Tuesday, August 31, 2010

No way to avoid Lloyd and more Tuesday notes

First weekly media luncheon in the books (turkey, stuffing, gravy and complimentary EKG tests...good times...just hope I don't pass out on my keyboard from the tryptophan). Lots to cover. So loosen that belt buckle (I had no choice) and dig in.
  • The coaches could see Greg Lloyd was ready to return at least a week ago, perhaps longer. He was doing everything well in practice, and lit it up in team scrimmages. "As we kept watching him do things and watching practice, we saw a guy who had gotten back to where he was before," Randy Edsall said. "I talked to the defensive coaches and said the guy is ready to go."

  • The players were as surprised as anyone at how quickly Lloyd regained his form. "He was at the bottom of the depth chart, and no one was even expecting him to play," linebacker Scott Lutrus said. "All of a sudden, he had moved up and was back to his old self. It's nice to have that experience back on the field."

  • Edsall wasn't very willing to give much in terms of how certain players will be used. D.J. Shoemate and Robbie Frey should both see the ball in relief of Jordan Todman at tailback. Given the very different running styles, expect Shoemate to be a short-yardage and goal line back and Frey used in situations where he can use his speed.

  • Punters Cole Wagner and Chad Christen will also likely both be used, as Edsall alluded to the fact that one is better at directional punting and the other is more of a distance, hang-time guy.

  • Is Leon Kinnard a full-time wide receiver now, or is he still working at quarterback? "Leon is an athlete," Edsall said with a sly grin. "He's not a wide receiver, he's not a quarterback. He's an athlete and has picked things up very well. How he'll be used, I'm not going to tell you. You'll have to watch the game to see if we do anything other than have him at wide receiver."

  • A crowd of over 112,000 will be on hand in Ann Arbor, Mich. on Saturday (with standing room tickets, apparently, making it the largest crowd in college football history). In talking about how he prepares the team for that kind of noise Edsall mentioned an interesting stat. The Michigan Stadium crowd will be larger than every city or town in the state of Connecticut except Bridgeport (139K, per 2000 U.S. census), New Haven (123K), Hartford (121K) and Stamford (117K).

  • Jerome Junior missed some time this preseason with a head injury, but Harris Agbor was simply more consistent at safety than Junior, and that's why Agbor gets the start. Junior will play in some situations, but Edsall, in his expanded role as safeties coach, said he has more confidence in Agbor right now. Similar comment with Taylor Mack and Gilbert Stlouis, the backup corners. Both are shifty, quick and physical, Edsall said.

  • How is Gilbert's last name not spelled St. Louis? Or shouldn't it at least be pronounced as one quick word...something like Stellewis or STAH-louis? It defies all rules of phonetics.

  • Mike Box is "a lot like Dan Orlovsky, except he's a much better athlete than Dan," Edsall said. Edsall also said he expects Orlovsky to text him as soon as ge gets wind of the comment. My guess is the text from Dan O will look something like this..."I'll believe it when he signs a $9.15 million contract."

  • Zach Frazer was recruited by Michigan out of high school (it was his No. 2 choice behind Notre Dame) and has watched a game in Michigan Stadium. So he's familiar with the atmosphere and what kind of noise a crowd of 113,000 might bring. "It's going to be loud," Frazer said. "But one of our goals is 'OK, there's 110,000 people there, how quiet can we get them?'"

  • Just how big a crowd is 113,000? When UConn played at Notre Dame last November, it was the largest crowd for a UConn game in school history at 80,795. To get to 113K, you'd have to pour in a sellout crowd from a Pearl Jam concert at Madison Square Garden (was going to say Knicks game, but that analogy won't work anymore) as well as a sellout crowd from a UConn game at Gampel Pavilion, and you're still a couple thousand short. Mix in the attendance from the Saturday's Pilot Pen Tennis final, and you're there.

  • Frazer has been known to prepare home-cooked meals for his offensive linemen and tight ends in the past. Baked ziti. Chicken. (The secret to his chicken? A dash of rosemary). Then perhaps a nice Apple Brown Betty or tiramisu for dessert. And yes, I totally made up the part about the secret ingredient and dessert. (It's not a dash of rosemary. More like a pinch). But on Sunday night, he and D.J. Shoemate splurged and took them all out for wings and burgers at Hooters. "It was nice," Frazer said. "They do a lot for me during the season, and it won't be the last time I take them out for dinner."

  • Injury updates won't come until Thursdays now, per regulations. My weekly Thursday fireside chats are returning, too. They begin this week at 2 p.m. at http://www.nhregister.com/. I'm still on the fence about running my weekly football picks each Thursday. Only one or two of you seem even remotely interested in it, so let me know what you think. Hope to see you Thursday.


Blogger Gary said...

Here's what I picture Chip's desk looks like during his chats

Also, if the turkey dinner is anything like the turkey dinner's they served us in the UConn dining halls, I weep for you. They basically just balled up deli slices of turkey, heated them up and slathered terrible gravy all over them. It was the only meal I had a complaint about at the dining halls during my tenure at UConn.

I can respect taking our linemen out to eat, but if you're hitting up a chain restaurant in Manchester, you gotta hit up Red Robin...all you can eat french fries...I shudder to think what Zach Hurd would do to that.

September 01, 2010 7:12 AM 
Blogger Chip Malafronte said...

Oddly enough, that's exactly what I look like. I even wear a monocle and smoke with one of those fancy cigarette holders to get the full FDR effect.

September 01, 2010 9:12 AM 

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