Joey Jones Show Recap 2008-11-19

November 19, 2008 · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show · Comment 

Some technical glitches plagued the beginning of the show but everything got fixed and the Joey Jones Show aired the rest of the way without any problems.

One of the first things brought up was uniforms that the team will be sporting come football season 2009. After a couple of helmet designs were shown and voted on by the players and coaches they settled on silver helmets with the new Jaguar logo on the side and red bars for the facemask. The jersey will be solid red with large numbers on the front and back as well as numbers on the sleeves and possibly “Jaguars” written across the top, front. I suspect the numbers will be white trimmed in blue but I think two paw prints would be good on the front on either side of the “Jaguars”. The pants will be silver with red white and blue stripes down the side.

This uniform will be reminiscent of Ohio State University’s uniform. Coach Jones also wants to have a reward system similar to OSU and FSU which could be paw print stickers that would be put on the helmet.

On the scheduling front, Coach Jones said that they were getting quite close to finalizing next years schedule but also have been in contact with several other schools for future scheduling such as LSU, Texas A&M and another school I was unable to hear due to the glitches mentioned at the beginning of this article.

Lee Shirvanian asked about practices, if they are open to the public and what their schedule is since many people who talk to him has been asking the same questions. Coach Jones said that the Spring practice sessions would probably be Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday with scrimmages held on Saturday and they would be open to the public. They will be held at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. They could be held on the intramural fields but they do not have a dressing facility and the administration at Ladd will allow them to have their sleds and other practice gear on the field there.

Lee’s questions about the number of student athletes who are still coming out for practice and Coach Jones most memorable Iron Bowl game were both cut off by the last of the technical glitches of the day.

But this led to a short talk about planning. Their plan was crumbling and so they had to improvise. That is paralleled from a coaching standpoint. Each week the coaches come up with a game plan to implement against an opponent. It is impossible to have both a fool proof plan and perfect execution in order to implement that plan without any improvisation on the part of the coaches. Its essential for coaches to be able to adapt a game plan on the fly and in the locker room at halftime. But great coaches have their players prepared to do the same. For example, the offensive line needs to know how to react in order to properly block a 3-4 or a 4-3 defense. But what about the other defenses that they may see? They could see a 4-4, a 5-2-4, a nickle or a dime defense (we’re not talking about money or nickle and diming a team to death). Good coaches have their players ready for improvisation.

This will be South Alabama’s first recruiting class. So starting on December 1st, the coaching staff can start to go out and meet with kids one time. All of the coaches will be involved in recruiting. Coach Jones talked with Athletic Director Joe Gottfried and they agreed that every coach needs to be out from day 1 until the last day they can be recruiting according to NCAA rules. Each coach will have an area they are recruiting and Coach Jones will be traveling to meet with and help each coach in their respective area.

Lee asked what is the mixture of home visits and school visits. Coach Jones answered that obviously both have advantages and disadvantages. With school visits you get to meet the principle and teachers to see how they are doing academically. Those people can be a big influence on their decision making and help them go where it will be best for them, which is hopefully USA. Other kids can see the presence of South Alabama and could start thinking about it as a place to go. But ultimately it good to visit in the home where the decisions are made with Mom and Dad.

Lee then asked Coach Jones if he knew how many verbal commitments are solid and how many are wavering. Coach Jones said that the assistant coaches are calling recruits weekly and they get to know the kids and can tell how they are feeling. They get a sense about their commitment levels based on talking with them. But you occasionally get a surprise and have to regroup.

The coaches have a list of positions to fill and then they have a list of kids for those position. Based on many factors the kids are rated and listed in order for those posisitons. Obviously they want to land the kid on the top of the list but it doesn’t alway happen. Larger schools are recruiting against other large schools and if they lose that recruit, then they can come in and get USA’s top recruit for a position. So they have the list of kids or positions and they are in contact with many of them at a time. If their top recruit is snatched up they continue working on the next in line. Its the food chain of college sports.

One thing that Lee Shirvanian pointed out was that we could participate in JV games. Coach Jones agreed but also said that he has talked to some schools about that many do not do that, they simply focus on the Varsity team and its games. It would be a good way for 3rd string or even lower kids to gain experience however.

The last bit on recruiting that I will talk about and was brought up in the radio show was how well Nick Saban recruits for Alabama. Part of it is how he stays up on the rules but how he can find legal ways around the rules. While a coach can not meet wtih recruits during certain parts of the season, he can video conference with them. This was talked about last year. He found an innovative way to talk to kids which is not explicitly forbidden in the scope of the NCAA rules.

For those Jaguar fans in Mobile area, keep your eyes and ears open. I would expect some event to show off the new uniform to the public in the near future. The timing will obviously depend on when all aspects of the uniform and finalized and when a complete uniform can be produced for public viewing. Until then get your season tickets for the 2009 season tickets now and come out to support the basketball teams.

Go Jags!

Coach Joey Jones Show Recap 2008-11-05

November 10, 2008 · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show · Comment 

Its a little late but what we were hoping to be the ‘Extra Special Coach Joey Jones Show Recap’ failed to work out. Matthew and I decided to meet at Bob Baumhauers Wing’s Restaurant to see the show live, only to be denied when Coach Jones was not there for the show. In his place was Athletic Director Joe Gottfried.

But even then we were ready to give everyone a recap but the universe was conspiring against us yet again. We were three tables away from their desk but could not hear the show. About 20 minutes into the show they finally tuned the restaurant sound system to the radio show but it was too loud to hear still.

So instead of the normal review I will review my meal at Wings. As an appetizer, we got a plate of Triple Play Cheese Fries. Which was a large platter of curled fries with Monterrey Jack and Cheddar cheese then finished off with bacon and served with ranch dipping sauce. Obviously it was good because its cheese fries but the bacon makes anything better. Instead of going for what I am now calling ‘The Coach Jones Special’ which is Black and White Chicken, I opted for the Royal Rooster sandwich for my entree. It consists of a battered and fried chicken breast topped with applewood smoked bacon and Monterrey Jack cheese and also served with fries. So I ate too many fries.

Matthew ordered the Fried Wiggles which are thick sliced ‘sweet heat’ pickles that are battered and fried. First off, I do not like sweet pickles so they were not of my liking but if you like sweet pickles, by all means give them a try.

Also, today November 10th marks less than 300 days until the South Alabama Jaguars take the field for the first time in school history.

Go Jags!

Coach Joey Jones Show Recap 2008-10-29

October 29, 2008 · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show · Comment 

The big news at the top of the show was the press release about the Jags playing in Knoxville in 2013. Coach Jones explained why we will play Tennessee instead of an Ohio State or another team that pays more money for a school like us to come in and play. They wanted a big game in the region that payed a fair amount of money but allowed our fans to travel better than to an Ohio State or Nebraska.

The question was asked if Coach Jones had spoken with Alabama or Auburn to schedule a game. Coach Jones said he had been in touch with people at Auburn but neither Alabama or Auburn play in-state teams. He referred back to USAs upset victory over Alabama in the late 80’s. It was a devestating loss for Wimp Sanderson, which he considers his worse loss still after all of these years.

Joining Coach Jones on the show was Brian Turner, recruiting coordinator/defensive staff for the Jags football team. Coach Jones tauted Coach Turners recruiting ability at Troy and how it will help the team to have such a good recruiter on the staff. Troy has been recruiting great players and had one player chosen in the first round of the NFL draft last year. With the prime recruits in the local area watch closely to see what kind of recruits come to play for USA.

A caller asked about scholarships, how many does USA have to give out in its first year. Jones replied that by rule they only have 30 scholarships in the first year, with 16 already given out. So they have 14 they could use between now and the end of december that they can count toward this years number. They are looking for older, more experienced players like JuCo transfers to possibly come play for the Jags.

Another question was asked about game days. Will USA play many Thursday night games, Friday games or Saturday games. Coach Jones, while in Birmingham, saw that Thursday night games worked well because of the lack of conflict with other college games. So USA will definitely have some Thursday night games. But they will also test the waters with various days and times in the first couple years before getting into the FBS (Division I) full time in 2013. They want to have the best experience for USA fans that they can give and in the true southern tradition, great tailgating.

It was noted that something unique for USA right now in Division II is that Coach Jones can contact recruits many times when Division I coaches cannot. So this should benefit Jaguar recruiting for the next few years before going into Division I. If USA hears that SEC teams are recruiting a player then they will be targeted by USA as well.

Another recruiting question was asked about facilities and its role in recruiting. With teams pushing to build better practice facilities and bigger stadiums, what are the USA staff saying to recruits along those lines? Coach Jones pointed out that there has been a shift in what recruits are looking for in the last several years. It used to be the case that the Coaches was the number one reason a kid chose a school. But now the focus has turned more towards the facilities and training areas.

USA staff have been talking about the new fieldhouse plans, coaches offices and player lounge. But one big recruiting tool is student housing in The Grove. Coach Turner said that The Grove beats what Troy had easily. While players who are offered scholarships to Auburn or Alabama will most likely go there, we are targeting players that are just below them. The players that could play at Alabama or Auburn but didn’t receive a scholarship there. Again, The Grove and our forthcoming facilities are playing a part in helping to land those players. It will help tremendously to sell out Ladd-Peebles stadium every game in recruiting and exposure.

Go Jags!