Griz don helmets and shoulder pads in fall camp drills

Coach Ty Gregorak

Coach Ty Gregorak

Aug. 9, 2012

The players wore their helmets and shoulder pads for the first time in fall camp today (Thursday, Aug. 9), as The University of Montana Grizzly football team prepares for its first game of 2012 -- a home contest just a little more than three weeks away against the University of South Dakota Coyotes on Sept. 1.

The players will also be wearing helmet and shoulder pads tomorrow, and then are in full pads starting Saturday, August 11. On Sunday, August 12, the Griz will hold their first ever evening scrimmage during fall drills, with the action expected to begin around 8:15 to 8:30 p.m. in Washington-Grizzly Stadium.

"You cannot waste time in pre-fall (workouts), and that's been our approach since the kids reported last Sunday night," said head coach Mick Delaney. "We can't waste one drill, one half-hour or one 15-minute period. Everything we do has got to have some carry-over and preparation for that opening game against South Dakota.

"The first two days have been great, and today they're carrying around a little more weight," he said. "Everybody is enthusiastic and has energy right now. What I am concerned about is will we have that same energy come Tuesday next week, our second day of two-a-days. We only have five of those two-a-days, but that will be the key to this football team in getting themselves ready as they go into the season."

Delaney noted that he and his assistants have not talked about the logistics for this Sunday's scrimmage, which will be the first of three in August.

"It will be a move-the-ball kind of scrimmage, and it will also be a situation, control type of thing," Delaney said. "It's always good to get the players in contact drills and see how they react in a game-type atmosphere."

Coach Delaney's transition from associate head coach and running backs coach to a very brief retirement wasn't the only change in UM `s coaching ranks in 2012.



The Griz also lost defensive coordinator and safeties coach Mike Breske to Washington State, offensive coordinator Jonathon Smith to Boise State, while center/guard coach Bob Beers returned to the NFL scouting ranks with the Houston Texans, and special teams mentor Dick Arbuckle retired.

Three of those positions were filled this past spring, as Griz linebacker coach Ty Gregorak was tabbed UM's defensive coordinator and will also continue to oversee the linebackers, while former Washington State standout signal caller Timm Rosenbach became the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, and veteran mentor Leon Burtnett was hired to work with the safeties.

Delaney filled out his staff recently, naming Kefense Henson the tight ends and special teams coach, while former Griz Ross Brunelle (2004-05) was tabbed video coordinator and will also serve an assistant special teams coach. Also back for his second year on the staff is Roland Ford, UM's director of football operations. Hynson had coached the previous three seasons at Yale.

"I couldn't be happier with our staff," Delaney said. "We've got a great mixture of youth, along with age and experience. I think we've got a great mix of personalities.

"You know I am crazy, Timm's crazy, Ty's kind of crazy, and Scott's (Gragg, an assistant head coach and offensive line coach) a little bit more controlled, as is Shalon (Baker, the wide receiver coach). Leon's a little crazy, but Aric's (Williams, cornerbacks coach) is pretty much under control. When I say crazy I mean enthusiastic, a ton of energy, and always on the move.

"I think that's a great mix, and Kefense and Ross are two outstanding, knowledgeable, young coaches, and we get a lot of energy from them too," Delaney continued. "I couldn't be happier with our group. I think it proves one thing, that you have to have a great mixture when you put a staff together."

VOICE OF THE GRIZ HONORED AGAIN: Mick Holien, the radio "Voice of the Grizzlies" for UM's football and men's basketball teams, was selected as "Montana Sports Broadcaster of the Year" for the sixth year in a row for his work this past season. Holien was honored at the 53rd Annual NSSA Awards Banquet this past June in Salisbury, NC. Now in his 19th season as the Grizzlies' play-by-play man, Holien has been tabbed as "Montana Sports Broadcaster of the Year" award winner an unprecedented 12 times.

TWO IN-STATE GRIZ RECRUITS EARN ALL-STAR GAME HONORS: Griz freshman quarterback Brady Gustafson, who passed for 192 yards and two touchdowns to help lead the East to a 23-12 win over the West in Montana's annual Shrine Game, was named MVP. It was the first win for the East since 2008. Gustafson overcame three interceptions - two of which were tipped - to earn offensive MVP honors.

UM signee Ryan Burke, a 6-5 wide receiver from Billings (Central Catholic HS) caught the game's first two touchdowns and Montana raced to a 27-15 victory over North Dakota in the 19th annual Knights of Columbus Badlands Bowl. Burke, who earned his team's offensive MVP award, finished with nine catches for 124 yards and a pair of scores. His first touchdown was a 28-yarder from Dillon's J.T. Linder, while his second was a 44-yard toss from Griz teammate Gustafson.

WE'RE TALKING HOT! A major heat wave welcomed UM's 95 fall camp participants, especially on the first day of fall camp, which was Tuesday (Aug. 7). Griz strength coach Rob Oviatt said that J.C. Weida, UM's football athletic trainer, checked the temperature and it registered a sizzling 110 degrees on Washington-Grizzly stadium's playing surface.

POSITION CHANGE: Freshman Jake Simpkins, a 6-3, 220-pound walk-on from Butte (Butte Central High School), has been moved from the offensive line to linebacker.

YOUNG OFFENSIVE LINEMEN UPDATE: Freshmen offensive linemen Dan Morstein (6-2, 275, Beaverhead County HS in Dillon) and McCauley Todd (6-7, 280, from Washington HS in Cedar Rapids, Iowa) will both play center, Delaney said. Fellow frosh O-linemen Ben Weyer (6-4, 275, from Bozeman HS) and Devon Dietrich (6-5, 260, from Woodinville HS, Wash.) will play either guard or tackle.

TEAM CAPTAINS: The Grizzlies fall camp calendar lists Friday, August 24 as the day the team will vote on their 2012 team captains.


Monday, Aug. 13: One-a-day practice. Starts at 2:00 p.m. at the Riverbowl practice site.

Tuesday, Aug. 14: Two-a-day practices. They start at 8:30 a.m. and 7:45 p.m. at the Riverbowl practice site.

Wednesday, Aug. 15: One-a-day practice. Starts at 2:00 p.m. at the Riverbowl practice site.

Thursday, Aug. 16: Two-a-day practices. They start at 8:30 a.m. and 7:45 p.m. at the Riverbowl practice site.

Friday, Aug. 17: One-a-day practice. Starts at 2:00 p.m. at the Riverbowl practice site.

Saturday, Aug. 18: Scrimmage, beginning around 10:10 a.m.

Sunday, Aug. 19: Off day.

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