19 Point Plan #13: No More Celebrations April 3, 2010
So I started this post on Sunday, and then modified it a little more on Thursday night. And just when I’m to the point where I’m ready to post it, this happens:
“They’re not in the NFL. In college football, when you celebrate individually, you tend to get a flag. That’s part of it. And part of it, those guys on the other side are our teammates. We don’t need to get up and do all that stuff. One time, it was a two-minute drill. Well, you’ve over there celebrating and they’re lined up, ready to go. That’s not real smart. That’s part of the learning curve. College football is supposed to be wholesome and not have all of that celebration stuff. We’re not going to do that. That shows no class. I know Coach Zook doesn’t want it and I know the people of Illinois don’t want it and I guarantee you that I know I don’t want it. We’re not going to do it.” — Illinois defensive coordinator Vic Koenning on chastising his players who were celebrating on the field.
I coulda looked prophetic. I coulda continued my “the coaches are reading and implementing The Plan” schtick. But no, I wasn’t “happy” with the way the post “read”, so I “waited” until I felt it to be “worthy”of an ALE post. And I missed my chance.
At least I wrote this in Point #12 a few weeks ago so you’ll believe me:
You know how they say you play like you practice? Well, when the defense makes a tackle 15 yards down the field in practice, they celebrate with chest bumps and helmet slaps. So in the game, when Ohio State runs 13 yards off left tackle for a first down and Travon Bellamy celebrates his hit, well, he learned it at practice. I know why the coaches encourage it – get your players to believe in and encourage each other. But the result is a defense that is way too excited to tackle a guy 21 yards down field. (I’ll stop there, because No More Celebrations is Point #13). My point here is this: don’t let the players get so excited about stopping each other. Tell them to save their excitement for when they stop Ohio State.
So the rest of what I wrote on Sunday and Thursday? Forget it. Deleted. Vic said it better. Heck, let’s read my favorite part again:
I know Coach Zook doesn’t want it and I know the people of Illinois don’t want it and I guarantee you that I know I don’t want it. We’re not going to do it.
Amen, Mr. My New Favorite Illini Assistant Coach, Like, Ever. Amen.