Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on Funkhouser last December. But because this is the →
Football Season Coverage
Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers
— Cobb had 11 catches for 131 yards in the Packers 20-3 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
— The Packers clinched a spot in the playoffs and will face the Detroit Lions in the NFC North Division game on Sunday
— Watch Cobb talk about the Packers playoff birth here
John Conner, New York Jets
— Conner had one carry for two yards and one reception for 26 yards in the Jets 17-16 loss to the New England Patriots
Stevie Johnson, San Francisco 49ers
— Johnson was sidelined again this week with a continuing knee injury
— The San Diego Chargers erased a 21-point deficit in the second half to beat the 49ers 38-35
Ricky Lumpkin, Oakland Raiders
— Lumpkin combined for three tackles in the Raiders 26-24 win over the Buffalo Bills; two solo and one assist
Tim Masthay, Green Bay Packers
— Masthay punted twice for a total of 69 yards in the Packers win over the Bucs
— Masthay’s longest punt totaled for 43 yards
Corey Peters, Atlanta Falcons
— Peters has two tackles in the Falcons 30-14 win over the Saints
— Peters sacked Drew Brees for a loss of seven yards with a little over five minutes left in the third quarter
Alfonso Smith, San Francisco 49ers
— Smith had two carries for 14 yards and two receptions for nine yards in the 49ers overtime loss
Jacob Tamme, Denver Broncos
— Tamme is listed as probably in the Broncos game tonight against the Bengals on ESPN at 8:30 p.m.
— Denver has clinched the AFC West Division title
Avery Williamson, Tennessee Titans
— Williamson had four tackles in the Titans 21-13 loss to the Jaguars; one solo and three assists
Wesley Woodyard, Tennessee Titans
— Woodyard combined for a total of five tackles in the Titans loss; two solo and three assists
— Woodyard recorded a sack in the third quarter after he tackled Blake Bortles for a loss of five yards
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©December 22nd, 2014 @ 6:00pm
During his press conference this afternoon, Mark Stoops was asked about the rumors that he was one of the candidates for the Michigan job, and told reporters that although he was flattered, he’s got plenty to do at Kentucky, thank you very much. “You know, I’m unsure how to answer that. I mean, I wasn’t concerned at all because I knew what I was doing here and what I wanted to do and will continue to do,” Stoops said, joking that he’s had “very little experience” with coaching rumors so far.
“You know, I made some pretty strong statements when I was awarded that contract extension, and I don’t say those things lightly,” Stoops added. “I’m very committed. I’m very appreciative, and I’m very loyal. I’ve said those things before, and everybody has been so good to me and what we’re doing here and this whole program and very committed. I really am excited about continuing to build this program and really move it forward.”
We’re just getting started, bro.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©December 22nd, 2014 @ 5:30pm
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©December 22nd, 2014 @ 1:30pm
When Mark Stoops hired Shannon Dawson, it showed that he’s sticking with the Air Raid system, a version of which Dawson and Dana Holgorsen ran at West Virginia; however, Mark Stoops said he wasn’t ready to define the new offense as “Air Raid” just yet. “I’m not ready to define it as Air Raid,” Stoops said in a press conference today. “Things evolve constantly.”
Don’t put away that siren just yet. As Stoops said on the radio with Matt and Ryan last week, what he likes so much about Dawson’s offense is that it’s Air Raid with a little bit more balance with the running game. “It’s the same system. It’s very similar,” Stoops said of Dawson’s version, which ranks 9th in the country in passing. “Obviously, they throw the ball. …The bottom line is if you have to defend the run game, it’s going to open things up in the pass game. The more effective you are in the run game, the more effective you’ll be in the pass game.”
As we’ve heard Stoops say countless times, to win in the SEC, you have to have balance. “I believe to compete in this conference, you have to be physical. You have to have some balance,” Stoops said. “That’s what I love about Shannon and what he and Dana have done at West Virginia is they’ve really run the ball very well and have some physicality about them. But still throwing the heck out of the ball and still very creative with how they’re doing things.”
And while Holgorsen handled most of the playcalling at West Virginia, Stoops says he has complete faith in Dawson to call the shots on offense. “Shannon is a great offensive mind and a great coach,” Stoops said. “I have no worries about him putting it together and calling plays.”
How is the Dawson hire going over with recruits? “The recruits are very excited about it, because bottom line, it’s a fun offense to be a part of,” Stoops said.
A bit of unfortunate news from Mark Stoops: in addition to ankle surgery, Ryan Timmons also had shoulder surgery after the season, which Stoops anticipates will keep him out of spring practice.
“No, I don’t think he’ll be good to go for spring,” Stoops said. “Ryan was playing very banged up and I appreciate his effort. And we all know there are things he can do better and he will do better, but he really competed all year through some major injuries.”
That may explain the drops.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©December 22nd, 2014 @ 12:12pm
A jolly Mark Stoops met with the media this afternoon to recap the 2014 season and answer questions about his new offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson. After admitting it was “difficult” to watch the bowl season kick off after coming up short with five wins, Stoops said there are plenty of things to look forward to, including recruiting. “Recruiting is going exceptionally well once again,” Stoops said. “All signs are pointing toward a very good class.”
Hopefully one that will include Damien Harris, who will announce his decision on January 9th.
More coming as we go along…
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©December 22nd, 2014 @ 12:00pm
We all know Randall Cobb is the man. Since leaving Kentucky in 2011, Cobb has blossomed into one of the top receivers in the NFL. Cobb is headed towards free agency after this season, and despite Aaron Rodgers calling out for the Packers to re-sign him, Cobb says there are still no current contract talks. “It is what it is,” Cobb told reporters this week. This season, Goldeneyes has 76 receptions for 1,076 yards and 10 touchdowns, and he and Jordy Nelson are the best receiving tandem in the league.
Tuesday on his radio show, Rodgers said it’s “important” to Green Bay’s future success to lock down Cobb. In addition to his lavish stats, Rodgers said Cobb is a “great teammate,” an “excellent practice player,” a developing leader and someone who embodies “what it means to be a Packer.”
Pay the man, Green Bay.
Today is Graduation Day at UK, and fourteen football Cats will receive their diplomas this evening at Memorial Coliseum: Tyler Brause, Alvin Davis, Mike Douglas, Tre Dunn, Teven Eatmon-Nared, Jabari Johnson, Malcolm McDuffen, Raymond Sanders, Ronnie Shields, Miles Simpson, Maxwell Smith, Za’Darius Smith, Darrell “D.J.” Warren, and Zach West.
Mark Stoops posed for this picture with some of his graduating seniors a little while ago. Congrats to them, and a special note of congratulations to two of our own, Wilder Treadway and Hayley Minogue, who will also graduate this evening. Wilder and Hayley have done an incredible job covering UK Hoops in the most ridiculous manner possible, and hopefully we can hang on to them at KSR a little while longer.
Now that the Shannon Dawson hire is official, some details are finally coming out. According to UK, Dawson will earn $550,000 per year, the same salary as his predecessor Neal Brown. That’s a substaintial pay raise for Dawson, who made about $250,000 per year at West Virginia.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©December 19th, 2014 @ 1:50pm
It’s now official: UK just announced that it has hired Shannon Dawson as the football team’s new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
“I’m very excited to bring Shannon Dawson to the University of Kentucky,” Stoops said in a release. “He has done a great job in helping build programs to success on every level. I’ve been impressed with the balance of West Virginia’s offense and how difficult they are to defend. I love the continuity he will bring to what we’ve been doing as we build on the progress we’ve made so far.
“In learning more about Shannon, I’ve found out what a strong leader he is and heard nothing but good things about him throughout our profession,” Stoops concluded.
Dawson returned the kind words and says he can’t wait to be a part of what Mark Stoops is building in Lexington. “The opportunity to work with Coach Stoops is awesome and growing up in SEC country, I’ve always wanted to coach in the league,” Dawson said. “I’ve recruited against Kentucky the last couple of years and have been impressed with how Coach Stoops is building a foundation and has the program going in the right direction. I look forward to helping him and his staff do that.”
Read the entire release after the jump.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©December 19th, 2014 @ 10:30am
I have two stories to share that will tell you. Both The Courier-Journal’s Kyle Tucker and The Herald-Leader’s Jen Smith interviewed Mumme about Dawson yesterday. I encourage you to check both stories out in full, but here’s a quote and a link to each to get you started:
“He’s really a brilliant guy,” Mumme said. “This is a great move for Kentucky.”
“He’s going to make a connection with the kids and he’s really smart,” Mumme said. “He’s a great recruiter. He loves the game and has a great passion for it. I can’t say enough good things about him.”
It’s been about 24 hours since we learned that Shannon Dawson will be UK’s new offensive coordinator, but for many of us, he’s still a mystery. To help us get better acquainted with our new OC, I spent the day getting to know Dawson via Google. Here’s a brief profile, along with some of your frequently asked questions.
Hometown: Clinton, Louisiana
Alma Mater: Wingate, Class of 2001
2013: West Virginia (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks)
2012: West Virginia (offensive coordinator/receivers)
2011: West Virginia (inside receivers)
2008-10: Stephen F. Austin (offensive coordinator)
2006-07: Millsaps (offensive coordinator)
2005: New Mexico State (graduate assistant/offense)
2004: Southeastern Louisiana (running backs)
2003: Southeastern Louisiana (offensive quality control)
2002: Wingate (wide receivers)
He’s a guy and his name is Shannon?
Yes, and I’m a girl and my name is Tyler. It’s 2014, get over it.
How did he learn the Air Raid?
Dawson coached under Hal Mumme for three seasons at New Mexico State and Southeastern Louisiana, where he learned the Air Raid system, which he took to Millsaps and Stephen F. Austin before joining the West Virginia staff. At Stephen F. Austin, Dawson had the #1 passing offense, the #4 scoring offense, and the #6 total offense in the FCS. In 2011, Dana Holgorsen hired him as the receivers coach at West Virginia, where he eventually became offensive coordinator.
So, he ran his Air Raid at West Virginia?
Not exactly. Dana Holgorsen is also an Air Raid disciple under Mike Leach and Hal Mumme, and has his own version that Dawson helped run. Dawson helped boost the West Virginia offense to ninth nationally in passing (314.6 yards), 11th in total offense (502.1 yards), 38th in scoring (33.2) and 44th in rushing (187.5). The Mountaineers’ run-to-pass ratio this season was 52%/48%. Under Dawson and Holgorsen, quarterback Clint Trickett passed for 3,285 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Between Dawson and Holgorsen, who called the plays?
Great question. West Virginia beat writer Patrick Southern came on the show today to tell us about Dawson and he said Holgorsen called the plays while Dawson read defenses up in the press box. While Dawson undoubtedly had a hand in whatever the offense did, ultimately, the unit was Holgorsen’s.
Dawson was once asked the difference between his philosophy and Holgorsen’s, and he responded “Dana’s a lot more conservative than I am.” For example, at Stephen F. Austin, Dawson’s offense once threw the ball 89 times in one game. UK only threw the ball 29 times vs. Louisville. Shew-wee. Since then, he’s warmed up to the run game enough to implement a balanced attack at West Virginia, and he’ll have a whole stable of running backs to use in his new role. At Kentucky, Dawson will finally have complete control over the offense, and after years of splitting decisions with Holgorsen, I’m sure he’s ready to let loose.
Are we sure he’s not Tony Vanetti’s twin?
He really does look like him, doesn’t he? Especially in this picture:
So, how is he different than Neal Brown?
We’ve heard Dawson’s offense is very similar to Brown’s, but plays will be called even faster. With SEVERAL Air Raid pieces in place, Dawson can jump in with both feet. Some other people have suggested Dawson will use a more vertical passing attack than Brown with a simpler running game.
What about recruiting?
Dawson is considered a good recruiter, and has commitments from two pro-style QBs at West Virigina, one being David Sills, a four-star. Dawson and Holgorsen are obviously very close, so it’s not clear whether or not Dawson will attempt to bring his commitments with him, but that’s something to keep an eye on.
What’s he like off the field?
Apparently, he’s hilarious and cusses a lot, which means he’ll fit right in with the KSR crew.
Anything really random about him?
He favorited this photo on Twitter:
So I guess he likes cats, which is good because he is one now.
Welcome aboard, coach.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©December 18th, 2014 @ 6:30pm