Sunday, September 01, 2013

Some news from Yale's intrasquad scrimmage

Here are some notes from Yale’s intrasquad scrimmage on Saturday…
  • The Bulldogs played all four quarters and ran nearly 200 plays. Reno said he wanted the team to run as many as possible to get a good look at, and a healthy amount of reps for, the quarterbacks on the roster.
  • Right now, Reno says, there are five QBs in the running for the starting job: Derek Russell, Henry Furman, Morgan Roberts, Eric Williams and Logan Scott. They saw the majority of the reps Saturday.
“Of those give, they will start to separate themselves,” Reno said. “We’re looking at whole body of work.”

Don’t expect a starter to be named until the week of season opener against Colgate (Sept. 21).
  • Defensively, the Bulldogs need to work on open-field tackling. That has been a concern early in camp and during the scrimmage.
  • As expected, junior RB Tyler Varga is running hard and well. He broke off a couple of nice runs Saturday. Reno said freshman Candler Rich is the No. 2 RB right now.
  • Freshman TE Leo Haenni made a couple of big catches. Haenni is a 6-3, 225-pound TE from Franklin, Ohio. Sophomore WR Grant Wallace also looked strong. As reported last week, WR Chris Smith is back. He was held out of the scrimmage (hamstring) as a precaution, but probably could have played.
  • On the defensive side, freshman DB Robert Ries stood out, along with Kyle White. White moved from OL to DL this season.
  • Right now, about half of the freshmen on the roster are on the (unofficial) two-deep depth chart. That includes highly touted OLB Victor Egu.
“He made a real jump last week,” Reno said. “Things are starting to slow down for him. He had a good scrimmage.”
  • Reno said the PK spot is one of the top battles in camp. Jr. Kyle Cazzetta has really improved coming into camp, but freshman Bryan Holmes is challenging him. Holmes had 45 of 53 kickoffs downed for touchbacks as a senior last season.
  • And once again, Reno made sure to point out how critical the senior leadership has been starting with captain Beau Palin.
‘They are great leaders,” he said. “This is a very close group, very tight. Part of that comes from being here all summer together. “
  • Reno also noted the new turf at Frank Field should be finished within the next 10 days.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is Egu going to play DE or LB?

7:04 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You mentioned freshmen on the two-deep depth chart. Does that mean there is a depth chart that you've seen (or that we can access?) Or was that just from a comment Coach Reno made?

8:02 PM 
Blogger Chris Hunn said...

Sorry, Egu is playing OLB.
As for two-deep chart, that was just a comment Reno made. They have one, but it has not been released yet. Expect that after the Brown scrimmage.

9:26 PM 
Anonymous richardpatrick 57 said...

This is obviously an unusually strong freshman class (good for Reno et al!), but half the two deep varsity? No wonder open field tackling needs work! Thing are looking up for 2015, but, I'm afraid, not much before. Still, there are quite a few back who beat Penn last year. Maybe Yale can improve on 2-8?

10:47 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems that Reno is more interested in making his recruits starters then he is in winning. I can't say I understand. The Freshman are young and don't have experience at this level. I would think JV should be used for that. A Freshman on Varsity should be the exception, not the rule. Unless the Freshman is clearly superior, the upperclassman should get the job. That doesn't seem to be the case.

3:23 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Half the freshman on the 2 deep!?
Here we go again!

10:37 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will you cover Coach Reno's talk at Mory's on 9/11 at 6:30?
Also, what's up with the Brown scrimmage?

2:33 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is that so stunning -- 15 out of 48 (counting punters, place kickers) on a 2-8 team? I guess it is without having seen the freshman on the field.
At least wait until the Brown scrimmage and Cornell before putting your judgment of talent above Reno and his staff.

3:37 PM 
Blogger Chris Hunn said...

Probably won't be covering Reno's talk at Mory's. To be honest, it was the first I heard of it.
Brown scrimmage is Saturday at 1 p.m. at Brown and is open.

11:21 PM 
Anonymous wyldebill said...

Also, if most of these 15 freshman are 2nd-teamers rather than starters, that makes it even less of a big deal.

I'm an eternal optimist, but Yale has fantastic skill position players: Varga, Smith, Randall, Sandquist. If the defense is okay, Yale will win plenty of games. The 8th-place prediction is absurd... but good motivation for the Blue.

6:18 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Totally disagree - this team, other than Varga, looks the same as last year. And it's eerily (scarily?) similar that we're seeing freshmen high up on the depth chart & that we're touting a QB transfer from a prominent D-1 school.

Until we see differently, this has shades of Tom Williams written all over it.

Traditional Yale teams had upperclassmen dominate & underclassmen challenging them, waiting their turn in line.

Went to Cornell game last year & it was the worst I've ever seen Yale football - E-V-E-R. The handful of greybeards there with me were the only signs that Yale football still exists. I mean, I'm turning 50 this year & I look like the young pup of the group that actually still has a passion and an institutional memory of when Yale football was YALE football.

You can tell - right from the first snap - if this thing is going to go right. I remember Williams' first game - I called my dad midway through the first quarter and said "On offense, this guy makes Herm Edwards look like Air Coryell." Siedlecki you could see - from Day 1 - didn't understand that he needed to recruit bigger players than he did in D-3. It took him 5 years or so to get it. Too bad he's gone now.

Reno's team - with the exception of Varga - looks like a Columbia team from the 70s. Seriously. Until I see otherwise, I'll stick with this assessment.

8:25 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadly, my son chose Ann Arbor over New Haven. He sent me pictures of the Big House and he said "Looks a lot like the Bowl." And my response was "Yeah, except they play football there." Another classmate of mine had the same experience. Her child is a columnist for the Michigan Daily.

Going out to Ohio State game this year & I'm sure I'll get choked up remembering the late 60's, 70's and up to 1981 - when Yale SOMEHOW was able to play football at a high level - AND remain a top flight academic institution. I see that this has happened at Stanford, Northwestern and ND - which managed to IMPROVE their academic standing while remaining competitive in college football.

The fact that the beat writer for Yale football doesn't know about Reno's talk at Mory's speaks volumes - not about him - but about how Yale cravenly chose to follow the other Ivies in football, when it had a chance to stay D-1 & remain independent, relevant a la ND.

And how a silly squabble between the Cozza guys and the current athletic department has continued to rob Yale of its glory. Fine - Spagnola & co raised $ for the Bowl renovations - but they haven't lifted a finger to help save Yale football. And now it may be too late - how many of today's kids remember Fencik, Spagnola et al as NFL players? Can they even help any more?

Look - the same thing happened in hockey. Taylor thought he had a lifetime job - his teams were sloppy, lacked talent near the end. A tough decision had to be made, but it WAS made - rightly so. Same thing with Carm - the last 10 years, he & the staff were basically mailing it in. The fact that they went outside the circle to get Siedlecki was the difference. But it's over now - long over.

Yale football doesn't have to be this way. Again, my son is taking a class at Michigan with John Bacon on the history of college atheletics. Want to know where they start? New Haven & Walter Camp.

THAT is the legacy. The hockey championship was wonderful - long overdue in my opinion (Yale's been one of the 2 or 3 best teams in the country since 2009). But, football is - and always will be - special. Unfortunately, it may only be so until the last of us die out. Or if other schools, like Michigan, recognize that copied the original Yale model, and pass that history down to our kids.

Can't believe I'm cheering "Go Blue", having my kid send me back pictures from a pep rally before the big game - and it's not for Yale.

8th place prediction is not absurd at all - until shown otherwise, they'll be fighting it out with Columbia.


Yale '86

8:26 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am I the only one to think that the 8:25 post is kind of bizarre? Comparing Yale to a PAC 10 team and a Big Ten team? Huh? And to Notre Dame, whose football team has perhaps the grandest history in all of organized sports? This IS an Ivy League team, right? Did I miss the national championships they won "in the 60's, 70's and right through to 1981"? I mean I get the whole Walter Camp thing but it's a piece of historical trivia now, no more. The first college football game ever played was between Rutgers and Princeton. How's that working out? A mediocre Ivy team and a fairly awful D1 program is what we have now, right?
And "too late to save Yale football?" Save it from what? This is a down time to be sure. Last season was no fun. And in retrospect it seems Tom Williams may not have been a great coaching choice. But Reno needs a chance. There is no reason to believe he can't have Yale competing for Ivy championships again even as soon as next year. And I believe they will be competitive in every Ivy game this year. But all you naysayers and depressives will undoubtedly start whining and jumping off the bandwagon when they lose to Colgate and Cal Poly, which they will - those teams are far superior right now. My goodness, one post here said we'll know "after the first snap" how good this team is. Well I hope that person goes home after the first snap once he makes his decision. The rest of us will stay and watch. It's going to be a fun season. This team will surprise everyone including its own "fans"

11:18 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the guy touting Michigan football as his new "Go Blue" who wrote a long post giving up on Yale football and lost in nostalgia for what he imagines Yale football once was: Michigan's record is 34-24 over the last five seasons. Decidedly mediocre. You need to find the Detroit Free Press blog and post there about what happened to that once-great program.

11:45 AM 
Anonymous John Walsh said...

The team that played Harvard was a much better team than the team that played Cornell in 2012.

Agree with wyldebill. This team will be much better than last year. The offense will be scary good. It's up to the defense as to how far this team can go.

1:44 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With the talent that we have on the offensive side of the ball a bad outcome falls directly on the OC - Morris. I personally do not like the offensive scheme that he runs and I do not think he is utilizing the talent correctly. Our offense is so predictable my wife could call the plays!

1:39 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

alums complaining that the current program falls far short of the glory days? next up, we reveal that water is wet. the class of 86 correspondent must not have a good memory, because the teams while he was a school weren't particularly competitive, and led alums to complain that carm and sebby were past their prime and that the good old days were long gone.

the argument comparing yale to Stanford, northwestern and notre dame is laughable and responding further gives too much credence to the person who raised it.

it's ivy league football. a touch of perspective and more than a little patience for a season that hasn't even begun would be the right way to go here.

7:59 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those of you who haven't figured it out yet after round 1 (last year), for coach Reno it is all about the guys HE recruited, even at the expense of losses. His ego will have it no other way.

8:45 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What basis do people have for saying Coach Reno favors his own recruits? If that were really true, the team would disintegrate. There would be massive defections. I've assumed that all this is coming in coming from those who've been beaten out and their fans.

5:14 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Given that freshmen do not get the benefit of spring ball and summer training (pre-camp), do you realize how difficult it is for them to be mentally ready to contribute? Why do you think there were so many issues in the secondary last year. A tackle 20 yards down field goes down in the stat book, but it doesn't really help the team. And even if talent is not the issue, the playbook is. That is why the freshmen made so many mental mistakes last year.

Also there were many defections after last season, both based on quantity and quality.

9:03 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All things being equal or nearly equal, I'm sure Coach Reno would prefer to go with more experienced players. When he doesn't, I assume it's not some ego thing, it's because he and presumably his assistants have decided that the newbies' superior talent more than offsets their inexperience.

4:26 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK 4:26 PM, I will take the bait. Explain this, per the Yale bios 2011 Nick Okano "Second among the Yale defensive backs with 28 solo tackles and 35 overall... Career-best 6-1-7 vs. Harvard". Think about that for a moment in light of the 2011 DBs which included Dunham and Baldwin.

Fast forward to 2012 and Reno starts Cole Champion a freshman in front of him. The entire team paid the price for that decision. Champion made a lot of tackles, but watch the film to see when and where he made them. He was often out of position and making tackles 15+ yards down the field.

It is obvious that Okano had proved he could perform during games, yet Reno went with an inexperienced freshman. There are other examples like this one.

I hate to name names, but otherwise you will claim I am a disgruntled parent of a team member who was beaten out which I am not.

1:41 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With all due respect to incoming freshman and freshman parents, (including Champion), 1:41am is spot on.

PS I am not a player, parent or disgruntled parent, just an avid Yale football fan.

7:45 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Football website re Champion:

2013: Named to 2013 pre-season All-Ivy team... Switched to uniform No. 5 (was 17).

2012: Led all defensive backs with 46 solos and 71 overall stops... Played in every game, started last seven... Top game was 9-1-10 vs. Lafayette... Earned Charles Loftus Award as Yale's top freshman.

At St. Thomas Aquinas: Earned four varsity football letters and captained team senior year… Three-year starter who left as career tackling leader… Second-team all-state senior year... Three-time all-county… Team defensive MVP junior and senior years… First junior to earn team defensive MVP honor… Played on 2008 and 2010 state and national championship teams… 2009 regional champions… Captained lacrosse team junior and senior years… Six varsity letters since seventh grade… Team player of year as freshman midfielder… Two-time first-team all-state… Four-time all-county first team… Team MVP twice… 4A-5A-6A Male Athlete of Year Finalist in 2011… Played on four district championship teams in lacrosse.

1:00 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Yale two-deep for Georgetown had Okano ahead of Cook and Powers ahead of Champion. For Harvard it was Champion ahead of Okano.
Whether the spot is on or off, isn't it possible that it wasn't Coach Reno's egotism that led to this move. Perhaps he learned some things as the season progressed.
Is Coach Reno infallible? Probably not, but what upsets me are the anonymous rants against him as a person, the most recent of which ends with, "His ego will have it no other way." Is that sort of thing common in blogs like this?
Were Coach Reno guilty of the sins charged by 8:45 and others, it would be obvious to the entire squad and all semblance of team unity would have dissolved by the end of last season. As it was, we looked better and played harder against Harvard than we have in years.
Disclaimer: I am not a creditor or relative (by blood or marriage) of Coach Reno, any incoming freshmen, or the sophomores recruited by him.

5:10 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I acknowledged Champion made a lot of tackles. I also noted where most of them were made if you watch film. I also noted that he was very often making those tackles because he could not defend the pass because he was out of position.

Futhermore, pre-season selections mean nothing, to a lesser degree does his HS stats. Bottom line, a player who had more tackles than either Dunham or Baldwin in 2011 was not good enough for Reno to start him in front of an unproven freshman. If you follow football there are empty tackles and Champion made a lot of them largely due to mental mistakes he made on the field. Does he have an upside, yes. Should he have started last year, no.

As it relates to Reno's ego I am speaking from personal experience. Last year he would walk by parents of players and not bother to speak even if you spoke to him. He did not even speak to or even know some of the parents of players who started for him.

Additionally, he has no experience and NO skins on the wall. He has not been an offensive or defensive coordinator. At Harvard he was regulated to "Special Teams Coordinator". Last year he made as many or more bone head decisions as Coach Williams ever did. He seems to get a free pass because he is part of the Yale family.

It is a poor leader who assumes he has all the answers. It is a poor leader who comes in and feels that he must change everything. It is a poor leader who assumes nothing was right until he showed up.

He does appear to be a good recruiter. However, I think we are seeing on the field the result of some of the promises he is making in order to get those recruits to come to Yale.

9:42 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Additionally Reno did not allow the Seniors to give their traditional "Thank You" speeches at the season ending football season banquet. The banquet is suppose to honor the seniors, that is why they sit on the stage. Instead he used their speaking time to put his spin on what was an under acheiving season largely due to him. As I said, it is always all about him.

9:51 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He has acomplished so little that the Yale bio gives him credit for what Harvard did last season in order to make him look better.
"Reno, the Harvard special teams coordinator and defensive secondary coach from 2009 to 2011, helped engineer last fall's undefeated Ivy League Championship team, which earned a No. 14 Football Championship Subdivision National Ranking."

9:56 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:56: I believe you've misread and misinterpreted Coach Reno's bio. It's obvious that nobody updated it, and that "last fall's" refers to 2011 not 2012, but never mind, keep the poison flowing. Also, wouldn't it be fair to say that Coach's failure to keep massaging his bio is not the action (or inaction) of someone who's obsessed with himself and his image?
I originally thought this bile might abate when all the Tom Williams recruits had graduated. Now I'm not so sure. There seem to be those (how many, I wonder) who are determined to think the worst of Coach Reno. They probably won't let up until they find someone else to disparage.

5:08 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You make a good point Mrs. Reno.

9:47 PM 

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