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.