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Tag:Shawn Watson
Posted on: February 6, 2012 11:34 am
Edited on: February 6, 2012 11:39 am
 

Charlie Strong promotes Shawn Watson to OC

Posted by Chip Patterson

Louisville head coach Charlie Strong has officially promoted quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson to offensive coordinator, according to a release from the school on Monday.

Watson's promotion comes after assuming the offensive play-calling duties from offensive coordinator Mike Sanford four games into the 2011 season. After the change the Cardinals' offense improved from 18.8 points per game to 23.3, and with freshman quarterback Teddy Bridgewater as the starter Louisville won five of their last six regular season games to earn a share of the Big East title.

“I’m very grateful for the opportunity that Charlie has given me at the University of Louisville,” Watson said in a release. “I’m looking forward to working with this outstanding staff and a good nucleus of young and talented players.”

Watson's promotion was just one of several staff changes announced by Charlie Strong on Monday. It was announced that offensive line coach Dave Borberly will take on the duties as running game coordinator, and graduate assistant Sherrone Moore has been named tight ends coach. Moore, an offensive guard at Oklahoma from 2006-08, has spent the last three seasons with the Louisville program.

“This is a great opportunity for me and I’m very excited for this challenge,” Moore said in a release. “I’m excited about working with coach Watson and trying to win another Big East championship. I had a great chance to work with the tight ends toward the end of last year, and I’m excited about the challenges ahead with this young group.”

Strong recently welcomed 24 new signees to the Cardinals' team on National Signing Day. You can get a full recap on Louisville and the rest of the conference by checking out Bryan Fischer's Big East Signing Day Grades at the Eye On Recruiting.

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Posted on: November 6, 2011 3:06 am
 

Big East Winners and Losers: Week 10



Posted by Chip Patterson


A handy recap of who really won and who really lost that you won't find in the box score.

WINNER: Charlie Strong

After dropping their third straight game in a 25-16 losing effort against Cincinnati, few pundits had Louisville on their short list of Big East contenders. But second-year head coach Charlie Strong didn't quite have the pieces in place offensively for the Cardinals to reach their maximum potential. But after naming Shawn Watson the offensive play-caller, Teddy Bridgewater the starting quarterback, and allowing Dominique Brown to settle in as a true tailback; Louisville has found the winning combination.

The timing of Louisville's current three-game win streak also lines up nicely with Strong's lucrative contract extension, which will pay him to coach the Cardinals through 2018. Since the announcement of the new deal, Louisville is 3-0 and now sits alone in second place of the current Big East standings. This was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the young Cardinals, but as expected the young talent has improved throughout the season and now they are one win away from bowl eligibility for the second year in a row. Louisville hasn't been to bowl games in back-to-back years since Bobby Petrino's tenure, and the offensive growth shown in the 38-35 upset of West Virginia makes that scenario appear likely.

LOSER: West Virginia

Geno Smith's 410 passing yards weren't enough to lead West Virginia to victory on Saturday, and the Mountaineers find themselves on the losing end of a Big East conference matchup for the second time in three weeks. The 5-1 start that had the Mountaineers poised as a conference title contender has evaporated, and now Dana Holgorsen's team will likely need to win out in order to give themselves a chance at a BCS bowl bid. After being one of the nation's most stingy units in 2010, Jeff Casteel's 3-3-5 defense has been picked apart by quarterbacks in recent weeks.

The talent on the field is arguably the best in the conference, but West Virginia's inability to execute has plagued them since league play began. On Saturday it was a blocked/missed field goals and poor red zone defense that allowed Louisville to hang in the game and steal a victory late against the Mountaineers. Now the challenge for Holgorsen will be bouncing back in time for next week's showdown with conference-leading Cincinnati. One more conference loss all but seals West Virginia's destiny for a bowl berth in December. However, knocking off the Bearcats will open the title race up and give the Mountaineers the head-to-head tiebreaker advantage. Because of Saturday's loss, the next seven days could determine West Virginia's season.

WINNER: Rutgers' bowl eligibility

After a tough 2010 campaign, Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano said that it was "time to get back to playing Rutgers football." Schiano, the most tenured coach in a very young Big East, must have "Rutgers football" defined as "finding ways to win." For the Scarlet Knights won their second overtime game on Saturday, marching back from a 17-3 fourth quarter deficit to win 20-17 against South Florida. It was the fifth game this season decided by one score or less, and once again Rutgers found a way to win despite being out-gained offensively 381-228. Racking 228 yards of total offense is normally an easy way to lose to the likes of BJ Daniels, but the defense came through in the second half and put starter-turned-backup quarterback Chas Dodd in a position to lead the Scarlet Knights to victory. Now at 6-3, Rutgers is bowl eligible for the sixth time in seven years. Greg Schiano may not come to mind as one of the most dominant coaches in the game, but his time at Rutgers has been defined by consistent winning seasons.

LOSER: USF fourth-quarter defense

The four game losing streak that has South Florida in a 0-4 hole for league play is due in large part to the Bulls' performance late in games. In the slide, USF has been outscored 44-14 in the fourth quarter. At times (like the loss to Pittsburgh) the struggles were game-long, but holding a two-score lead against Rutgers and losing is cause for serious concern in the South Florida camp. Before conference play started the Bulls were ranked in the Top 20 and thought (by this author, included) to be one of the new frontrunners for the Big East title. Now mathematically out of the running for the crown, head coach Skip Holtz must rally the team to make the most out of the 2011 season.

Luckily, bowl eligibility is not out of question for the 4-4 Bulls. They will travel to face Syracuse in the Carrier Dome on Friday before finishing their schedule (Miami, Louisville, West Virginia) with three games in Tampa. If USF can win two of those contests they could find themselves snagging a bid to the BBVA Compass Bowl (or some similar Big East tie) with a 6-6 record. It would not be anything to hold a parade about, but a turnaround will be necessary if the Bulls want to have anything to build on heading into 2012.

WINNER: Cincinnati's Big East title hopes 

Charlie Strong isn't the only second-year coach making headlines with 2011's unpredicted success. Butch Jones continues to build on his impressive sophomore effort with the Bearcats, improving to 7-1 (3-0 in Big East play) with a 26-23 road victory against Pittsburgh. Already with a victory against Louisville, the Bearcats now have a two-game buffer on the competition for the conference's BCS bowl bid. Unfortunately the road to a BCS invitation will not come easily, with away games against Rutgers and Syracuse following Saturday's meeting with West Virginia. A win over the Mountaineers puts the Bearcats in a great position to win the league title outright. A loss will create a jumble for the title, and then tie-breakers suddenly become the differentiator between the Champs Sports Bowl and a BCS bowl appearance.

LOSER: Pittsburgh's offensive line 

Pittsburgh's offensive line has dealt with injuries and depth issues all season. Head coach Todd Graham's offensive scheme has led to heavy rotation among the five positions, with the Panthers never really settling in on a lineup yet this season. The issues up front have been felt by Pittsburgh's quarterbacks. The Panthers entered the game leading the nation in sacks allowed with 36 in eight games of action.

The offensive line was exploited once again by Cincinnati in the 26-23 loss, but you won't find the proof in the stat sheet. Tino Sunseri was only brought down three times in the losing effort, but the Bearcats brought the heat through the whole second half. Pittsburgh's inability to adjust to the pressure and get something going offensively eventually became their downfall, as they watched a 10 point lead disappear over the last two quarters.


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Posted on: July 10, 2011 7:13 pm
Edited on: July 10, 2011 7:28 pm
 

Tyler Gabbert's transfer destination still TBD?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

We thought we'd gotten Tyler Gabbert's transfer situation all settled, hadn't we? The ex-Missouri quarterback and younger brother of former Tiger star Blaine Gabbert was welcomed into the Louisville program with open arms by none other than Cardinal head coach Charlie Strong just 10 days ago.

But that arrangement might not have been as permanent as we (or Strong) thought. According to Mike Rutherford of Louisville blog Card Chronicle, sources have told both he and the local ESPN radio station that Gabbert will not in fact be part of the Cardinal program, and that he has already packed his bags for either home or a transfer destination still unknown.

We'd advise taking this with a grain of salt until either Gabbert himself or the Cardinals confirm the report (the latter probably won't happen until Strong returns from an overseas trip Wednesday). But it's not hard to see Gabbert deciding that maybe Louisville wasn't the place for him, given the pitched battle behind starter Will Stein and this quote from Gabbert's father after Strong had announced his arrival: 

“It’s safe to say Tyler will be enrolling somewhere and attending school next week,” Chuck Gabbert told Sporting News. “He will be attending class next week at his chosen university where he’ll be pursuing his college football career also.”

No, given the context, that hardly sounds like a full commitment to the Cards.

So nothing is yet written in stone where Gabbert is concerned; maybe he still winds up with Strong and coordinator Shawn Watson (who the Gabberts have long been close to) at Louisville, and maybe he doesn't. But if we had to put money on one or the other, at this stage we'd be forced to go with "doesn't." 

Posted on: July 6, 2011 4:02 pm
Edited on: July 6, 2011 5:12 pm
 

Big Ten not spending enough on assistants?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

By now, anyone who follows college football has seen enough "BREAKING: Football coaches somehow earn lots of money in billion-dollar enterprise" headlines to last us a lifetime. So at a glance, this St. Louis Post-Dispatch article -- "Assistant coaches' salaries soar in college football" -- doesn't appear to be one we haven't read plenty of times before.

But there's one highly interesting nugget from the Post-Dispatch's math that's worth paying closer attention to:
The SEC paid its assistant coaches an average of $276,122 in 2010, according to figures compiled by St. Louis attorney and agent Bob Lattinville of the firm Stinson Morrison Hecker.
The Big 12 was second at $232,685 and the Big Ten a distant fourth, behind the Atlantic Coast Conference, at $187,055. In each instance, the averages do not include salaries at private schools such as Baylor, Penn State and Vanderbilt.
It's no surprise to see the conferences of Gus Malzahn and the Manny Diaz-Bryan Harsin tag team topping the list, but ... the Big Ten? Fourth? Really?

They may not actually be a distant fourth, in fact -- Penn State probably pays better than the likes of Indiana, and Lattinville's salary-based figures don't appear to take into account Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison's unusually structured $750,000 contract -- but it's baffling why the conference that distributes more money to its members than any other in the FBS should lag so badly behind anyone in coaching salaries. Some of that is Big Ten schools' insistence on spening their cash on crazy ideas like, say, men's soccer teams, but it's hard to see why the conference's highest-profile sport should be getting the short end of a stick this lucrative.

It's so hard, in fact, we won't speculate on the reasons. But we don't have any problem stating this for the record: the Big Ten's stinginess is hurting it on the football field.

Contrast the decisions from some of the SEC's and Big Ten's best assistants from 2010. Malzahn was offered the head coaching job at Vandy and had some interest (at least) from Maryland; he turned them both down when Auburn stepped up with its gigantic raise. In the end, the only SEC coordinator to take a head coaching job this offseason was Steve Addazio, who'd basically been dumped out of his Florida gig already.

Meanwhile, offensive coordinator Don Treadwell was busy guiding Michigan State into the national top 20 in yards per-play, winning multiple games as MSU's interim head coach during Mark Dantonio's health-related absence, and generally being the nation's most underpaid assistant as the Spartans won 11 games. He left East Lansing to take the head coaching job at Miami (Ohio). Dave Doeren capped years of outstanding work at Wisconsin by coordinating the defense that took the Badgers back to the Rose Bowl (and nearly won it); he left to become Jerry Kill's replacement at Northern Illinois. (PSU's Tom Bradley, one of Joe Paterno's longest tenured-assistants, also did some serious angling for the Temple job that went to Addazio, you'll recall.)

It's not just retention that's a problem, either. How much better would Michigan have been under Rich Rodriguez* if they'd made Jeff Casteel a Mattison-like offer-he-couldn't-refuse to tag along from West Virginia, instead of subjecting themselves to Greg "GERG" Robinson? Would Tim Brewster still be around if he'd been able to hire one legitimately great offensive coordinator instead of subjecting Adam Weber and Co. to a revolving door of schemes? Even the newcomers aren't immune--it's yet-to-be-determined, but one has to wonder if Nebraska couldn't have done better in replacing exiled OC Shawn Watson than promoting running backs coach Tim Beck (especially considering the Huskers' head coach's expertise is on the defensive side of the ball).

As the Post-Dispatch article points out, it's not like the conference has to look very far to see the value of paying top dollar for assistants. After a miserable 2009, Ron Zook was thisclose to being fired at Illinois. So he went out and hired two top-shelf coordinators at salaries commensurate with the SEC's; in fact, one of them (Bobby Petrino brother Paul Petrino) was an SEC coordinator. Result: a job-saving 7-6 campaign and, in 2011, likely the program's first back-to-back winning seasons in 20 years.

It feels awfully awkward to tell anyone to follow Ron Zook's example. But when it comes to assistant salaries, it's high time the Big Ten at-large did exactly that.

*Rodriguez actually got the defensive coordinating hire right the first time, when he plucked away current Syracuse DC Scott Shafer from Stanford; Shafer's been a success everywhere else he's been, and his work with the Orange last year--the only team in the country to finish in the top 20 in total defense while also finishing in the bottom 20 in time-of-possession--was nothing short of remarkable. But RichRod and Shafer didn't appear to see eye-to-eye, and in came Robinson after just one season. You'll forgive Wolverine fans if they spend the rest of the afternoon banging their heads against the closest wall.


Posted on: June 30, 2011 10:39 am
Edited on: June 30, 2011 11:11 am
 

Tyler Gabbert chooses Louisville

Posted by Chip Patterson

Since joining Louisville, Cardinals coach Charlie Strong has been aggressive on the recruiting trail when it comes to quarterbacks. First the second-year coach snagged highly-touted recruit Teddy Bridgewater from Miami before signing day, and on Thursday, he unofficially welcomed Missouri transfer Tyler Gabbert to the program.



Gabbert, the younger brother of the Jacksonville Jaguars' first-round pick Blaine Gabbert, spent his freshman year with his brother at Missouri, but after losing the quarterback battle to James Franklin in spring practice, Gabbert opted to transfer in May.

Both Tyler and his older brother Blaine originally committed to Nebraska before changing their decision to Missouri. Former Cornhuskers offensive coordinator Shawn Watson (who recruited both brothers heavily while at Nebraska) is now the quarterbacks coach on Strong's staff. Gabbert's arrival gives Louisville a full stable of quarterbacks for 2012. While junior Will Stein will be the starting quarterback entering fall camp, Bridgewater has made it clear he will be ready whenever his name is called. Once Gabbert joins the duo next fall, Strong will have three different quarterbacks competing for snaps in 2012.

While some might argue that the position is too crowded, I can guarantee you a surplus of talent is not something that Louisville fans will be complaining about.
Posted on: May 20, 2011 11:20 am
Edited on: May 20, 2011 11:24 am
 

Tyler Gabbert visiting Louisville

By Brett McMurphy
CBSSports.com Senior Writer

Former Missouri quarterback Tyler Gabbert is visiting Louisville today, sources told CBSSports.com

Out of Parkway West High School, Gabbert initially committed to Nebraska where he was recruited by Huskers offensive coordinator Shawn Watson. Gabbert later de-committed and signed with Missouri.

Watson is now the quarterbacks coach at Louisville.

Other schools that Gabbert reportedly is interested in include Iowa, Clemson, Wake Forest and Arizona.

Gabbert left Missouri because he wanted an opportunity to compete for a starting position, his father Chuck told reporters. Gabbert was beaten out for Missouri’s starting position by James Franklin.

Gabbert’s older brother, Blaine, was selected in the first round of the NFL Draft by Jacksonville.

Posted on: May 11, 2011 12:58 pm
Edited on: May 11, 2011 3:00 pm
 

Clemson has no interest in Tyler Gabbert

Posted by Chip Patterson

In the latest episode of The Transfer, Tyler Gabbert's father informed Sporting News that Arizona, Arizona State, Clemson, Iowa, Louisville, Northwestern, Pittsburgh, Wake Forest, and Arkansas State were all possible destinations for his son. Gabbert, the 6-0, 190 pound younger brother of first-round pick Blaine, was a nationally-ranked quarterback in the 2010 class but lost out on the quarterback competition at Missouri this spring.

But according to the Charleston Post and Courier, Clemson has absolutely no interest in obtaining Gabbert's services. Travis Sawchik even points out that bringing in Gabbert (a redshirt freshman heading into 2011) could end up hurting the Tigers in the recruitment of a top-ranked quarterback in the future. Head coach Dabo Swinney pulled in the No. 5 recruiting class last February according to MaxPreps.com. Throw in the arrival of high-octane coordinator Chad Morris from Tulsa, and the Tigers seem like a great landing spot for a hot young prospect looking to gain the attention of the NFL. 

Posted on: May 10, 2011 5:39 pm
Edited on: May 10, 2011 5:40 pm
 

Where will Tyler Gabbert transfer?

Posted by Chip Patterson

College free agency seems to be all the rage for quarterbacks these days, with Tyler Gabbert being the latest after announcing his departure from Missouri. Gabbert, the younger brother of Blaine - recently picked 10th overall in the NFL Draft by Jacksonville, was involved in a heated quarterback battle this spring with sophomore James Franklin. At spring's end, Franklin ended up as the team's starter and Gabbert decided it was time to take his talents elsewhere.

So where will Gabbert, once a highly sought-after recruit, end up?

The initial guess for many sends Gabbert back to Lincoln, where he originally committed before switching to the Tigers. But when Chuck Gabbert, Tyler's father, spoke to Sporting News about potential destinations: Nebraska was not on the list.
Chuck Gabbert, the player’s father, said Tyler already is in contact with the following programs: Arizona, Arizona State, Clemson, Iowa, Louisville, Northwestern, Pittsburgh, Wake Forest and Arkansas State.
When Gabbert committed to Missouri in 2009 to join Blaine, Nebraska, Iowa, Oregon, and Wake Forest were all on his final list. The dark horse in my opinion is Louisville. Quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson was the one recruiting Gabbert to Nebraska, and reportedly developed strong ties with the redshirt freshman. Now with the Cardinals, Watson can try to lure Gabbert to Louisville. With both Teddy Bridgewater and Dominique Brown waiting on the depth chart behind Will Stein, the move would take Gabbert from one quarterback competition right into another, more heated one. But with Bridgewater and Brown both showing plenty of room for improvement this spring, there could be a chance for Watson's former recruit to earn some snaps.

Clemson also appears like an interesting choice for Gabbert. The Tigers have Tajh Boyd and freshman Cole Stoudt, but neither one has wowed the staff or fans in their limited exposure. Head coach Dabo Swinney has brought in a couple of top-ranked recruiting classes, and Clemson may be a quarterback away from being ACC title contenders once again.

The only certainties at this point, according to Tyler's father, are that he is looking to stay in a BCS conference and it will not be the Big 12.  Where do you think Gabbert will land?  Log in to CBSSports.com and let us know in the comment section below

Keep it here at the Eye on College Football for more on this story as it develops.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com