A Review Of ESPNU All-Access: Cincinnati Bearcats Football

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Oct 19, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats defensive tackle Jordan Stepp records a sack during the 4th quarter of the game against the Connecticut Huskies at Nippert Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Leifheit-USA TODAY Sports

Last week ESPN invaded the UC campus in Clifton and shot behind the scenes footage of the Bearcats football program in preparation for their game against UConn. They made public the kind of stuff only those closest to the program (coaches, players, administrators) are privy to see. On Wednesday they aired that footage on ESPNU as part of their “All-Access” series. Even though I couldn’t view the original airing of the program, I able to record it and finally watch it this morning. Ahh the wonders of technology.

But if you still haven’t seen it, I’ve taken the liberty of jotting a few notes and reviewing a very well done program.

  • Some great shots of Nippert Stadium and the Lindner Center to open the segment, which is something most people don’t have an opportunity to see. It was nice to get the footage of the tower of trophies for a national audience to see. The video doesn’t really do it justice, though. You really have to step foot inside the Lindner Center yourself to see how imposing the five-story wall full of trophies truly is. I’m still blown away by the design.
  • Tuberville: “It takes a year to fit into any situation as a head coach.” I think some of the more negative parts of the fanbase need to learn this.
  • They spent a few minutes on Ben Flick. Gotta admit I was little choked up watching that part, especially with what Tuberville and linebacker Jeff Luc had to say about him. Luc even showed us his locker, which will continue to have his jersey and gear in it to honor Flick’s memory.
  • ESPN showed us the Dynavision board, which head trainer Bob Mangine uses to improve a player’s vision and test them for concussions. It’s like something out of Star Wars. Also Solomon Tentman is huge.
  • Tuberville walked us through his office, which is just loaded with swag from trophies to signed pictures from his appearance on “The Blind Side”.
  • Jeff Luc popped up again and for a second time he didn’t show up with his shirt rolled up to his chest. Stupid FCC (probably), always cramping everyone’s style.
  • Anyways, Luc gave us a tour of the Bearcats’ locker room, the equipment area, weight room, and the players’ lounge, an area that is still relatively new. Luc set up some miniature bowling pins on the shuffleboard, which is something I’ve never seen before, and promptly knocked them down with the pucks, shooting one of the pins into the trash. That was a pretty funny moment. No word yet on if he got it out of the trash himself or made one of the freshman do it.
  • We got a first hand look of the team meeting and the breakout sessions for some of the position groups. In the defensive ends meeting, Robert Prunty drew a very, very crude picture of a quarterback on the whiteboard and highlighted the area where they should hit him (the chest). He advises that the players shouldn’t “lead with the crown of the helmet” but has the words “do lead with helmet” written above the drawing. Confusing, or maybe I’m just taking it without the proper context, which is probably the case.
  • There is now video confirmation that Dwight Jackson is back in the program and he’s a defensive end.
  • Any footage of Cincinnati’s practice always makes for good television. The stuff they included in this ESPNU All-Access segment was no different. At one point Tuberville mutters “Nat King Cole” to UC wide receiver Nate Cole. I think that’s become his new nickname.
  • Quarterbacks coach Darin Hinshaw continues to impress me with how he interacts with his players. He has such a calm demeanor about him that I’m sure the QBs really respond to. Dude’s going to be a head coach someday.
  • At one point Tuberville jokes with Brendon Kay that Kay is older than he is. That’s.. not all that far off.
  • Andrew Gantz missed an extra point in one of his opportunities. I guess that’s why Tony Miliano hasn’t been pushed off the starting kicker job.
  • The Bearcats closed practice with a prayer that was heavily focused on Mark Barr, who apparently underwent surgery to reconstruct his face. I can’t even fathom what it must be like to go through that.
  • Before leaving the field the players huddled together and chanted as one:

Together we stand

Divided we fall

All for one

And one for all

We’re a team that can’t be beat

We won’t be beat

In God we trust

Amen

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