QB's, Conditioning, and Sleeping Buckeyes

Looks like our #2 QB may get some more reps, just as Chris predicted last August<br><br> Plus: is it conditioning? or are the mean old coaches working the kids too hard...<br><br> And we didn't catch the Buckeyes sleeping...[Nuts]

Wow - Alexander Webb at Quarterback...
Look back at our first Cat Chat with Chris Pool last August...

He predicted that Webb would take over the QB job by the start of the Big 10 Season, maybe earlier.

Now we're seeing NU trying to work the Highland Park, Texas alum into the mix, trying to get his speed [reported to be 4.5] into the game. We've seen flashes of his running ability this year and you have to wonder how fast his passing game is improving.

I suspect that's what keeping him from taking over the top spot.

Meanwhile, Brett Basanez may be slower, but a few NU receivers catch the ball and NU mounts a serious drive in the 4th quarter against the Buckeyes making Baz look like another Zach [cardiac Cats'] Kustok.

This season is, and should be for the Seniors on the NU Team, and those Senior receivers need to step up and make the catches when it counts. It wouldn't hurt to air it out once or twice a game either [and I'm not the Lone Ranger griping about that].
There seems to be a feeling among certain board posters that Randy is a little too tough on our players.
My experience is that most players have a love/hate relationship with their coaches - they love them when they're winning, and even after a win, they still think they hate them after practice because coaches have to push kids to get the best from them. Remember that my wife and I have raised 3 boys who all played football. They've all had different opinions of their coaches [even me] based on how they were playing any given week, but the coaches that pushed them are the one's they still respect.

If you had ever seen my son David and his O-Line coach on the sidelines during a game, you'd think that they hated each other. [I understand the Sunday film sessions were even worse] But through his 4 years of play, all you heard from David was how great a football mind the guy had, and the mutual respect showed when they were together. They still even fish and golf together. [David started for 2 years under this guy, and played in 36 of 40 games at Greensboro.]

I try not to discount anyone's opinion, but many football moms think their kid is being overworked in practice and will give voice to that thought in the parking lot, especially if their kid isn't being featured enough. We have a mother in our town who sits in the stands fuming about the lack of blocking when the problem is her ["star"] son and the other backs not hitting the holes properly.

Too many parents forget that as kids advance in level of play, the game becomes more and more one of teamwork. Every team has a star or two, but their extraordinary ability is enhanced by the play of those around them.

Last Spring, Jason Wright was asked if he planned to dominate the rushing stats again. His response was something about he would if his linemen continued to improve. [He was worried about all the changes]. Every really good running back will give their O-line the credit because they know they won't be a star without the blocking up front.

Whenever one of my 12 year old kids starts to think he's the next [fill in your favorite star] I always ask this question, "How many NFL Hall of Famers have NFL Championship rings?"

Anyone who is crying about all the conditioning [running] the Cats' do only has to watch our play in the fourth quarter - our guys can continue to play hard. We've seen that in our Linebacker play [they've run extra gassers from time to time] and now that we've got 11 reasonably healthy O-linemen, we'll see the rewards of all that work.

Even if we never go back to a no-huddle, we have our opponents gasping at the end of a game. Its the Wildcats' reward for all that conditioning.

What surprises me is that there are some former players from the "bad years" who seem to miss the point on conditioning and what Walker & Co. are trying to accomplish at Northwestern.

Football today requires precise, aggressive, fast play. If you don't have the heart [or stomach] for that kind of action, you shouldn't be on the field, because you will either get hurt, or "ride pine."

The plan, as I see it, has always been to try to play well with kids we have now, and recruit even better players in the future. If we change coaches we start the process over again. For once, I'd like to see what having the same coaches for 5 or 6 years would produce.

Just my opinion....
Someone commented to me that maybe NU would catch the Buckeyes sleeping...
Unfortunately, NU didn't catch dOSU sleeping, but we did have the defense to play with them. Last time we played in the Shoe, when we got trampled, it was the first home game for the Bucks, the grand re-opening of the place and at night. They were pumped up - we were lost in space.

At least we didn't play like the "lost boys" in the Shoe this year.
-- da Coach

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