Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tuesday lunch: the happiest place on Earth.

Your Tuesday media luncheon rundown:

  • At least Randy Edsall has a sense of humor (which we already knew). He opened today's press conference by saying, "Jiminy Cricket! There'a a lot of people here.", then ended by saying he had to go get his nose checked. That had a little something to do with him being referred to as Coach Pinocchio by Jeff Jacobs of the Hartford Courant in his column after Edsall's quarterback ruse on Saturday. Jacobs had a good laugh about Randy's comments, too. Personally, I think Edsall should have ended his session by saying, "Gepetto! I can't believe it! I'm a real boy at last!" That would have been comedy gold.

  • Later, Edsall said he didn't lie last week. "I never said Tyler was never going to play, so I didn't lie." He also said one of Syracuse's beat writers told him after the game Saturday that he asked Greg Robinson if he thought Lorenzen would play, and Robinson said no. Robinson said otherwise on the Big East conference call Monday (he said he figured Lorenzen would be in there as well). But, G-Rob's mind has been on other things the last two days, so maybe he's mistaken.

  • The Syracuse media maintains Edsall is still atop the short list to replace Greg Robinson, despite what Edsall and his agent said to the contrary yesterday. Edsall's statement and his agent's statement were both carefully worded. Edsall said he's not interested in being a candidate. He didn't say he wasn't interested in being coach. His agent told the New York Times "Randy isn't interested in returning to his alma mater to coach the football team at this particular time." So, Edsall was asked today if he is saying no to the Syracuse job, or if he meant he's simply saying no until after the season's over. "I made the statement yesterday. The statement says what it says, and that's it. I want to talk about South Florida. I dealt with all that yesterday."

  • Practicing outdoors in 40-degree weather won't do UConn much good this week. They'll be inside, where the temperature will be set at 75 to mimic the Tampa heat.

  • One true freshman Edsall mentioned today is Ryan Wirth, who will enter the mix at defensive tackle next season. Wirth, a New Jersey native who prepped at Cheshire Academy, is being redshirted.

  • Edsall said the Sunday game doesn't bother him, aside from the fact that the team gets back to Hartford at 4:30 a.m. Monday morning. UConn only agreed to play on Sunday because there are no classes Monday (UConn is on Thanksgiving break). "If we had classes the next day, I don't think we would have done it. But it's business as usual in terms of the preparation. The good thing is we get an extra day."

  • The Huskies won't be staying at the same hotel as they did in 2006, when a group of players purchased beer at the gas station next door and brought it back to the hotel room. But it's a different mentality with this group, Edsall said. "It's the attitude, and the commitment. We try to recruit guys with character. ... Who understand the team is above the individual. That's the big thing. Guys who want to do the right thing."

  • Edsall finally admitted Cody Brown is playing up to his expectations. Brown is being used in different capacities on the end. "He's a tremendous athlete, and he's playing very, very well. He's playing with the consistency I want him to play with, and I want him to finish out playing at that level because he's been a force for us on defense."

  • Steve Brouse is practicing this week, doing more things on special teams, not at tight end. He's in the mix to play special teams Saturday.

  • Darius Butler has a partial tear of a knee ligament. It's won't require surgery. In fact, Butler says he had the same injury on his right knee in 2005, though it happened late in the season and he didn't miss any games. He says he's targeting the Pitt game to return.

  • Jordan Todman is fast, but says Donald Brown is faster. Brown agrees. But the two are close enough that it might take a head-to-head race in the offseason to determine it for sure. I can bet there are a few UConn fans who'd like to see that.

  • Speaking of Todman, his 50-yard touchdown run on Saturday came on a reverse play that Edsall said went for a touchdown every single time in practice. Well, not quite every time, Lorenzen said. But close. "Some of the scout team guys knew it was coming, so they'd cheat," Lorenzen said. "So you'd think 'dang, I don't know if this will work'. But we actually ran it, and it worked." Lorenzen is required to make a block on the play. "I really didn't do much, the guy just kind of played paddy-cake with me. I looked over and Jordan was gone."

  • No Jim Leavitt for the Connecticut media today. Disappointing. I can't help it, I love listening to Leavitt speak. Well, speak is a bit generous. His one-word answers and cliches take interviews to unprecedented levels of awkwardness. And I'm being sincere when I say the man, whose press conferences rarely last more than a minute or two, is still fascinating to listen to.


Anonymous pete said...

That's a relief that Brouse will be back. His loss is what started all the trouble with the punt blocks back at UNC. Hopefully we don't see any more of those.

November 18, 2008 2:30 PM 

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