Washington Football

Colorado lands San Jose St's Mike MacIntyre

201212101245459400752-p2.jpeg

Colorado lands San Jose St's Mike MacIntyre

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) Mike MacIntyre's inaugural meeting with his new team lasted just long enough to leave his players with this thought: He's turned around one downtrodden program and he can do the same at Colorado.

Not someday, either, but starting next season.

The 47-year-old coach revived a San Jose State football team in short order. Now, he'll try to fix the beleaguered Buffaloes, who are coming off their worst season in the 123-year history of the program.

``We've got a long way to go. But I've been there before and I know what to do,'' MacIntyre told a room full of boosters and media on Monday night after agreeing to a five-year deal worth $2 million a season. ``There's no reason Colorado shouldn't be at the top of the conference and competing year in and year out.''

His hiring ends a two-week search by Colorado that included a rejection by its first choice, Butch Jones.

MacIntyre inherits a squad that's coming off a 1-11 record this year that led to the firing of Jon Embree. MacIntyre's first order of business was giving his new players a quick pep when he met with them at Folsom Field.

``I think he won a lot of guys over in his confidence, with what he did at San Jose State and what he can do now,'' quarterback Connor Wood said. ``He said we have a lot of talent here and can do the exact same thing. We believe it.''

And yet the past remains fresh for players such as defensive back Parker Orms, who was recruited by former CU coach Dan Hawkins, played for Embree and now will learn a new system under MacIntyre. Like Wood, he fully believes things will be different in Boulder next season, but he wants to see the progress on the field, not just talk about it.

``I came in here (to Colorado) with different expectations,'' Orms said. ``I thought I would be with Hawk the whole time, thought we'd be competing for a national championship. That didn't happen with Hawk. Embree came in and I felt the same way. I really liked both of those coaches.

``I was down a few weeks ago - just another bump in the road. But I met with (MacIntyre) today and he seems like a well-rounded guy. I have a good vibe.''

That's a step in the right direction, MacIntyre said.

``I can tell they're hurting a little bit and they should be,'' he said. ``They want to prove themselves. ... I saw the same thing at San Jose State.''

The Spartans (10-2) are ranked No. 25 in the BCS and are heading to the Dec. 27 Military Bowl in Washington, D.C. to face Bowling Green (8-4), two years after a 1-12 showing in McIntyre's first season. This is the first 10-win season in a quarter century for the Spartans, who are ranked 24th in both the AP and coaches' polls.

MacIntyre, the son of former Vanderbilt coach George MacIntyre, was 16-21 in three years as a head coach at San Jose State after serving as Duke's defensive coordinator and working as a secondary coach for the Dallas Cowboys and New York Jets.

He took over a Spartans program still reeling from limited scholarships following academic penalties by the NCAA stemming from problems before previous coach Dick Tomey arrived. After the 1-12 season featuring a heavy schedule of ranked teams, the Spartans went 5-7 in MacIntyre's second season.

And now they're on the right track.

``Mike provided us with a nice model moving forward for our next head coach to follow,'' San Jose State athletic director Gene Bleymaier said.

Unlike at San Jose State, though, the pressure may be ramped up. After all, the Buffaloes gave a quick hook to Embree.

``There's' always a sense of urgency. But the word I use instead of patience is perseverance,'' said MacIntyre, who's undecided on whether he will coach the Spartans in the bowl game. ``Even at San Jose State when we were 1-12, which was tough, I could see us improving in every aspect.''

So, will the administration give him more leeway to get things straightened out?

``He's not going to be able to turn things around immediately, but I think what we'll see is steady progress and good recruiting, getting ready to make that push,'' school chancellor Phil DiStefano said. ``As far as a competitive athletic program, a competitive academic program, and a coach to put those two together, I think we hit on the right person.''

After missing on their first option.

Last week, Jones rejected a five-year, $13.5 million offer that would have made him the highest-paid coach in CU history, and instead took the vacant head coaching job at Tennessee. Jones also had been promised upgrades at Folsom Field and the team's training center, something MacIntyre has been guaranteed as well.

``Our resolve is undeterred. Our resolve has been escalated,'' athletic director Mike Bohn said. ``We're looking forward to the challenge.''

This marks Bohn's third head coaching hire since he fired Gary Barnett in 2005. Embree had three years remaining on a five-year contract when he was fired after going 4-21.

MacIntyre may have made a good impression on Bohn, but he's got his work cut out from him in winning over some prominent alumni.

Denver Broncos defensive lineman Justin Bannan, who criticized Bohn for not giving Embree more time to turn around the program, said he wasn't sure what to make of MacIntyre's hiring.

``I just got hit with the news, so I'm not sure what to think quite yet. So, I've got to find out who this guy is and what he brings to the table and figure it out from there,'' Bannan said.

The Buffaloes job isn't a glamorous one, with sub-par football facilities and a fan base and booster pool disenchanted by the seven straight losing seasons.

The new coach faces a truncated recruiting season and must try to keep defections to a minimum from a roster that's loaded with freshmen. Still, MacIntyre is confident things can change in a hurry.

After all, he did help recruit San Francisco linebacker Patrick Willis and New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning to Mississippi when MacIntyre was an assistant at the school.

``If you don't believe you can win, you're not going to win,'' MacIntyre said. ``You know how when you go swimming and you kind of stick your toe in the water and you go, `It feels good, I'll jump in' or you go, `It's cold?'

``Sometimes, football teams do that. They stick their toe in and think, `I don't know if I can play with them.' We're not going to do that. We're going to dive in and go play.''

---

AP Sports Writers Arnie Stapleton and Janie McCauley contributed.

Quick Links

Redspears or not these uniform designs are a great option for Washington

Redspears or not these uniform designs are a great option for Washington

When looking at the endless amounts of fan concepts and designs out there for the Washington Football Team's next name and logo, it's important to remember that not every idea belongs to the name suggestion of the designer. 

Once Washington makes its final decision, you can bet they'll be looking at a number of different options, and if they want to take a look at the fans' work, they could take a Red Wolves logo and match it up with a Red Tails uniform concept and tweak both to match whatever name they choose. 

In that case, whatever name and logo they choose should have these uniforms, plain and simple. 

 

Mike Joseph created these uniforms as part of his Washington Redspears project and did an exceptional job mocking up a number of different modern uniform designs.

RELATED: DEL RIO EXPLAINS WHY HE'S SO ACTIVE ON TWITTER

Redspears isn't a likely name change due to reports saying the franchise plans to stay away from Native American imagery, but that doesn't mean we should ignore these designs.

 

These use the burgundy and gold really well and have a unique number font that has worked for NFL teams like the Ravens, Broncos, Bears, Titans and Steelers in the past. 

The great part about this design is it could be easily rebranded to a different. All the franchise would have to do is lose the spear logo and use whatever logo they settle upon. They could even keep the numbers on the helmet as they have currently. Everything else is versatile. 

Between the sleek design, use of colors and the unique number fonts, this has to be one of, if not the best fan-generated uniform mock-up out there. If the Washington Football team uses these but with a different team name and logo, it'd be hard to complain about that decision. 

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TALK PODCAST

Stay connected to the team with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE WASHINGTON FOOTBALL NEWS:

Quick Links

Recent numbers indicate just how hard it could be for Antonio Gandy-Golden to help as a rookie

Recent numbers indicate just how hard it could be for Antonio Gandy-Golden to help as a rookie

There were already some decent expectations placed on Antonio Gandy-Golden for 2020 — and then Kelvin Harmon went down. Now, the Day 3 selection is being labeled as someone who needs to really contribute to the Washington Football Team.

But is that too much to ask for a rookie who went on Saturday in the draft? Recent numbers indicate that answer may be yes.

From 2015 to 2019, 25 wide receivers were chosen in the fourth round, which is where Washington nabbed Gandy-Golden a few months ago. Here are some takeaways from looking back on how all of those guys performed in their first professional seasons:

  • Only one target topped 50 catches and 600 yards, and coincidentally enough, it was Jamison Crowder. Crowder caught 59 passes for 604 yards and two scores as a rookie for the Burgundy and Gold in 2015. The only other guy who came close to either of those marks was Antonio Callaway, who had 43 grabs for 586 yards and five touchdowns for Cleveland in 2018. Those are easily the two best performances by a fourth-round rookie wideout since 2015, so keep that in mind when discussing Gandy-Golden.
  • Out of that group of 25, 15 suited up for double-digit games for their teams during their first taste of the league. The average stat line for those 15 rookies was 17 receptions for 182 yards and one touchdown in about 14 contests. That's meager. 
  • Just nine out of the 25 recorded a touchdown catch as a rookie, and only four (Crowder, Callaway, DaeSean Hamilton and Malcom Mitchell) visited the end zone multiple times.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TALK PODCAST

So, judging solely off of that data, it would appear that Washington shouldn't be prepared to lean heavily Gandy-Golden. And once you combine that history with other factors, such as the huge transition he's about to make from Libery to the NFL and the very limited offseason he's had thus far, then the outlook for Gandy-Golden becomes even dimmer.

There is a super simple counter argument, however, at least when it comes to comparing him to his past fourth-round peers, and it has to do with his potential playing time.

While the 22-year-old has to fight through a pandemic, something none of the above rookies can relate to and something that could be detrimental to his early career, he also may be in line for a massive share of snaps right away. Most players who go off the board where Gandy-Golden did are usually worried about simply making the team; he, on the other hand, very well could be a starter across from Terry McLaurin in Week 1.

That alone means Gandy-Golden could end up having enough involvement in the offense to come up with a Crowder-like, impactful debut. In 2019, McLaurin far surpassed other third-round rookie receivers due largely to the amount of opportunity he got with Washington (his ridiculous talent was a bonus of course, too). Gandy-Golden is tracking on a similar path. 

A fairly general rule for any franchise is that it's not exactly prudent to need a Day 3 pass catcher to immediately act as one of your primary weapons. Stats from 2015 to 2019 seem to back up that general rule.

Every rule has an exception here or there, though. Maybe Gandy-Golden, with his outstanding physical traits and possibly featured role in 2020, will be that next exception and make all this math and comparing a totally moot issue. 

Stay connected to the team with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE WASHINGTON FOOTBALL NEWS: