Watch and learn
I hope EVERYONE involved with Columbia football watched yesterday’s Eagles-Giants game very, very carefully.
If you did, I hope you watched how the Eagles offense did just about nothing all day until QB Michael Vick was allowed to start running more often and thus opening up the entire offense.
Columbia’s football season was a lot like that this past year. The offense often froze for long periods until QB Sean Brackett started running with the ball and forced defenses to spread out to guard against a serious new threat.
The difference between the Lions offensive effectiveness when Brackett was running and when he wasn’t was absolutely NIGHT AND DAY.
Are there risks? Of course. The Eagles lost Vick for a few games this season after he was roughly tackled on a running play.
But what would you rather have, risking injury or guaranteeing a loss?
I think we would all pick the former.
There’s one more important lesson to learn from that Giant game.
Punter Matt Dodge made a mental error punting a line drive at the end of the game when he was told to punt it out of bounds. But the snap was high and Dodge says he was worried the punt would be blocked so he just kicked it.
I say that’s hogwash.
Dodge and a lot of other Giants play the game with Coughlin in their heads. They worry more about getting chewed out by him than actually making a mistake.
Teams with that kind of stuff in their heads rarely win in pressure situations.
It makes sense that under those circumstances, the Giants Super Bowl winning year came in 2007 when no one really expected anything from them. Coughlin backed off a bit that year and the result was a Lombardi Trophy.
That’s a good lesson for coaches at all levels of football. By all means, scream your head off at players you think are dogging it or are defying you on purpose.
But in the Ivies, the fact that the players are showing up at all pretty much proves they’re not slackers. And I can’t imagine too many Ivy players are openly defying their coaches at any point in practice or a game.
I see some Ivy coaches yelling from time to time, but I think guys like Penn’s Al Bagnoli saves the yelling for the refs on game day.
Kraft’s league bears fruit… for Harvard!
Eight months ago, I first posted a piece about the semipro football league in Israel sponsored by Columbia alum Robert Kraft.
In that piece, I expressed the hope that if there was a good looking prospect in that league, Columbia would get first dibs on him.
Well, no dice.
Talented defensive lineman Niv Sultan, who played for one season in the Israeli league before returning to high school back on Long Island, has committed to… HARVARD!
But not all is lost. At least the Israel League-Ivy League channel is open and Columbia will be a very logical landing spot for some other talented players in that league because of our New York City location.
It’s a marathon, not a sprint.