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  1. #1
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    It sounds like Mike O'connell earned his start

    Go Cyclones - Former walk-on O'Connell to start at free safety

    I know a lot of guys question his athletic abilities, but it sounds like he is not making mistakes, and is helping others get to the right place.



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    Re: It sounds like Mike O'connell earned his start

    Wait, someone knows what they are doing on defense? Who says we haven't imprved from last year?



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    Re: It sounds like Mike O'connell earned his start

    I hope he's earned it but I find it hard to believe he'd start week 2 if there aren't major injuries.



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    Re: It sounds like Mike O'connell earned his start

    Quote Originally Posted by Drive4cy View Post
    I hope he's earned it but I find it hard to believe he'd start week 2 if there aren't major injuries.
    “He has been the most productive safety,” ISU coach Paul Rhoads said.

    Sounds like he's earned the spot to me.



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    Re: It sounds like Mike O'connell earned his start

    James Smith has fallen to the second unit as he deals with a strained calf. Smith, who led ISU with 85 tackles last season, was sidelined by the injury, but did return for Sunday’s practice.
    Smith IS injured, but it sounds like O'Connell is an animal


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    Re: It sounds like Mike O'connell earned his start

    Keep it up, Mr. O'Connell and Mr. Smith. We will need both of you to play extremely well.



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    Re: It sounds like Mike O'connell earned his start

    Quote Originally Posted by Stewo View Post
    “He has been the most productive safety,” ISU coach Paul Rhoads said.

    Sounds like he's earned the spot to me.
    That quote scares the **** out of me. It seems highly unlikely that someone improved that much. Hopefully it's just coach-speak, but I fear that either A) Smith is hurt pretty bad, B) that Smith, Sims, etc, haven't been playing very well, or C) CPR has a hard on for really hard working, scrappy kids who might bust their tails, but aren't the best guy out there. I think B is the most likely, but all are scary.


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    Re: It sounds like Mike O'connell earned his start

    Quote Originally Posted by Al_4_State View Post
    That quote scares the **** out of me. It seems highly unlikely that someone improved that much. Hopefully it's just coach-speak, but I fear that either A) Smith is hurt pretty bad, B) that Smith, Sims, etc, haven't been playing very well, or C) CPR has a hard on for really hard working, scrappy kids who might bust their tails, but aren't the best guy out there. I think B is the most likely, but all are scary.
    It sounds to me like Smith has been injured and has missed enough practice that it has made him less effective than Mike. If he heals up enough to allow him to practivce more, he should be prepped enough to start in the future. Regardless, I think all of the 2-Deep safeties will play.



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    Re: It sounds like Mike O'connell earned his start

    Quote Originally Posted by Stewo View Post
    “He has been the most productive safety,” ISU coach Paul Rhoads said.

    Sounds like he's earned the spot to me.
    If coach says it, I'll buy. But in the back of my mind I think this is CPR doing a good job building up the confidence of the #2 guy that needs to step up and replace the #1 guy that has missed practice due to an injury.



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    Re: It sounds like Mike O'connell earned his start

    Quote Originally Posted by Al_4_State View Post
    That quote scares the **** out of me. It seems highly unlikely that someone improved that much. Hopefully it's just coach-speak, but I fear that either A) Smith is hurt pretty bad, B) that Smith, Sims, etc, haven't been playing very well, or C) CPR has a hard on for really hard working, scrappy kids who might bust their tails, but aren't the best guy out there. I think B is the most likely, but all are scary.
    You never know. Mike could have just stepped up that much. This system and these coaches could have put him right where he needed to be to succeed.



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    Re: It sounds like Mike O'connell earned his start

    Quote Originally Posted by Stewo View Post
    You never know. Mike could have just stepped up that much. This system and these coaches could have put him right where he needed to be to succeed.
    That's definitely possible, but it seems unlikely. I'm willing to give him a chance, I'm just not convinced of it without seeing him play.


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    Re: It sounds like Mike O'connell earned his start

    We also can't underestimate O'Connell's leadership on the field with setting the defense, calling audibles, etc.

    If he can do this better than anyone else and gives the 10 other guys the best chance to succeed in their assignments I absolutely would want him on the field then.



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    Re: It sounds like Mike O'connell earned his start

    Quote Originally Posted by Al_4_State View Post
    That's definitely possible, but it seems unlikely. I'm willing to give him a chance, I'm just not convinced of it without seeing him play.
    I'm glad we're giving him the chance against NDSU instead of Iowa or Kent State. Once Smith is healthy he'll be back in there.



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    Re: It sounds like Mike O'connell earned his start

    I guess my question is what does he mean by "productive"? I read that as he has done the most in statistical categories. When people talk about productive players its usually relates to stats and how they "produce". Not necessarily the best player, but the most productive? Does that even make sense?




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    Re: It sounds like Mike O'connell earned his start

    Quote Originally Posted by Al_4_State View Post
    That's definitely possible, but it seems unlikely. I'm willing to give him a chance, I'm just not convinced of it without seeing him play.
    Truth. I just have a good feeling about him.



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