argument that it turned around the entire season.

Read the rest here.

The rise of Sam Griffin

(10:58 a.m.): When UC junior offensive tackle Sam Griffin first arrived at UC, he weighed between 210-220 pounds and the coaching staff wasn’t exactly sure where to play him.

The Bearcats could 1) put massive bulk on him and throw him on the offensive line; 2) slowly increase his weight and use him on the defensive line; or 3) keep him around the same weight and have him compete for a tight end spot.

They had signed Griffin because he was 6-foot-5 and he had the potential to play in a variety of positions. They liked his ability to grow. But before his freshman year, there was still a question as to what position group the coaches should assign him.

Read the rest here.


(1:32 p.m.): Ah, the first weekly presser of the year, complete with upper administration in attendance (most likely to score free food), a bad BK joke and plenty of reporters.

One of the oft-discussed questions of the preseason was brought up again, but BK, proving once again that he’s a friend to the media, gave us a new, juicy quote. The discussion had to do with how he felt about having to open the season at Rutgers and whether he looked forward to it.

He talked about how if it was his decision he wouldn’t play the game, but that the decision was made above his pay grade (well, not his pay grade per say, but a little higher on the decision-making food chain, I suppose) and there wasn’t much he could do about it expect go play. Standard fare from BK.

Read the rest here.

Questions answered

(9:15 p.m.): WEST HARRISON, Ind. – With a week to play before UC kicks off its season with a jaunt northeast to face Rutgers, BK seems pretty pleased with how his squad has come together.

That’s what the past few weeks at Higher Ground have taught him.

“We feel we’ve developed the depth necessary to be Big East champs,” he said. “We had a lot of question marks coming in. We had some players that we thought could be Big East caliber, but we really didn’t know until we got the pads on and started to compete. Now, we can see we’ve got some pretty good depth over what we’ve done the past couple weeks.”

Read the rest here.