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  1. #1
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    A Rational Assessment of the Top 3 Coaches

    Hi. I realize this might be a bit much for my first post, but I wanted to see if we could put together a rational pros & cons type assessment of Chizik & the two coordinators now that the season is over but still fresh in our minds.

    What do you think they have accomplished & what do you think their failings are? Opinions are fine, but let's try and keep them based in facts. Also, try not to be too forward thinking (like "They better sort it out next year because of the 2010 schedule).

    So here's what I have:

    GC:
    Pros:
    -Brought excitement to the program that is still lingering (well, as much excitement as a 2-10 team can have).
    -First & a half recruiting classes seem stronger than DMac's

    Cons:
    -Made his bones with defense, but...
    -After Bates left, we had three very winnable games and we barely even showed up. I'm not blaming GC for Bates leaving or even for the fact that a very young team got disheartened after it. Also, I'm completely removed from the day to day workings of the team, so I have no idea what was being felt & said in the locker room. However, I do think a coach with more experience in leading a whole team could have used the situation as a rallying point to motivate the team. GC will probably learn from the experience & become a better leader because of it, but I think it was a missed opportunity.


    Bolt:
    Pros: ?

    Cons:
    -Tackling is probably the most fundamental skill in defense as well as being teachable. We couldn't tackle a bag of sand.
    -Up until the K-State game, teams seemed to regularly adjust to our defense at halftime. This was due to either poor coaching adjustments on our side or poor conditioning, which is still largely up to the coaches.
    -While we did perform better against K-State in the 2nd half, it wasn't better enough to overcome their 28-point 1st half.


    McFarland
    Pros:
    -Unlike the defense, the offense did improve as the season wore on
    -AA has emerged as a solid quarterback with huge potential despite a weak running game and a young o-line

    Cons:
    -The delay of game followed by needing to call a timeout in the red zone against EIU was inexcusable. There is no way that it should take a staff that long to come up with a play.

    These are just the ones of the top of my head. Anyone care to add more?



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    Re: A Rational Assessment of the Top 3 Coaches

    I think the problem with getting plays in got a little better as the year went on. Hopefully, by the time Arnaud is a senior he will have the ability to recognize audibles on his own and call his own plays in spots like Daniel, McCoy, and Harrell.



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    Re: A Rational Assessment of the Top 3 Coaches

    I think that's good. I've been banging the "we need more talent and experience" drum all year but honestly... what does Bolt do well? I mean our defense was inexcusably terrible this year.

    I do like the offense and McFarland. The defense just seems rudderless right now.



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    Re: A Rational Assessment of the Top 3 Coaches

    let me ask this about Bolt and our Defense. Could any other D-Coordinator have done better with what ISU had for players? I don't want to hate on the players... there are gems out there.. but we lacked talent and it is early in GC HCing career ... can other D-Coordinators make our players better?

    -keep


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    Re: A Rational Assessment of the Top 3 Coaches

    Quote Originally Posted by keepngoal View Post
    let me ask this about Bolt and our Defense. Could any other D-Coordinator have done better with what ISU had for players? I don't want to hate on the players... there are gems out there.. but we lacked talent and it is early in GC HCing career ... can other D-Coordinators make our players better?
    I don't know. I was asking a serious question. By the other token, could they do worse? I guess the answer is always yes but it's hard to imagine.



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    Re: A Rational Assessment of the Top 3 Coaches

    Excellent first post! I think its more than fair to question the defense.

    Quote Originally Posted by keepngoal View Post
    let me ask this about Bolt and our Defense. Could any other D-Coordinator have done better with what ISU had for players? I don't want to hate on the players... there are gems out there.. but we lacked talent and it is early in GC HCing career ... can other D-Coordinators make our players better?

    -keep
    I agree with you to an extent...we probably don't have, actually I know we don't have, the talent to thrive under Bolt's/Chizik's defense. However, I think they did a terrible job of molding their defense to the players on the field.

    I find it very hard to believe we have 117th out of 119th defensive talent in the nation. So to answer your question, yes I think another D-Coord could have done better with the players we have.



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    Re: A Rational Assessment of the Top 3 Coaches

    Quote Originally Posted by cycloneworld View Post
    Excellent first post! I think its more than fair to question the defense.



    I agree with you to an extent...we probably don't have, actually I know we don't have, the talent to thrive under Bolt's/Chizik's defense. However, I think they did a terrible job of molding their defense to the players on the field.

    I find it very hard to believe we have 117th out of 119th defensive talent in the nation. So to answer your question, yes I think another D-Coord could have done better with the players we have.
    I don't think we have the 117th worst... but near the worst in the BCS conferences.... and I see it stemming from the DLine. I don't think anyone else in the country could have made them a better unit.

    -keep


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    Re: A Rational Assessment of the Top 3 Coaches

    Quote Originally Posted by keepngoal View Post
    let me ask this about Bolt and our Defense. Could any other D-Coordinator have done better with what ISU had for players? I don't want to hate on the players... there are gems out there.. but we lacked talent and it is early in GC HCing career ... can other D-Coordinators make our players better?

    -keep
    Honestly, I'm not sure about this. From what I saw this year though, I didn't see us break out of our Base D very often at all. I think it does come to a point where you say, "Wow, this isn't working. Maybe I should try something else." What was that something else? I'm not sure. Maybe that was all we had. I do think though that adjusting to what you have and making the best of it is part of coaching. I could excuse OK STate, Mizzou, maybe even Kansas to some extent (7 second have touchdowns?) But some of those teams we played were not world beaters in any stretch of the imagination. I would argue that our Defense was closer in Talent to aTm's offense than how it played. Colorado? Those teams are not world beaters, yet our D made them look that way. The 4 man fronts did not work well for us at all this year. If I'd have had a choice, I'd have run more 3 man fronts with an extra D-Back, just to see what would happen. Honestly, we couldn't have done much worse by trying anything. And personally I didn't see any experimentation at all.

    I have to admit though, I like the aggressive play I saw from our corners this year. Seems we always used to ***** and moan about the cushions. Well, we didin't give much this year and maybe we all saw why we used to give such large cushions. I'm not passing judgement here. I think next year is a tell all year. If we continue to lose games because we can't stop a team from scoring 45 points, there really will be no excuse for that.



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    Re: A Rational Assessment of the Top 3 Coaches

    Quote Originally Posted by keepngoal View Post
    let me ask this about Bolt and our Defense. Could any other D-Coordinator have done better with what ISU had for players? I don't want to hate on the players... there are gems out there.. but we lacked talent and it is early in GC HCing career ... can other D-Coordinators make our players better?

    -keep
    First question: Maybe the players we currently have, as a group, are not suited for the defensive scheme that was being used. So, yes, there is a possibility that another defensive coordinator could have done better with the players on the team. I can only hope that the coaches feel this is the best scheme long term, and they are willing to let the team take their lumps early. Then when the players the current coaches did recruit become upperclassmen they will be experts in the scheme and will be able to help bring along the underclassmen and help cover up typical underclassmen deficiencies.

    Second question: Tough to know without being at every practice. If tackling was an issue for the defense, was enough time spent in practice correcting poor tackling techniques? You would certainly hope that it was. This could be another reason why the defense wasn't up to par ... too much time spent on the fundamentals to the point where not enough time was spent on the players getting to really know and understand the scheme.


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  10. #10
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    Re: A Rational Assessment of the Top 3 Coaches

    The defense situation seemed to be all about implementing a system, but there is no excuse not to mold the talents/weaknesses of the players into a defense that actually has a slim chance to stop a 3rd and 8. IMO it is the coaches job to do that, recognize that, and re-work so that we could stop someone and not have an instant 6 against us. Whatever Bolt was doing, it wasn't working...end of story. All that being said, I think Bolt is going to stick around obviously, and see what kind of things he can develop. If I'm positive about anything it is that I know Chizik & Co. realize this and will do what they can to fix it.



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    Re: A Rational Assessment of the Top 3 Coaches

    I just don't understand how we had so much success on 1st and 2nd down and were so bad on third... Maybe we blitzed TOO much...



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    Re: A Rational Assessment of the Top 3 Coaches

    all you needed to do was drag a receiver in front of our MIKE and the 1st down was made. Try and establish a running game on 1st and 2nd downs.. run a drag or version there of route for a first.

    I would HATE to know the number of yards this team gave up on 3rd down.

    -keep.


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    Re: A Rational Assessment of the Top 3 Coaches

    Quote Originally Posted by cybsball20 View Post
    I just don't understand how we had so much success on 1st and 2nd down and were so bad on third... Maybe we blitzed TOO much...
    Honestly, I do not know this for sure. I'm really not that good at analyzing schemes. If I had to venture a guess though, I'd say it was predictability. We probably weren't terribly predictable on first and 2nd downs. I would assume though, from watching film, coaches were able to see patterns we fell into on 3rd downs. And they were able to pick that apart and use it to their advantage.



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    Re: A Rational Assessment of the Top 3 Coaches

    Quote Originally Posted by cybsball20 View Post
    I just don't understand how we had so much success on 1st and 2nd down and were so bad on third... Maybe we blitzed TOO much...
    There were a LOT of times when the QB would throw the ball right over the blitzing linebacker into the spot he just vacated, so you probably have a good point here.



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    Re: A Rational Assessment of the Top 3 Coaches

    Quote Originally Posted by sweaty7 View Post
    Bolt:
    Pros: ?

    Cons:
    -Tackling is probably the most fundamental skill in defense as well as being teachable. We couldn't tackle a bag of sand.
    -Up until the K-State game, teams seemed to regularly adjust to our defense at halftime. This was due to either poor coaching adjustments on our side or poor conditioning, which is still largely up to the coaches.
    -While we did perform better against K-State in the 2nd half, it wasn't better enough to overcome their 28-point 1st half.
    I know that our defense was pathetic this season, but does no one remember how much the defense improved last year? Bolt can coach defense, we just didn't have the talent this year. Three of the players we lost went to the NFL. I don't normally like to see many Juco's, but I would like to see Chizik bring in some Juco's for the defense.



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