Tag Archives: Brian Kelly

Revels a microcosm

(10:43 a.m.): WEST HARRISON, Ind. – That’s what I think anyway. The knock you no doubt have heard about UC’s football team – one of the major reasons the Bearcats aren’t ranked in either preseason poll – is because they lost 10 defensive starters from last season.

I don’t buy the premise that this will be a huge problem. The season before last, UC had to replace about half of its defensive starters – while adding a defensive end in Connor Barwin who had spent his college career playing tight end, a safety in Brandon Underwood who had flamed out at Ohio State and a linebacker in Torry Cornett who previously had played basketball at Prairie View A&M – and the Bearcats were just fine.

They were more than fine, in fact. In total defense and scoring defense, they ranked in the top quarter of the country’s squads, and they led the Big East in sacks.

Read the rest here.

Rutgers continues to weigh heavy

(1:38 p.m.): WEST HARRISON, Ind. – This year’s UC football camp has been just a bit different. It’s been a little faster, a little more frenetic with just a little more energy. That’s the way it’s had to be. The Bearcats, after all, aren’t opening the season against a Southeast Missouri State squad or an Eastern Kentucky team or some other Division I-AA opponent who’s looking for a nice paycheck.

No, Rutgers is first on the list in a nationally-televised game, and nobody here is underestimating the importance of the season-opener.

Read the rest here.

Carey continues to adjust

(11:18 a.m.): Sometimes, UC senior linebacker Craig Carey misses playing quarterback. He’ll look over to the other side of the field where the Bearcats signal-callers are working on their five-step drops and their throwing techniques, and he’ll wistfully remember his days lining up under center.

Those days, though, seem long ago.

To refresh: after playing as a tight end his junior year at Elder High, he was pretty good as quarterback his senior season, completing 55.6 percent of his passes, gaining 2,382 yards of total offense, setting the school record with 396 passing yards in a game, and tossing seven touchdowns.

Read the rest here.

Higher Ground or bust

(6:05 p.m.): In his first year as head coach, Brian Kelly was a little unsure of the Higher Ground Conference and Retreat Center (or is it the Retreat and Conference Center? I’m always confused about that. Perhaps I should have looked it up.). He didn’t know if leaving campus for east Indiana was the right move. He didn’t know if going from the known to the unknown was good for the Bearcats.

You probably don’t remember reading this story from the Aug. 13, 2007 edition of the late, great Cincinnati Post. But the headline says it all: Retreat to Higher Ground could be Cats’ last.

Read the rest of the story here.

Bearcats practice update 08-13

(2:49 p.m.): The Bearcats set a new record this morning. They practiced 33 periods (five minutes a piece) at Nippert today, the longest ever workout in the Brian Kelly era. They started at 10 a.m. and finished at 1 p.m. That is not a short amount of time.

It was long and pretty warm. But, with the exception of a few players (senior receiver Mardy “With a ‘D’” Gilyard and sophomore running back Isaiah Pead were two I saw fighting through cramps), the Bearcats seemed pretty well-hydrated and well-conditioned.

The first thing Gilyard thought when he heard the team was going to practice for so long: “I thought I left all that behind.”

Read the rest here.

The future of Nippert Stadium

(10:22 a.m.): After the Brian Kelly contract news conference Monday, in which we discussed the removal of the practice bubble/practice facility clause from his contract, I also wanted to talk about the future of Nippert Stadium.

I asked Mike Thomas if there was anything specific in BK’s new contract regarding upgrades to Nippert (there aren’t) and I asked BK if he had shifted his thinking about playing more games at Paul Brown Stadium (at this point, he’d rather play home games at Nippert). To me, it’s an issue that will play a role in determining how seriously a player the administration thinks football can be in the next decade or so (whether BK is here or not).

A few months ago, during a football spring practice, Thomas and I talked for a while about the state of the stadium and what could be done to upgrade it into a facility that could generate more revenue streams. What I took from the conversation: it’s going to be tough to expand the stadium past, say, 45,000 seats, and it’s going to cost a boatload of money to put in club seats and private boxes. Tens of millions of dollars that would take many years to pay itself off.

Read the rest here.

New BK contract is official

(1:48 p.m.): Brian Kelly officially has signed his new five-year contract, and you know what that means? It means he thinks the Bearcats are on their way to competing for a BCS title.

Big East titles? Feh. Try national titles. That’s what he wants now. Big change of perspective than when he was hired in 2006.

“Then, we were talking about winning and being competitive in the Big East,” BK said. “Now we can talk about building a national championship program. No, we’re not there yet. This contract really signifies the university’s desires and wants to be a national player. That’s all I wanted. Are you happy just being in the Big East? Or do you want to do this as a BCS program and compete every year at this level? Those decisions had to be made, or I wasn’t signing it. They were able to put those pieces together that makes the university committed to being a BCS program.”

Read the rest right here.