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Griz looking up in secondary

IntuitiveGriz

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Griz excited to work in new players, new schemes; eager for fall season

One sign that the Montana Grizzlies’ pass defense is on the mend is that the youngsters who started at cornerback in 2012 are back for 2013.

All four of them.

Sean Murray started 10 games in 2012 for the Griz, who went 5-6 with a notable, record-setting, 40-34 setback at North Dakota. Anthony Goodwin, like Murray a senior this year, started five; so did junior Josh Dennard.

That means sophomore Nate Harris made two starts as well.

“That was a good experience for them and I didn’t lose any of them,” said Aric Williams, the Grizzlies’ fourth-year cornerbacks coach. “Young corners are going to take their lumps and give up plays, but those are learning experiences.

“As a young corner (at Oregon State) I took my lumps and gave up some big plays, but I learned from them.”

So Williams and the Griz are banking on better things from a quartet that shouldered last year’s burden fairly well, all things being relative.

Montana did rank next to last out of 121 Football Championship Subdivision teams in passing yards allowed. The North Dakota game skewed the numbers some with 660 yards.

Goodwin and Murray did come up with picks in the game as the Griz surged in front of UND 34-31, but obviously consistency was hard to find.

“Last year I didn’t have one guy step up to where he said, ‘Hey, this is my position,’ ” Williams noted. “So one guy would have a great week of practice, or a great game, and another week I’d have to give somebody else a chance.”

The four corners split five interceptions; Murray had two picks and 50 tackles to lead the unit. Dennard wasn’t far behind with 48 stops and added a team-best eight pass deflections. Goodwin had 38 tackles and Harris 29.

All four players – plus transfer Jamal Anderson, who sat out Friday’s practice with an illness, and redshirt freshman JR Nelson – have been getting intense reps during crisp practices.

“We’re changing up our defense and giving different responsibilities and different looks,” said Murray. “They’re giving us plays where we can take more advantage, like press (coverage).”

Murray has missed a little time with illness, Williams noted. Meanwhile Goodwin – nicknamed “Chief” at an early age, he still goes by that handle – has separated himself from the pack.

“I think my most consistent guy is Anthony Goodwin,” William said.
“He’s showing great speed, great instincts.

“Nate and Josh, we’re asking them to do a lot more in terms of nickel and dime (5- and 6-defensive back) packages, all that fun stuff.”

A young but speedy group of receivers tests the group.

“We’re toughening them up and they’re making us better,” said Goodwin, a transfer from powerful Mt. SAC Junior College. “Last year I gained a lot of confidence. With me bringing confidence to the field, I’m hoping the younger guys feed off my energy.”
* * *

The Griz concluded their final drills before Easter with a punt-catching contest between the offense and defense, then a tug of war between the assistant coaches – split along the same lines.

The defense won both contests, narrowly, and then everybody headed out for spring break.

“I think we’ve made a lot of progress,” said Griz coach Mick Delaney, whose folded three new assistants and a handful of new players into a team that seems to be practicing with a purpose.

“I’m just really excited about the way they’re playing and practicing every other day, and lifting on off days, and the way they’re focused in meetings.

“There are no guarantees… you still have to put everything together. But they’re trying to do this day by day, and I’m 100 percent convinced we’re seven days better now than we were March 18.”

The Griz jump back into spring drills on Tuesday, April 9; they’ll have their second scrimmage on April 13, in Ronan at noon.

Reporter Fritz Neighbor can be reached at (406) 523-5247 or at [email protected].
 
Word out of Griz camp is that, if Goodwin progresses at the rate he is progressing, Goodwin will be one of the best FCS corners in the nation.

That is comforting to hear.

I personally thought he was the second best or best CB last year, I'm stoked to hear that he is taking his athleticsim is to the next level.

He was a national champion junior college player, hopefully he'll be a national champion FCS player! :egriz:
 
I'd posted this before but I've seen this time and time again with JuCo kids. Their first year with the team is usually a transition year with some ups and downs and then their next year they make rapid improvements. In the secondary alone there was Dodson and Roots as perfect examples.

It's not always the case, some guys never adapt (Badger) but I was saying this before with Goodwin, he was making improvements through the season and was showing that he's only going to get better. Now familiar with his coaches, his teammates, and the system - he's really going to shine.
 
Hauck always acknowledged those same observations.. towards the end of JuCo's first year they really start to get it figured out. Looking forward to what Chief can do for us! This is going to be an interesting group this year..... :thumb:
 
cclarkblues said:
Lets hope we're not on our backs looking up their skirts like last year. :thumb:

Fritz did seem to try to "minimize" being ranked last in the FCS last year in passing yards allowed. I hadn't known it was that bad. No need to mention that the UND game "skewed" the numbers. That was an horrible performance but the safeties looked worse than the corners IMO.
 
CV Griz Fan said:
cclarkblues said:
Lets hope we're not on our backs looking up their skirts like last year. :thumb:

Fritz did seem to try to "minimize" being ranked last in the FCS last year in passing yards allowed. I hadn't known it was that bad. No need to mention that the UND game "skewed" the numbers. That was an horrible performance but the safeties looked worse than the corners IMO.

I've debunked that theory multiple times on this board, and really don't feel like doing it again. Suffice it to say, our safeties and secondary in general performed MUCH better after the UND game, and that despite being thrown on an average of 45+ times a game. And we'll all be amazed at how much better our secondary looks with a good QB keeping the offense on the field longer and more consistently. :roll:
 
It is about time they implement more tight coverage schemes!!!! Good to see the coaches acknowledged the soft schemes hurt us bad last year. Will they stick to this? I sure in the hell hope so. The pass defense schemes last year were as bad as I have ever seen at this level. I don't like to be negative, but last year was that bad.
 
AZGrizFan said:
CV Griz Fan said:
cclarkblues said:
Lets hope we're not on our backs looking up their skirts like last year. :thumb:

Fritz did seem to try to "minimize" being ranked last in the FCS last year in passing yards allowed. I hadn't known it was that bad. No need to mention that the UND game "skewed" the numbers. That was an horrible performance but the safeties looked worse than the corners IMO.

I've debunked that theory multiple times on this board, and really don't feel like doing it again. Suffice it to say, our safeties and secondary in general performed MUCH better after the UND game, and that despite being thrown on an average of 45+ times a game. And we'll all be amazed at how much better our secondary looks with a good QB keeping the offense on the field longer and more consistently. :roll:
You're a total pussy. :lol:
 
The secondary was HORRIBLE last year..W.T.F. is all of this fluff and puff?? Really? How many times did you see a helium balloon launched down the middle of the field only to see our safeties find "another" way to not make a big play. We'll see this year. How can ANYONE make any statements right now. Yes, it will be difficult to be worse...you've got me there. I like Dennard ! a corner...yes and very raw last year, but I think he'll be the man who steps up this year. He just has the 'it" factor. :grenade: safety play.
 
rimrockgriz said:
The secondary was HORRIBLE last year..W.T.F. is all of this fluff and puff?? Really? How many times did you see a helium balloon launched down the middle of the field only to see our safeties find "another" way to not make a big play. We'll see this year. How can ANYONE make any statements right now. Yes, it will be difficult to be worse...you've got me there. I like Dennard ! a corner...yes and very raw last year, but I think he'll be the man who steps up this year. He just has the 'it" factor. :grenade: safety play.
This just in; it was not just the secondary that allowed Zach Bauman to run all over us.
 
PhxGriz said:
AZGrizFan said:
CV Griz Fan said:
cclarkblues said:
Lets hope we're not on our backs looking up their skirts like last year. :thumb:

Fritz did seem to try to "minimize" being ranked last in the FCS last year in passing yards allowed. I hadn't known it was that bad. No need to mention that the UND game "skewed" the numbers. That was an horrible performance but the safeties looked worse than the corners IMO.

I've debunked that theory multiple times on this board, and really don't feel like doing it again. Suffice it to say, our safeties and secondary in general performed MUCH better after the UND game, and that despite being thrown on an average of 45+ times a game. And we'll all be amazed at how much better our secondary looks with a good QB keeping the offense on the field longer and more consistently. :roll:
You're a total pussy. :lol:


Hey Professor AzGriz:

Debunking the theory that the Griz secondary "sucked" last year seems to me to be an effort that is a little "beneath" someone of your intellectual capabilities. I mean I know that debunking theories is hard work and all but maybe you should spend your "research grant " monies debunking theories that are a little more significant. I am not saying you should attempt to tackle the "biggies" like Natural Selection, Relativity or Newton's law of Gravity but you certainly could make attempts at debunking some of the more "dubious" current theories that are floating around out there now. Maybe you can make a run at Global Warming, Trickle Down Economics or the Loan Gunman Theory in the Kennedy Assassination.
AzGriz don't deprive society. Your academic talents are in great demand and we need your contributions in more meaningful areas than Griz football.
 
CV Griz Fan said:
PhxGriz said:
AZGrizFan said:
CV Griz Fan said:
Fritz did seem to try to "minimize" being ranked last in the FCS last year in passing yards allowed. I hadn't known it was that bad. No need to mention that the UND game "skewed" the numbers. That was an horrible performance but the safeties looked worse than the corners IMO.

I've debunked that theory multiple times on this board, and really don't feel like doing it again. Suffice it to say, our safeties and secondary in general performed MUCH better after the UND game, and that despite being thrown on an average of 45+ times a game. And we'll all be amazed at how much better our secondary looks with a good QB keeping the offense on the field longer and more consistently. :roll:
You're a total pussy. :lol:


Hey Professor AzGriz:

Debunking the theory that the Griz secondary "sucked" last year seems to me to be an effort that is a little "beneath" someone of your intellectual capabilities. I mean I know that debunking theories is hard work and all but maybe you should spend your "research grant " monies debunking theories that are a little more significant. I am not saying you should attempt to tackle the "biggies" like Natural Selection, Relativity or Newton's law of Gravity but you certainly could make attempts at debunking some of the more "dubious" current theories that are floating around out there now. Maybe you can make a run at Global Warming, Trickle Down Economics or the Loan Gunman Theory in the Kennedy Assassination.
AzGriz don't deprive society. Your academic talents are in great demand and we need your contributions in more meaningful areas than Griz football.

All good advice, but global warming and the grassy knoll have already been debunked and Reaganomics has already been proven effective. The Griz secondary myth was next on the list. Sorry. :cool:
 
kemajic said:
rimrockgriz said:
The secondary was HORRIBLE last year..W.T.F. is all of this fluff and puff?? Really? How many times did you see a helium balloon launched down the middle of the field only to see our safeties find "another" way to not make a big play. We'll see this year. How can ANYONE make any statements right now. Yes, it will be difficult to be worse...you've got me there. I like Dennard ! a corner...yes and very raw last year, but I think he'll be the man who steps up this year. He just has the 'it" factor. :grenade: safety play.
This just in; it was not just the secondary that allowed Zach Bauman to run all over us.
Well..the thread is titled "looking up in secondary" so I didn't comment on the backers, etc. :hijack: However since you reference me and Zach Bauman I'll dip a toe in the pool for you...because you're special :argue: . N.A.U. clocked us all over the field, but Bauman had a field day over right tackle and the edge. Our hon. mention all america (37) was exposed completely against the Jacks'. He couldn't shed against an under sized t.e., let alone their right tackle and on a couple times a pulling guard. He looked like road tar under a Caterpillar. Hopefully he's spending more time this year under the squat rack and the bench. (I think he has the curling bar down pat) He makes great athletic plays at times that are game changers, but "joe blow fan" misses his pr!ck ups on many areas where he's massively deficient. This is a minor expansion of your "off topic comment". P.S.- you holding 1 of those 52' Topps in your safe???
 
AZGrizFan said:
CV Griz Fan said:
PhxGriz said:
AZGrizFan said:
I've debunked that theory multiple times on this board, and really don't feel like doing it again. Suffice it to say, our safeties and secondary in general performed MUCH better after the UND game, and that despite being thrown on an average of 45+ times a game. And we'll all be amazed at how much better our secondary looks with a good QB keeping the offense on the field longer and more consistently. :roll:
You're a total pussy. :lol:


Hey Professor AzGriz:

Debunking the theory that the Griz secondary "sucked" last year seems to me to be an effort that is a little "beneath" someone of your intellectual capabilities. I mean I know that debunking theories is hard work and all but maybe you should spend your "research grant " monies debunking theories that are a little more significant. I am not saying you should attempt to tackle the "biggies" like Natural Selection, Relativity or Newton's law of Gravity but you certainly could make attempts at debunking some of the more "dubious" current theories that are floating around out there now. Maybe you can make a run at Global Warming, Trickle Down Economics or the Loan Gunman Theory in the Kennedy Assassination.
AzGriz don't deprive society. Your academic talents are in great demand and we need your contributions in more meaningful areas than Griz football.

All good advice, but global warming and the grassy knoll have already been debunked and Reaganomics has already been proven effective. The Griz secondary myth was next on the list. Sorry. :cool:


I'll give you a slight touche' on your answer but there has to be some theory out there that is more commensurate with your talents than Griz football. How about the theory that Michael and Latoya Jackson are actually the same person? I mean come on! Has anybody seen Latoya in public since Michael's death? Or maybe you can weigh in on the theory that the "Tea Party" movement is responsible for the demise of the Republican Party. I don't know professor. You can raise the bar!
 
rimrockgriz said:
kemajic said:
rimrockgriz said:
The secondary was HORRIBLE last year..W.T.F. is all of this fluff and puff?? Really? How many times did you see a helium balloon launched down the middle of the field only to see our safeties find "another" way to not make a big play. We'll see this year. How can ANYONE make any statements right now. Yes, it will be difficult to be worse...you've got me there. I like Dennard ! a corner...yes and very raw last year, but I think he'll be the man who steps up this year. He just has the 'it" factor. :grenade: safety play.
This just in; it was not just the secondary that allowed Zach Bauman to run all over us.
Well..the thread is titled "looking up in secondary" so I didn't comment on the backers, etc. :hijack: However since you reference me and Zach Bauman I'll dip a toe in the pool for you...because you're special :argue: . N.A.U. clocked us all over the field, but Bauman had a field day over right tackle and the edge. Our hon. mention all america (37) was exposed completely against the Jacks'. He couldn't shed against an under sized t.e., let alone their right tackle and on a couple times a pulling guard. He looked like road tar under a Caterpillar. Hopefully he's spending more time this year under the squat rack and the bench. (I think he has the curling bar down pat) He makes great athletic plays at times that are game changers, but "joe blow fan" misses his pr!ck ups on many areas where he's massively deficient. This is a minor expansion of your "off topic comment". P.S.- you holding 1 of those 52' Topps in your safe???
Not sure what you mean about my comment being "off topic." The topic was secondary play, as was my comment. The whole defense let up (aka, quit) in the NAU game; can't blame it on just the secondary. I just booked a flight to the NAU game this year, because I think NAU and Jerome will pay and I don't want to miss it.

How many '52 Micks are you in the market for?
 
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