Sorry this is a little late, but the Podcast called and I couldn’t get everything on the site that I wanted to after the offense met with the media. Here’s a rundown of what was discussed from the unit that has been disappointing during the losing streak.
Boom is Back…
…to practice. Today was the first full practice he’s been through since injuring his elbow against Tennessee. At the time, it looked so bad that he could be sidelined for the rest of the year. It was so bad that he could barely look at it either, but he’s moved on and it’s likely that he will play Saturday with a brace on his right arm.
Not Much has Changed for Barker
As Drew told you earlier, Shannon Dawson hasn’t changed up the reps much at all this week because they’ve always split them about 50/50. Patrick said he plans on playing with “my guys” on Saturday. Even though much of the BBN is yearning for Barker, “(I’m) still preparing the same way that I have been this whole time. Nothing really drastically different at all.”
Even though there’s a divide among the fans, Barker or Towles, it hasn’t changed their relationship as they continue to work closely to prepare for Vanderbilt. “Basically just feeding off of each other,” Barker said. “We’re two football-minded people so usually when you get in a room with another football-minded person you just bounce ideas off each other.”
Vandy Tightens Up in the Box
If you listen to the KSR Podcast, Freddie Maggard might discourage you by throwing out impressive numbers from the Vanderbilt defense. Shannon Dawson knows they’re up against a stout defense, but what’s new? The difference between this defense and others is what the linebackers do inside the box. “Schematically, they do a lot of stuff inside the box with movement, different fronts, blitzes, and it makes protection tough,” Dawson said.
Dawson Didn’t Grade Out Well
The coaches are in charge of grading players each week. It can be tough to point the finger, but he always holds himself accountable. “I’d probably grade myself lower than I graded them. I promise that, which I typically do every week.”
Shannon Dawson Fistbumps
Two weeks ago, Shannon kind of jumped me on a question I asked. It happens. I took it like a man, taking nothing personally. We spoke after it was over and had a good “heart to heart.” Since then, I have continued to ask questions and every time he always gets a big smile on his face. Last week he called me out a bit before giving me a fistbump.
Today I asked him if the guy who had never run the Wildcat before was going to ditch the formation after it failed on 4th and short. “No, we’ll probably use it a little more.” Apparently it worked later in the game but at that point the bloodbath was too tough to watch to remember everything that happened. He laughed at that comment, gave me an “I hear ya,” followed by a fistbump.
I appreciate the back and forth. Hopefully the offense looks much better this week so the fistbumps take on a much more positive meaning.