Saturday, April 02, 2011

Spring Wishes

Can you believe it’s just three weeks until the spring game, (sponsored by Rack and Soul)?

Spring practice begins today and the players are really lucky. A very long week of bad weather has cleared here in New York and we're looking at just partly cloudy skies today with temps in the 50's. The forecast is even better fo tomorrow.

The athletic department will cover the start of practice with another one of the live blogs that many of us have really appreciated since they started doing them for football last year.

How would you rate the priorities for spring practice?

Here’s my top 3:

1) Get better at stopping the run

You already knew that was my top priority, didn’t you? That means rebuilding the defensive line, linebacking crew and perhaps shuffling the player deck a bit. We are already hearing reports that the Lions will switch from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense this year. If that works and looks good in spring practice, then great. But we should be willing to try anything.

2) Make the wide receivers and running backs better weapons

The WR numbers are strong, but the Lions need some real stars to emerge. Mike Stephens should be one of those stars as he returns for a 5th year. Kurt Williams has all the physical tools and was darn good for a first-time WR last season. But one or two of the other 10 receivers on the roster need to step up too.

If any of us had to guess, we’d probably say Nick Gerst and Marcorus Garrett will be the top two tailbacks this fall. But they are both smaller, speedier runners. Who will block for them? Is there a role for a fullback in this offense? We have to get some answers to these questions sooner rather than later.

3) Keep working on that killer instinct

The 2010 season was once again characterized by losses in tight games that didn’t have as much to do with talent as they did about keeping calm and precise in crunch time.

The losses to Fordham, Yale, Dartmouth, and even aspects of the Harvard loss showed that.

I don’t know how the players and coaches learn the killer instinct by playing a bunch of intrasquad scrimmages, but that’s the only choice we have for another six months.

Anyone who has followed Columbia football for more than 10 years knows that this Lion squad is very high on the relative talent bar.

We have the best QB in the Ivies.

We have a talent-laden veteran offensive line with four of five 2010 starters returning.

We finally have a very solid kicking game with young stars who will only get better.

We have one of the speediest and strongest WR’s in the Ivies returning for another season.

Are there teams with more talent?

Yes, but not many.

Time to expect better.

Back to the Front...

Speaking of expecting better, that vote by the University Senate to at least begin the process of getting ROTC back on campus was 51 in favor, 17 against. a 3-1 ratio is not bad in this case.

In the meantime, please keep spreading the word about our halftime "honor the vets" campaign and let's get more signatories!


Visits to this blog were up 14% in March compared to March of last year and up 24% compared to March of 2009.

Thanks for reading!


At Sat Apr 02, 10:00:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

TE Mooney and QB Rapka are not longer on the team, according to live blogger April 2.

At Sun Apr 03, 02:03:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seen alot Blogs on Gerst. Have to agree. Watching some film from last year you can see the kid was electric and a game changer when he was on the field. Big time speed and vision. Looks like a big impact weapon if used correctly with a little blocking up front.

At Sun Apr 03, 07:03:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heard Griffin Lowry is coming off another knee injury. Anybody know anything about this guy?

At Mon Apr 04, 04:31:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Question on Gerst: I agree with all of the positives but have one qualm. Against Dartmouth last year he broke off a long run and I thought should have scored. Yet he slowed down and was caught from behind. Did he have conditioning issues which kept him off the field last year, or does he lack high end speed? After that game he seemed to get fewer carries.

At Mon Apr 04, 06:15:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A reliable source tells me Gerst played hurt...hamstring.. through the year so we have still not seen him at 100% ..Based on what I saw cant wait to see him healthy


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