Friday, August 13, 2010

Patriot League Media Day: OL Will Rackley

If you believe sites like NFL Draft Scout, senior OL Will Rackley - Lehigh's massive tackle out of Riverdale, Georgia - could be picked in QB John Skelton territory in the NFL draft.

It is early - incredibly early - but he's projected as going in the fifth round as a guard, and he's listed as the ninth-best in the nation, behind massive talents like Villanova senior OL Ben Ijalana and Florida State senior OL Rodney Hudson.

Going into his fourth year of starting on the offensive line, the strong, massive talent has garnered plenty of recognition on countless all-America teams. Individually, he's been spectacular even if, as a unit, the offensive lines of which he's been a part have not been dominating in the Patriot League. In his senior year, Rackley - now  Lehigh's offensive team captain - will have one last opportunity to not only improve his game for the NFL scouts, but to make the entire Mountain Hawk "O" Line unit a controlling force in games. (more)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Patriot League Media Day: Coen Talks Lehigh Defense

Senior LB Al Pierce has a reputation as being a young man of few words.

After snagging the game-winning interception in the 27-21 win over "that school in Easton" last November, he deflected the glory off himself towards Lehigh defensive coordinator Dick Kotulski - despite multiple efforts by the media (and myself) to have him talk more about the defining moment of the 2009 season.

During Patriot League media day, I interviewed him and senior OL Will Rackley.  After one question which Rackley answered particularly well, I turned to him and asked Pierce about his thoughts.  He said, "He said it all!", not needing to add to an already perfect answer, in his mind.

If there's a theme to this Lehigh defense - of which Pierce is the captain - it seems like it's going to be "speak softly - and work and hit real hard". That's a sentence that seems to describe Pierce perfectly. (more)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Patriot League Media Day: Coen Talks Lehigh Offense

I remember head coach Andy Coen's first Patriot League media day at the Green Pond Country Club.  Oddly enough, in many ways it was very similar to last week's turn at the annual media event.

Then as now, he thinks of the beginning of August as "like Christmastime", when he starts to see what sort of a football team he's going to have in the fall.

Coaches are expected to be excited about their teams going into August.  Last week - just as he did in 2006 - coach Coen was, as expected, looking forward to fall practice. But he did add something that he didn't say in previous years - that he had a "great group coming back" that "would be hard at work building on what was accomplished in spring ball."

In 2006, Coen inherited a program was, in many ways, really former head coach Pete Lembo's team. Now that the tiny football class of 2010 has graduated, this program is now filled with experienced players that all have Andy Coen's signature. It's going to be a group completely on board with coach Coen's philosophy and way of doing things. The big question for the 2010 season is: will it be enough to get back to Lehigh's old winning ways?  (more)

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