Let's go, Rice!
Rice head coach David Bailiff leads his charges out the
the stadium tunnel for Friday's 'mock game' which actually was a run-through of
multifarious game situations; the Owls wound up training camp on Saturday and start
classes and game-week routines on Monday (Mark Anderson photo)
Owl 'sleepers' ready to heed call
and emerge from hiding places
Rice head coach David Bailiff, on DB Willie Garley: When he hits
someone, you hear it all over the stadium
By Mark Anderson
HOUSTON (Aug. 20) -- Sleepers is a
term that this post-9/11 society has had to become familiar with. So when Rice head coach David Bailiff was
asked this week which of his players hed so designate, based on the work thus far
this fall, he smiled and said, Sleepers? Arent
Sure thing, a
sleeper can be particularly dangerous because a sleeper comes out of nowhere to create
havoc. But on a football field, there are
sleepers as welltalented players who have an opportunity to sneak up on opponents
and create a particular disaster of their own kind.
And Rice has such players. Some
are freshmen that have not played a down of college ball.
Others are well into their college careers, but have not had the impact
envisioned when they joined the program.
The 2007 Rice Owls have some sleepers on their roster. Some names may surprise yousome wont. Each name was chosen because the player has
demonstrated he has the ability to take his game to a higher level, making him dangerous
Here are eight players who we -- and a guy named Bailiff --
believe will be sleepers in 2007.
Rice fall '07
practice schedule.... Fall '07 Rice
Freshman TE Wil Norris caused a stir in Saturday
morning's scrimmage with this 40-yard reception; here he's seen storming down the sideline
only to be tripped up at the 20 -- oh, and there was a flag on the play, too (Mark
Coaches see yellow in first
Abundance of flags mars proceedings
Running back Bio Benibo sees daylight and attempts to slip from the grasp of his
defender in Saturday's scrimmage action on the Rice Stadium turf (Mark Anderson photo)
HOUSTON (Aug. 18) -- If you didn't like the yellow in last year's
uniforms, you would not have liked this Saturday's scrimmage all that much, either.
Rice head coach David Bailiff couldn't betray his less- than- enthusiastic take on
"We had five illegal procedure penalties," Coach Bailiff said afterwards of
the yellow handkerchiefs that kept hitting the Rice Stadium turf. And that didn't
include the offsides on the defense, or the illegal block that nullified a nice
catch-and-run by freshman tight end Wil Norris.
"We had way too many mental mistakes today," Coach Bailiff said
afterwards. "A lot of them were by freshmen, but we will be able to take the film
from today and sit down with them and show them how badly those kinds of mistakes can hurt
the team. I would have liked it to have been crisper, but with the number of people we had
out, it's to be expected."
Citing nagging minor injuries and aches and pains, Rice coaches held out a
number of players on both sides of the ball, including All-American wide receiver Jarett
(Editor's note: After a two-year hiatus, our intrepid Newspaper Sleuth,
Gaylord Ravenal, returns to take another look at Houston Chronicle coverage of local
teams. Here's his report number 1...)
Owls out-ink Ags, Coogs, Horns
in first weeks of media coverage
Web has changed how football is covered
Chron's affection for lovable loser Texans can't escape Newspaper Sleuth's detection
By Gaylord Ravenal
HOUSTON (Aug. 14) -- Since August 1 we have been tracking how the Houston
Chronicle is reporting on all things football at the College and Professional level. We
are tracking coverage activity for two professional teams and five collegiate programs
that have some interest among the fans in the greater Houston marketplace.
It is difficult to determine trends at this point in the study but there are an
interesting number of observations to note as we continue to push through pre-season
activities. Well, what have we learned so far?
Chronicles love affair with the NFL and the Texans remains undiminished.
The NFL has garnered incredible market share and attention in a city like
Houston. They have the ability to charge full price to a series of meaningless scrimmages.
Radio stations fight to be inside the training bubble and interview players and coaches at
every turn available. For their part, the Chronicle has at minimum a full page of
Texan related articles in the paper each day. They usually have on front page story and
then a full page inside devoted to the latest nuances spouting from Coach Kubiak and his
players and coaches. A portion of the material provides insight, but there is some major
scraping the bottom of the barrel for news.
Our '04 Chronicle content
The Owls work out under the lights Wednesday evening as
there seem to have been made some modifications to the Rice Stadium end zone decor (Mark
Enthusiasm, new uniforms,
40 faces new to coaches
greet day, media Monday
Deep Owl receiving crew lines up to participate in pass-catching drills on Day One of fall
practice -- that's Corbin Smiter reaching out to make the grab (Mark Anderson
By Paul T. Hlavinka
HOUSTON (Aug. 6) -- Rice head coach David Bailiff welcomed some 35 members
of the working press along with his team members, new and old, this steamy Monday, as Rice
football's annual Media Day went off without a hitch, conveying as it unfolded an
unmistakable impression of undaunted enthusiasm among the toilers in the vineyard.
"What a great day it is," Coach Bailiff growled to an R-Room semi-full
with players, Rice staffers, fellow coaches and of course the media types. "We've got
40 new faces that are going to go through practice this afternoon," he added.
"We've got 28 freshmen, plus those guys who didn't go through spring training with us
due to injuries."
"I can't wait to see what kind of personality we're going to have, offensively and
defensively. And that's what happens right now. Right now is a time to develop the
attitude and the chemistry, and see what kind of personality the team has -- will we hold
up on third and one? Is the offense going to be able to get that tough yard?"
"All those questions are going to be answered by September 1," Coach
Bailiff said pointedly.
Coach Bailiff's media day press conference (full
Theyre going to pump you up
McKnight, Beauchamp work to transform Owls
Giving encouragement to teammates is a big part of Owls' Strength & Conditioning
routine (Mark Anderson photo)
By Mark Anderson
HOUSTON (July 30) -- Will Moss is undergoing a transformation.
Yes, he is switching positions from tight end to defensive tackle, but thats
a minor transformation compared to the one that he has already undergone. Moss has been
transformed physically, mentally, and emotionally by the Hans und Franz of the Rice coach
staff the strength and conditioning coaches Yancy McKnight and Adam Beauchamp.
Will Moss' transformation from a schoolboy to that of a Division I college football
player started when Yancy and Adam were added to the Rice staff. "When Yancy first
came in, we were a little too blubbery, I guess he thought," Will told us. "What
he tried to do was strip is down to get us physically and mentally tough and hard. Once he
had accomplished that, he began working on technique and making us powerful."
Moss pointed out once Yancy had accomplished that, the attention turned from
getting in shape to increasing size. "This year, he got to bulk us up a little bit
more," he added.
JD named C-USA
pre-season offensive POY....
New day dawns at Rice
for second straight year
Chase Clement returns to lead the Owl offense in '07 (PTH photo)
HOUSTON (July 22) -- Another year, another era.
After residing firmly within the realm of mediocre stability -- or is it stable
mediocrity -- for well over a decade, the Rice football program has been the subject of
more turmoil in the past 18 months than the Croatian Parliament.
After sweating through two coaching changes in a year's time -- both with more than
their share of histrionics -- Rice football die-hards look forward, with 2007 fall drills
just around the corner, to a time when improvement, spelled in terms of wins and bowl
games, doesn't have to come at the price of stomach-turning twists and treachery.
New head football coach David Bailiff has done his share of moving around over
the past few years -- his tenure at Texas State lasted for three seasons -- but he gives
all the signals of a guy who can become as firm a fixture on the Rice campus as Willie's
statue, or to put it in terms of an even greater icon, legendary Owl baseball coach Wayne
fall 2007 roster....
Rice AD Chris Del Conte's introduction of Coach Bailiff....
Coach Bailiff's opening
remarks at press conference.... Media Q&A session with Coach Bailiff, press conference....