By Chadd Cripe
© 2011 Idaho Statesman
Half of the Boise State coaching staff visited Alabama for three days last month to swap ideas.
Offensive line coach Chris Strausser, who made the trip along with most of the offensive staff and defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski, was impressed by the Crimson Tide’s approach.
“It was an extremely classy place and yet not a ton of bling,” Strausser said of the program that won the 2009 national title. “We’ve been to some places that are Top 10 programs that it’s a flat screen every time you turn around a corner. That wasn’t their deal — but it’s a classy, classy place.”
Part of the trip was a chance for the Broncos coaches to watch an Alabama offseason workout.
“They work as hard as anybody I’ve ever seen,” Strausser said.
And the visit wasn’t just about the Broncos’ quest for knowledge. The Tide wanted information, too.
“We’ve been to many places where the idea going in was to share ideas and after two days us walking away going, ‘They didn’t ask a question,’ ” Strausser said. “That’s the way we like it. But these guys weren’t the same. They definitely had a mission and were trying to find a few things out.”
What did the Tide coaches want to know?
“You’ll have to ask them,” Strausser said.
Offensive coordinator Brent Pease made the connection with Alabama. He played for the Houston Oilers when Alabama head coach Nick Saban was the defensive backs coach.
“Coach Saban was great to us,” Strausser said. “Of course everybody thinks he’s Godzilla, but he was great to us — he treated us really well.”
Boise State opened spring practice Monday with a helmets-only workout in the Caven-Williams Sports Complex. The receivers — an area of concern for the Broncos this season — looked sharp with few dropped passes and some big plays. Sophomore Kirby Moore was particularly impressive with a couple of tough catches in 7-on-7 action. Freshman quarterback Grant Hedrick threw the ball well and senior tailback Doug Martin looked explosive.
In tomorrow's paper, I'll take a look at the offensive line, which loses both starters on the right side. Charles Leno (right tackle) and Jake Broyles (right guard) opened spring ball with the first team.