Jason Candle has been rumored to be the next offensive coordinator at the University of Miami. The 42 year old Candle grew up in Ohio, and won two Division III National Championships as a member of the Mount Union Purple Raiders.
After two season of playing at Mount Union, Candle served as a wide receiver coach from 2003-2006, and the OC from 2007-2008. Before the 2009 season, Candle moved on to Toledo and became the Rockets tight ends coach under Tim Salem.
Candle has been a fast-riser through the coaching ranks like many other Mount Union former players. From 2010-2011, Candle coached the WR’s. From 2012-2015, he was the offensive coordinator and was promoted to head coach before the Boca Raton Bowl to end the 2015 season.
In six seasons as the full-time head coach of the Rockets Candle’s squads have made and lost four bowl games. The Rockets best season under Candle came in 2017, when Toledo finished 11-3, including 7-1 in the MAC. His overall coaching record is 45-27 (30-16 in the MAC).
So the $1M question- why would Candle leave a Group of 5 head coaching job for an OC position? Toledo has gotten stale as of late and with the changing culture of the college football landscape, it makes sense for him to come down and learn under Mario Cristobal before chasing after a Power 5 head coaching position.
I’m sure Candle saw the rub The U gave to Rhett Lashlee, and seeing Tyler Van Dyke knows that he could be in Coral Gables for two seasons and moving on to something much bigger and better than Toledo.
Under Candle, the Toledo offenses have been ranked above the G5 level (65th or better) in all but one season per Bill Connelly’s SP+. In Points Per Game, Toledo ranked in the top-25 in all but four seasons of the past 10. The Rockets offense hasn’t been as efficient with Coach Candle as head coach instead of just OC, but they’re scoring more points.
Toledo uses 11 personnel (one running back, one tight end) as their base offense. The tight end isn’t a huge part of the passing game, having accounted for only three touchdowns and 16 receptions between Drew Rosi and Jamal Turner in 2021.
The Rockets love three to five wide receiver sets and continue to run the football with both a feature back and the quarterback. Even with a ‘spread mentality’ RB Bryant Koback ran for 1,407 yards and 15 TD’s on 6.8 yards per carry. QB DeQuan Finn added another 502 yards and nine scores on the ground.
Finn averaged 8.3 yards per pass attempt with 18 TD’s and only two interceptions in ‘21. Over the past three seasons, Toledo has had a receiver with 19+ yards per catch average in each season, plus two 1,00 yard rushing seasons (the Rockets only played six games in ‘20).
The Rockets have adapted their offense to fit their skillset, but have always seemed to have a big time deep threat in the rotation.
While being from Ohio, Jason Candle has done a tremendous job of recruiting Florida and South Florida specifically. Of his top five signees on 247 Sports, four are from Florida including four-star WR James Green in 2010.
In order to continue to keep the Florida pipeline fresh, Candle hired former Tampa Plant head coach Robert Weiner, and former Miami Hurricanes wide receiver and assistant coach Kevin Beard. Candle had also hired former Miami assistant Craig Kuligowski as his co-defensive coordinator.
Candle’s Rockets have done a good job in recruiting Ohio and Michigan, as they should, but also Florida, North Carolina and Virginia.
The offense vs. NIU ‘21
At times, Jason Candle the head coach made some questionable decisions. The situational Football IQ of his teams would leave a lot to be desired. Whether it was clock management, timeouts, or even which plays to call from where when you’re on a certain down and distance. Candle definitely was a ‘ride or die’ type on the explosive plays.
Above– You can see a 4th and 2, and Candle let’s it rip with a slant-wheel combo. Is it open? Hell yeah. Is that a high percentage effort both in pass pro and in completion percentage? No. And at the -45 instead of the +45, that’s a much riskier call.
Above– 2nd and 11, a nice easy curl right at the 1st down marker. They add in a nice influx of yards after catch and turn this into an explosive. When you take deep shots enough the intermediate game can open up. Rhett Lashlee, Phil Longo and Candle are cut from that cloth.
Above– Speaking of that Lashlee cloth, Candle uses a direct snap with G-H counter pulling for a big TD run before the half.
Above– I love a good screen. With Miami’s RB’s like Jaylan Knighton, a screen should be a money play. Tyler Van Dyke loves throwing from different arm slots which really helps on screens.
Above– Candle likes to pull linemen in order to get more blockers at the point of attack than defenders. This is an outside zone path with the WR coming inside to crack the LB.
Above– It’s 4th and 6, your side of the field at the +34. Toledo chooses a one-read tunnel screen off of bullet motion. It seems bizarre that your two best plays on 4th and 2 and 6 are a slant-wheel and a tunnel screen.
Above– Motion. Play-action. A pulling lineman on a pass play. Slant-wheel again. A lot of things that I like in an offensive play, especially on 2nd and 5, are here. I feel like this is in the Lashlee mold, too.
Above– Aaaaah, a rub concept in the red zone on 1st down. I absolutely love it.
Whether Candle is really the call at OC, or it’s someone else like the rumored Kendal Briles or Ken Dorsey, I think the program is headed in the right direction. Candle is a proven recruiter in Florida, a guy that’s been a head coach, and his offenses score point.
Arkansas offensive coordinator Kendal Briles has been offered offensive coordinator position at Miami, sources told @ActionNetworkHQ. Briles also has been OC at Florida State, Houston, FAU & Baylor
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) January 18, 2022
Briles has no head coaching record, but his offenses have been successful, he’s creative, and he’s a fast-riser, too. Dorsey has the least play calling experience of the three, but he’s developed an NFL MVP in Cam Newton at Carolina, and now a playoff winning QB in Josh Allen up in Buffalo.
Stacey Abrams aims to recapture energy of first campaign
ATLANTA (AP) — For Stacey Abrams, everything is different this time.
Unlike her first campaign for Georgia governor in 2018, she enters Tuesday’s primary election as the presumptive Democratic nominee, facing no competition. She’s not the relatively unknown former state representative from the first campaign, but a leading advocate for voting rights, someone credited with laying the organizational groundwork for Joe Biden to become the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Georgia in 28 years.
But the same dynamics that lifted Abrams to national prominence four years ago could be a vulnerability in the general election in November. With her rise, she has become a millionaire, something Republicans have highlighted to portray her as out of touch, even though both leading GOP candidates for governor are far wealthier. Donald Trump, who drove suburban moderates like those around Atlanta away from the GOP, is no longer in the White House. Instead, Biden is confronting the lowest approval numbers of his presidency, alarming Democrats who fear he could drag down candidates across the country.
If she’s elected, the 48-year-old Abrams would make history as the first Black woman to lead a state. But to get there, she must tap into the energy that contributed to her rise while averting the newer crosscurrents that could work against her.
“I’m not going to sugarcoat it: We have fundamental headwinds,” said Lauren Groh-Wargo, Abrams’ campaign manager. “We have a whole history where Democrats have trouble winning in midterms.”
Abrams’ fate could hinge on whom Republicans choose as their nominee on Tuesday. If they side with incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp, the race would be a rematch of the bitter 2018 campaign, which Abrams lost by 1.4 percentage points. She was defiant at the time, acknowledging Kemp as the victor but refusing to concede the race, citing “gross mismanagement” in his role as secretary of state overseeing the election.
If Kemp is the nominee, he would again have the advantage of incumbency in a powerful office. He has shoved rafts of legislation through a GOP-led General Assembly and is unveiling big economic developments, like a $5.5 billion, 8,100-job Hyundai Motor plant that he announced near Savannah on Friday.
Polls so far this year show a close race, with Kemp narrowly ahead if he is the nominee. In 2018, polls usually found the race about tied, although little polling had been done this early that year, reflecting a national political establishment that didn’t believe Abrams could win.
Abrams and other Democrats say they’ll be ready if David Perdue wins the GOP nomination. Trump personally recruited the former U.S. senator to challenge Kemp after the incumbent governor refused to go along with Trump’s push to overturn election results in Georgia.
But Abrams is eager to attack Kemp, with Groh-Wargo noting Kemp is now an incumbent with a record and saying “his record is pretty out of step with Georgia voters.”
Those attacks can be lacerating. At a Democratic dinner on Saturday in suburban Gwinnett County, Abrams proclaimed that “I am tired of hearing about being the the best state in the country to do business when we are the worst state in the country to live.”
Republicans pounced on the remark Sunday, a likelihood Abrams acknowledged even as she delivered it, saying “let me contextualize” and saying that when Georgia has dismal rankings for mental health access and maternal mortality, “then you’re not the No. 1 place to live.”
“Georgia is capable of greatness, we just need greatness to be in our governor’s office,” Abrams said. ”We need someone who actually believes in bringing all of us in there together.”
Abrams is steadily hammering her lead issue — a call for full Medicaid expansion to provide health insurance for uninsured adults in Georgia. But there’s a new set of issues, including crime, education and inflation.
On public safety, Abrams plans to hit Kemp on his successful push to abolish the requirement for permits to carry concealed handguns in public. And with the likelihood that the Supreme Court will overturn a nationwide right to abortion, Kemp is also likely to face flak for signing a now-frozen law that would ban abortion after six weeks in Georgia. Groh-Wargo argues that alarm over abortion rights will motivate many Democrats.
Many Georgia Democrats believe 2022 is their year of destiny. That’s in part because they believe the state, on the verge of being majority nonwhite, continues to trend Democratic.
“We’re ready to show everyone that it wasn’t a fluke, it wasn’t just about one election cycle, and it wasn’t about Donald Trump,” U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams of Atlanta, also chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia, told reporters at a recent state party dinner.
Even some Republicans say they believe Abrams is well positioned. Republican pollster Matt Towery said Georgia’s shifting population and the enthusiasm of Black voters to cast ballots for Abrams and U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock make it “extremely difficult for a Republican to win.”
“I have consistently stated that I believe she will be the favorite in the race regardless of which GOP candidate wins the nomination,” Towery said.
But discounting Republicans would be a mistake, said Martha Zoller, a talk show host and former Republican candidate named to the state Board of Education by Kemp. She said Abrams is open to attack for being more focused on national influence than on Georgia.
“She is looking so much past the governorship and thinking about running for president that she’s not doing the work she needs to do to be governor,” Zoller said.
To help offset that, Abrams has tried to steer clear of national politics. She was noticeably absent in January as Biden swung through Atlanta to press for voting rights, citing a scheduling conflict. More recently, her campaign has issued advertising trying to highlight what she’s been doing outside of politics, including her business record and work on COVID-19 relief.
“Our mission is to define Stacey before anybody else gets a chance to undermine her or to define here in a way that’s inaccurate,” Groh-Wargo said.
Abrams has one other potential advantage — disunity in the Republican Party.
Both Kemp and Perdue have cast their run for governor as a mission to “stop Stacey,” and heavy turnout in the GOP primary suggests many Republicans have overcome Trump-inspired misgivings about voting. But questions will remain whether Kemp, if he wins, can achieve the overwhelming party unity and turnout that may be needed to defeat Abrams. That will be especially true if Trump continues to criticize Kemp.
For now, though, the general election race is barely begun. But what’s different this time is that Abrams won’t be surprising anyone. When she says she’s ready to win, people believe her.
“We win together, we lose together, we fall together or we rise together. And we are a party on the rise, we are a people on the rise,” Abrams said at the state party dinner. “Now is our time and this is our moment and we are Democrats because we can see the future.”
Follow Jeff Amy on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jeffamy.
Jeff Amy, The Associated Press
EXPLAINER: What’s in Biden’s proposed new Asia trade pact?
TOKYO (AP) — President Joe Biden faced a dilemma on trade in Asia: He couldn’t just rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership that his predecessor had pulled the U.S. out of in 2017. Many related trade deals, regardless of their content, had become politically toxic for U.S. voters, who associated them with job losses.
So Biden came up with a replacement. During Biden’s visit to Tokyo, the U.S. on Monday planned to announce the countries that are joining the new Indo-Pacific Economic Framework. In the tradition of trade deals, it’s best known by its initials: IPEF. (Pronounced EYE-pef.)
WHAT WOULD IPEF DO?
That’s still to be figured out. Monday’s announcement signals the start of talks among participating countries to decide what will ultimately be in the framework, so the descriptions for now are largely aspirational. In a broad sense, it’s a way for the U.S. to lay down a marker signaling its commitment to remain a leading force in Asia.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said IPEF is “focused around the further integration of Indo-Pacific economies, setting of standards and rules, particularly in new areas like the digital economy, and also trying to ensure that there are secure and resilient supply chains.”
The idea that new standards for world trade are needed isn’t just about discontent among U.S. voters. It’s a recognition of how the pandemic disrupted the entire scope of supply chains, shuttering factories, delaying cargo ships, clogging ports and causing higher inflation globally. Those vulnerabilities became even clearer in late February after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine, causing dangerously high jumps in food and energy costs in parts of the world.
WHO’S GOING TO FIRM UP THE DETAILS?
The negotiations with partner countries will revolve around four pillars, or topics, with the work split between the U.S. trade representative and the Commerce Department.
The U.S. trade representative will handle talks on the “fair” trade pillar. This would likely include efforts to shield U.S. workers from job losses as China’s entrance into the World Trade Organization in 2001 led to severe manufacturing layoffs. Those job losses gutted parts of the U.S., angered voters and helped power the political rise of Donald Trump, who, as president, pulled the U.S. out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership almost as soon as he took the oath of office in 2017.
The Commerce Department will oversee negotiations on the other three pillars: supply chain resiliency, infrastructure and climate change, and tax and anti-corruption. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo flew with Biden on Air Force One to Japan. She was also by the president’s side during his time in South Korea, where he highlighted investments in U.S. factories by automaker Hyundai and the electronics behemoth Samsung.
WHO CAN JOIN THE CLUB?
The White House has said IPEF will be an open platform. But it has faced criticism from the Chinese government that any agreement could be an “exclusive” clique that would lead to greater turmoil in the region.
And there are sensitivities to China, the world’s second-largest economy, in setting up IPEF. The self-ruled island of Taiwan, which China claims as its own, is being excluded from the pact. This exclusion is noteworthy since Taiwan is also a leading manufacturer of computer chips, a key element of the digital economy that will be part of IPEF negotiations.
Sullivan said any trade talks with Taiwan would be done one to one.
“We are looking to deepen our economic partnership with Taiwan including on high technology issues, including on semiconductor supply,” Sullivan said. “But we’re pursuing that in the first instance on a bilateral basis.”
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?
Once talks start, negotiations are expected to go 12 to 18 months, an aggressive timeline for a global trade deal, according to an administration official. The official insisted on anonymity to discuss plans and added that building consensus inside the U.S. will also be key.
Josh Boak And Aamer Madhani, The Associated Press
Russian offensive turns to key Donbas city, heavy shelling
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Buoyed by a visit from a neighbor and ally, Ukrainians were digging in to defend the eastern city of Sievierodonetsk, which came under heavy bombardment from Russian forces trying to take the industrial area known as the Donbas.
Sievierodonetsk is the main city under Ukrainian control in Luhansk province, which together with Donetsk province make up the Donbas.
Luhansk’s governor, Serhii Haidai, said Sunday that the Russians were “simply intentionally trying to destroy the city … engaging in a scorched-earth approach.”
He said the Russians had occupied several towns and cities in Luhansk after indiscriminate, 24-hour shelling. Haidai said Moscow was concentrating forces and weaponry there, bringing in forces from Kharkiv to the northwest, Mariupol to the south, and from inside Russia.
The sole working hospital in Sievierodonetck has only three doctors and supplies for 10 days, he said.
The Ukrainian military said Russian forces had mounted an unsuccessful attack on Oleksandrivka, a village outside of the city.
While Russian and Ukrainian forces battled along a 551-kilometer (342-mile) wedge of Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland, Poland’s president traveled to Kyiv on Sunday to support Ukraine’s European Union aspirations, becoming the first foreign leader to address the Ukrainian parliament since the start of the war.
President Andrzej Duda received a standing ovation when he thanked the lawmakers for letting him speak where “the heart of a free, independent and democratic Ukraine beats.” Duda said Ukraine need not submit to conditions given by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Unfortunately, in Europe there have also been disturbing voices in recent times demanding that Ukraine yield to Putin’s demands,” he said. “I want to say clearly: Only Ukraine has the right to decide about its future. Only Ukraine has the right to decide for itself.”
It was Duda’s second visit to Kyiv since April. Poland has become an important ally of Ukraine, welcoming millions of Ukrainian refugees and becoming a gateway for Western humanitarian aid and weapons. It is also a transit point for some foreign fighters who have volunteered to fight the Russian forces.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called the visit “a historic opportunity not to lose such strong relations, built through blood, through Russian aggression. All this not to lose our state, not to lose our people.”
Duda credited the U.S. and President Joe Biden for unifying the West in supporting Ukraine and imposing sanctions against Moscow.
“Kyiv is the place from which one clearly sees that we need more America in Europe, both in the military and in this economic dimension,” said Duda, a right-wing populist leader who clearly preferred the former U.S. president, Donald Trump, over Biden in the 2020 election.
Poland is ramping up efforts to win over EU members who are more hesitant about accepting Ukraine into the bloc. Zelenskyy has urged the 27-member EU to expedite his country’s request to join, and it is to be discussed at a Brussels summit in late June.
France’s European Affairs minister Clement Beaune on Sunday told Radio J it would be a “long time” before Ukraine gains EU membership, perhaps up to two decades. “We have to be honest,” he said. “If you say Ukraine is going to join the EU in six months, or a year or two, you’re lying.”
On the battlefield, grinding, town-by-town fighting continued as Russian troops try to expand the territory that Moscow-backed separatists have held since 2014 in the Donbas.
To bolster its defenses, Ukraine’s parliament voted Sunday to extend martial law and mobilize the armed forces for a third time, until Aug. 23.
Ukrainian officials have said little since the war began about the extent of their country’s casualties, but Zelenskyy said at a news conference Sunday that 50 to 100 Ukrainian fighters were being killed, apparently each day, in the east.
In a general staff morning report, Russia said it was also preparing to resume its offensive on Slovyansk, a city in Donetsk province that saw fierce fighting last month after Moscow’s troops backed away from Kyiv.
The conflict was not confined to Ukraine’s east. Powerful explosions were heard early Monday, for example, in Korosten, about 160 kilometers (100 miles) west of Kyiv, the town’s deputy mayor said. It was the third straight day of apparent attacks in the Zhytomyr District, Ukrainian news agencies reported.
In Enerhodar, a Russian-held city 281 kilometers (174 miles) northwest of Mariupol, an explosion Sunday injured the Moscow-appointed mayor at his residence, Ukrainian and Russian news agencies reported. Ukraine’s Unian news agency said a bomb planted by “local partisans” wounded 48-year-old Andrei Shevchuk, whose lives near the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, Europe’s largest.
On Monday, a Ukrainian court was expected to reach a verdict for a Russian soldier who was the first to go on trial for an alleged war crime. The 21-year-old sergeant, who has admitted to shooting a Ukrainian man in the head in a village in the northeastern Sumy region on Feb. 28, could get life in prison if convicted.
Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova has said her office was prosecuting war crimes cases against 41 Russian soldiers for offenses that included bombing civilian infrastructure, killing civilians, rape and looting.
In other developments, Ukraine’s first lady, Olena Zelenska, gave a rare interview to national broadcaster ICTV alongside her husband and said she has hardly seen him since the war began.
“Our family, like all Ukrainian families, is now separated,” she said, adding that she speaks to him mostly by phone.
“Unfortunately, we cannot sit together, have dinner with the whole family, talk about everything,” she said.
Zelenskyy called the interview itself “a date on air,” and the couple, who have two children, joked in front of the journalists.
“We are joking, but we are really waiting, like everyone else, to be reunited, like all families in Ukraine who are separated now, waiting for their relatives and friends who want to be together again,” he said.
Becatoros reported from Donetsk. Associated Press journalists Yuras Karmanau in Lviv, Andrea Rosa in Kharkiv and other AP staffers around the world contributed.
Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine: https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine
Elena Becatoros, Oleksandr Stashevskyi And Ricardo Mazalan, The Associated Press
Stacey Abrams aims to recapture energy of first campaign
EXPLAINER: What’s in Biden’s proposed new Asia trade pact?
Russian offensive turns to key Donbas city, heavy shelling
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