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Captain Kangaroo

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Captain Kangaroo last won the day on March 22

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About Captain Kangaroo

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    Balancing caring about the Zips, with candidly assessing them

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  1. ZipsNation.org Spotlights Josh Ward

    I had the opportunity to interview Josh Ward after last Saturday’s practice. Yet another great representative of Zips football! Thanks as always to Dr. Z for the nice layout and great supporting photos! Article
  2. MAC Tournament Game 2: Buffalo

    Gonzaga of the East!
  3. Photography & Notes [Practice #4— 3/16]

    Scrolling through Dr Z's photos, one thing that sticks out is the youth of this staff compared to Bowden's. Some of these guys are 30...40 years younger than some of those in the Bowden/Amato crew. There's a different form of engagement with the players during the drills, and a different level of energy. When I watch a practice I try to look at things from the Coach's perspective and see who really stands out. In one drill there were 20 guys running through cones, then tackling a dummy. Maybe 15 of them looked identical. A few showed techniques and speed that stood out, and a couple guys...probably won't be bucking for a starting position this fall. Guys like Alvin Davis, Josh Ward, Boogie and Bubba can be fun to watch, even in drills, because their technique stands out. If you are looking for a great stock to buy low, with huge upside, get in early on Freshman fullback Abe Alce (ALL-cee). With Deltron Sands and Keyondre White sitting out, Abe got a lot of reps. He's big, fast (for his size) and consistently shows soft hands when pulling in those almost-out-of-reach swing passes. I expect he's going to be a big part of our offense this upcoming season. Saturday was the first time the kickers were showcased under rush conditions. Cory Smigel is a tiny kid with a big leg. His ball gets in the air quickly, and in the difficult-to-gauge environment of the indoor practice facility, showed good accuracy from 40 yards-in. Sophomore Jonah Wieland (Hudson) also had a couple nice kicks, but had one blocked. Keyondre White and Andy Jean-Baptiste didn't play. Likewise, no Reggie Corner was seen in the secondary. Redshirt Freshman Jaylen Hooks (Warren Harding) got some reps at cornerback. Another redshirt Freshman, Rich Hall, got some reps in the secondary. Physically, Hall looks like he can step in and play immediately. In scrimmage situations, Kato gets the "first team" reps. As of March 16th, Robbie Kelly seems to be the leading candidate for the #2 QB position. @Dr Z mentioned Kelvon Blackmon as a player who tried-out as a walk on and was given a roster spot. Another is 5' 6" 165 lb Brandon Lee. Brandon played WR last week, this week he was in the backfield. He's REALLY tiny, and REALLY fast. It will be interesting to see if he can find his way on to the playing field this upcoming season. Liking what I've seen from Bubba Arslanian at LB thus far. He's a strong kid with a nose for the ball. He runs all his drills with great technique, and at high speed. Yet another guy that will be fun to chronicle once the tackling begins (all drills and scrimmage situations thus far are non-contact). It was nice to see so many high school kids attending the practice. The Ignatius HC and Maple Heights HC were there. Probably also several HC's that I didn't recognize.
  4. MAC Tournament Game 2: Buffalo

    Are we talking about the same KD that, in his second year at Duquesne, just lost in the first round of the A-10 tourney, to #10 seed Saint Joe's? At least Groce made it to Round #2, and lost to a top 20 team. KD busted against a 13-18 team. Hope all his early season cupcake wins get him that coveted CIT berth. (Iron City's)
  5. MAC Tournament Game 2: Buffalo

    Any cheap tickets to be had?
  6. MAC Hoops 18-19

    Dambrot got $600,000 to coach the Zips? That goes a long way in Summit County. He then parlayed that into a $1,000,000 gig at Duquesne. Not too shabby. Groce is getting around a million dollars to not coach Illinois? Bobby Hurley parlayed his short time in Buffalo into a $2.1 million/year gig at ASU (plus bonuses). Steve Hawkins pulls in a cool half million per year to be mediocre. Saul Phillips got $550,000/yr to stink at OU. Being a college head coach isn't an easy gig, but try getting anything close to that coin in the real world.
  7. MAC Tournament Game 2: Buffalo

    I think if we can shoot >38% from the 3-point line, we can win. Anything less isn't enough.
  8. 2019 Recruiting

    Some HS recruits taking in the Zips practice on Saturday included David Wolhabaugh (Walsh), Jake Ryan (Jackson) and Sam Davis (Geneva).
  9. Photography & Coach Interview [Practice 3/9]

    As far as observations from the practice: The occasionally feisty Kato was on his best behavior. All the players were. There was no goofing around, no fisticuffs. Everyone was focused on the job at hand. I heard that when the depth chart is released, it will likely be in alphabetical order. Everyone is being evaluated from scratch. Nate Stewart made a couple nice catches. One on a deep sideline route that would have been good for 40 yards. He stood out. Abe Alce showed some soft hands on a swing pass from the fullback position. He's a big kid. It'll be fun to see how he is integrated into the offense. Word on the street is AJ Milwee has landed on Nick Saban's staff at Alabama? The pace of the practice was VERY up-tempo. Constant movement. The offense-defense scrimmage plays were all run at a 2-minute drill pace. plays Coach Arth stressed that he wants his team to be the most prepared late in games. To be able to think clearly in late-game situations. To be the best conditioned team on the field. In the practice, when a wideout caught a ball, they ran it to the endzone. That was part of the conditioning. He said he doesn't want to runs sprints. He wants the conditioning to come from "football plays" and their work in drills. If I were a player, I'd like that. I think it will be fun to get to know Coach Zagorski. He seems like an animated, likable guy. Kickers practiced outdoors, and then moved inside. Kicker/punter positions are wide open. That will be a very interesting battle to watch. It's tough to draw much from the first practice of the spring. But to me it seemed like the players have all bought in. They were all engaged and working hard. The coaches were constantly encouraging and instructing. There was a good vibe in the field house.
  10. Photography & Coach Interview [Practice 3/9]

    I was able to speak with Coach Arth after the practice and ask a few questions. Question #1: What was the primary focus of this practice? What specific goals were you hoping to accomplish? “I think most importantly, this group of players, they’ve exceeded our expectations throughout this winter. From the first day we arrived here, to the group that they are now, is completely different and I’m so proud of them. The way they’re performing in the classroom, the way their grades have improved…it’s been a really positive thing. The same held true for our practice today. We had a certain expectation for how we expected it to go, and they exceeded it. I thought today was an excellent day. The way we were able to practice, to communicate, to get aligned, to make our calls, was really good. Obviously, there’s a lot of things we’ll need to work on from an execution standpoint. But I was very happy with the effort I saw. Question #2: This was the most scrimmage situations I’ve seen run in a practice so early in the spring. With an entirely new staff and system, how were the players so prepared…on essentially Day #1 of spring football…to line up and play? “I think it’s a credit to the players. In a short amount of time, with the limited number of meetings we’ve been able to have, they’ve been dialed-in. Players have been coming up to be asking to meet with the coaches beyond what was scheduled. There was a group of wideouts and a few tight ends working out Thursday night at about 8 pm, going through a walk-through on their own. I think our players have bought-in and embraced everything that we’re doing and I couldn’t be prouder of them. Question #3: How nice is it for you to finally see what you’ve got on the playing field rather than watching tape, or reps in a weight room? “It’s great. You really don’t have a true feel for the guys in meetings. You need to get out on the field where you have a chance to coach them and see them work. See them compete. I’ve been pleased with what I’ve seen. We’ve got a long way to go. But from where I expected us to be, and where we are today. I’m very pleased.” Question #4: You’ve spent a lot of time working with the QB’s. What do you like about what you’ve got at the quarterback position in 2019? “I really like the group in general. It’s been great for me to be back in the room coaching those guys every single day. I think Coach Schaefer, our offensive quality control coach who played quarterback for me at John Carroll, has done a fantastic job with these QB’s. When we were out on the road recruiting, and when I was tied up with the various things I need to do as a Head Coach over the winter, he’s done a fantastic job of meeting with the guys and preparing them. Like all the other players, these quarterbacks have really embraced what we’re doing. The mental side of things, the learning, is something they’ve really made a priority. And you have to do that if you’re going to be successful at the quarterback position.” Question #5: I noticed a few players have switched positions. Alvin Davis at cornerback, Tyler Gilchrist at safety and Jonathan Neeley on the defensive line. Can you talk a little about those moves? “We’re just trying to feel everybody out right now. We’re trying to get an idea of what people are capable of doing. We value versatility on our team, on offense, defense and special teams. The more ways you can contribute, the more value you can add. And right now, we’re just trying to find out what everybody can do. There’ll be a lot of guys moving around throughout the spring. When it’s all over in mid-April, we’ll determine what our needs are. From there, we’ll create a great plan for the team to follow when summer camp opens.” Question #6: Can you give me one or two things that you saw today that stuck out in your mind as noteworthy, or special at today’s practice? “Yeah…from an offensive standpoint, related to the quarterbacks, we had talked in our meetings about a particular route where, if we had an outside leverage on the slot receiver, and there was no middle-of-the-field defender, that we’d have the opportunity to get the ball out quickly on a slant route. The first time it came up, Kato recognized it and made the play. In a game that would have been a 20-yard completion, or if the receiver would have broken a tackle, a touchdown. I thought that was a great example of something we’d discussed in our meetings this morning being executed on the field. There were a number of examples today where we took what we’d discussed in meetings and transferred it to the field, where we took what we learned as an individual in meetings and transferred it to the team. That was a big positive I took from today.” Question #7: I noticed the quarterback was under center on occasion today. Is that something we should expect to see from the Zips on Saturdays? “Our offense is going to very multiple. Right now, we’re trying to figure out who we are and what we can do well. Hopefully when spring practices are done, we’ll have a very good idea of what we need to focus on in the summer, and what we’ll be in the fall.”
  11. The Arizona Bowl

    It would be nice if the MAC started to win a couple bowl games. The last two years have been embarrassing.
  12. Game 30- Bowling Green

    If it is proven that we can't hit from 20 feet, and we also can't hit from <2 feet, why would 15 feet be any better?
  13. Game 28- Buffalo Bulls

    “Solid first half?” Then the Zips have it in the bag! Why even play half #2?
  14. Game 28- Buffalo Bulls

    In fairness to everyone it is already Wednesday morning here, but I will not divulge who won the game.
  15. Game 28- Buffalo Bulls

    Listening to French and Dunn’s call while riding a bus in Singapore. What an age we live in!