Thursday, August 06, 2009

Back to the future

Yale will be resuming its annual preseason scrimmage with Division III Union College and will no longer play Ivy League rival Princeton.

"I thought the Princeton scrimmage didn’t make a whole lot of sense in terms of playing an in-season opponent, even in the NFL the preseason games are against regional teams or non-divisional teams," Yale coach Tom Williams said. "For me, this will give us a chance to compete against somebody else and see how we do. I think it will work out for all the parties. "

The scrimmage is planned for Sept. 5 at Yale Bowl.

I applaud this move. I never understood the logic of having two Ivy League teams play each other in the preseason. It was a case of neither team wanting to show too much so it was as vanilla as these things get. I'm not naive enough to think Yale will run everything against Union but it makes much more sense.

Players will report two weeks from tomorrow and the coaching staff is itching to start working with the players. Williams said at a panel discussion with Southern Connecticut coach Rich Cavanaugh and New Haven's Peter Rossomando Wednesday night that he believes competition makes good players better and every position will be up for grabs.

No disrespect to Southern or UNH, but most of the people who bought tickets for the event seemed most interested in what Williams had to say and more importantly, what he is going to bring to the table.

Williams said Jake Semones, a talented quarterback and son of the Bulldogs' outside linebackers coach, will prep at Loomis Chaffee. While Williams is limited in what he can say about recruits, it is safe to say that Jake Semones figures to remain on Yale's recruiting radar. Semones' daughter Catherine is a talented athlete who is expected to play soccer as a sophomore at Amity.

The last item, I asked Williams about the murder of former NFL quarterback Steve McNair. In Williams' two seasons as a defensive assistant with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Williams never coached against McNair but he certainly knew the former Tennessee and Baltimore QB.

"I think I was just like the rest of the football world, I was shocked about the events that took place," Williams said. "I remember Steve being a gentleman, I thought he was a consumate warrior on the football field, he was a leader of his team and very well respected in NFL circles. I was just as shocked as anybody."

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