Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Break's over. Back to the grind.

Spent my bye week shopping for a new car. I finally made a deal yesterday, and realized the key component in negotiating with car salesmen: a wriggling, kicking, yelling 1-year old baby. If you need a car and don't have a baby, borrow one. Trust me. After 15 minutes, they were ready to give me whatever I wanted just to get me the hell out of there. The clincher may have been the free corn muffins and coffee the dealership offers to all customers. They insisted. Bad idea. Someone will be scraping mashed muffin clumps off that desk for a few days.

Here's a sampling of what came out of the weekly media session today:

  • Good thing the Huskies have a surplus of tight ends. Yianni the Greek suffered a fairly serious hip injury in practice last week, and will miss the next eight weeks. John Delahunt takes over as the backup to Martin Bedard. We haven't seen a lot of Yianni, but he is a very good receiving tight end. Here's to a speedy recovery.

  • The defensive line is healthy, and received "full-go" status from the coaching staff.

  • The players enjoyed the bye week as much as possible, though with practice and classes all last week it was more like a 24-48 hour pass. Donald Brown was among several players able to head home for a day to relax. The assistant coaches spent time on the road recruiting, while Randy Edsall checked out East Catholic High on Friday night (their starting quarterback has a similar last name as his, and bears a striking resemblance).

  • Edsall also saw "The Express", which hit home with him since Randy played at Syracuse, albeit well after Ernie Davis graduated. "Because of my background I think I appreciated it more," Edsall said. "I think it took too long in the making. Considering what Ernie Davis did, the movie should have been made 20 years ago." So true. Another reason it should have been made in 1988: Denzel Washington could have played Ernie Davis ("Now, explain this disease to me like I'm a four year old") and Dennis Quaid could have been a player instead of coach.

  • Greg Schiano said replacing struggling Mike Teel as quarterback had crossed his mind. "I consider everything, I'm not one to bury my head in the sand," Schiano said. "What it all boils down to in the end is if someone else gives us a better chance to win, I'd play them. Those are the issues. That's the question I have to ask myself." In the end, Schiano feels Teel is still the guy. Odds on the New York Post hearing that quote and using the headline "Schiano Not An Ostrich" would be even money. If the New York Post cared about Rutgers football, that is. (Thanks, Joe D.)

  • Two years ago, Schiano was on the 'A' list along with Bon Jovi and Springsteen in Jersey. These days, not so much. He's feeling some heat, but says "I'm doing fine. I love what I do. We're going to be fine. We have good young players. I don't like being 1-5, but the infrastructure and the things I feel are important to a program are in place, including the players." On a side note, while Bon Jovi (never been a fan) and The Boss are 'A' listers in the Turnpike State, Sinatra was in the class above the 'A' list, reserved only for guys who can pull off a nickname like "Chairman of the Board."

  • Lots of questions about whether UConn and Rutgers is a rivalry yet. Both Edsall and Schiano said a rivalry doesn't grow overnight; that it takes years and years. I disagree. If two schools are close in proximity, both play in the same conference and don't already have one of those a signature '100 year' rivals, then it can become a rivalry in a matter of a few years. Especially with two fan bases whose hatred of one another festers each season like East Coast vs. West Coast rappers. Let's just hope it doesn't end like the Tupac-Biggie rivalry.

  • More scouts in the house today. The Browns, Bears, Ravens and an NFL central scouting office rep were here, dressed in polo shirts bearing the logos of the Browns, Bears, Ravens and NFL. I suppose if I got free clothes, I'd wear them everywhere, too.

  • Mike Cox (knee) is getting closer to a return, which would help out the depth at defensive end.

  • Congrats to Rob Lunn, who accepted a job with NESN as a college football writer starting next spring. Rob's blog is a national hit, and NESN is getting a talented writer with a cult-like following. Best of luck to Rob.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an EC Eagles fan, I just have to correct you by saying that our game was Saturday night, not Friday. But as usual it was great to have Coach Edsall there... the fact that he takes the time out of his busy schedule to go see some high school football is a reflection of his great character.

October 15, 2008 3:25 PM 
Anonymous vinny (from east haven) said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

October 15, 2008 5:01 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mashed muffin clumps?
That sounds great. I've been eating them the normal way like a chump.

October 16, 2008 1:29 PM 
Blogger Chip Malafronte said...

Mashed muffin clumps are a phenomenon that occurs when a 1-year old repeatedly slams his hand onto a regular muffin, while drooling, until it becomes embedded into the upholstery as a hardened, unedible, plastic-like substance.

Please continue to eat them the regular way. Unless a car salesman is trying to screw you over on a lease.

October 16, 2008 1:39 PM 

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