ROMULUS — So Uncle Mel just sitting in his overstuff chair behind his desk inside the office building of the News Gathering Complex located in the city that opens both the front and the back doors of the world. Uncle Mel’s phone resting in his hand listening and waiting for his turn to greet and speak with Eastern Michigan University football coach Ron English on the other end of the connection.
Like a kid in a candy shop, Uncle Mel waited with anticipation and then when the phone line opened up and the conversation began to flow, English remembered who he was talking with and suddenly the warm and encouraging words became like the wind that howled at the window from the north, the words of a conversation became chilly.
English said at the beginning of the Mid-American Conference Spring Football Coaches Conference Call that his offense squad is ahead of the rest of the team and the young players that he recruited got a chance to carry the ball while in camp and Eagle quarterback Alex Gillett is going to be a solid leader.
“I challenged Alex to get better,” English said about his senior quarterback. “He needs to throw the ball better, he is a senior and he has played a ton of football.”
At the conclusion of this year’s edition of a spring game, English seem generally happy with the play of the offense but he was not as pleased or thrilled with the effort of the defense.
“The worst thing I saw today was our eyes on defense,” English said back on April 15, 2012 after the spring game. “The defensive front is coming along, linebackers are decent the safety position…we have a long way to go.”
Now Uncle Mel does not want to split hairs with coach English but is that not saying that you are not happy with your defensive backfield.
English told Uncle Mel that he did not say he was unhappy with the defensive backfield just that the safety position is a work that is still in progress.
English said that the players that are playing at the safety position are young and that the position is a demanding position and a player can only improve with experience. There are a couple of junior college student-athletes coming and enrolling next week that will help the team.
Uncle Mel might have been lumping together the defensive backfield and perhaps it was not fair on Uncle Mel’s part to do that because there is a difference playing cornerback, strong safety and free safety.
Uncle Mel and the many Eastern Michigan University football fan have seen cornerbacks that have missed assignment, strong safeties that have played for the Eagles miss too many tackles and free safeties that have watched the opposing receiver run by them and unable to catch them.
There have been too many games that English has to answer the questions about the blown coverage and the defensive backfield not being able to play up to English’s expectations.
English is going to start his fourth season as the football coach at Eastern Michigan University and many football fans know of his experience that he came from the University of Michigan, where he was the coach of the defensive backfield which includes safeties.
His ability to judge talent should be of an expertise and if he recognizes at the end of one month of spring football including the spring game of a problem or too many question then he should find a away to solve the problem.
Uncle Mel did not want to get under the skin of English but at the same time Eastern Michigan University football fans want a quality football team on the field including the safeties or the defensive backfield.
Eastern Michigan University football team finished last season with a record of 6-6 and it is an improvement recognized by all who follow college football world, by the community and by the students on campus but let just not be satisfied with that, Eagle football fans want the process of improving to continue this season.
Uncle Mel desire is for English to continue to want to coach at Eastern Michigan University and be responsible for the rise of the football program that languished in the smoldering ashes of hell.
The first game of the season will be a conference game a road trip to the surrounding corn fields and the blue sky of that seem to go on forever in the city of Muncie, Indiana.
Eastern Michigan University will open the 2012 football season against Ball State University the evening of August 30, 2012 and Uncle Mel is hoping that the Eagles have found the solution to the defensive backfield including safeties.
About the Author
Written by Mel Suiter
Graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2002 and have been working as a beat writer for The Ypsilanti Courier covering Eastern Michigan University football and men's basketball during my school career and after graduation. I like the Mid-American Conference and the rest of the mid-major conferences.