I spent some time this afternoon reading through this weeks fan posts and comments regarding last weeks debacle against UT. We all agree we should have won, the offense was horrible, the defensive looks better, and I think we all agree that at the end of the day it is the coaches responsibility to get their perspective players ready to play. But any who have coached, played, or have kids who play, also know that coaching only goes so far. In the end the kids have to go out and execute the game plan. With the exception of the Potts criticism, and some blanket O-Line statements, all of the ire from this weeks loss is being placed firmly at the feet of the coaching staff, and in most cases, the head coach himself. But is that fair? Put aside the cliche for a second that the buck stops with the head coach, isn't it possible we have more of an execution issue than a coaching issue? After all, London Raider provided us with the stats to prove that in fact Neal Brown is trying to run the AirRaid offense. The same O-line coach is still around trying to implement an spread O-Line scheme. So why isn't it working?
Consider these plays:
1) After Defense stifles UT and forces three and out, our center snaps the ball over Pott's head, UT recovers near the goal line, result is 7 unearned points. In this case the center is certainly at fault, and some have argued Pott's should have gotten to the ball quicker, but a coaching issue? Nope.
2) After offense puts together a nice drive, moving the ball well, to get into the UT redzone, Pott's throws an interception. The result, a UT field goal. Bad play calling? The drive was going well. Just bad execution by the QB.
3) After the refs miss a call on the incomplete pass called complete, the defense stops UT again on downs, only to be reversed by the infamous Will Ford taunting penalty. Result, another 7 UT points. Bad coaching? Not a chance. The coaching staff have proved their emphasis on reducing penalties by cutting them in half through the first 3 weeks. This is nothing more than one individual playing too aggressively at the wrong time in the game.
If your doing the quick math, thats 17 points that had zero to do with gameplan, play calling, or coaching. These 17 points were given up by lack of execution by players. Not to mention that Potts' interception erased Tech points as well. At the very least the score should have been 14-7 in favor of the Tech if these three plays were executed as they were coached. If we score instead of throwing that pick in our red zone it looks more like 21-7 Tech.
I know some of you won't/can't look at the game from this perspective, but the facts are there. The coaching staff didn't lose this game, the players did. I agree that the play calling was vanilla on offense, but that should have only kept this from being a blow out in our favor. You can see that even with the boring calls by Brown, we should have won by 14. We have an execution problem ladies and gents, and if the players continue to fail to execute, it won't matter who the coach is.