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Northwestern practice notes: The TEs and the power run

Really interesting notes from Dan Vitale today.

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- They were pumping a lot of crowd noise in today. In my experience (I've been to every Big Ten stadium but the Horseshoe and Ross-Ade) Beaver Stadium is probably tied with Kinnick Stadium as the loudest in the conference.

- For the most part, I think the offense looked alright during team drills. Trevor Siemian held onto the ball longer and got it to a receiver about 15 yards down the field when it looked like everyone was covered and Treyvon Green had a nice run.

- However, a quarterback sneak attempt failed, and the coaches were ... ahem ... "explicitly" angry about that one. They're really disappointed in the inability of the line to get any push on those power runs.

- Tony Jones was back out there at practice today. No word on what that means for Saturday.

I missed most of practice today because classes started, but I got to talk to Dan Vitale after practice. He had some really interesting things to say:

- Vitale said Northwestern sees he and Jayme Taylor as more of H-backs that fit into NU's superback designation, but that they see Garrett Dickerson as more of a traditional tight end.

- Because Northwestern has so many tight ends, Vitale said it has allowed them to be "a more complete offense." That means mixing in power personnel groups, and it's apparently what the offense wants to do. They feel like mixing in those packages will be better for the program (even though, as I've written, these offensive linemen weren't recruited for that purpose).

- Vitale also said that NU is still "generally" a spread team, but they want to mix in those power components. It will be interesting to see if the recruiting on the offensive line changes to reflect the tight ends recruiting, but I'm still skeptical that NU can get personnel across the board to run the spread and "power run" in the traditional sense. You can still "power run" out of the spread, which is what NU did with Venric Mark, but for some reason, they seem to be switching their philosophy a bit. Regardless of what you think about it, it's clear — no matter what Pat Fitzgerald says — that it's happening more than it used to.