Okay, since you have all been teased, I will get right to the story JoeBruin15 referred to, then some practice notes, and then another "coincidence".
First, let me say that I really enjoyed the company of JoeBruin15, MexiBruin, Chrissor and regret missing mexeastla. Maybe next time we can find each other. I spent my time along different sidelines and really enjoyed seeing how large and strong these athletes are, listening to them interact with each other, and getting to hear the kinds of coaching that was going on. I had nothing but good feelings about how all of the members of the teams interacted. It was positive, constructive, joyful, intense, and continuous.
I do not remember if it was during the 11 X 11s or during the 7 X 7s, when they started to throw some almost lateral passes to the rbs that were going to the sideline. The balls was coming right towards me and the tackles were happening right in front of me. It was exciting and I was aware that I needed to move back each time they did this. Well on one of the plays, Jordan Zumwalt was coming after the rb (can't remember which one) and after not getting there to intercept, his momentum carried him right by me at which time he said "Mother F>>>er". He then turned to me and said "I apologize lady". He turned back around and added, "and for my language too". JoeBruin15 and I turned to each other and laughed and wondered how he knew my mother would object. Before I could say no problem, he had run back at a fast pace back on the field. We both thought it was funny that with all the people this could have happened to (the MF remark and the apology) it just had to be uclaluv! Maybe Jordan is a reader of BN and had found out who I was?
All the players were incredibly respectful to all of us. I felt like we were in their space and owed them apologies, not the other way around. But they showed no irritation and just appreciation towards everyone there.
Now for some other notes. The pace was fast, fast, fast. Some players were really talking about that on the sideline. They were feeling over worked, but kept going back in with full spirit, energy, and intensity. As others have reported the wide receivers were really impressive. Devin was making amazing catches. But all were consistent. I really like how soft Shaq's hands are. The ball just kind of found its way to his hands like it belonged there. The receivers were also at a disadvantage as the coverage was getting to do all kinds of holding. One WR even called out another after he had clearly held a fellow WR. The camaraderie and teaching within groups was awesome. I often saw Shaq and Bell talking with other receivers on routes and technique. The coaches would correct in a positive, constructive, fun manner. I think it was Bell, but I could be wrong, who wasn't in the right place for the reception. Mazzone said you ran too deep, and the receiver yelled back, I'm just too fast. There were chuckles. Mazzone also ran over to another receiver and said something like you need to get all the way to the sideline so you can get by him and told Malcolm (who I will get back to) to not get low with his head. "When you lower your head you get off balance, bend at the waist to get low". Teaching would happen quickly while new plays would start. I would be direct and not get into a lecture! No time to stop to teach. Pace, pace, pace. Oh yes, I also thought that the receivers were also doing a great job blocking down field.
The RBs also looked really good. Jordan, Perkins, Malcolm, and Roosevelt Davis all looked great. Malcolm got into it right away with Barocio and now I'm wondering if CRM told Barocio to start something. Malcolm was soooooo powerful. He was running through group tackles. His power is remarkable and I am so glad he is back. Davis was really impressive. He is so quick and elusive, I do hope he becomes part of the committee. Each runner seemed so much quicker, faster, and stronger than last year.
Speaking of stronger, Jerry N. looked so much stronger and filled out than last year. Right now he is playing behind Hundley and is still throwing a great ball. Now, with his strength, I think he will be a solid two. And Hundley is even stronger and more steady. The offense was humming. The talent and precision seemed to have improved dramatically.
I did not watch the d as much this time but I was really, really impressed by the coverage. Every catch was made difficult by the backs. Ishmael was all over everything and everybody. Baracio was a beast. They were all hitting hard and playing with great intensity. The competition out there between the d and the o was fierce during the play and congenial after. I loved the spirit that I saw out there.
Oh yes, back to the title of the post. I wanted to pass on an incident that occurred right after I wrote and sent out the petition. After posting it, I went into my tiny room where I keep most of my books. As I was cleaning up a bit, a book fell off the bookshelf (which is way over packed) and landed on the floor near me with a big thud. I reached over to pick up the book. It was "They Call Me Coach". It was so cool. Of all the books to fall at that moment..."They Call Me Coach". Thanks Coach for signing on. Or maybe it was just a coincidence?