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Thanks for the article James. I think we are all concerned about the state of the program... some of us just act like spoiled children when we voice those concerns.
I completely agree with the lack of D-line talent being the main culprit for the defensive failure... hopefully we can resolve that next year... if not it will be a long season.
Mr. Hale, thanks for reminding me why I subscribe. I have been reconsidering that of late.
This thread has set the record for me to see the "You are ignoring this user." indication (at 21).
I hope you are not responding to nonpaying members. I also appreciate your not quoting those you have responded to so I wouldn't even accidentally read any of it. Your initial post was excellent and just what was needed.
This is a great thread and great article by James. James mentions that the defense was not Mike's guys. You could probably take that several ways. One Mike did not recruit them or that there was a lack of cohesion or chemistry between the defensive coaches and players. It is no secret from the very first day of practice last spring the linebackers and front 4 were very disappointed in Mike's bend don't break but very sound principled defense. In drills Wort was frustrated because Mike wanted him to show patience and not get out of his gap. That is what Mike wanted to accomplish. He wanted us to be very sound. In some respects I compare it to lets take an average offense in talent. If they run a very small playbook and just try to get good at certain plays then that is a strategy. Unfortunately when you go up against the better teams it is not enough. There is something to be said about that. The Green Bay Packers of the 1960's under Lombardi had few plays. They had them down and the team they played knew them but Green Bay had the line to make them work time and time again.
I think Venables had a more fun scheme for particularly the linebackers to play in that allowed them to be more aggressive. I know from discussions with a former all-american DL that our scheme for the defensive line is different than when he played and he thinks we lack the talent to play it. It is again very sound though. Basically we traded a more gambling defense under Brent to more of a sound conservative defense under Mike. It sounds like the players never bought in and I am certain the results didn't enamor them.
But all this to me though signals something that I think has been a problem for several years. Program chemistry and cohesion. I think LSU is struggling with that big time right now. They have become entitled and the players are not working hard (their S&C coach posted the slacking players on his office window addressed to NFL scouts and said they were selfish) . But it just seems to me that the coaches and players are at odds too often.
I read a piece this morning where Jimbo Fisher says players violating team rules and absences and tardies must go before a 14 member player council made up of players from all grades. It takes the heat off the coaches for being the bad cop 24 hours a day. Gosh you know the strength and conditioning guys have it awful.
Personally I was not as upset about our season with our o-line injuries. I have no doubt we have a great staff and that A&M and Notre Dame were much better than us and I personally could see the talent differential. I don't think overall as much as they had playmakers and we didn't. Like James said in order to have to scheme against. Colvin our best defensive player had his worst game against ND. K-State we were about equal but that day they had no penaties or turnovers and we did,
The area that concerns me the most is recruiting. If the coaches have recognized our lack of talent and since the entire front 7 played last year then they should have been frantically trying to fix it in recruiting. I just don't see that has happened. In fact it appears they whiffed mightily. I mean come on they have had McGee,Jemarkus,Walker,King,RJ, here forever and then where has been the urgency? Surely Mike could have watched enough film to know what he had. Count me perplexed why Corey Nelson was lavishly praised after spring practice in 2011 as the best player on defense and Mike uses him little? You are going have a hard time convincing me that Corey is not a playmaker. I understand Wort was up and down but there must have been some displeasure there as I saw Shannon better on pass defense but not run defense.
I think the lack of chemistry and cohesion within the program must be handicapping recruiting and that is just not a good thing. But as unhappy as all the front 7 players were with the scheme and then the usual discontent with the S&C program and transfers like Brandon Williams it seems our program is not sending out a lot of good vibes. Maybe not.
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by Sooner Redzone on 1/10/2013 at 12:10 PM
The two best professional rookies in 2010 and both from Oklahoma City,Oklahoma.
Finally a positive piece of writing. Thanks. It was much appreciated and provided much insight. I expect things to change for the better on the D side of the ball as well.
It seems to me that our affiliation with the Big 12 conference is a major part of the problem for the program. We must be able to recruit Texas and the Dallas area is our best option given our location. However given the power of the SEC we have taken a position of 3rd place behind either A & M or Texas whoever you want to place in front of us. I am not sure how we fix this situation. I actually like the idea of going to the Big10 with Texas and leaving OSU behind, but probably not possible.
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