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jimsumner
03-04-2013, 02:54 PM
Duke had a media day today as part of the first day of spring practice.

Some notes.

The biggest news comes from Ross Cockrell. He cut his hair. Said it was time. Barely recognized him. With the weight he’s lost, he should drop his 40 time a tenth or so.

Okay. Enough of that.

Duke practiced this morning and goes back at it Wednesday and Friday, takes off next week for spring break and start back March 20. Spring game April
13, at 4.

Why the weird schedule? Cut said he wanted to use these three days to evaluate potential position changes.

Speaking of position changes. Braxton is back at WR and Powell back at RB. Cut said he wanted more experience at WR to help the new QB, whoever that
might be. That explains Braxton.

Sink is still at TE, Hill still at safety. Jamal Wallace moved back to DE from DT.

Bragg will miss spring practice, as will Connette, Foxx and Boyd. Harding is rehabbing but might get in some contact work. Annunike and Young- Wiseman are out but might be back this spring. Two of the early enrollees-QB Parker Boehme and LB Domininc McDonald-- are out. Boehme might get some non-contact work.

Boyd’s recurring knee problems is the only injury that should linger into the fall.

Now the good news. Kelby Brown and Braxton Deaver are 100 percent back. No restrictions.

Duke definitely plans to run more. Not Woody Hayes-circa 1957 but more running than we’ve seen in some time. The OL loves it, all of the QBs can run and Duke has four ACC-level running backs. Cut loves Tomlinson. Says he’s quicker, stronger, better balanced.

Best to study up on the read option.

No question Boone is the starting QB. For now. Cut says Boone is “entrenched in the system” and that Sirk needs to elevate his game to that level. Boone has been proactive in setting up off-season workouts and seems to be taking his leadership responsibilities seriously.

Center could be interesting. Skura is the nominal starter but Cut says Harding, Patrick and Coleman will all get looks there.

Right now, Cockrell, Patterson, Cash, Norman and McCarthy comprise the starting secondary. But Cut expects the youngsters to compete for PT, including the true freshman. Cut says Duke needs to help the secondary with a better pass rush. No disagreement here.

Cockrell had nice things to say about redshirt-freshman corner Devon Edwards. Exceptional work ethic, wants to learn and get better.

Cut says Duke will have lots of new offensive wrinkles. One of Blakeney, Schneider or Connette will line up as a slot receiver and we should see more two tight end sets. Probably save some stuff for the fall.

Cut says Connette will take reps at QB, WR and RB and should have an increased role this season.

Another coaching tweak. Derek Jones is taking over as DB coach, with Jim Knowles becoming a “ walk-around coordinator,” tasked with making sure the DBs, LBs, and DLs are all on the same page.

Thomas Hennessy and Jacques Bristow competing to take over from Jackson Anderson as long snapper. Cut thinks Anderson is so good that he'll make an NFL roster this fall. Cut giving Kurt Roper leeway in getting the best athletes on special teams to surround two of the best specialists in the country.

Duke very happy with first-day of practice and carry-over of enthusiasm from Belk Bowl.

Duke likes schedule, especially placement of open days. Would prefer more home games later, not so many early. But no major complaints.

OldPhiKap
03-04-2013, 03:04 PM
Thanks, Jim. Any thoughts on how we are looking in the secondary, overall?

jimsumner
03-04-2013, 03:16 PM
Thanks, Jim. Any thoughts on how we are looking in the secondary, overall?

Very, very young.

Duke keeps talking about the athletes they have there but most of them have little, if any experience.

Duke has had some bad luck. Duke expected Burton and Boyd to compete for the corner spot opposite Cockrell. But Burton was dismissed and Boyd may never be healthy enough to play. Lex Butler and Taylor Sowell never got healthy. And two safeties, Campell and Tavarez, decided to discontinue football.

Hence the reliance on the newbies.

That said, I saw more than a few bowl teams last fall that started freshmen at DB. Both the non-related Edwards guys have drawn many positive comments. But I remember how much Cockrell struggled as redshirt freshman.

It would help if Duke could get someone to help Annunike with that whole rushing-the-passer-thingie.

FWIW, Jeremy Cash has gained a reputation as someone who can run and hit. Don't know if he can cover. But he'll evoke some Matt Daniels-Walt Canty comparisons.

Bob Green
03-04-2013, 04:14 PM
Bragg will miss spring practice...

Who is Bragg?

OldPhiKap
03-04-2013, 04:17 PM
^ Thanks as always, Jim. (And excellent write-up on the Miami game the other day, at the risk of mixing threads).

I like the 4-2-5 defense given our emphasis on speed as opposed to bulk. But that means that a lot of guys have to play a lot of minutes while playing as a coherent unit. Very tough to do without experience and depth. We need to stay healthy back there and hope some of the newer players are ready for prime time.

jimsumner
03-04-2013, 04:25 PM
Who is Bragg?

Brandon Braxton. Typo. Not the Confederate General.

If you think it's tough for me, trying being Anthony Boone. He rooms with Braxton Deaver and Brandon Braxton.

But not Braxton Bragg. That would just be weird.

TruBlu
03-04-2013, 04:29 PM
Brandon Braxton. Typo. Not the Confederate General.

If you think it's tough for me, trying being Anthony Boone. He rooms with Braxton Deaver and Brandon Braxton.

But not Braxton Bragg. That would just be weird.

Would make my head explode.

Thanks for all the good info, Jim. Always look forward to your insightful posts.

Reilly
03-04-2013, 04:33 PM
Goduke.com has the Cut, Snead, Cockrell, and Boone Q&As up.

Here's Cut's:

http://www.goduke.com/mediaPortal/player.dbml?id=1760706&db_oem_id=4200

Bob Green
03-04-2013, 04:35 PM
Brandon Braxton. Typo. Not the Confederate General.



Being born and raised in Fayetteville, I know who Braxton Bragg is but I figured he was a little long in the tooth for our roster. Thanks for the clarification. :cool:

jimsumner
03-04-2013, 04:47 PM
Being born and raised in Fayetteville, I know who Braxton Bragg is but I figured he was a little long in the tooth for our roster. Thanks for the clarification. :cool:

But he can he cover?

I've always been a bit perplexed that a major military base was named after a general of almost astonishing incompetence.

Then again, he did help the US win the Civil War. :)

Acymetric
03-04-2013, 04:51 PM
Another coaching tweak. Derek Jones is taking over as DB coach, with Jim Knowles becoming a walk-around coordinator, tasked with making sure the DBs, LBs, and DLs are all on the same page.


For some reason I thought Derek Jones was already DB coach...what were the roles before this switch?

Dev11
03-04-2013, 05:12 PM
For some reason I thought Derek Jones was already DB coach...what were the roles before this switch?

He was CB, Knowles was safeties. I guess they've now combined DB into one role. I'd be surprised if they kept DJ at both positions, but it might be the way to go.

jimsumner
03-04-2013, 05:16 PM
For some reason I thought Derek Jones was already DB coach...what were the roles before this switch?

I think he's taking over all the DB responsibilities instead of most of them.

I gather that Knowles is going to be some sort of overlord. But I wouldn't bet the mortgage on it.

Duke makes this tough. Duke has an offensive coordinator, an offensive coordinator passing game, and a run game coordinator.

The OC, who actually calls the plays, is an Assistant Head Coach. But the offensive coordinator passing game is the Associate Head Coach.

I assume they have the flow chart figured out.

There was a period after WWII when Eddie Cameron was AD and Wallace Wade was head football coach. Meaning Cameron was Wade's boss. But Cameron was an assistant football coach. Meaning Wade was Cameron's boss.

They seemed to make it work. But it's always been a head-scratcher for me.

Dev11
03-04-2013, 05:28 PM
I think he's taking over all the DB responsibilities instead of most of them.

I gather that Knowles is going to be some sort of overlord. But I wouldn't bet the mortgage on it.

Duke makes this tough. Duke has an offensive coordinator, an offensive coordinator passing game, and a run game coordinator.

The OC, who actually calls the plays, is an Assistant Head Coach. But the offensive coordinator passing game is the Associate Head Coach.

I assume they have the flow chart figured out.

There was a period after WWII when Eddie Cameron was AD and Wallace Wade was head football coach. Meaning Cameron was Wade's boss. But Cameron was an assistant football coach. Meaning Wade was Cameron's boss.

They seemed to make it work. But it's always been a head-scratcher for me.

In this case, though, everybody works for Cutcliffe, and hopefully they all get that. I think it will work out.

roywhite
04-29-2013, 12:10 PM
Turns out that in the SI online issue with the Jason Collins story, there is a nice piece on Coach Cutcliffe.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/college-football/news/20130429/duke-david-cutcliffe/index.html?eref=sircrc

We're lucky to have this guy.

Bob Green
04-29-2013, 03:34 PM
My favorite Coach Cutcliffe statement in the interview is: "We're capable of beating everybody on our schedule." As a longtime Duke fan, those are wonderful words to read.

uh_no
04-29-2013, 03:42 PM
My favorite Coach Cutcliffe statement in the interview is: "We're capable of beating everybody on our schedule." As a longtime Duke fan, those are wonderful words to read.

I thought the same last night when i went and bought me some season tix :)

went down the list and said "holy crap, this could be a 10 win season"

it's certainly true. I think we'll have some growing pains moving off of renfree (and we have been spoiled by perfect 40 yard bombs dropping into receivers' arms) but with what, 14 starters back (discluding K/P) we ought to still be able to end up playing at least 13 games next year.

throatybeard
04-29-2013, 10:30 PM
My grandmother (1918-1991) liked to say "Braxton Hicks" sounded like a Confederate general.

This may be ignorance on my part, so I invite Sumner or someone else in the know to correct me, but does it seem like we have guys switch positions a lot more than other BCS schools, particularly on defense? Why aren't we as able to play guys at their recruited position? Is it because we have a seemingly endless injury crisis? Or am I just wrong?

Greg_Newton
04-30-2013, 12:47 AM
This may be ignorance on my part, so I invite Sumner or someone else in the know to correct me, but does it seem like we have guys switch positions a lot more than other BCS schools, particularly on defense? Why aren't we as able to play guys at their recruited position? Is it because we have a seemingly endless injury crisis? Or am I just wrong?

I think it has a lot to do with our improving-but-still-present lack of quality depth. If we have an legit BCS athlete who doesn't look like he'll be a major piece of the puzzle at his recruited position, it makes sense to try to get him on the field some other way, especially if we're thin in an area that utilizes overlapping skillsets.

For example, when our younger backs starting looking like they might be passing Scott, most teams probably would have just kept him as a very solid 2nd/3rd string back. However, since we were looking at a huge dropoff at WR after CV and Crowder, it made more sense to try and plug our senior, former 4-star RB recruit into the slot than our next man on the depth chart, who was a relatively unheralded true freshman WR.

loran16
04-30-2013, 12:17 PM
My grandmother (1918-1991) liked to say "Braxton Hicks" sounded like a Confederate general.

This may be ignorance on my part, so I invite Sumner or someone else in the know to correct me, but does it seem like we have guys switch positions a lot more than other BCS schools, particularly on defense? Why aren't we as able to play guys at their recruited position? Is it because we have a seemingly endless injury crisis? Or am I just wrong?

We do seem to have a lot of guys switch around - I'm not sure how it compares to other schools though. For the most part our WR to Safety/Corner transitions have been failures, our other transitions have had more success - Des Scott was a brilliant WR last year for instance.

I don't think it's injuries as much as extra depth in one area being used to try and fix lack of depth in another.

roywhite
04-30-2013, 12:24 PM
We do seem to have a lot of guys switch around - I'm not sure how it compares to other schools though. For the most part our WR to Safety/Corner transitions have been failures, our other transitions have had more success - Des Scott was a brilliant WR last year for instance. I don't think it's injuries as much as extra depth in one area being used to try and fix lack of depth in another.

Agree about Scott; he did a really nice job.

Has he hooked on with an NFL team for a shot as a free agent?
I could see him on special teams and as a developmental WR.

Bob Green
05-08-2013, 03:31 PM
Here are a couple of recent football links. First, GoDuke.com has a very nice article on Braxton Deaver and Kelby Brown (http://www.goduke.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=22672&SPID=1843&DB_LANG=C&ATCLID=207574268&DB_OEM_ID=4200). Having those two healthy and on the field will go a long way toward discrediting ESPN's post-spring ACC power rankings (http://espn.go.com/blog/acc/post/_/id/55306/acc-post-spring-power-rankings-3), which has Duke ranked 12th of 14 teams.

Duke was decimated by injuries last year as evidenced by these two starters being unavailable for the entire season due to injury.

devildeac
05-08-2013, 04:59 PM
Here are a couple of recent football links. First, GoDuke.com has a very nice article on Braxton Deaver and Kelby Brown (http://www.goduke.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=22672&SPID=1843&DB_LANG=C&ATCLID=207574268&DB_OEM_ID=4200). Having those two healthy and on the field will go a long way toward discrediting ESPN's post-spring ACC power rankings (http://espn.go.com/blog/acc/post/_/id/55306/acc-post-spring-power-rankings-3), which has Duke ranked 12th of 14 teams.

Duke was decimated by injuries last year as evidenced by these two starters being unavailable for the entire season due to injury.

Unfortunately, we already have one (potential) starter sidelined for the year after his Achilles surgery:mad:.

Olympic Fan
05-08-2013, 06:09 PM
Unfortunately, we already have one (potential) starter sidelined for the year after his Achilles surgery:mad:.

If you're talking about Thomas Sirk, I think it unlikely he was going to start ... altrhough before the injury, he was going to be a very important sub.

devildeac
05-08-2013, 07:44 PM
If you're talking about Thomas Sirk, I think it unlikely he was going to start ... altrhough before the injury, he was going to be a very important sub.

Thomas Sirk is who I was referring to and that's why I put (potential) starter, thinking he would at least compete seriously for a starting spot and see quite a number of snaps, even if he didn't start.

OldPhiKap
05-08-2013, 08:27 PM
Thomas Sirk is who I was referring to and that's why I put (potential) starter, thinking he would at least compete seriously for a starting spot and see quite a number of snaps, even if he didn't start.

Sirk has skills and would maybe get some time. Boone obviously starts, and I would imagine Connette is the first option back-up though so this upcoming year is probably not a big rep season anyway.

I assume Sirk cannot get another redshirt?

devildeac
05-08-2013, 09:18 PM
Sirk has skills and would maybe get some time. Boone obviously starts, and I would imagine Connette is the first option back-up though so this upcoming year is probably not a big rep season anyway.

I assume Sirk cannot get another redshirt?

That's my understanding from reading the discussions here over the years regarding BB and FB. Anunike is a different story getting a sixth year as he had two redshirt years, both due to injuries. Of course The Monster's Out of the Cage got seven years: four years playing, two for his Mormon mission and a redshirt year. Was there an injury involved, too, during that year or was it simply a redshirt year to get "re-conditioned" due to his having spent two years completing his mission? Memory's getting old/foggy.:o

-bdbd
05-08-2013, 11:15 PM
Thomas Sirk is who I was referring to and that's why I put (potential) starter, thinking he would at least compete seriously for a starting spot and see quite a number of snaps, even if he didn't start.

I attended a Duke Club of Washington event in downtown DC Tuesday night. The guest of honor, speaking for over an hour to a crowd of around 80 Duke alums and fans in the offices of a swanky downtown DC law firm, was none other than Coach Cut. He was in rare story-telling form and clearly "inspired and molded men," in the words of one recent player who spoke. One of the comments he made might be of interest to the posters on this thread. Coach seemed to be pretty hopeful of getting Sirk back for, if I heard correctly, "a good chunk of the upcoming season." Given that he's already used his redshirt, it seems like there's incentive to try and get him in this Fall, even if only for a few games. It certainly sounded encouraging.

Asked about "greatest fears for this season," Coach commented on our heavy reliance on a lot of youth in the defensive secondary.

Great session. Clearly this man has a vision and he EXPECTS to compete for a championship.

One last thing. At the end, one of the final questions was around, "What can we do as fans to help this team?" His answer was to for us to simply SHOW UP. He pointed out that that was a big difference in the SEC's success, with fans driving 5, 6, 7 hoiurs to every home game to be "part of the gameday experience." He explained that it makes a huge difference to the team in-game, such as happened in the capacity-crowd Carolina game, as well as to recruits visiting Wally Wade.

devildeac
05-09-2013, 08:57 AM
I attended a Duke Club of Washington event in downtown DC Tuesday night. The guest of honor, speaking for over an hour to a crowd of around 80 Duke alums and fans in the offices of a swanky downtown DC law firm, was none other than Coach Cut. He was in rare story-telling form and clearly "inspired and molded men," in the words of one recent player who spoke. One of the comments he made might be of interest to the posters on this thread. Coach seemed to be pretty hopeful of getting Sirk back for, if I heard correctly, "a good chunk of the upcoming season." Given that he's already used his redshirt, it seems like there's incentive to try and get him in this Fall, even if only for a few games. It certainly sounded encouraging.

Asked about "greatest fears for this season," Coach commented on our heavy reliance on a lot of youth in the defensive secondary.

Great session. Clearly this man has a vision and he EXPECTS to compete for a championship.

One last thing. At the end, one of the final questions was around, "What can we do as fans to help this team?" His answer was to for us to simply SHOW UP. He pointed out that that was a big difference in the SEC's success, with fans driving 5, 6, 7 hoiurs to every home game to be "part of the gameday experience." He explained that it makes a huge difference to the team in-game, such as happened in the capacity-crowd Carolina game, as well as to recruits visiting Wally Wade.

That would be a pretty amazing comeback if it happened, giving him about 4-5 months to recover from the surgery. I know billy is an orthopedic surgeon who is a poster here and perhaps he could comment about typical recovery time from a torn Achilles surgical procedure, knowing of course there are likely varying grades/severity of injury to that tendon. I thought I remember reading here he was expected to take up to a year to recover.

sagegrouse
05-09-2013, 09:34 AM
I attended a Duke Club of Washington event in downtown DC Tuesday night. The guest of honor, speaking for over an hour to a crowd of around 80 Duke alums and fans in the offices of a swanky downtown DC law firm, was none other than Coach Cut. He was in rare story-telling form and clearly "inspired and molded men," in the words of one recent player who spoke. One of the comments he made might be of interest to the posters on this thread. Coach seemed to be pretty hopeful of getting Sirk back for, if I heard correctly, "a good chunk of the upcoming season." Given that he's already used his redshirt, it seems like there's incentive to try and get him in this Fall, even if only for a few games. It certainly sounded encouraging.

Asked about "greatest fears for this season," Coach commented on our heavy reliance on a lot of youth in the defensive secondary.

Great session. Clearly this man has a vision and he EXPECTS to compete for a championship.

One last thing. At the end, one of the final questions was around, "What can we do as fans to help this team?" His answer was to for us to simply SHOW UP. He pointed out that that was a big difference in the SEC's success, with fans driving 5, 6, 7 hoiurs to every home game to be "part of the gameday experience." He explained that it makes a huge difference to the team in-game, such as happened in the capacity-crowd Carolina game, as well as to recruits visiting Wally Wade.

I was at the same event and agree with bdbd's comments re Sirk.

He also said, in a private session, that he was gonna be really tough with the defensive front. Some of the players had to play before they were strong and experienced enough and were used to getting pushed around. No more, he said.

Surprisingly, he didn't make a big deal off of the maturity of the offensive line. My last memory is of those guys pushing Cincy all over the field. Much, much better than our "one yard and a cloud of dust" offense from years past.

Cutcliffe is rally good at turning a question mark into a positive and a necessity into a virtue: The football team has been averaging just above 3.0 with beaucoup All-ACC academic honors. Someone suggested that Duke athletes did well because the grading was easier. He took umbrage and said, no, it was because the faculty was really good and made sure that every student learned the material.

sagegrouse

DukeSean
05-09-2013, 10:27 AM
Sirk has skills and would maybe get some time. Boone obviously starts, and I would imagine Connette is the first option back-up though so this upcoming year is probably not a big rep season anyway.

With a desire to do more read-option, I think not having Sirk as an available backup limits the extent to which we run Boone around

mkline09
05-09-2013, 06:17 PM
With a desire to do more read-option, I think not having Sirk as an available backup limits the extent to which we run Boone around

I agree but I wouldn't sleep on Parker Boehme. He played very well in the spring game for a guy that had zero practice. If he improve and learns the offense he could be a reliable back up.

Greg_Newton
05-09-2013, 07:08 PM
That would be terrific news if true. I'm a little surprised/skeptical, because someone on the staff told me a few weeks ago that he was probably going to be held out regardless, but I suppose no one would know better than Cut.

Really, it would be great news for Sirk's future as much as anything else - I just want him to get back to near where he was, physically, at some point in his career now. A full healthy year before his RS-SO season would go a long way.

Bob Green
05-10-2013, 03:54 PM
Here is a nice YouTube spring practice video recap, but I have to warn you the music is absolutely atrocious, which probably means all the youngsters will like it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJOCejBv_3A&feature=youtu.be

Bob Green
05-23-2013, 04:11 PM
NCCU game will kickoff on August 31 at 4 pm. The September 14 Georgia Tech game will kickoff at 3:30 pm. It'll be HOT!

uh_no
05-23-2013, 06:32 PM
NCCU game will kickoff on August 31 at 4 pm. The September 14 Georgia Tech game will kickoff at 3:30 pm. It'll be HOT!
"it" refers to the duke offense here, right?