Former Buff and Brono Matt McChesney once again jumped on the phone with us to talk a little about Colorado football.
Four wins in Mike MacIntyre's first season, certainly it a big improvement from the one we saw the previous season. Taking the whole season into account, what worked? What didn't? And what do you think needs to be done to take the next step in 2014?
I thought that they looked disciplined throughout the entire season, which is a huge key for them to succeed in the future. I mean, you've got to know what to do and when to do it. Defensively and offensively although, you know, they didn't have the best statistical numbers, I still think that they had a good season and they improved rapidly in the last two years, last three years really. As long as the young talent develops, I think they'll be able to succeed in the future.
I don't know what success is though in Boulder right now , so I guess that is a different question. How do you gauge success in the future? 4 and 8 the first year, it's not, I mean, it's not great, it's not what everyone wants out of a season, but understanding that it's a building block and as long as there is improvement in the spring and winter conditioning, as long as there is improvement in fall camp and they go out there next year, in my opinion anything less than 6 or 7 victories and a bowl bid is not acceptable. I'm sure that's how coach MacIntyre feels - I feel like there is a lot to build on, man. A lot of young guys playing - I know we've been saying that for a very long time, but you have to be able to develop that talent and if they do a good job developing in the off season, and they get bigger, stronger, faster and the young guys become men and there's no younger young guys then they'll win football games.
I think Buffs fans reactions on Paul Richardson leaving early were a little bit different than what we saw on Roberson, a lot of people expected Paul to go. Give me your thoughts on his decision to head to the NFL Draft and, especially with your expertise on strength and strength training, talk about what he can do prior to the Draft and prior to the combine. How much size can he reasonably add?
A football weighs about, I don't know, a pound maybe. So Paul Richardson has the kind of speed and lateral quickness that most people don't have obviously and and obviously most receivers don't have. I agree that he needs to get bigger and stronger, and he will as he matures, but in my opinion as an ex-NFL football player and a guy that has gone through this process that he is about to go through I think it's the decision for him to make because football is a business and he had a fantastic season and he's been injured before so he knows the risk of passing it up and honestly when's the last time you saw somebody come back and everything works out for them? It just doesn't. So when you have that great year like he had as a junior it's time to move on.
Now, selfishly I want him to come back obviously because I think he could be the best receiver in the country next year, but he's ready for the NFL and if he runs and 4.3 40 and he shows good hands at the combine and he can understand an NFL playbook, and he seems like a very smart kid to me, he's going to fit in beautifully because a slot receiver is never pressed in the NFL. No one ever plays bump and run and no one ever presses the slot receivers. So if everyone is complaining that he's not big enough look at Desean Jackson, Wes Welker and these guys that aren't necessarily big dudes. They're all just average size, really quick great hands. He could be a great slot and punt/kick returner in the NFL and I expect him to have a very good career in the NFL and think it was a smart move for him to leave.
If I'm Paul Richardson and I'm looking at the possibility of playing in the NFL... he's always going to be a Buff. I wish they could have won more ball games with him because he's a dynamic player that could have played at any generation at CU and there's not a lot of guys that are like that. It sucks that he's gone but trust me I understand it, he needs to go. The window for a football player to make his money is small and he knows that and he needs to go make his money.
We had some big announcements yesterday when Rick George detailed his plan for the next big steps for Colorado facilities. What did you think about those announcements? Is it enough? Is it going to help CU compete in recruiting and on the field and as a former player did you get what you hoped for and what you hoped they would do?
I think it's absolutely needed to compete in the Pac-12 and on a national level and I think Rick George sees CU competing. I know that everyone's memory is really short and I know that everyone thinks that CU has been a crap program and they'll never figure it out. But in the seventies and eighties they were pretty terrible and they turned it around and for a 25-year stretch we beat the hell out of people. I'm very happy that there's a guy in a position up there to make a difference and that's what Rick George is doing. I appreciate the hell out of it and I am glad that CU has finally figured out that you need to invest money in your athletic facilities and it will give you back so much more after you invest in those facilities and the players and the environment.
All the facilities upgrades are needed. It's not something that they want it's something that they need. And they need to compete with the other facilities. I work with 400 plus athletes, from NFL guys, to college guys, to high school guys and these kids care about shiny uniforms, new shoes, training table being good and being able to watch a movie and play Playstation in the facilities. It's important to them. It wasn't important to me. I didn't really care about facilities and all that stuff. I wanted to wear the black and gold helmet and beat the hell out of people and that's what I did. But in the new generation it's important for a guy to be around that high tech crap. Everyone else has it and CU needs it.
These kids in high school now have been growing up in Twitter land and cell phones and all this technology has been at their doorstep their whole lives. All the NFL stadiums are megaplexes now, I mean they have pole dancers at the Cowboys Stadium, so it's important that CU gets a little bit of shine.
It's about damn time that the University of Colorado embraces all the uniform changes and starts using the colors that they have to bust out some bad ass jerseys and attract some more kids. They love what Oregon does, Oregon State does it. Everybody's got all these different uniform variations and all we do is bring out a gold helmet that's the wrong color than the yellow on shoulder pads. Its ridiculous. I mean, we look like a couple of jerks out there. So, they need to embrace these changes and go with it. Everyone's saying we need to live on the tradition - that's great - but tradition will come back when they start winning, attracting recruits and it's fun again.
When there's more people playing on the field than there are in the stands, we have a problem. So, everything, all the changes from the facilities to the uniforms to just getting CU relevant in peoples' eyes again - I think it's important that they embrace any change that comes. Youre still the University of Colorado, the foundation is there, just take all the changes in stride, and everybody in Boulder get behind it. You can't not go to the game and then expect the program to succeed. Because the kids that are going there to be recruited are standing on the sidelines and theyre going, "This is cool, Folsom is awesome, It looks good, I love the colors, I love the atmosphere, but there's 15 people here." So, if people wanted to, people need to go to the games and support the team - that will support the facilities upgrades and all the decisions being made right now. I'm happy that they're doing it, it's needed.
Make sure and check out The Blitz with Matt and Andrew Fogoros from 2-4, Monday through Friday on ESPN 1580 in Colorado Springs or online here. You can also check out Matt's strength training at Six Zero Strength.