Eastern Michigan Eagles
Inside Slant | Notes, Quotes | Strategy and Personnel
The signal that the status quo was no longer acceptable was heard in early December, when Eastern Michigan head coach Ron English fired his friend and long-time assistant Ken Karcher. Karcher's offense averaged only 21 points per game last season. He had been the Eagles' offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach since English took over the program in 2008.
One of the most pressing needs for the Eagles is replacing P Jay Karutz, who ranked second in the MAC and 27th nationally with 42.74 yards per punt in the 2012 season. The native of Australia was a two-time Ray Guy Award candidate who knocked 24 punts inside the 20-yard line last season and had 12 punts of 50 yards or better. His 2,949 yards via the punt in the 2012 campaign rank fourth most in Eastern Michigan history.
The Eagles took a wide view of recruiting this time around, taking players at 11 different positions and from eight different states. Oddly enough, six new Eagles are from Indiana, with just three of the recruits from Michigan.
Practice priorities: The Eagles have demonstrated that they can run the football. Eastern Michigan rushed for 1,960 yards and 13 touchdowns on 448 carries last season, ranking 61st in the nation and marking a third straight season with more than 1,900 yards rushing. The Eagles need to come out of spring ball with a much-improved passing attack that will produce more points. They had just 19 touchdowns via the pass in 2012 and averaged less than 13 yards per reception.
The Eagles dropped to 2-10 in 2012, which was a huge disappointment after working their way up to a 6-6 mark in the previous season. The task at hand, starting with the first day of spring workouts, is to find some way to forge a winning season.
QUOTE TO NOTE:
"I think it keeps getting better each year. I think we have a system in place that helps us. I keep trying to find displeasure with this class, and I cannot." Eastern Michigan head coach Ron English on his 2013 recruiting class