Interview with CU Associate Athletic Director Lance Carl

 

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 also 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 (such as the Dead & Company playing at Folsom Field the last two summers, and returning again this July 13th and 14th). 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.

Note … For regulars here at CU at the Game, you may recall that Mr. Carl was gracious enough to do a similar interview the last two springs. If you would like to look back at those interviews, you can find the 2016 interviews here, and the 2017 interviews here.

Part OneCoaches Can be found here

Part Two – The Offense

Let’s talk about the quarterbacks. Is there an open competition, or is the job Steven Montez’ to lose?

This is just me speaking, but I see it as Steven’s job to lose. His performance last season was, I would say, above average in most games, in most circumstances. I think what Kurt (Roper) is going to allow Steven to do this year is really focus on owning the quarterback role. You will hear Kurt talking about this. He talks about owning the quarterback lifestyle, understanding what that means. That means telling a lot of people ‘no’. That means dedicating yourself to a little more film, a little more development of leadership qualities that Steven can grow into. Kurt can really help him with those things, based upon where Kurt has been, and what he’s gone through, and also knowing what Darrin (Chiaverini) wants in a quarterback. Speaking the same language as Darrin. That will do a lot for Steven’s development this year.

I like Sam Noyer, I fully expect Tyler Lytle to challenge Sam Noyer for the backup role. And, as we all know as college football fans, the backup is one injury away. The quarterback position is vital to what we want to do as a program moving forward. I fully expect Tyler Lytle to make an impression this spring, as well as push Steven, making him a better player.

 

The running backs on the current CU roster are in a unique position – competing against someone who isn’t in Boulder, and is not yet actually a member of the team (Virginia Tech senior transfer Travon McMillan)

Let’s talk about what we have. None of our running backs should be concerned about who is not here. They should be concerned about who is here, and what they are learning in that room, and how they can be the best running back that we need in this offense. That’s what they should be focused on.

They are all competitive kids. So they know that when ‘He who shall not be named’ is not here, that they are really going to have to step up their game. Because that person who is coming in her is an established Power Five running back. Everybody in our backfield right now, is not an established Power-Five running back. So, what can they do? What can they control? Attitude and effort. They can control the next play. They can control sitting in (running backs coach) Darian Hagan’s office and asking, ‘What can I do to control my standing in your eyes?’. That’s what they need to focus on.

 

Are any of the current running backs doing that?

Everyone looks good in shorts. Everyone looks good in drills. But I will say this. If (junior) Beau Bisharat is going to make a move, this is the year for Beau Bisharat to make a move. If Kyle Evans is going to play as a senior, now is the spring to show that he can be that guy. If (redshirt freshman) Alex Fontenot is going to take that jump from scout team performer – who really played well last fall, and made some moves that made you say ‘Hmmmm’ – to someone who can be special, then this spring is the time to do it. Because ‘He who shall not be named’ is not here. All eyes are on them. Don’t worry about who is not here; worry about who is here. Your competition is in this room. In spring ball, everything they do, is on tape, and everything that is on tape is evaluated by the coaches. And they are evaluating the players that are here, not the players who aren’t here.

 

CU graduated three top wide receivers, but there seems to be plenty of talent remaining on the roster.

I see every wide receiver who is coming in this year, whether it be (senior Kabion) Ento, (senior Juwann) Winfree, (senior Jay) MacIntyre, (sophomore K.D.) Nixon, (sophomore Laviska) Shenault, (redshirt freshman Maurice) Bell … those guys? They are all hungry. They are all hungry to prove themselves. There is no hierarchy this year. It’s an open competition. I would fully expect Juwann Winfree to make an impression this spring. I would fully expect Kabion Ento – who did the right thing for his future by not playing last year – to make a big impression this spring.

The thing about the receivers this spring … they are all very hungry, they are all going to work hard. They all understand that there will be a lot of balls thrown, and, if they want to be on the receiving end of those balls, that their position coach is the offensive coordinator. That gives you even more incentive.

 

Will the tight ends become a part of the passing game in 2018?

Last year, (junior) Chris Bounds got his feet wet, so to speak. Chris Bounds is a solid contributor to our team. But … (junior transfer) Darrion Jones gives you something special. Someone who is 6’5″, 6’6″, with that catch radius? Steven has got to be salivating. The thing about Darrion is that he runs so well that we’ll be able to put in into our four-wide set. He can be one of those slot receivers in the four-wide, that will give a defense match-up nightmares. No linebacker will be able to cover him, and most safeties are too small. That’s something we haven’t had with this offense.

We’ll also see how (sophomore) Jared Poplawski comes off of his torn ACL. He won’t be a “full go” in the spring, but Jared’s got a bright future here as well.

Darrion’s a huge gift for our offense. He allows us to adjust our play calling to something we haven’t been able to do in the past.

 

The offensive line returned four starters in 2017, but seemed to take a step back

Last year, I think it was really strange because we never gelled consistently. We would have good production one game, and then game, we were struggling. Whether it was pass protection or run blocking … I was more concerned with our pass protection last year than our run blocking. We were a good running team last year. But, when you have Phillip Lindsay back there, you can do special things. But our pass protection … we’ve got to improve there. We all know that. Too often, Montez was not able to get set.

Things are going to get decided this spring, because we have some young guys who are ready to come in and play right now. Colby Pursell … Will Sherman … we need to decide what Chance Lytle’s role is here. Is he a backup guard at this level? (Junior Aaron) Haigler, I think Aaron wants to redeem himself after last year. He regrets last year. Klayton’s task is to determine, ‘What happened with Aaron Haigler last year?’ …

 

And what about redshirt freshman Jake Moretti (who hasn’t played since his junior year in high school). Will he be on the field this fall?

No one works harder than Jacob. He’s always in the training room, working to get back to the point where he can get cleared to play. He’s doing what he needs to do in terms of rehabbing, I think it’s just a matter of the coaches feeling comfortable in putting him out there, where he can be confident and comfortable playing. Watching him work out, in terms of movement, he’s night-and-day ahead of where he was. More than anything, he wants to play here, but we don’t want to put him out there unless he is 100% ready to go.

 

… Next Sunday … Lance Carl Interview: The Defense … 

—–

One Reply to “Lance Carl Interview – Offense”

  1. Carl mentioned all the receivers except Tony Brown. Where did I read an observation of the “spring game” that Montez seemed to have an above average connection with him?
    Stay tuned.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.