By Tyler Barto
Flood’s mid-December hiring of Mitch Browning raised eyebrows in some circles,
but the well-traveled offensive line coach drew praise from one former Big Ten
coach that knows a thing or two about him.
fact, it might have been one of the major reasons Browning is on staff.
just think that Mitch Browning, as far as a recruiter and an offensive coach
and offensive line coach, is second to none,” Big Ten Network analyst Glen
Mason, who coached a decade at Minnesota, told me. “I don’t think that Kyle
Flood could have hired a better guy, especially at a time when Rutgers is
coming into the Big Ten.”
know Browning and Mason is to come to grips with the unwavering trust
assistants place in head coaches. The life of a position coach, after all, is
had been along for nearly all of it. He met Browning, 58, in 1982 when Browning
was a graduate assistant at Ohio State, Mason’s alma mater. Mason was a
retained Browning when he took the job at Kent State, then led him to separate
stints at Kansas and Minnesota, worth 21 years.
outstanding,” Browning told me at Rutgers’ media day. “Tried to call him this
morning, but he didn’t answer the phone.”
Minnesota teams offer a reasonable comparison.
Browning and Mason first arrived, the program knew little of the postseason.
Its talent was bare. A winning tradition waned.
spent the first few years restocking key positions. Then they built a feared
run game, led by future pros Laurence Maroney and Marion Barber.
we went, we had a Rimington Award winner, a Mackey Award winner,” Browning said.
“We had guys at other positions that were pretty talented, too. We had an
offensive line that was embodying what we were doing and extremely talented.”
is hoping Browning brings him that final piece.
ultimate judge of a position coach is, ‘Are your younger players getting
better?’” said Flood, a former offensive line coach himself. “I think that group as a whole is getting better,
and I think the young players are getting better.”
is sure to have Mason’s eye.
BTN analyst said he hasn’t seen another coach with as extensive ties to
Browning’s native Ohio. It is likely why he made hauling Browning from outposts
like Kent, Ohio, to Lawrence, Kansas, to Minneapolis, Minnesota, a priority.
are guys that love to coach and there are guys that love being the coach because
of all the salary and perks that go with it,” Mason said. “Mitch is a guy that
loves to coach. He’s in the office early, he’s watching film, always watching
film, always evaluating. He’s a smart guy that works awful hard at his job.
He’s a true coach.”
Spreading the wealth
Season opener. Western time zone. Spread offense. It's easy to see why many are penning Thursday's matchup with Washington State as this year's 52-51 overtime showdown with Fresno State.
The quarterbacks involved in both, after all, throw and throw often.
Carr, for example, ran an offense predicated on line-of-scrimmage throws, taking a simplistic approach. Halliday and head coach Mike Leach will take more shots downfield, which affects both yards per completion and pass efficiency, which takes into account several metrics.
Still, Halliday's ypc is still relatively low. To put it into perspective, Rutgers' Gary Nova finished 31st last year with 13.08. More on Rutgers' opponents:
Passing yards (nat'l rank)
Yards per completion
Johnathan Aiken laughed when asked why he and Lorenzo Waters, Rutgers' most veteran safeties, are the only ones that wear one white Nike sleeve on each arm.
“We live together actually, so we do a lot of stuff similarly," Aiken said. "We like the sleeves.”
Each sleeve has a small patch of padding to brace collisions.
“If you fall on your elbow, I’m right-handed and he puts it on his left," Aiken said of Waters. "It serves a small purpose, but that’s not why we wear them.”
Here are the stories that caught my eye this week:
Who stood out at Rutgers' annual talent show at the end of training camp
Kyle Flood explains his reasoning behind his weekly injury reports
Inside Eddie Jordan's pursuit to reassemble Rutgers' Final Four team
With the microscope closing in, social media can't haunt would-be recruits
This New York Times story puts a face to college preview writer Phil Steele
How Curtis Malone, whose AAU team helped populate Rutgers, landed in jail
Michael Vick is on his last legs with the Jets
The York (Pa.) Daily Record meets up with members of James Franklin's past
Labels: Connor Halliday, Derek Carr, Glen Mason, Johnathan Aiken, Kyle Flood, Mitch Browning, Rundown