Hondo S. Carpenter

Hello folks!
Thanks again for taking the time to read Spartan Nation.

  • Don’t forget to join me each weeknight for Mid-Michigan’s most sports at 6:15 p.m. Monday thru Friday on ABC 53.
  • I am really excited. Monday my special guest on Hondo’s House is the Tigers Curtis Granderson.
  • It is only 5 months and 22 days until the MSU vs. UM football game!

Happy Easter to you all.

Recap of MSU open scrimmage on 4/15/2006

Sadly the crowd was very disappointing. I asked four other colleagues in the media how many they thought were at the scrimmage and the consensus was 2-3 thousand. That is sad for a storied program. What also makes it sad is that there should have been more. Why do I think the crowd was so small? That is two fold.

MSU football at best has no clue how to operate public relations, and at worst does not care about the fans. No matter what, you the fan, always pays up. Please don’t ask me how I feel, you won’t like the answer. They have closed practice almost completely to the media. I realize that most of you don’t care what they do to my colleagues, and me for that reason but you also are the ones who want more info. I am going to know what is going on. When they close it that hurts you. They act like the media is out to get them and are paranoid. I realize Coach Smith has never coached at this level but he needs to look at several other big time programs and see how things are done. Look at the NFL. If they are concerned, then why don’t they inform the media of some parameters and get at it. The fans have not been given a sufficient amount of information and simply are not aware. The first email I got about the practice said it was at one, and I have harped on it since then. In fairness, several of the last emails (about 3) have said it was at noon. I reported that. I was told on Friday that it was at 1 again so I called MSU sports information and was told by the young man that answered it was at 1. That was Friday afternoon. When I taped Hondo’s house late that afternoon on Friday I told everyone 1. Then before the news I got an email saying noon. I called and found out this time it was again at noon. My point is they have no clue how to run a public relations campaign or don’t care. The only way this program will learn is from the people, and until they demand with their wallet it just won’t get better I fear. I was actually and sadly told today: “we don’t need to do a big promotion, UM doesn’t.” I hate that lazy attitude. I don’t give a crap about UM. I love MSU.

The people are apathetic to a program that is apathetic to them. MSU football just doesn’t get the “embrace the fans” mentality that so many other programs do. Not just college but pro also. Will someone send a memo to the MSU football program that this is a state school and that this program is not theirs it is all the people’s. I just don’t understand people. I don’t care what people say, they are the countries most loyal fans. They keep showing up year after year in the fall. Today was a golden opportunity to have a great MSU day. It was, but so many people missed out. I was sad about that.

In the fairness of disclosure, let me say that my evaluation is based upon about 110 plays of a 120-play scrimmage. At the 100 play mark we were allowed to go to the field and I missed about 10 plays. Anyways, here we go with my thought from the scrimmage and the progress of spring ball. I am not thrilled with kicker Boleski but I do think he could be an improvement. Remember that we felt o.k. last season but it is only in game situations that count. Jehuu Caulcrick is such a fine young man, and he looks thick. I am not sure how much he has gained but as I talked with him he was visibly bigger and played stronger. Ringer and Drew got precious few reps and that should tell us all we need to know. The WR’s dropped to many passes and that reminded me too much of last season. Hoyer as you know has always been lauded as a gunslinger here on Spartan Nation and he is living up to that reputation well. I love Drew and feel he could and will leave here MSU’s best QB of all time, but when he is gone, Hoyer will do well. Natale looked terrible. I am sure that he is a fine young man, but he did not look good today. Fields as I said last year is among the best punters in the nation. He did not have a season that reflected that but I do feel he’ll be back. I was impressed with several offensive linemen and I am totally confident that our offense will be among the best in the country yet again. I give the offense a B-.

I was thrilled with the defense today. Let me say that last season at this time, I was telling you how great the offense looked and how pathetic the defense looked. Well people the offense looked acceptable, when you look at the lack of snaps that Javon and Drew had. The defense was the bomb. They pressured whoever was the QB, stayed home and took care of assignments. Once again one of my favorites Cliff Ryan showed more sizzle even when he changed positions. My favorite quote of the day was when I asked Cliff about his preparedness at the new DT position and he said” “I have always told you, don’t worry about me, I’m going to make my plays.” I love that young man. He is a great person on the field, but off it, he is even better. Nehemiah Warrick looked sensational, that young man is the real deal. SirDarean Adams was thankfully allowed to go back to the bandit where he clearly belonged. He is yet another of the many quality people on this team. I give the defense a B. It was great to see a swagger.

As far as the coaching staff, I want to really focus on the defensive staff. I was excited to see them going back to some attack style defense that John L. promised us when he came and admittedly got away from last season. Coach Smith assured me that he wanted to get back to that and they did today. The defensive coaching staff did a good job today and when I was down on the field I was impressed with the teaching and prodding going on. I give the coaches a B.

I guess that it is sad that after such a great day, the good playing from both sides and good coaching, that the negatives are the off field things. These are some of the best kids that MSU has had on this team ever on and off the field. The talent is here, now let’s all hope (and I do) that they are able to get to the 8 win mark so this team and staff can move forward.

See you Monday on Hondo’s House at 7:30 if you’re in the Mid Michigan market.

Thanks everyone, hug your loved ones and remind them that you love them! Peace!

-H

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