We're ten days into the 2015 training camp for the Buffalo Bulls football team and today was the annual media day where the local media descended upon UB Stadium to talk with the players and Coach Leipold and it helps give us a better insight into the inner workings of Coach Leipold's program.
First up, a lengthy Q&A session with Coach Leipold - which revealed a few key pieces of information about this year's squad:
One of the key highlights was Leipold's comments on the progress of the defense; he said that the defensive as a whole is coming along well and that throughout the summer it will still be a "work in progress". Leipold also praised several members of the defensive line citing thier ability to be "disruptors" in different meanings of the work. Leipold specifically mentioned junior defensive tackles Brandon Crawford, and Max Perisse, and defensive ends Demone Harris and Solomon Jackson, the latter of whom I covered in my Making the Leap series this summer. Leipold also praised the progress of Chris Ford, a big-bodied (6-2, 315) defensive tackle who could be a force in the run game this season.
When speaking on the offense, Leipold noted that the offense would be "multiple" in that the personnel groupings and playcalling will be tailored to the game situation and the down-and-distance situations, which a very promising sign that the playcalling will be improved from seasons past. Leipold also praised the depth of the wide receiver corps, and of the running backs. Leipold specifically mentioned how the extreme depth of the running backs gives the offense multiple new dimensions where you have a proven 1,000 yard rusher in Anthone Taylor, a quality backup in Jordan Johnson, a bruiser and goalline back such as Gary Hosey, and freshman Johnathan Hawkins who has looked impressive in his own right.
Leipold also mentioned that he recognizes that in an area like Buffalo, and in the footprint where the MAC is, that the running game would be a focal point because during some situations you just can't throw the ball as well. From his comments, it's easy to see that the offense will be as run-heavy as last season.
Leipold also stressed how offseason work is critical for the development of the team as a whole, mentioning in passing how a field house for the winter months could speed the development of the team (Hint, hint!)
Leipold also said that Joe Licata would be the starting quarterback - so no surprises there.
Speaking of Joe, his interview from media day:
Licata, mentioned that learning a new offense was a challenge with learning the new terminology, but in the end "football is football". Licata went on to express his gratefulness for the depth in the running game, and quality of the tackles to help keep the pressure off of him and keep the offense balanced. Licata also praised the tight ends, Matt Weiser and Mason Schreck, saying that they "are some of the most invaluable assets" to the team.
Cornerback Boise Ross' Q&A session:
RIght away one of the key points of Ross' interview is the change in expectations from last season to this season. He also cited how his time playing at wide receiver has eased his transition to the defensive backfield, saying that knowing what the receivers are going to do allows him to better plan and attack. Ross also said that "As long as we're doing our jobs; this defense can go anywhere" excellent confidence coming from the third year corner.
There were other videos as well, with: Anthone Taylor, Ron Willoughby, Max Perisse, Marqus Baker, and Jordan Johnson all having sessions with the media. Click on their names to view their respective videos.
So that was a quick glimpse into this year's media day; be sure to stay tuned to Bull Run for continued coverage of the UB Football team, and the UB Olympic sports as well.