LUBBOCK TX - SEPTEMBER 18: Fans of the Texas Tech Red Raiders cheer against the Texas Longhorns at Jones AT&T Stadium on September 18 2010 in Lubbock Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Not Going to Ditch Anything: LAJ's Don Williams transcribed some of Monday's head coach Tommy Tuberville's press conference and Tuberville said that he doesn't want to ditch what they're doing:
But we’re not going to ditch anything that we’re doing. We’ve got a good offense. We’ve just got to execute it better. And we’ve got to do a better job in practice, and taking it to the game field is just experience. We’ve got some experienced players on the team. The area that we’re not real experienced is obviously the offensive line. We’ve struggled there, but I’ve liked the attitude. They’re working hard. They’re starting to understand what we need in a game, protection wise, running the ball. For us to get better, those guys have to continue to improve — and they have improved the first three weeks. They just ran into a tough situation in our first conference game.
Most, if not all of this is true. I've thought it's about execution (check), not experienced along the line (true for the most part as there aren't a lot of returning starts from last year) and I can only hope that they're starting to understand some of the concepts.
Tuberville also said that this past week, the first team offense went up against the first team defense to try to replicate game speed. I actually really like this and I understand why the scout team usually does this, but with a bye this week, I think it's good to try to push both units. Also mentioned, Tuberville said that Texas Tech probably didn't run the ball enough, which can only make me think that great minds think alike (Tuberville, LondonRaider and TTUMAR -- Congrats to the three of you!!).
In all seriousness, it's a good transcript and there are some good things there. This is probably completely unnecessary, but I thought I'd come out with my double-official opinion on some things:
Talkin' Championships | This really can fall both ways for fans and a coach can be a can't-win-proposition (Leach talked about championships too, just not as often). For a coach that doesn't talk about championships, but just talks about the next game, the fan could simply say that the coach isn't here to win championships, it's about more than just one game. Booooo! Then you have a coach that says that he wants to win championships, but doesn't talk specifically about winning the next game, the fan could simply say that the coach needs to focus on winning one game at a time, forget talking about championships. Booooo! See, it's a lose-lose proposition. I don't know that one way is right or wrong. It's all just rhetoric, right?
Stalled Offense | I'm willing to give the offense a bit of a pass (not for the entire year, but it's time to start making it happen this week) and I think I'm coming around on the idea replicating Mike Leach's offense isn't that easy. I know we all like to think that we're Air Raid and spread gurus, but there's a reason why Leach was considered an offensive genius. Someone doesn't just luck into that sort of offensive success. Now, if I believe that Leach was truly unique, then for me to think that OC Neal Brown can just come in and run the exact same thing seems unfair. Either that means that what Leach did, anyone can do, and I don't believe that for a second. And secondly, there's something to be said for the fact that OC Brown's playbook maybe similar but not exactly like Leach's playbook. Leach probably isn't sharing that with his successor. In fact, Louisiana Tech head coach Sonny Dykes and spread guru Tony Franklin are having a tough time getting the offense installed, which is just shocking. I know, they are installing their offense from the ground up, but La. Tech has two of the best spread guys around. Perhaps this sort of thing takes some time? It seems disingenuous to think that replicating Mike Leach's playbook and play-calling is simple and just a tweak, right? Either that diminishes what Leach did, i.e. anyone can do it, or it's not always going to be easy putting in an offensive scheme. Again, I keep coming back to the idea that Leach was truly unique and if that's true, then I'm okay with giving OC Brown a bit of time to get things on track. Those expectations start this week against ISU.
More good-strong after the jump.
Line Splits | I'm pretty tired of talking about this, but I did go back and look at some video from 2009. Although painful, take a look at the 2009 highlights (or lowlights) from the Oklahoma St. game. Stop the video at the 1:02 mark and tell me how wide the splits actually are? To me, it looks like a maximum of 3 feet, maybe 4, and Texas Tech appears to be on the 50 yard line, which means that the line isn't tightening their splits near around the goal line. Same thing at the 1:10 mark, at most a 3 foot split. I think we're making this a bigger deal than it actually is. I will agree that there's definite difference in the blocking scheme, but there's nothing inherently "wrong" with either a zone or a man blocking scheme.
Post-Practice Non-Transcript: Here's the video and here's the non-transcript:
Tommy Tuberville: Good to get back at practice. Worked on running game and worked on inside runs and one of these days it's going to break loose. Need to play and need to play today. Everyone has been great and go to Ames and see if we've improved. QB's Austen Arnaud and Jerome Tiller both throw well and with either one its the same offense. Anxious to see how they do against it. Has not been to Ames before. Treat it as a business trip. Has been to Boulder, was Ray Lewis' first start. LaRon Moore will play this game, at corner and nickel. He's been coaching a lot from the sideline. Physically he's fine. Moore can make a lot of difference because he knows what he's doing. Breaking his leg really set him back. Eventually he'll push to be a starter. Don't have Beau Carpenter on the travel squad. Thin along the offensive line. Just hasn't had the time and he's too light. Mickey Okafor is starting at right tackle. Look to get Chris Olson playing back at center and right tackle. It will change back and forth throughout the year.
LAJ's Don Williams has a summary with real live quotes in his daily notebook.
Moore's Return: DT's Mike Graham writes about the hopeful return of CB LaRon Moore, who broke his leg during spring drills:
Mo[o]re also said his recovery was two months faster than doctors anticipated. The speed of his recovery process thwarted any chance of Moore sitting out for the remainder of the season with a medical redshirt.
"I just had faith in God because I wanted to get back and play this year," Moore said. "All I missed was three games so that's great, and if we hadn't started conference so early all I would have missed was three nonconference games.
"Everything happens for a reason, and I'm excited to get back and play."
Sonier Plays Everywhere: LAJ's Don Williams focuses on a player that I haven't given much thought since practices, which is LB Tyrone Sonier, who is not just playing inside linebacker, but he's also playing all four linebacker spots. Here's DC James Willis:
"Anytime you get a guy who can do that much and still be successful and play at the same tempo, that’s always good for us," defensive coordinator James Willis said. "I’m so happy with his improvement, because at one time he doubted himself. I think right now he’s playing with more confidence, playing with more discipline and understanding what we’re doing on defense."
And Sonier talks about being so versatile:
"It’s good for me because not only do I know what I have to do, but I know what everybody’s doing on the defense and where the holes are, where the weakness may be and if anything happens, then I can react back to that," he said. "So it helps me out a lot, the fact that I’ve been moved around quite a bit."
Batch Weekly Column: RB Baron Batch continues his weekly diary:
For starters, in both football and life you have to go to practice. You have to buckle up your chinstrap, put in your mouthpiece and bite down hard. Practices and life consist of daily decisions and choices that are a result of discipline or lack thereof that will dictate your performance in games. In life, your problems, stressful situations, and rough days equate to the long, hot and painful days of practice on the football field.
Iowa St. Cyclone Links: Three different writers essentially got the exact same assignment, former colleagues Tommy Tuberville and Paul Rhoads square off: GoCyclones' Bobby LaGesse, DesMoines Register's Randy Peterson and the Times Republican Travis Hines . . .
Big 12 and National Links: Football Outsiders' Bill Connelly has his weekly Varsity Numbers: The Weeks That Was . . . former Red Raiders DE Brandon Sharpe and DT Richard Jones are both playing for the British Columbia Lions in the CFL (congrats to the two of them!) . . .