||07-04-2005 05:47 PM
Interview with Colby's college coach
From the front page:
An interview with Barry Lamb, College coach for Saints LB Colby Bockwoldt
Posted by: Stealthman
Colby BockwoldtÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s college linebacker coach Mr. Barry Lamb is already putting in long hours in preparation for the Brigham Young Cougars' 2005 season. But he took time out of his schedule to give an exclusive interview to BlackandGold.net, and explain that he expects some great things from Colby and the Saints in 2005.
His answers provided NO HYPE. But when it was all done, Coach LambÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s analysis gave further evidence to support what close observers of the Saints already know: Colby Bockwoldt is the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“real deal.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬?
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B&G.net: ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“Coach Lamb, thank you for taking time to provide input for Saints fans on Colby Bockwoldt.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬?
Coach Lamb: ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s my pleasure; youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢re welcome.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬?
B&G.net: ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“Why do you think Colby wasnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t taken until the 7th round (2004 draft)?
Coach Lamb: ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“I donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t like using ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹ÂœclichÃƒÂƒÃ‚Â©s,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ but scouting (whether itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s for the pros, or college) IS NOT an exact science. I know of many high school players we recruited heavily ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â€Âœthat turned out to be average; and others who were not recruited much at all --- who turned out to be all-conference; and some All Pro (in the NFL). But to get back closer to your question, Colby was a bit ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹ÂœundersizedÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ as a linebacker, but he ran well (heÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s fast and has great closing speed). In the NFL, you never know how scouts come up with their bottom line on a player. And as I mentioned earlier, he may not have been as big as youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢d want a linebacker in the NFL at the time he was drafted. But I always knew he could play.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬?
B&G.net: ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“Is Colby better suited as a ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹ÂœWill,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ a ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹ÂœMike,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ or a ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹ÂœSamÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ in the NFL?ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬?
Coach Lamb: ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“That would depend on the SYSTEM in which Colby is placed. You have to know what your strategy is, then put the right players in who are best equipped to perform in whatever position you place them. In ColbyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s case, we felt he was best able to handle OLB (either side) because heÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s so fast and mobile. He can also shed blockers quite well and close in on a tackle.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬?
B&G.net: ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“What is the most AMAZING play you recall seeing Colby make (opponent, and situation)?ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬?
Coach Lamb: ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“It was a road game at Notre Dame. It was the 17th play of a 17-play drive. The game was late in the 4th quarter, the Irish had a six-point lead, and were in the red zone somewhere between the 15 and 20 yard line. The defense had been on the field for a long time, and they were getting fatigued. On that play, Bockwoldt was rushing the passer, but he ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹Âœsniffed-outÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ a screen play. He reversed his rush, dropped back into the pattern and picked off the pass intended for the running back. Notre Dame had a wall of blockers, and there wasnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t much doubt that they would have taken it to the house --- which would have put us in a 2-score situation. But because of ColbyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s play, we were put into a position where we could possibly turn it around for a game-winning drive. That play was HUGE!ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬?
B&G.net: ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“Is Colby more vocal, or does he pretty much listen to others and let his play do the talking?
Coach Lamb: ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“Colby is a confident young man, but for the most part, he talks when something needs to be said. When others ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹Âœtalk smack,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ve seen Colby take it in one of two ways: HeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ll often just laugh at them for running their mouth. But in other situations, IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ve seen him SET HIS JAW and ratchet-up his game a notch or two. Colby isnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t a guy you want to get fired-up if youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢re playing against him. When the it happens, it is rarely good for the opponent.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬?
B&G.net: ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“Which is Bockwoldt BETTER skilled to handle: Passing or running situations?ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬?
Coach Lamb: ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“Because of his athleticism, and the fact that heÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s bulked-up this past offseason, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s difficult to say which heÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s better at today. When he was with our program, he was a bit undersized, but he worked hard and had speed to get to the play and make a tackle. We noticed (in analyzing game film) that opposing quarterbacks had far less success in passing situations when Colby was rushing. That showed us that even when he didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t make the sack, he was so fast that he was disruptive to their passing game. They had to account for him when he was rushing, and caused opponents to have a lot of ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹Âœhurried throws.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ He reacts well, and once he sees how things are developing he can make the play. I guess weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ll have to see what he does this year, and I wouldnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t be surprised if his all-around game (vs. pass & run) is equally effective.
B&G.net: ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“In New Orleans, Colby is rapidly becoming a ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹Âœfan favorite.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ Why do you think heÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s being embraced so well in ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹ÂœThe Big EasyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ (New Orleans)?ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬?
Coach Lamb: ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“Colby Bockwoldt is a ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹Âœlunch bucketÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ type of guy. By that I mean heÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ll do whatever it takes to help the team. He loves the game of football, and it shows. He NEVER takes a play off, and he has a passion for what heÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s doing. YouÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ll see him flying to the ball in practice just as hard as in game situations. Colby is a sort of ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹ÂœthrowbackÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ type of player. He has an upbeat personality, and is never down in the dumps. He looks to motivate and encourage others also. When he came into the league, I guess ColbyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s size was the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹Âœchink in his armor.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ But his offseason conditioning appears to have addressed that quite well, so I donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t know where you could find a fault. He realizes that the game of football is not just about the money (I guess thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s why some players have an off year after signing a big contract). Colby plays with a ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹Âœtwinkle in his eye,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ and he is the type of player every coach would want to have on the team.
By the way, I competed at the high school level against Al Everest (SaintsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ special teams coach) in Santa Barbara, CA (San Marcus & Dos Pueblos high schools). I also attended summer football camp that his dad (Andy Everest) ran at the University of California at Santa Barbara. We werenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t buddies, but we knew of each other, and kept track of one another over the years. I certainly donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t make it a practice of promoting our players, but before the 2004 draft, I made it a point to call Al and tell him about Colby. I told him up-front that ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹ÂœÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â¦this is a kid who will work hard for you, and even though heÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s a bit undersized, heÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ll be a great guy on special teams and can develop as a linebacker.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ I could do this for Colby because I knew of his work ethic. As a matter of fact, I recall a time when Colby needed 17 stitches at halftime, and he came out and played in the 2nd half. HeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s also played with a broken bone. If heÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s hurt, youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ll rarely know about it at game time. He knows how to PRACTICE HARD. And because of his special physical abilities and potential, he continued to improve. This is what separates the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹Âœwanna-beÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢sÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ from the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹Âœgamers.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ ThatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s why I could put that call in to Al and say with confidence that the Saints wouldnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t be disappointed with the pick. And IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢m not surprised that SaintsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ fans arenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t disappointed either.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬?
B&G.net: ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“Where do you see Colby and the New Orleans Saints finishing the 2005-2006 season?ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬?
Coach Lamb: ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“I really see the Saints in that competitive NFC South division finishing with double-digit wins this season. I think they really put things together at the end of 2004 (finishing with the longest active win streak in the NFC to end the season), and they seem to have the personnel to at least make it to the playoffs. And I think their getting a veteran like Az-Hakim improves an already great receiving corps (including depth). In addition to finishing well last year, the Saints improved on offense, defense, and special teams in the off season. But even more than that, I think you canÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t look at any of the other 31 teams and find a coaching staff thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s more talented from top to bottom. This goes from the head coach, coordinators, and position coaches: The Saints are a great organization. If you look at how bulked-up Colby reported to Saints mini-camp without losing a step, it says volumes about their strength and conditioning coach as well. As I said, I have no doubt that theyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ll make the playoffs with 10 or more wins. And once you make it to the playoffs, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s just a matter of which team is ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹Âœon-a-rollÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ at the end of the regular season. Usually the team thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s hot at the end goes on (to get a Lombardi trophy).ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬?
B&G.net: ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“Coach, if you wanted to advise a young high-schooler on modeling himself after Colby Bockwoldt on the field, what would you tell him?ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬?
Coach Lamb: ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“Training, training, training! ThereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s no substitute for it because the training never ends. He not only has the ability, but he puts in the time and effort (and is very coachable). In college he didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t let his size limit him. He developed great technique by using his hands to get in better position and make a play. And as I mentioned before, he WORKS HARD. Not all players are created equal. If you have GREATNESS in you, hard work and dedication will bring it out. But if you ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹Âœgo through the motions,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ it will never come out with any consistency. The Saints are going to benefit because ColbyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s greatness is starting to show more and more.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬?
B&G.net: ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“Coach Lamb, on behalf of blackandgold.net and SaintsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ fans everywhere, thank you for giving us your perspective on Colby Bockwoldt.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬?
Coach Lamb: ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“YouÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢re welcome, and thanks for the interview.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬?
I thought he knew what he was talking about until he said:
I think you canÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t look at any of the other 31 teams and find a coaching staff thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s more talented from top to bottom.
I like the stuff on Colby, but WTF was he thinking saying this about the coaches?