Wednesday update

Posted on December 17th, 2008 – 4:41 PM
By Kent Youngblood

Greetings.

The Gophers returned to practice Wednesday after two days off.  They will practice through Sunday, take a couple more days off, then meet in Phoenix Christmas night. That will give the Gophers five practices in Arizona prior to the bowl game.

A number of players are still limited because of nagging injuries, though coach Tim Brewster says the team will be 100 percent for the bowl game. Among those hobbled are Willie VanDeSteeg (ankle), Lee Campbell (ankle), Garrett Brown (ankle) and  Dom Alford (ankle).

Wide receiver Eric Decker , who is coming off  arthroscopic surgery for cartilage damage on his left knee, is moving well. He hasn’t been in pads yet, but he was out on the field running some routes and doing some cutting this afternoon. He says he’ll be OK for the bowl.

I’ll be writing more about Decker as the insight bowl  nears. But he reiterated his belief that he will be back with the Gophers next season. The fact that he has paid a heck of a physical price to play this season – rib injury, concussion, ankle and leg injuries, etc. – has not changed his mind.

It was good to see Sam Maresh today. He’s been around the team watching practice for much of the season. But it was good to offer him congratulations in person for having been cleared to return to the game he loves playing.  ‘’It’s just an amazing story,’’ Brewster said of the Maresh situation. ‘’What a blessing to us all.’’

  Meanwhile,  highly-recruited athlete Bryant Allen, a 6-0, 160-pounder who could play receiver or running back, will announce his college choice tonight according to Rivals.com. Allen, from Maplewood, Mo., has offeres from the Gophers, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Wisconsin, among others.

That’s  about it. Stay warm.

41 Responses to "Wednesday update"

NYC Gopher Fan says:

December 17th, 2008 at 5:36 pm

Thanks Kent for the update. Great to read that Decker is moving well and that Maresh is back in the mix. I think things are looking up for the Gophs. That Iowa game stunk to high heaven and I hope that they play well against the JHawks.

gold04 says:

December 17th, 2008 at 7:54 pm

I think the Gophers will come out ready to play against Kansas. The combination of the Bowl break, Davis, and new offensive schemes will get them focused and ready to play. I predict a win. They have to win so my 8 game prediction will come true. A win would give them some nice momentuem for next season.

I’m glad for Maresh and having a heart defect repaired myself, I thought Maresh wouldn’t have any problems getting back on the football field.

Bayfieldgopher says:

December 17th, 2008 at 8:21 pm

I too am looking forward to watching the Gophers again against KU. But the key for gauging improvement between now and the KO to the the 09 season is the off season work and the Spring practices. How much the OL matures and the RS Frosh and incoming JUCO’s can contribute is the key. And if Davis can help the OL be better players.

Not the KU game.

gold04 says:

December 17th, 2008 at 8:44 pm

I’m glad that Brewster dediced to implement the new offense right away. It gives the players Bowl practices, Spring practices, and Fall practices to learn the new formations and schemes.

I’m looking forward to the Kansas game to see the changes in the offense. I thought we were too much in the spread before. You need to mix things up.

grunkiejr says:

December 17th, 2008 at 9:45 pm

I’m really excited to see the new formations and hopefully new attitude from the line. I just hope they give me a reason to keep the excitement going in to next season.

Bayfieldgopher says:

December 17th, 2008 at 9:47 pm

An important ingredient Gold is that we need to execute all the things we mix up. Kinda like making cookies; a bag of talent here, a generous dose of experience there, sprinkle in a huge bag of luck, and top it all of by keeping the key players healthy. And then the oven has to be turned up to the proper temp to get a bunch of award winning cookies.

This kinda blended in with my evening of making Christmas cookies with Mrs Bayfield.

I think I need to get out of the kitchen and go snowmobiling tomorrow.

gold04 says:

December 17th, 2008 at 10:40 pm

Bayfield,

I hope we play as well as your wife makes cookies.

GO GOPHERS!!! says:

December 18th, 2008 at 12:04 am

Good to hear Decker is planning on coming back for his senior year!! He deserves to be there when the new stadium opens!!! They need his presence and leadership on the field and need him for depth. With Spry and Thompson both leaving and Decker playing baseball this spring, there will be only FIVE scholorship receivers on the field for spring practice- 4 true freshman this year (Green, Smith, Brandon, McKnight) and Kuznia!! Gophers need to get some depth at that position! Next year, they wont be able to fill out a 3 deep!!! Let’s go Brewster and recruit some receivers!!!

gold04 says:

December 18th, 2008 at 7:11 am

Hayo Carpenter a JC player should be here for Spring Practice. He had about 3000 yards recieving in his two years in JC.

Texas Gopher says:

December 18th, 2008 at 7:16 am

GoGophers–that is the problem. We are too thin at all positions. That is why several strong recruiting seasons are crucial and so far so good in that area. You can get all the WR’s you want but I am worried about the RB’s and LB’s. Weber goes down and we have freshmen backing him up. Who is kicking/punting?? Depth has always been are achilles heel. That is why I lose my patience with some of the posters here who want instant results.

Texas Gopher says:

December 18th, 2008 at 7:41 am

FoxSportsNews—The other NFL Network bowl game is the Insight, in which Kansas — fresh from the exhilarating upset of Missouri — should whip a reeling Minnesota team that has lost stamina, resolve and identity.

This would make real good lockerroom material.

keepthisbrewsterhonest: contrast by THE RENEGADE says:

December 18th, 2008 at 8:20 am

Time waits for no one tex. That is what I am trying to tell this brewster. He has thrown away opportunities to win Big Ten games that could have bought him some more time. EVERYBODY hates a LOSER though…EXCEPT these brewcrew apologists… 3-13 in Big Ten games is a loser’s record. EVEN if they give this brewster five stinking seasons, he’s not going to get it done at the rate he is going. Life is tough. Life is hard. Football coaches…Big Ten football coaches HAVE to win a LOT of Big Ten football games or they will be used up, chewed up, spit out and thrown on the scrap pile of “wanna be” Big Ten coaches who just couldn’t get the job done.

2009 is CRUCIAL. This brewster wasted years…2007 and 2008 in which the overall schedule and the Big Ten schedule were incredibly favorable for Big Ten winsfor the University of Minnesota. This brewster is really headed into the eye of the storm now though. PSU and MSU have been added to the schedule and gone will be the worst Michigan team in decades and Indiana. NO excuses that you people come up with will help this brewster unless he wins at least five Big Ten games in 2009. He took the job when he took it. He only has his own misfortune to blame. He got the hand he was dealt. He could have just said “no.” This prexy b and this maturi character are under the gun too. They NEED a LOT of Big Ten wins in 2009. But, the schedule is NOT their friend either.

This brewster needs to dump, ditch, shed this dunbar NOW. With less than 5 Big Ten wins in 2009 this brewster is going to really be starting to reach lame-duck status. How the heck could this maturi extend his contract IF he only gets 2 or 3 Big Ten wins????? He will be dead meat unless he gets extended at the end of the 2009 season. His only prayer is to get off his dead butt and bring in about 18 juco All-Americans in this recruiting class in February. IF he does that, he is certifiably crazy. This brewster is in pretty close to a no win situation now. IF this prexy b and maturi make the wrong moves, they will royally screw this football program up at a time they are just going into a new stadium…Maybe they can get the Federal Government to bail this brewster character out! I think he needs it…

Texas Gopher says:

December 18th, 2008 at 8:21 am

Bayfield–I like your “recipe” but think you are missing a key ingredient—esprit de corps. This is an intangible that unless you are on the team, us armchair qb’s probably can not gauge.

Texas Gopher says:

December 18th, 2008 at 8:29 am

KTBH–I am not a BrewApologist, just a realistic supporter. At this juncture, I am more concerned about the trendline than the W/L columns. Trust me, Brewster and staff knows that 2009 is a crucial year. Why do you think they are humpin’ it all over the country looking for players?? We know your position, dig up some new material, please.

Bisker says:

December 18th, 2008 at 8:30 am

Texas Gopher,

Put it on the booooard!!!!

I think you will see a vastly different team than the one that ended the season. Getting keys players healthy will definitely help them get back on track. I look forward to what I believe will be a very entertaining bowl game.

Bayfieldgopher, I agree with your contention that the real gauge for improvement will come in the off season workouts and spring practice. Can’t wait for the first kick off in the new stadium!

Good luck Gophs!!

Bisker says:

December 18th, 2008 at 8:35 am

Texas Gopher,

Put it on the booooard!!!!

Refers to:

“FoxSportsNews—The other NFL Network bowl game is the Insight, in which Kansas — fresh from the exhilarating upset of Missouri — should whip a reeling Minnesota team that has lost stamina, resolve and identity.”

Great locker room material.

Bayfieldgopher says:

December 18th, 2008 at 9:24 am

I’m an extremely lucky man there Gold to have a partner like Mrs Bayfield. Plus her chocolate chip cookies are the best ever.

Texas Gopher says:

December 18th, 2008 at 9:26 am

KTBH says, “His only prayer is to get off his dead butt”—do you hear how hypocritical that sounds?? I am guessing Brewster covers more ground in one day than you do in a month.

grunkiejr says:

December 18th, 2008 at 9:30 am

We all know that Decker can handle missing spring practice so the fact that his missing spring practice gives more reps to younger guys is going to be helpful to this team. We have an unusually large freshman receiving group (5) and a Juco transfer just learning the offense that are all badly in need of reps and one-on-one coaching. Green is probably going to start the spring as the #1 WR with Kuznia and Smith as the other two receivers. That will leave Carpenter McKnight, Brandon, and Stoudermire as the second team WR’s which means that only one WR will be left out of the two deep. As we saw with the freshman this season, it is not an easy offense to grasp so this should give Carpenter a chance to acclimate himself to the offense and eventually work in to the first team.

I think the offensive line and the receivers are going to benefit the most from spring practice. WR’s are the youngest position on the team and the line will be getting the biggest makeover with Tim Davis. MarQueis Gray should be a big beneficiary too because he will likely be running the second team O with Nance.

Bayfieldgopher says:

December 18th, 2008 at 9:41 am

Wren.
You have me a bit baffled. Why would Brewster need to bring in 18 All World JUCO’s? After all, he has three classes of Mason’s recruits to work with. Or whats left of them. What more could any coach ask for?

Of course that has nothing to do with anything as who ever followed Mason should win big, often and right now. Especially after inheriting a program that Mason himself proclaimed to be rebuilding in his final year!

You are correct though. Brewster “got the hand he was dealt.”

Brilliant!!

grunkiejr says:

December 18th, 2008 at 10:05 am

Actually, Carpenter is not going to be here for spring practice. All 5 freshman and Kuznia will be in the spring two deep. It sucks Carpenter won’t get the extra 15 practices to learn the offense, but at the same time it is good for the freshman–and good for our depth.

david_allen_coe says:

December 18th, 2008 at 11:01 am

Wide receiver is going to be a strength in 2009.

We will have depth and a fair amount of experience — Decker, 4-year starter; Kunzia, starting experience; Green, starting experience; Smith, playing experience; McKnight and Brandon, a taste; Carpenter, juco excellence; and Keise, probably a redshirt.

david_allen_coe says:

December 18th, 2008 at 11:02 am

Also the two all-purpose guys, Stoudemire and Pittman, may be in the mix at wide receiver too.

grunkiejr says:

December 18th, 2008 at 11:11 am

Cross your fingers on Bryant Allen (deciding tonight) and BrYce McNeal too. Allen is a legitimate threat to take a bubble screen to the house and we didn’t have that this year.

Texas Gopher says:

December 18th, 2008 at 11:30 am

Grunk—help me out with Allen. Background, etc. Thanks in advance.

Big Ten lunch links: Bowl ticket sales struggling | BucksInsider.com - Ohio State Buckeyes News, Videos, Schedules & More says:

December 18th, 2008 at 11:40 am

[...] Minnesota star wide receiver Eric Decker is doing some running following left knee surgery and maintains he will return for his senior season in 2009, the Star Tribune’s Kent Youngblood writes in his blog. Also, the Gophers’ offensive line got a big boost with the signing of tackle Jeff Wills, Marcus Fuller writes in the St. Paul Pioneer Press.  [...]

Big Ten lunch links: Bowl ticket sales struggling | Big 10 Insider - Big Ten Sports Team News, Schedules, Scores & More! says:

December 18th, 2008 at 11:42 am

[...] Minnesota star wide receiver Eric Decker is doing some running following left knee surgery and maintains he will return for his senior season in 2009, the Star Tribune’s Kent Youngblood writes in his blog. Also, the Gophers’ offensive line got a big boost with the signing of tackle Jeff Wills, Marcus Fuller writes in the St. Paul Pioneer Press.  [...]

keepthisbrewsterhonest: contrast by THE RENEGADE says:

December 18th, 2008 at 12:24 pm

Bayfield: I’m taking a direct shot at these recruiting whiz-kid classes that this brewster is supposed to be bringing in. I don’t see it ahppening with what he is doing. He needs Big Ten wins and Big Ten wins are the only thing that counts.

Thses brewster apologists always talked about the great talent this zookster was brining into Illinois and tried to hold zookster up as the person that was just like this brewster in the Big Ten. Now it seems that there is a drug problem that runs through this Illinois football program. (check out the stabbing pains that the Illinois football program seems to be growing it’s way into.) Way to go zookster! This brewster and ALL coaches need to be careful about the players they are recruiting. Society has a LOT of problems and the recruiting process needs to take lots of precautions to keep societie’s problems out of their programs.

the Loon says:

December 18th, 2008 at 12:30 pm

Yes, we are clearly headed in the right direction once we get this pesky game against Kansas out of the way. We will have the height of the recruiting season coming up followed by the always encouraging “off season” and the equally upbeat “Spring season”. All sorts of hype and “reasonable expectation” games can be played by all the Kool Aid set without ever having their statements and hype put to the test of actually having to play real football games against actual Big Ten teams.

The ‘boo boo’ game against Iowa is ancient history which tells us nothing about next season’s football team anymore than the ancient pyramids tell us about the building practices for the new stadium.

These are the heady eight months of real ‘football’ for the Brew Crew. The nasty four month minor part of the year where we are forced to actually play games is nearly over. The big talk, hype part of year can soon begin. I now fully expect a solid eight months of “wait until three years from now” to prevail.

keepthisbrewsterhonest: contrast by THE RENEGADE says:

December 18th, 2008 at 12:33 pm

Correction, meant Indiana’s basketball program wasn’t doing a good job of screening their recruits. MSU’s Football program had some drug problems back in the Smoker days as well. Be careful when offering scholarships because those kinds of problems rip up a program.

the Loon says:

December 18th, 2008 at 12:41 pm

Illini DT stabbed twice. Let me guess, he was stabbed for no reason at all.

But it is OK, Zook and his recruiting are models for our program.

david_allen_coe says:

December 18th, 2008 at 12:43 pm

Wren … Nice job of trying to slander and smear Gopher football players based on a news item you saw about another team.

the Loon says:

December 18th, 2008 at 12:44 pm

YES, please give us more bubble screens. I love that play, it is sooo butch!

david_allen_coe says:

December 18th, 2008 at 12:44 pm

Loon … Nice job of sleaseweaseling.

Derek says:

December 18th, 2008 at 12:50 pm

the Loon says:

December 18th, 2008 at 12:41 pm

Illini DT stabbed twice. Let me guess, he was stabbed for no reason at all.

But it is OK, Zook and his recruiting are models for our program.
———————-

Kent-

I expect you to ban people who continue to discuss racist opinions. Do you really want your good name on this type of trash?

Derek says:

December 18th, 2008 at 12:52 pm

Bisker says:

December 18th, 2008 at 8:30 am

Texas Gopher,

Put it on the booooard!!!!

I think you will see a vastly different team than the one that ended the season. Getting keys players healthy will definitely help them get back on track. I look forward to what I believe will be a very entertaining bowl game.

Bayfieldgopher, I agree with your contention that the real gauge for improvement will come in the off season workouts and spring practice. Can’t wait for the first kick off in the new stadium!

Good luck Gophs!!
—————

Bisker I have always enjoyed your posts until you brought Hawk Harelson into the mix. What a miserable human being he is….

Otherwise keep up the good work. :)

littlebigboy says:

December 18th, 2008 at 1:00 pm

I love it, you idiots can’t find anything wrong with Mn. today so you use other schools to infer that thats us. What a bunch of crap.

david_allen_coe says:

December 18th, 2008 at 1:04 pm

littlebigboy …. It is just typical sleaseweasel attempt to dirty our program through smears, slander, slime and innuendo. That’s all they’ve got.

grunkiejr says:

December 18th, 2008 at 1:39 pm

Gainer to MSU. SH-T!

Bisker says:

December 18th, 2008 at 5:08 pm

grunkiejr,

That’s a shame. He would have been a nice addition. Let’s hope we can get Taikwon Paige & Bryant Allen. I read that Traye Simmons is working hard on trying to convince Paige to come here.

andover joe says:

December 18th, 2008 at 8:02 pm

Hey, the bubblehead Loon loves the bubble screen, how’s that for irony?

Loon, so how did those last years at Memorial stadium work out for the Gophers? Never saw you comment on that one? We are returning to the outdoor setting, so I want to know how great it will be! Were we 90-30 in the 1970′s?

And on the last blog, I thought renegade was going to try kiss Bayfield, where do these oddballs come from?
It is almost scary the internet gives a voice to some of these deranged people.
I hope Brewster has a bodyguard because these people (ie Renegade) creep me out, I cant imagine the angst the coaches must feel.