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My (Unasked for and probably unwanted) Opinion

Discussion in 'Colorado Football Message Board' started by 1989Buff, Oct 13, 2012.

  1. 1989Buff

    1989Buff Active Member

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    I mostly lurk around here. But not that anyone cares what I think (and not that this is anything original) but a few thoughts:


    Talent: Virtually everyone here talks about this aspect of our problem because it is so glaringly obvious. The challenge, of course, is to upgrade this while basically still a bad team. We all realize the catch-22 involved: you can't get significantly better without better players, but you can't get very many better players without more wins (and playing better).If Embree and E.B. are known for anything (especially E.B.) it is recruiting. If he can recruit half-way decently with such poor on-field play, he's a huge asset (because he is able to then overcome the catch-22). I don't know if he CAN, but the current crop of freshman sure have good raw talent. Of course, they were brought in before this year's debacle.

    During Mac's tenure (my years at CU) he built a bit at a time. Get a few good players...do a bit better in the win-loss column. That allowed him to do a bit better recruiting, more wins...etc. It took years (and there were disappointing win-loss setbacks) but the key was to improve so that you could slowly overcome the catch-22 recruiting problem (going to the bone offense helped us get a few more of those wins...which then allowed more talent). I can speak from experience that we did not think Mac was any sort of miracle worker while this process was ongoing. We honestly couldn't see how we were going to beat OU and NU (ever!). When that started happening, we were pretty shocked as a student fan base. So...it can creep up on you before you realize how much good has been done (and sometimes sooner than you think. In the space of time we suffered with Hawkins' tenure, you can become good again).



    Schemes: I am no expert here at all. I'm just a lifelong football fan and so perhaps don't have the judgment to critique people like E.B. and Embree about this stuff. I do scratch my head over some stuff though (and tell me what you all think here...).



    On Offense:
    First, I realize that schemes and talent are related. You can't be running go-routes without speedy receivers for example (and you probably can't play smash-mouth football with the sort of O-line we have now. They were recruited to a Hawk system that was more finesse/movement running). So there are limitations with what can be done right now.



    That having been said, there are some pretty basic football equations (for lack of a better word) that theory says you run in certain scenarios, and that are basic plays, variations of which most football teams have in their playbooks. When a team has the protection issues we do on offense, theory holds you run screens, draws and slants to neutralize the pressure. I see attempts at screens (they are awful too. This makes no sense...we were a good screen team last year. This is a repetition play...do it 200 times in practice until you do it right every time). I see few draws and few slants. I have seen lots of situations where slants would be killing the defenses we have been seeing considering what they are trying to do to us (and with as much as we are passing, draw plays would seem to have a lot of potential too. Especially with smaller, faster running backs who are having problems finding holes to run through on straight run plays). Even a TE slant to Kasa seems like it might be a great option if the linebackers don't stay at home. I wonder why we aren't doing this stuff? Maybe the QB height/batted down balls problem plays into the lack of slants over the middle (if so, that's a pretty big knock against him, as I think using the slant effectively or even as a threat would open up other stuff).



    More counter plays seem a logical way to make overzealous defenses slow down their attacks. I see few counters in the mix. There is no doubt that the play calling is predictable (but why? E.B. Is not a dummy. I don't consider him a great coach maybe...but he's no fool...he played for years...they watch the tape...I don't get it. These guys all understand the basic football concepts. I keep thinking they see/understand/know something we don't from an insider perspective. I can't figure out what that might be though...).



    On Defense: Thank God for corners with speed! If anything is going to really help us in the next few years it is getting us speedy DBs. They are so young now it's not fair to expect anything better from them than we are getting. I think we can all see this group is going to be good. It's a pity we must rely on them so much, so early in their careers. Let's hope none of these guys transfers because of the losses. I remember so well Barnett's last year when we just didn't have the speed to cover fast wide receivers. Is there any more helpless feeling than that?


    The DL recruits look good too (from what we have seen anyway) and there are lots of bodies. Again, this addresses an area we have been light for some time. Linebackers (for once) are a bit of a concern and to be honest, recently the guys getting all the talent hype are either overrated (I won't mention nay names here...but don't think I need to) or have a tough time staying healthy enough to contribute. I don't know that recruiting has helped here much yet.


    Greg Brown. I honestly don't know what to make of this guy. I've always found it easier to critique offensive play calling than defensive (and it is easier to tell if the screw ups are scheme related or someone just messed up on offense than on defense). It's also tough to judge his work because his defense has so many freshmen on it. I'm inclined to give him a pass on critiquing him too harshly without a talent upgrade and/or more experience...but must we be beat by the same damn plays (for example: screen after screen after screen) over and over again without learning or compensating? And couldn't he teach our linebackers when they cover receivers/TEs to TURN AROUND AND LOOK FOR THE BALL? I have seen at least five scores this year where a linebacker was seemingly beat, but had they merely turned around and looked for the ball could have batted it away with ease. They never stopped looking right at the receiver who caught the ball while they watched. How many times must they see this in the film room before making changes? Our linebackers are not freshmen. We can expect them to know this stuff. Is someone teaching them? (and anyone know why Brown got this DC gig instead of Cabral?).



    On the whole, the talent level here waiting in the wings (and getting valuable, if too early, experience on the field) is heartening. This IS getting better week to week. It's just hard to tell when we are getting killed and the offense is giving the ball right back all the time.


    What I would do right away: This is definitely what NO ONE asked me for, but I'm gonna say it anyway.

    I am going to agree with many of you who say it's time to sit QB Webb. If we are going to lose anyway, let's get a bigger, stronger armed guy in there to pick up valuable experience (and it would be nice to have a choice of experienced Qbs to choose from in the future. As it stands now, Webb is getting almost Cody Hawkins-like domination of the number of snaps in game situations). Hirschman or Wood will make a ton of mistakes early...but that's how you grow. We are not beating USC or U of O anyway. Let's learn and get something positive out of it for next season (while keeping the other Qbs on the roster motivated and interested).


    I am also going to agree with many of you in saying that Kasa is one of the few talents and mismatches we have on offense. We should use the heck out of him (and decoy the heck out of him when we don't go to him). If defenses assign a guy to neutralize him, that's a linebacker (probably) that's not filling a gap or blitzing. Slant one of our big receivers into the open spot left after that LB follows Kasa on his route!

    Obviously, none of this means anything if you don't execute. This IS coaching to me. Lombardi used to believe it was better to run a small number of key plays perfectly, rather than a larger number of options imperfectly. I wouldn't mind having very few plays in the playbook if we ran them all well (heck, not sure I am seeing that many different plays being run now! We should at least be able to execute a good screen well. If a QB can't do that reliably, I don't care how good you are at calling audibles, you shouldn't be in there...).



    Finally (and I am sure everyone is saying “Finally!” Haha...) if any area of our team has disappointed year after year, it is the o-line. Every year it is supposed to be our strength (and on our good teams, our o-lines were AWESOME) and every year since Hawk arrived they have looked terrible and underachieved for the most part. If any coach gets shown the door...I would suggest the O-line coach deserves it the most. Let's build the sort of line that can play the smash-mouth game and open the sort of holes guys like Brown and Purify ran through in 2001 (they were HUGE). We simply have different kinds of linemen starting for us right now, built for different schemes.



    To sum up: if our coaches can recruit through the poor win-loss records, we can work our way out of this thing. It's the best thing they bring to the table (they are obviously not Xs and Os guys...I'm not sure any of us ever thought this was their strength to begin with...but lots of college coaches have made a good living being good recruiters despite their poor Xs and Os ability...). Barnett was almost the opposite of that (pretty poor recruiter...and tended to drive off good recruits with his tough style) but he could build toughness and was a good Scheme guy and motivator.



    We tried the Barnett approach. It worked OK...but not great. Embree can motivate and E.B. and he are proven recruiters. Let's hope we can compensate for coaching talent with player talent (and maybe upgrade the coaching talent through periodic changes combined with growth-on-the-job).



    As many of you have already said...the option to “get it all” through a “home run hire” (where have I heard that before?) is unlikely given the specific conditions at CU (facilities...management...culture...state laws...finances...administration...etc.). Changing coaches every 3 or 4 years when you CAN'T get a huge, proven name in seems like just re-rolling the dice over and over and hoping to get lucky. These guys are recruiters. Let's judge them on the talent they bring in (the #1 most important part in college football anyway). If this drops off, they need to go. If they can keep bringing in the sort of talent we seem to have in our freshmen...we are going to improve.

    Sorry for the wall of text. As you all already know, being a Buff fan right now is a frustrating experience, and all this was just pent up inside me. Thanks for letting me vent.
     
    BuffTuba, MtnBuff, buffwings and 5 others like this.
  2. White_Rabbit

    White_Rabbit Club Member Club Member

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    Mtn down.
     
  3. lvbuff

    lvbuff Well-Known Member

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    I just wonder what Handler et al talk about after they get their asses kicked every week. I would think they get a little tired of it. I would imagine post game film sessions suck for those guys.
     
  4. Idot Buff

    Idot Buff Club Member Club Member

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    ha...true, but good stuff. He forgot to address benson and destuffadoosh, however.
     
  5. Burrito Palazzo

    Burrito Palazzo huff my smug Club Member

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    I'm outta rep, but you deserve some. Just for the sheer number of words. But what you said was good too.
     
  6. Buffellow85

    Buffellow85 Well-Known Member

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    i got him for you
     
  7. Burrito Palazzo

    Burrito Palazzo huff my smug Club Member

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    Gracias.
     
  8. Duff Man

    Duff Man Moderator Club Member Junta Member

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    Unfortunately, the recruiting has already dropped a level. That more than any other issue (and there are many) is what concerns me. Two poor classes (2011 and 2013) can sink one pretty good class (2012).

    The skill position recruiting under this staff should be better, probably much better if we want to compete in this conference. We definitely miss PRich, but where are the other playmakers? When you consider that next season we will largely see the same cast of characters (save the two grayshirting WRs) on offense, just not sure how it gets significantly better.
     
  9. AllBuff

    AllBuff Member

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    Pretty much what I said about 3 weeks ago....and I still feel very strongly that this is the truth. Regardless of the continued, and repeated statement that "everyone" here knows that these coaches are terrible, I am at least one dissenting member of that party. I still firmly believe in coach Embree and believe that he will get it done if given time...and it will happen exactly the way that 1989 lays out above. That's not to say that some staff changes/responsibilities need to be made.

    Duff Man and others continue to beat the drum that recruiting has not been good enough, and/or has already fallen off....and I am going to say that I completely disagree. 2012's class was seen as being not good enough by many....now people are acclaiming them as being a huge, yet young upgrade to the talent base of this team. Why don't we wait to get 2013 on campus before we declare them as a downgrade (rankings be damned)....b/c one thing that I do know about this staff is that they will not take a kid that they absolutely know and and believe can be competitive at this level, and they have proven over the years that they CAN evaluate football players (a massive dissension from the previous staff)
     
  10. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    Recruiting is on a downhill trajectory. I agree that rankings are not the main measure. But we have so few players committed to us who had comparable offers. I believe in our staff as talent evaluators, but not to the point where I think they can find 10 studs a year that everyone else missed.
     
  11. AllBuff

    AllBuff Member

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    Downward from last year? Or from when Hawkins was here and Barnett's last few years? Because I see a slight slip from last year (understandable). But I also see many early commitments that we haven't had in, ever. And BCS size and speed....something that has consistently existed on this team since 2004
     
  12. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    Downward from last year and maybe a bit better than the 2011 class.

    Not a lot of difference between Barnett/Hawkins 2006 class, Hawkins 2009 & 2010 classes, Hawkins/Embree 2011 class, or the Embree 2013 class.

    Hawkins 2007 & 2008 are the comparable to Embree 2012.
     
  13. zbuff

    zbuff Club Member Club Member

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    There is simply no way to look at the product on the field and think this staff knows how to coach. The talent is low, but lower than CSU and Sac St? Lower than Fresno St by 55 points? Just not believable.
     
  14. class01

    class01 Active Member

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    As far as I'm concerned, the 2012 recruiting class will be a success if we hang onto Sefo. WR and LB are definitely a concern, but landing an NFL caliber QB is the only way to get this thing turned around. Sefo may not be RG3, but I think he is going to be the nucleus for future recruiting success. Embree may not be around by then, but if he leaves the next guy with a legit QB and decent defense he won't be a total failure like Hawkins...
     
  15. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    I agree. If Embree can stock the cupboard with a nucleus to build around while also re-establishing CU traditions, his time will have been positive for the program. The risk with that is hanging on to him too long. If we'd replaced Hawkins in 2009, what he'd left the program with would have been an improvement.
     
  16. class01

    class01 Active Member

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    Yeah, I'm personally willing to give Embree until 2014. If he doesn't make a bowl yr after next then we should try to upgrade. I probably too optimistic, but I think he an EB are just like the Frosh they are playing. They make crazy frustrating mistakes, but also show flashes from time to time. I think they can improve with experience...
     
  17. Duff Man

    Duff Man Moderator Club Member Junta Member

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    The 2012 class was pretty good... and still just middle of the pack in the PAC-12. IOW, does it really close the talent gap or not? Fans keep talking about how young we are, but we keep playing teams with better true freshmen. And the team speed is not improving much.

    As far as you "knowing" the staff can evaluate football players, please give some concrete examples. It sounds nice to keep saying this staff is miles ahead of the Hawkins staff in that department, but how true is it?

    He has to be a lot better next season if 2014 is to even be a possibility. We cannot have another season like the 2011/2012 and just keep preaching patience.
     
  18. Quattro

    Quattro Banned BANNED Club Member

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    So you're fine with missing a bowl in his third year? Umm ok. So he'll probably be 4-21 after this year, best case after 2013 with no bowl is 9-28, that's worse than Hawkins, well actually in two years Embree has lost by 20+ more times than Hawkins did in five years with three this year already. How are they going to recruit? We're already seeing a decrease this year and it'll only get worse.
     
  19. class01

    class01 Active Member

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    I agree that we cannot have a repeat of this season. In my mind, he has to win at least 4 games with one being CSU and not get blown out by mediocre teams...

    Even this yr, if we get blown out by Utah then I wouldn't be opposed to making a change.
     
  20. class01

    class01 Active Member

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    I'm not fine with it, but it's just a reality. We are not going to be able to fire Embree and find a coach that will get us to a bowl game next yr.
     
  21. Lt.Col.FrankSlade

    Lt.Col.FrankSlade Well-Known Member

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    That's probably true.

    But do you think Embree can coach CU to a bowl game next year? How about the year after that? At what point might Embree get CU into a bowl game?
     
  22. Quattro

    Quattro Banned BANNED Club Member

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    Embree won't be fired after this year most likely. It really should not be too much to expect in a staffs third year to get to 3-6 in conference and go 3-0 OOC with all our games at home
     
  23. zbuff

    zbuff Club Member Club Member

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    Yeah, that was my point - never... sadly.
     
  24. class01

    class01 Active Member

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    No I don't unfortunately, but I think he deserves a chance to show that he can improve. I don't think we can "demand" a bowl game until 2014.
     
  25. class01

    class01 Active Member

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    I say 4 wins should be the minimum expectation next yr. Anything less or say we start out 0-4 then I'm fine with moving on.
     
  26. Lt.Col.FrankSlade

    Lt.Col.FrankSlade Well-Known Member

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    The thought that Embree "deserves" something is amusing.

    The only thing he "deserves", at this point, is a pink slip
     
  27. Rick James

    Rick James Member

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    Yes, you can.

    I realize that Embree wasn't given much when he started, but in 2014 his guys will have had had years in the system. His guys from this year and last will be mainly juniors and seniors. If they can't bat .500 for the season when they're probably going to get three softballs in OOC, then either the players or the coaching isn't very good. Either way, it becomes unacceptable at that point.
     
  28. Quattro

    Quattro Banned BANNED Club Member

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    So 3,1,4? Wow
     
  29. buffwings

    buffwings Club Member Club Member

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    enough of this loser's mentality! If he goes 1-11, he needs to get ****-canned! SO many other coaches are having way more success on there first year. JE, et al, are so way over their heads it's ridiculous. WE need to find another coach. He can stay as the TE coach and EB can stay as the RB coach, OR then can go somewhere else, like UNC, to learn how to be a HC or Coordinator first before taking on a BCS school.

    Of course our disinterested admin doesnt really care and simply want to get us used to losing, so get used to being a bottomfeeder fellow BUFFS.

    I live in SEC/ACC country and THEY REALLY care about football around here. We are a joke and will continue to be a joke until the mindset changes from the top admin to the boosters, to the fanbase.
     
  30. CarolinaBuff

    CarolinaBuff Weekend Poster Club Member

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    We're not even a joke we're so bad. We're simply irrelevant.

    There's no doubt in my mind that Embree will get a 3rd year at the very minimum.
     

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