Latest Headlines Chat replay: CU Buffs beat writer Brian Howell discusses CU sports (Aug. 19, 2019) Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) Chat replay: CU Buffs beat writer Brian Howell discusses CU sports (Aug. 19, 2019) By Brian Howell | email@example.com | Boulder Daily CameraPUBLISHED: August 19, 2019 at 1:36 pm | UPDATED: August 19, 2019 at 5:25 pmBuffzone.com beat writer Brian Howell takes your questions and leads discussion about University of Colorado sports today at 2 p.m. MT. That will do it for this week everybody. Thanks for the comments and questions. We'll do this again next week!Interesting. I had not seen that!Post a minute ago said Noyer practiced at safety today.I appreciate that. I try to be honest with the fans and readers! No question, you have to be sensitive a bit. That's one part of the job that I don't think fans understand. They get fired up after a bad loss or what they perceive as a stupid play call and it's easy to say you'd confront the coach about it after. It's a bit tougher when you have to have a solid working relationship with that coach and talk to him 4-5 times a week. A couple of years ago in the postgame at UCLA, I asked MacIntyre about the botched fake field goal at the end of the first half (still a stupid call, in my opinion). Mac didn't like me asking about it, or the follow up question and gave me quite the glare! I'm sure he didn't like me or others asking about his job status last year, either. So, sometimes you just have to ask. It's a fine line. You can't be buddy-buddy with these coaches or it'll interfere with your ability to be objective, and you can't be too harsh or it could interfere on your ability to get information. I get the sense that Tucker will be more understanding of those things than Mac was.One of your many strengths is that you seem to be willing to say what you truly believe, even when it may not always be easy to do so. That obviously makes you very credible and respected. With that said, how sensitive do you feel like you need to be to asking a coach a tough question, or calling a coach out on a controversial decision during a game, at a media scrum after practice or post game press conference? Do you feel like you need to be careful/sensitive to getting on a coach’s bad side?If you're looking more at players we haven't seen much of on the field at CU, Jash Allen is a guy who isn't talked about a lot, but he might wind up being the ILB next to Landman. On offense, Deion Smith is a newcomer to really keep an eye on.Thanks for participating! To steal a line from Tucker, I think Carson Wells might be the most underrated player on the defense. Maybe Buffs fans talk about him, but when you think about this defense, you immediately think about Landman and Mustafa, and then probably Taylor, maybe Sami. I think Carson Wells could have a big, big year on defense. On offense, most of those guys are already talked about a lot, but the WR that seems to get overlooked a lot is Tony Brown. I think it's easy to get excited about what Laviska and KD have done, and easy to get excited about the potential of Arias and Stanley, etc. But, Tony Brown is super steady. He'll have a nice year on offense. Thanks for the chats Brian! Who is the guy who isn't being talked about a lot who could have a big impact on either side of the ball this year?Yes, I can ask him. I'm not sure what goes into that either. The weekly captains is not new, but the postseason captains is something I've never heard of.Any chance you can find an angle to ask Tucker more about his philosophy and approach to naming Captains? I don’t have an issue with rotating game Captains each week. However, I’m not sure I understand the rationale as to why not name 5-7 Captains at the beginning of the season?Hey, if a guy named Gardner Minshew could do it, why not Gage Gubrud? Leach's Tech teams often struggled with CU, whether it was Barnett or Hawkins. Leach has a defense now, though. I just can't make myself believe a guy named Gage Gubrud can beat the Buffs.Have Barnett spend a day or two with Tucker that week. Didn't Barnett always handle Texas Tech and that air raid jazz in the Big 12 days ?Laviska Shenault, Dimitri Stanley and maybe Tony Brown. I do think it'll be a receiver back there.Which 2-3 guys do you think are most likely to get a shot at returning Punts?Tucker is very media savvy. I had a CU staffer this summer tell me that after Tucker was hired, he told that staffer, "I view my main responsibilities as offense, defense, special teams and media." I've also heard from multiple people that he's very willing and understanding to do media requests. He did a 10-minute radio segment post practice the other day without warning and was fine with it. There's no question, Tucker is more comfortable and handles himself better with the media in year No. 1 as a head coach than MacIntyre did in his 9th year as a head coach. So, yeah, I think we have a solid working relationship with him at this point.It appears that you and Adam are developing a solid working relationship with Tucker! He seems to genuinely respect you guys and it’s great to hear him say “thanks for being here”...which I’ve heard him say multiple times during the post practice media scrums! That shows he values and respects what you do and doesn’t take it for granted. Next step...getting Tucker to let you guys watch more practices! ; )Nice addition to the chat today. thanks!Do you know what the "N" stands for on Nebraska's helmet? KnowledgeI don't know, but you might be right.Montez vs Martinez in the CU/NE game. Can't imagine there have been too many QB latino matchups like that in college fball history.For now, yes. I could see a few minor changes in the coming years, but I don't see any type of major shift.Do you think things have stabilized, at least in the foreseeable future, regarding conferences adding teams or realigning ?I have zero idea. I think he got out of jail a couple months ago. So, hopefully he's putting his life back together and being nice to people!Random Question any idea what Joe Tumpkin is up to these days?National analysts might be, but the pac-12 analysts seem to be pretty in tune with him. Mike Yam and Yogi Roth like what he's doing. Honestly, though, I think anyone coming out to visit the Buffs would come away thinking, OK, this team might be OK. BUT, they still gotta go out and play. We haven't seen what they'll do when adversity hits.Are all the Pac-12 analysts ignoring the “Mel Tucker” factor as he seems able, with his background and personality, to get these guys to go through a brick wall for a full 4 quarters?I would never say they have NO chance, but I put it in the loss column right now because 1) Pullman's been a nasty place for CU (hoops and football); 2) Leach has that program rolling. They aren't rebuilding. They're loaded at the skill positions, return 4 OL, and they've had a solid defense for the past couple of years, with guys coming back. And, they'll be fine at QB. Minshew was awesome, but whoever plays for them this year - likely Gage Gubrud - will be just fine. And, given the fact that CU's main weakness is corner ... Wazzu could have fun that day.Why are you so certain the Buffs stand no chance against Wazzu? They lost their all-everything guy Minshew to old age and are going to be rebuilding too.I would expect Price to do it, but that's based on experience. I don't know how that battle is going between them.Do you expect Price or Stefanou to handle kickoff duties?Hmm, that's a good question. Just looking at the preseason rankings, I don't know if I'd say any of the Pac-12 teams are "overrated." I think all those teams in the Top 25 are about where they should be. AP ranked teams are Oregon (11), Washington (13), Utah (14), Washington State (23), and Stanford (25). On my ballot, I had Oregon at 9, Washington at 11, Utah at 13, Stanford at 19, Washington State at 21. So, I think they all belong. As for underrated, I actually think CU might be the most overlooked team.In your opinion who is the most overrated and underrated team in the Pac12?That's true, in theory! But, there is some expected drop off when you lose a fifth-year senior, three-year starter who could be an NFL draft pick and replace him with a guy who hasn't played much (or at all). Sometimes having "9 guys back" from a losing team isn't a bad thing. Remember, CU had a bunch of guys back in 2016 - same guys that went 4-9 in 2015 - and they went 10-4 in 2016. Experience counts a lot, too.Hopefully we keep getting better every year. that's the idea, right ? with the way coaches aren't shy about playing freshmen QBs, who've been schooled since they were 8, maybe we can find one. or maybe Brenden Lewis is awesome. I love when we hear...."well, we have 9 guys back" or whatever. yea, those 9 guys lost the last seven games. Coach 'em up, Mel !!!I haven't heard much about him, to be honest. I think he's a guy who still needs some development. I believe he's been more at guard, but i don't know that for sure since we can't see practice.What are you hearing about Ray? Does it sound like he is primarily getting snaps at Tackle or Guard? I think he could be a beast next year at RG!Yes, I do. Kapilovic has said he's not afraid to rotate guys, and they really like Fillip. But you're right, even losing Hambright and Lynott, you look at the potential 2020 line: Fillip and Sherman at the tackles, Roddick and Kutsch at the guards, Pursell at center. That's not too bad.Do you think we will see Fillip on the field much this year in the absence of injuries? He seems like he has a bright future and that the Buffs should be set at Tackle next year, even with the graduation of Hambright!That's a good question. So much can change in a year. Do the young QBs emerge and become stars? Does a grad transfer QB come in and change it all? On the surface right now, I would say this year's team is better, but that's based mainly off of two guys - Montez and Laviska. IF others come back that are supposed to, next year they'd have almost the entire OL back, all the RBs, a loaded WR group; they'd have the entire DL and LB group back; most of the secondary.Will this year or next years team be better? Seems like CU has to win this year because next year will be drop off.gotta get to 30-plus. Last year they were at 27.1 - but gave up 27.3. If the defense can be similar to that, the offense has to score 30-plus.if offense is the strength of this team, what do you think the range is in points per game if we are to have a 7 win season ?Brightest future, to me, is Arias. Behind Laviska, I think he's the next-most physically gifted WR on the team. He's big, fast, coachable, humble. I think he's a potential first-round NFL pick at some point. After him, I'd go with Stanley, Bell and Jackson. Can't forget Vontae, though!Sounds like a good WR crew behind our top guys (Laviska, KD, Tony Brown). How would you rank Arias, Stanley, Bell, Jackson for this year? Which one has the brightest future?I think the tempo is going to vary a lot with this offense. it'll be dictated by the game or the opponent. They'll slow it down if needed, try to crank it up when they can.Last year much was made of tempo ("Folsom Fast"), but I rarely saw this materialize. Usually opening drive was tempo, then they seemed to slow way down, probably because of a lack of success on first down. Any idea how the new offense uses tempo or is Mel going with a slower ball control type of offense?I don't know how close to final it is, but we've seen the same 5 a lot throughout camp: Hambright at LT, Kutsch at LG, Lynott/Pursell at C/RG, and Sherman at RTIs the O-Line close to finalized? If so, who is it?Too early for that question! But, I think it'll be around 70,000 for that game .... I think Tucker is more worried building up his team rather than finding outside motivation.time for you annual question on attendance at RMS ....about 60,000 or so ?also----do you think HCMT uses the last place prediction as fuel, or is he spending more time trying to build confidence and make believers out of his troops?I just answered part of that, but as for the second, I think there's a good chance all of them are back next year. Depends on how the depth chart shakes out this season, I guess.Do you think the starting QB for the 2020 season is currently on the roster? How likely do you believe it is that Noyer, Lytle, and Stenstrom will all be back next year versus one or more of those guys transferring?It's hard to say right now because every time we ask about it, we're told Lytle and Noyer are neck-and-neck. So, really it could be either one. Whoever it is will certainly have a chance to compete for starting QB job, but they get Brenden Lewis in next year, as well. Blake Stenstrom will be here, as well. If the coaches aren't impressed with the current guys, it wouldn't surprise me to see a grad transfer or JUCO transfer this offseason.Who is going to be the backup QB this year? Will that QB be the starter next year or will it be someone else through transfer or something else?I believe he stays on scholarship, but that it does not count towards the 85. I don't know if he's around the team. I have not seen him at all this camp.With Jake Moretti "medically retiring", what exactly does that mean? Does he continue to get a scholarship? Would it count towards the 85? Is he around the team in some capacity?I did not see anything from before the chat started. I'm sorry!I submitted questions before the chat started. Will those be answered or should I resubmit?Yes, I believe 82 is the number. I think Lucas Cooper, Jack Shuttack and Davis Price could be three candidates for that. All three are seniors who have put in a lot of work for CU.Are the Buffs currently at 82 scholarships? Who do you think are the top 3 candidates to receive those scholarships this year?I'm told he's coming along, but sounds like it's a slow progression. He's had a lot of injuries so far in his career and not much time on the field, so he's got to get his body ready. The good thing is they've got some depth (Harris, Russell, Jones, Bisharat) that should allow him to ease back into it.How is Jared Poplawski progressing? He has so much potential, it seems. Hope he can get healthy.It's my understanding that it was precautionary - just soreness from what we were told.Laviska was held out of the scrimmage. Any word on whether that was purely maintenance related (soreness as I read) or is there something bigger going on with him?I've been asked this throughout the summer, and I have the Buffs finishing around 6-6, 7-5. Where do the wins come from? Who knows? Right now, I think there are two games I mark as wins (CSU, Air Force), three I mark as losses (at Oregon, at Washington State, at Utah). That leaves 7 games that I think are truly toss-up games. I think they can beat anyone here at Folsom, and they might have to steal one on the road (at ASU or UCLA).Sorry if asked already. What is your prediction on wins, specifically the games, they win this year?He's been here all summer and all camp working with the team. But, he's not eligible to play this because he's a transfer.Whats going on with Dante Sparaco ? Has he transferred or is going wait until the season starts?At some point this summer. I can't remember exactly when. He's now punting at Arkansas. I don't know if the Buffs will use a scholarship on a punter. I get the sense that Tucker isn't wild about using scholarship at those positions if he can avoid it.When did Sam Loy leave the program? Do you expect the Buffs to add a scholarship Punter in the 2020 class?I don't know if he's been demoted, but they are giving others a chance to play with the ones. I believe Jash Allen got some time there on Saturday. It's tough, because Van Diest knows the playbook and works his tail off, but Allen might have better physical tools.Didn't hear much about VanDiest after the scrimmage. Has he been regulated to second teamGoing into CSU, I would expect Fontenot will be the starter at RB, Harris/Russell at TE, Kutsch at LG, Van Diest at ILB, Blackmon as the other corner, Onu and Maddox at safety.Hi Brian, with a depth chart not being released yet, why do you expect to be the #1 in the following positions that appear to be up for grabs: RB, TE, LG, ILB (next to Landman), CB (opposite Delrick), FS, SS?I don't think you need to read between the lines to see that DB is a weakness. There's not very much experience there and I'm not sure how good the corners are going to be. But, regarding Stanley ... he's going to be a star at receiver. He might have been a star at DB, too, but you'll like him at receiver.