In the spirit of today's presser...
Well, as I have said before, the best pressers are when we lose. I'm tempted to just take last week's write up, and well, just copy it over. Because Coach didn't have much new to say....of course, the story hasn't changed. For this week, I will insert wise ass, smart aleck and otherwise annoying comments in orange.
First, we hear about how we are always in the games, with a chance to win.
It is hard to say how frustrating this particular line is. And, he keeps saying it, over and over again. I guess I don't have to make the same mistake...simple as this...as bad as the East is, we should be doing better than staying in games.
I will concede that staying in games is better than NOT staying in them, much as I will concede that a bumpy landing is better than a crash landing or that getting a sunburn is better than heatstroke. I'm not sure I'd come out and talk about that every week.
Our goals are still in sight. We can win the East.
This is true. And, you know, I'd rather win than not win. I already wrote that it won't be much consolation is we limp to the East Title (though I know Coach will brag about it all winter) and get crushed in the MAC Title game. Still, the only worse thing than winning the East this year would be not winning. I do feel a little like this when I think about this even being in the conversation right now...
Injuries are killing us.
Uh, yeah. Not so much. Are you kidding me? I mean, I get that it would have been easier to win against NIU with Barnes and Geter, but you just can't expect a high school team to be healthier than this. I guess the only way we can execute this poorly and still not use this excuse is if NO PLAYER on the entire team is missing due to an injury. Look, Geter would have helped. But the team had two running backs that have both started, they didn't need more. And, while Barnes is a good player, we are well stocked with receivers and should have been able to move the ball anyway. It reminds me of all the excuses when Omar went down...and Western clocked us. Never mind they were using their third string QB, and a true freshmen. This is just excuse making...and its really disappointing. First, it insults our intelligence. And second, it doesn't show anyone taking responsibility for their jobs.
Sheehan is the starting QB.
I'm fine with this. The offense has been disappointing, but I don't think changing to Andrew Beam would have made a difference. We're predictable, pretty easily defended, and inconsistently executing. That's on everyone, from the coaches down to the line. I just don't see that Sheehan is any more at fault than anyone else, and if everyone raised their game, I think he would too.
Apparently, DC Mike Ward disagrees with the assessment of NIU's QB, which was that he was 4-5 yards down field before we started to miss tackles.
Well, OK. I didn't see the game, so I don't know. Fundamentally, its not really much of an argument to make (in fact, its right up there with being in the game at the end). We gave up several drives of more than a dozen plays, and were completely dominated by another team's running game, but DON'T SAY WE GOT BLOWN OFF THE BALL. OK, dude. Whatever. Did they or did they not run at will throughout the second half?
"We were right here last year, and we did a better job at the end of the season. For the most part we were able to shut the run down at some key times and that's where we are right now again. We need to do that."
Well, this is true, sort of. We were 4-4 last year, and our season was on the brink, and we did discover a few things, win coming home and make the bowl game. So, I'll grant him that. In fact, two of those four losses were ass-kickings, so, I will even grant that in that sense we're a little ahead of that in the league.
And this is what gives us what hope we have...that we rallied and brought the ship around in the second half of the year.
"They have the best rushing attack in the conference, but they are a little bit different than some of the teams. They don't pound you like a Pitt, Boise and Northern Illinois. (Julian) Edelman will just take the snap, look like he is dropping back and then just take off. (Eugene) Jarvis is a good back -- very shifty and elusive -- but not one that is going to just keep punishing you . We have to get our fastest guys on the field. We've faced these guys before and did a nice job last year against them. It's not anything that we haven't seen and can prepare for our players just need to execute and believe that we can win and beat Kent."
Well, here we need to go back to the truth squad mode. First, the idea that a QB draw is something we can stop is certainly a head scratcher, since both Miami and NIU had mad success running out of the direct snap. And I kind of get the point---our defense is built to defend with speed, not against big pounding teams like NIU.
Still, I also have to differ with the idea that we did a "nice job" against Edelman and Jarvis last year. They ran the ball 50 times for 272 yards. Kind of hard to put that in the "nice job" category. We beat Kent because we got some key red zone stops (twice inside our five in the second half). There's nothing wrong with that. But, let's not make it sound like they didn't eat us alive.
They only threw about a dozen passes against us this year. We can expect that again. I wasn't able to figure out what the record at the Doyt is for single-game team rushing, but, somebody should probably be looking it up.
Jason Rice is going to be available to give some depth at RB. That's a position change for him. Geter and Barnes will be out again.
That's the presser. You can judge it for yourself. I understand Coach is in good spirits, which is, you know, good.
I think these things have all been heard in my section this year.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
In the spirit of today's presser...