Your Best 11 Mailbag: "New" Auburn News, Walk-Ons Equipment, UVA and More

Michael Felder@InTheBleachersNational CFB Lead WriterApril 4, 2013

AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 25:  Mike McNeil #26 of the Auburn Tigers defends as Demond Washington #14 sacks quarterback Stephen Garcia #5 of the South Carolina Gamecocks at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 25, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Thursday, and while my girlfriend sits on the couch enjoying a week off from teaching for Spring Break, I am here, putting that work in. The mailbag is our staple, and we've got some very good questions today so let's get into it!

This is a play on this post at Your Best 11 from yesterday. People asked questions that, I thought, were common knowledge and that is my fault for assuming. To answer the question, yes. After players make the team they get team issued gear (shorts, shoes, shirts etc.) and equipment (pads, helmets). They don't make walk-ons pay for the stuff and they damn sure don't want things guys bring from home.

These guys also go to meetings. They don't eat in the football cafeteria, unless they pay for it. Just like preferred walk-ons. Players all have to go to meetings; that is where you install schemes, go over what you're doing at practice that day and what you did wrong the day before.

So, apologies for leaving that stuff out. Also, thanks to Joshua for that question.

The Auburn story is something my colleague Barrett Sallee tackled, from the NCAA side, earlier today over at the SEC Blog. Personally, as with most NCAA stuff, I don't particularly care until they can actually prove something. They have a he said-he said story here, and ultimately nothing is going to come out of it.

What I am interested in is the legal aspect of things. I think, as this story goes, that is the most intriguing and most human element of it all. Tomorrow, I'll have more on that, but for now, I will say that reading that story made me focus on the Mike McNeil case, and if people are chasing violations they are focusing on the wrong thing.

My man Sully! Honestly, I don't know when it does. Recruiting is great and getting talent is a blessing for a program. However, the next phase is even more important: developing players. Development has to do with not only individual progress towards being a sound football player, but also the system as a whole. 

As it stands right now, I'm still not sure what Mike London's system goals are. I know he wants to run the ball and he is still looking to improve at quarterback. On defense they are a tremendous work in progress. The Cavaliers play in a division that is wide open in 2013, but until London's team has an actual identity from game-to-game, I'm not sure what to make of the talent improvements.

We'll be watching this year because he's going into year four and that roster is his. His players who were supposed to turn things around after the Al Groh era. If 2013 isn't a solid campaign, expect their to be some warmth under his seat.

I've hit on this in the weight room piece that I did recently, at Your Best 11. The strength coaches, in addition to getting the team bigger, faster and stronger, are the coaches' eyes and ears during the extended periods of no contact.

Most notably, the summer, where football coaches cannot work with players as they can during the season and in the spring. Thus, these guys do the weightlifting and conditioning testing, report back to the coaching staff on the progress of players and who is screwing up.

As for which lifts are better, I'm not exactly sure what the "new lifts" that you reference are. But, I do know about S&C programs and there are two schools: power lifting and Olympic. Power lifting, in general, will get you bigger and is where most S&C programs started from decades ago.

Unfortunately for the power-based guys, the Olympic lifting is what works best. Snatch, jerk, clean plus squats and bench press are exactly what you do in football and by working on that during weight lifting, you're building muscle without losing flexibility. Olympic lifts force rack positions to improve. They also build explosion into the lift so that players are training muscles to uncoil on the field.

As I said in the post, I'm an Olympic lift guy. They make more sense. They also work more muscles and force players to work on balance, explosion and stabilization; all things that are necessary in football.