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Denver Johnson

Discussion in 'Colorado Football Message Board' started by Duff Man, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. Duff Man

    Duff Man Moderator Club Member Junta Member

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    Ugh. I actually liked the hire at the time, but he has been awful. Maybe buffaholic was right and we should have fired him in the Spring. The OL recruiting that was going so well in 2008/2009 has gone way downhill and I do not believe it is entirely due to losing.
     
  2. BlackNGold

    BlackNGold Club Member Club Member

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    I want to see what he does with the line this year. Remember he was not really a line coach. He was suppose to have recruiting connections but we have not seen much from that angle.
     
  3. SINKRATZ

    SINKRATZ Club Member Club Member

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    I'm hesitant to write him off after one year, but with the experience and depth on the Oline this year, we'll be able to see loud and clear if he's any good. There's really no excuse for this line not to be really good.

    He was supposed to have some Texas connections which haven't paid off at all yet from what I can tell. Time for that to change.

    Realistically, his future is tied to Hawk's ability to win this year - if Hawk is fired, it's doubtful a new coach will keep DJ.
     
  4. ElCunado

    ElCunado Club Member Club Member

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    I think the O-Line play was inexcusable last year. They had a bunch of big, strong athletes in the front 5. The discipline of the group, in general, was bad to begin the season, and it got worse as the season went on. There is no excuse for us not to win at the line of scrimmage. Being that it is probably the most important part of a successful offense, I thought they needed to bring in a new coach after last year.
     
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  5. LABuffalo

    LABuffalo Member

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    He was supposed to be able to recruit Texas, and absolutely nothing came of it. Also, he was all about being tough versus the technique coach he replaced and the line looked like a bunch of pusses as result.
     
  6. Mick Ronson

    Mick Ronson Well-Known Member

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    seems like "more physical v. the previous guy technique" has been the mantra of every OL coaching change. liked Grimes some, though.
     
  7. White_Rabbit

    White_Rabbit Club Member Club Member

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    Yeah I thought he should have been fired after last season, but people that pay much more attention to the OL than I do say it wasn't as bad as it looked. Shrug. Hopefully continuity at the coaching position benefits our players this year.
     
  8. Unleash Hell

    Unleash Hell Well-Known Member

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    In all fairness about the inconsistency with our O-line, you have to take into account just how many coaches and changes we have gone through at that unit over the last several years. That alone is a big reason for our problems IMO. **** get Alex Gibbs in here and we still might have the same problems.
     
  9. Creebuzz

    Creebuzz Club Member Club Member

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    Johnson had some ties to texas recruiting in the past, but I believe he downplayed them a bit and said he'd have to re-establish some connections. Texas recruiting sucked before he got here and has sucked since. Hard to blame that on him. Texans by nature are frontrunners and CU is near the caboose (for the moment hopefully).

    He may be a crappy coach, but with only one year it's kind of hard to tell. If the Oline isn't real good this year, Hawk, Denver, and nearly everyone else will be looking for new jobs.
     
  10. buffsyko

    buffsyko Club Member Club Member

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    This year will tell the tale. I think he stinks but we'll see how this OL plays. You have a 5 star,2 4 stars and an NFL prospect with all these workout numbers. No excuses denver.
     
  11. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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    Well if he really does stink, then we definitely won't be seeing hawk again. So we won't be seeing him again. It does have a nice finality to it.
     
  12. dyemeduke

    dyemeduke Well-Known Member

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    I couldn't agree more. I liked Grimes, even though our Oline struggled under him, it was nowhere close to as bad as last year in my opinion. Also, Grimes recruited decently, and he more excuses to work off in my opinion. Johnson though is one of the assistants I can't wait to see go. I think he's horrible, as is Collins. I want to see them both go. Pittman too, but not nearly as bad as I want to see Collins and Johnson go.
     
  13. Hugegroove

    Hugegroove Club Member Club Member

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    I don't know what anyone else here saw in DJ during spring camp, but the 3 times I went to watch it always appeard to me that his coaching skills tended to focus more on blocking technique than being physical. With the size & experience this years line has, they should be able to do both. But I'm going to reserve judgement until the regular season starts.
     
  14. buffaholic

    buffaholic Club Member Club Member

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    I think Grimes was doing a damn good job. He was forced to start several true freshmen (unheard of at this level). Maiva, MTM, Miller... Remember he took over when we had like 6 OL on the team that spring. It was pretty bleak, and I think he got some things going pretty well for the level of talent he had.

    When you are losing good assistants, it says something about the program. Maybe it's the head coach? Maybe it's the lack of security with our 1-year contracts. Maybe it's total $$$.

    At any rate, when Hawk hired DJ it was a weird deal. You'd think that you would find some guy with a job at a smaller program (MAC or WAC for example). CU would be a big step up. You can pay the guy more here. Find a guy with a proven track record at Montana or Idaho, etc. Denver hadn't coached an offensive line in years. Weirdest hire ever imo.

    Not too often a WR coach becomes the O-Coordinator and you hire an O-Line coach with no recent experience as a position coach.... I expect both of them to be a lot better this year but don't understand why we had to "learn on the job".
     
  15. buffs04

    buffs04 Well-Known Member

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    So our OL coach is taking our line full of enormous, gifted athletes and trying to turn them into finesse players? I understand technique is extremely important but our OL is freaking huge and incredibly strong this year. They should dominate. Miller and Solder are absolute monsters (although I will never understand why Miller isn't playing RT), Givens is talented, and we just added a JUCO guard that bench presses 530 pounds (this is unheard of). There is no excuse for failure this year. They are probably the most talented unit on our team.
     
  16. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    Denver Johnson's career is on the line this year. No doubt.

    Need a big year from our OL and he needs to show something in recruiting. We've failed on the top in-state OLs. And it's not like he has gotten anyone out of Texas, Oklahoma or Illinois - where he's supposed to have connections. The 3 OLs we signed for 2010 (who I happen to like, btw) had very little to do with Denver being our OL coach. Crabb = Hawaii / Munyer = California / Lewis = Arizona
     
  17. buffalo30

    buffalo30 Active Member

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    The whole deal with the offensive line has been somewhat confusing since 2006 and actually since the last 3 seasons of the previous head coach. Denver Johnson has a long history of coaching offensive line. He was recently a head coach for about 9 years before coming to Colorado. I find it hard to believe he has forgotten how to coach linemen. I have said all along that the offensive line appeared like it was attempting to finesse block with footwork rather than drive blocking. It looked like a lot of finesse blocking with Grimes. Early reports on Johnson suggested he was going after more drive blocking and the linemen liked what he was doing. Then it didn't seem to materialize. I've said all along that the offense since 2006 has been nothing but haphazard with no apparent purpose. Is there something else behind what is observed? I will say no more. There were some bright spots in the 2007 season and I observed some of Eddie's influence on the offense while he was mentoring the head coach behind the scenes. I have been waiting for the linemen to show some dominance ever since Steve Marshall left. Do I mention Kai Maiava? T-M and Miller also showed some fire when they were freshmen. I will say no more. There are some big, strong guys at Colorado and they need to be in an offense with a purpose. If I get any more specific than what I have alluded to I get into nothing but trouble. I've probably said too much already. I really would like to see these guys throw their weight around and dominate, but I guess it's hard when you have to keep an even keel. Oops... there I said it. (FlaBuff and Wyo Buff proably get what I am getting at. They are probably waiting for the same thing I am and I won't drag them into this conversation.) Done.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2010
  18. BehindEnemyLines

    BehindEnemyLines beware the habu Club Member

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    Maybe you won't bring 'em into the conversation 30, but I'm willing to. An offensive lineman can have all the brute strength in the world, but if that defender lined up across from you has better techniques and skills, he's prolly gonna win a bunch of the 1 v 1 battles. The coaches had better be teachin' techniques. FlaBuff....WyoBuff....I'd enjoy your opinions on this one -- you guys know what it's really like in the trenches.
     
  19. CUFan

    CUFan Welcome back Club Member

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    Would love to see more power and less finesse. CSU's o-lineman last year seemed to engage our defenders and push them around. It appeared to me that our o-line was taught to try not to touch any of the defenders and not be physical.

    Maybe they are just confused and are being taught too much about technique and not just worrying about playing?
     
  20. buffaholic

    buffaholic Club Member Club Member

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    Not an O-line guru, but I can count. Rewatched a lot of last years' games and our Oline was more outmatched in numbers than anything else. Teams are using 8 in the box and 3 guys going man-man on our receivers and jamming them at the LOS. Our run game is ineffective vs. 8 in-the-box (we may look soft, but 6 don't block 8 real well, no matter how much "power" you bring). It's not power, it's numbers. Our passing game has to exploit this, but our WR's can't get off the LOS most times and the QB has little to no time because we got 5-7 of those 8 guys coming at us. Could the O-Line do better on the blitz? Hit a couple quick breaking seam routes on those blitzes and take them to the house and the whole landscape changes big time.

    I really think our lone experienced WR (Scotty) and the crew of inexperienced kids last year hurt us big time. Simas' emergence started to open things up for everything the 2nd half.

    I think we can expect some improvement due to experience factor at QB, all OL positions, and especially WR.

    We lost Simas but we add experience with:
    Clemons
    Celestine
    Patterson

    plus WillJeff and Simmons have a full year in the system now. Not to mention that Cefalo looked all-world in the Spring - but we know to temper that a bit.
    Throw in that we added an NFL experienced WR coach and I get optimistic. This last point is my biggest reason for optimism.

    I have said the last two years that our offense would disappoint if the O-Line couldn't take control (and answer some serious questions). I'm changing my tune this year. I think the O-Line should finally be ready to dominate a bit and our Offense will really need Hansen to emerge as a "seasoned" QB and the WR's to get off the LOS. I guess I'm counting on Denver Johnson coming thru for us and Kiesau really rounding into form.

    Bottom Line, I actually think the WRs are the one area of improvement that will help the Offense the most and I think it's been addressed. We will see.
     
  21. buffalo30

    buffalo30 Active Member

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    buffaholic said: "Not an O-line guru, but I can count. Rewatched a lot of last years' games and our Oline was more outmatched in numbers than anything else. Teams are using 8 in the box and 3 guys going man-man on our receivers and jamming them at the LOS. Our run game is ineffective vs. 8 in-the-box (we may look soft, but 6 don't block 8 real well, no matter how much "power" you bring). It's not power, it's numbers. Our passing game has to exploit this, but our WR's can't get off the LOS most times and the QB has little to no time because we got 5-7 of those 8 guys coming at us. Could the O-Line do better on the blitz? Hit a couple quick breaking seam routes on those blitzes and take them to the house and the whole landscape changes big time."

    I wasn't going to say anything else but you have added another couple of reasons behind the struggling offense and I'll make a few comments. The offense depends on finesse and it doesn't work. It has looked to me like the linemen under Grimes and last year were trying to use footwork to work defenders to the side instead of driving into them. Yes, they are ALSO outnumbered at the point of attack in running plays. They are in an offense that for some strange reason someone thinks they can finesse defensive linemen and linebackers out of the way for a running back to sneak through a hole. I have talked for years (mostly on another site and some on here) about pulling linemen, a blocking back lined up as a fullback, and using tight ends to get at least hat-on-hat blocking or even an advantage at the point of attack when running the ball. I don't care much for the H-back in motion stuff because it more often than not tells the defense where things are going.
    If you aren't outnumbered at the point of attack and you drive block, you probably will have some success running the ball. You can also loosen up the 8 in the box defense by hitting passes short, medium and deep between the hash marks. The CU passing game seems to be based on short sideline out passes. That isn't going to break the stranglehold that defenses have on the Colorado offense in both running and passing enough for them to score a lot of points. There are both design and personnel difficulties with the Colorado offense in running and passing. Throw in the player grouping thing and defenses start getting to know what is coming before it comes. Hopefully I have kept this from becoming personal, but I guess if you read between the lines, some names may be apparent. I won't start naming names. Most folks who follow the program have it figured out anyway.
     
  22. leftybuff

    leftybuff Iconoclast Club Member

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    Buffalo 30, Buffaholic and RedDirt Buff, you guys hit the nail on the head. DC's must drool when they see CU coming. Load the box, press coverage and watch the implosion. If you can't get the ball over the top behind that LOS presence and make them pay, you are in for some long Saturday afternoons (and Friday nights if you play Toledo).
     
  23. FlaBuff

    FlaBuff I drive a Dodge Stratus! Club Member

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    o-line coaches can teach technique, and re-teach technique and they do. It is an everyday staple. start with feet, then hands. Physical play has to be motivated. Some players have it internally. Some have to be externally motivated. Some never get it. I loved physical O-line play and coach it regardless of our offensive scheme. Smart playcalling helps an o-line no matter what level you are on. One or two positive plays get momentum rolling and suddenly the running plays are breaking open and the blitzes are picked up. I don't pretend to have watched enough of the Buffs to comment on Coach Johnson. I have my own line to worry about. Attitude goes a long way. If you can get fat kids to believe they are better than the faster kids across from them you can get a lot done.
     
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  24. BuffLuKe

    BuffLuKe Club Member Club Member

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    Im not an oline genius or anything but Id be happy to see us just come off the ball hard on running plays. I see guys with bad pad level, bad hands, and jacked up feet consistently. Also, we seem to make the same mistakes week in and week out. You played oline correct? Is that mainly a coaching thing? They do load the box alot so that was a good point by you guys above.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2010
  25. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

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    When a team loads the box, it's daring you to burn them with the pass. They don't respect the ability of the quarterback and receivers to move the ball. If I were an opposing defense, I'd do the same thing against CU, especially if Cody is the QB.
     

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