Q & A with Lance Carl – Part Three: The Offense

Lance Carl then … A member of Bill McCartney’s first recruiting Class (1983), Carl was a 12-letter winner (football, baseball, track and basketball) out of Fort Madison, Iowa. Carl, a wide receiver who led the Buffs in receiving in 1986, was a member of the team when the Buffs ended a six year run of losing seasons in 1985 – McCartney’s fourth year as head coach. Carl was on the receiving end of one of the most memorable touchdowns in Colorado football history, a 52-yard halfback pass from O.C. Oliver on the first play of the fourth quarter of CU’s epic 20-10 upset of No. 3 Nebraska in 1986.

Lance Carl now … Carl signed as a free agent with the Washington Redskins and had a four year run as a scout for the Philadelphia Eagles. More recently, Carl spent six years with the Colorado Department of Higher Education, where he was a director for student motivational outreach. In November of 2013, Carl was named to a newly created position, associate athletic director for business development. The largely external role which encompasses business development, community partnerships, Carl serves as the coordinator for non-game day events (if you are “grateful” that Dead & Company are playing Folsom Field July 2nd and 3rd, you have Lance Carl to thank). Carl, with an office down the hall from athletic director Rick George, is also the sports supervisor for the football program. He has daily interactions with head coach Mike MacIntyre, the assistant coaches, support personnel and the student-athletes.

Carl, in the locker room as Bill McCartney turned things around in year four of his career at Colorado, is in a unique position to discuss whether Mike MacIntyre, in the fourth year of his career at Colorado, can do the same.

Part Three … The Players: Offense

Previously posted … Part One: The Coaches … Part Two: Recruiting

With Sefo Liufau out for spring practices and Davis Webb finishing up his classwork at Texas Tech, what will this spring show us about the rest of the quarterback roster?

Is (red-shirt freshman) Steven Montez going to be a contender for playing time down the road? I definitely think so. He’s a very, very hard worker. He watches film. He does all of those intangibles that shows he wants to be great. He’s not just settling for being here at Colorado. He wants to be the next great quarterback here. He’s got all of the intangibles. He’s got the arm strength … but has he been in the line of fire yet? No.

Davis Webb. Sefo Liufau. Playing at Michigan. We’re more comfortable with them playing that game in front of 100,000 than having Steven Montez.

But neither of those players will be playing this spring. So this spring is huge for Steven. It’s a great opportunity for him. Jordan Gerhke and Cade Apsay? … No comment … But a great opportunity for Steven. The more reps you can get him the better.

I believe in Steven, and I believe this spring will tell you a great deal about his development. And what he learned last year sitting out. He traveled to every game. He’s meticulous taking notes, charting every pass. I know he’s been in the film room … He’s got the “it” factor, I think. He’s got the arm, he’s all of 6’4 ½”. He can move; he’s fluid. There needs to be a lot of mechanic work with him, but mentality I think he has it. Physically, he has it. Now, can you put all of those things together … and face a five man rush against USC? You don’t know that until you get him in a game, you just don’t know. The running joke when I was a scout in the NFL was: nobody makes the team in shorts. He may look like an Adonis out there in shorts, but you get pads on him, and he’s not that guy.

Davis Webb is a dynamic kid. I’ve had the opportunity to meet with him a couple of times. He has the ability to walk in here and right away be a leader.

When can Sefo start again to be mobile? I don’t think Sefo can really do anything until mid-summer, if then. That injury is one that you never know how you are going to bounce back from.


The weak link in the offense last year appeared to be the offensive line. Is there reason for optimism heading into the 2016 season?

I’m excited for the offensive line. (Red-shirt freshman) Tim Lynott is ready to play. So all those guys who played last year had better recognize that Tim Lynott is here to take their position.

I think what we are doing differently, and (new strength and conditioning coach) Drew (Wilson) talked about this, is Olympic lifting. It’s been a staple for years. It’s been a staple for years because it works. Power snatching, jerking, all those things, they help your linemen not only be more explosive, but be more powerful. Our players now are lifting dynamically. I’d single out Aaron Haigler, who I think will be a future star here. I guy like Isaac Miller, who is now starting to look like a Pac-12 offensive lineman. Isaac Miller is 6’7″, and he’s about 280 right now. Every time I walk by Isaac Miller, I say three things to him: ‘2-9-0′ – that’s what I say. ‘Get to 290, and you can play here’. And he will continue to mature and grow. He’s getting a little bubble on his butt that lineman have to have. Nothing worse than a flat-butted lineman.

I see guys like Isaac Miller, Aaron Haigler, they have natural pass blocking abilities. Now it’s just a matter of getting them stronger, so they can be more effective run blockers. Aaron Haigler has got some nasty to him. He gave our defensive line some fits last year as a redshirt.


Does the offensive line look to you, viewed through the eyes of a former NFL scout?

When I scouted for the Philadelphia Eagles, the first thing I was taught was, you start with the feet and you work your way up. How are his feet? Because if he can’t move his feet, he can’t play. Then look at his calves. Are his calves developed? And then you are looking at hamstrings and butt, because you don’t want a flat-butted lineman – he won’t have any power.

You’ve got guys like Stephane Nembot, who is a freak of nature. He’s just naturally gifted, naturally strong. Then you look at Sam Kronshage – long frame, long arms, but not strong. Now, is that on Sam Kronshage a little bit? Yeah. But you also have to have that dynamic person leading that charge in the weight room, taking those kids to the next level. Here’s where you are, and here’s where you can be, and here’s how we are going to fill that gap and get you to where you want to be. A lot of it is communication, how you build relationships with kids, and I think that Drew is that guy. I respected Dave Forman, who is very intelligent, very scientific in what he did. But the results weren’t showing.

Offensive lineman, I’m looking at them from the feet up. Do they have good feet, quick feet? If their feet are in cement? They can’t play. Colby Persell, out of Hart HS, the first thing I notice is – quick feet. He can position his body, get in the way. I saw him on his recruiting trip. He is a big, thick kid who is going to get bigger. His dad is 6’6″, so he is going to fill out and grow some more. I didn’t see him getting to the opposition with his hands so much, but I saw quick feet. Got a big ass. Powerful low base – he’s going to be good.



Is four-star recruit Beau Bisharat the answer for the CU running game, or are the pieces already in place?

There are some great backs on our team already. I think Patrick Carr is a dynamite young man. Phillip Lindsay … he’s something special. You ask anyone on the team, if they were going down a dark alley, who do I want with me – they are going to say ‘Phil Lindsay’. And to be a leader as a junior is pretty amazing.

Michael Adkins, if he can stay healthy … he’s got bursts and explosions. I’m excited for Beau to come in to see what he can do for us. I’m excited to see what Dino Gordon can do this spring. The players are in place.


As a former wide receiver, you must have a feel for how this receiving corps stacks up against other Pac-12 rosters

(Junior college transfer) Juwann Winfree … man, he’s going to be special. Shay Fields, I believe, is going to take huge strides, with Darrin’s tutelage.

You hate to say make it or break it, but with players like Devin Ross, Bryce Bobo, this may be that year. Any good program, you are always trying to recruit better than what you have. And that is where we are getting to now. Johnny Huntley, Anthony Julmisse, they are going to come knocking on the door, ready to compete and play as freshmen. So, Bryce, Devin, are you going to catch a thousand balls a day? Are you going to work on your route running? Are you going to go in with coach Chiaverini and watch film? Because those are things you probably haven’t done before. And it shows, because you are not producing.

There comes a point in every student athletes life where you have got to ask: ‘Am I doing everything I can to maximize my opportunity?’ Extra film work. Meeting with my position coach. Really identifying my weaknesses as a player and how I can get better. If at some point I determine that I can do much more, work that much harder, I’m happy where I am. When other kids come in, who are that much more hungry, more determined, a little more focused. Are they necessarily more talented? Perhaps not, but they are putting in the attention to details, putting in the little work that makes things happen for them.

I’m excited for Devin, Bryce, Donovan Lee … this spring is huge for them. Because one thing Darrin will not tolerate is a lack of a work ethic. That’s not who he was. Those kids, if they haven’t should go look at how Chiaverini played. He dove for every ball. He made every block. He practiced harder than everybody else, because he knew he wasn’t the most talented, gifted guy. You get certain guys on the team who are fast, strong and dynamic. They look good in a uniform. That stuff doesn’t matter. I don’t care how you look. Receivers, they can be pretty boys too much … I want a down and dirty guy. One of my favorite receivers here of all time is Charles E. Johnson. He didn’t care how he looked, he just focused on his play. It’s about being gritty, man. It’s about being a football player.


Previously posted …

Q & A With Lance Carl: Part One – The Coaches

Q & A With Lance Carl: Part Two – Recruiting

Still to Come: Q & A With Lance Carl: Part Four – The Players: Defense


7 Replies to “Q & A with Lance Carl – Part Three: Offense”

  1. Hey Stuart,

    Nice series.

    Can you put them all together under one heading so we can read them all in sequence?

    Go Buffs

    1. Sounds like a good idea. Perhaps after the final segment is posted next Tuesday I’ll put them all together.

      In the meantime, there are links to Part I and Part II at both the top and bottom of the Part III post.

  2. You didn’t list my two favorite quotes in fthe poll:
    “Nothing worse than a flat-butted lineman”
    “gehrke and apsay? No comment”

    I really can’t wait to see Winfree and the Florida kids.

  3. Man o man, this is some of the best stuff you’ve put up here, Stuart. I’m fired up and ready to see some serious progress this year. 7 wins minimum and a bowl game. #GoBuffs

  4. This is the talk that fires me up! I want to wait and hear it from the kids and see it on the field with the new strength and conditioning coach though. For the past two years we have just heard about how good weight lifting went how we had some real good gains in the off-season. Then when we get in season we would see us outmatched in enough places it matters. Will the o-line really measure up. Will our interior d-line be able to push the pile backwards. Will our linebackers and running backs have the size and mass to take the punishment for a Pac 12 season. Will the running backs be able to run through arm tackles and fall forward.

    I am excited because I think more and more that these answers are more often yes than not these days. More than ever.

  5. This is just fantastic insight Stuart — many thanks and appreciation for this entire Q&A session. It definitely sounds like there will be some position battles throughout the spring and into fall camp, which will ensure we have the best players on the field to give us a chance in 2016.

  6. Interesting take on the WRs and the coaching they get from DChiv. Says something about Troy Walters, in that the guys who need to step up didn’t appear to get that message from Walters. DChiv appears to be the real deal on “O” as Leavitt is on “D”, as is Wilson at S&C. Can’t believe that Forman backed away from Olympic lifting as much as he appears to have done.

    If Mac II can’t get this team to the next level (and he is due much credit for making the necessary changes at the assistant level); it appears the pieces are in place for continuity, even in the face of a change (to Leavitt???) at the top.

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