Most of the articles this morning are focusing on Captain Leach being unhappy with the offense for 2 1/2 games. We have Don Williams from the LAJ, Kate Hairopoulos from the DMN, and DT's Alex Ybarra with essentially the same story, and most of them one or more of these quotes:
"What we've done, quite honestly, for 21/2 games I don't consider acceptable,'' Leach said. "I don't know at what point they think we arrived. This group of quarterbacks and receivers, we haven't done anything impressive. I don't think it's impressive at all other than some numbers inflated by some explosiveness and the efforts of others. As far as any steadiness, there's nothing impressive.
"How can (receivers) drop the ball when you throw it as much as we do? When you come away from a practice where you throw 270 to 300 balls and drop two? The fact that we've had a little success in the past, it gets candy coated. Oh, they'll come along.' Baloney.
"When it hits you in the hands and you drop it, when you get re-routed out of bounds. When you throw the ball short and out of bounds all the time. ... Right now, we're nothing special, not at quarterback or receiver.
"We've got big heads and we're not tough enough to go out there and make plays," he said. "I don't know if it's big heads or we're scared. I'm kind of curious; are they scared or do they have big heads? Right now they're nothing special. And it's a byproduct of my coaching and other people's coaching. We're nothing special, not at quarterback or receiver. We can pretend we are."
As I said yesterday, it's somewhat comforting that he sees the same thing that we see, a quarterback who looks uncomfortable, and receivers who are dropping passes.
There's so many delicious things here, I'm not sure where to start. This is going to be a bit of a ramble:
- For those of you who have criticized this team and coaching staff for what could be termed as a lack of urgency, Leach sees it too.
- Leach is obviously tired of seeing receivers knocked off their routes, something that has plagued this offense for some time (see Missouri v. Texas Tech) and now he's calling them out.
- So, dropped passes are inexcusable?
- I'm trying to remember who dropped all of those passes, and the early Britton passes stand out to me as well as a Todd Walker drop (I think?), which makes sense because at halftime, Leach said that he didn't have an X-Receiver who could catch the ball. According to the last depth chart that we did before the start of the season, which I think is still holding up, Rashad Hawk was 3rd string behind Britton and Walker. As of Saturday, that may not be true. Both Hawk (4 receptions for 44 yards) and Tramain Swindall (4 receptions for 31 yards) are more than capable receivers, but more importantly, I don't recall them dropping any passes.
- Leach wants Harrell to act like a senior quarterback. It's obvious to us that Harrell is taking way too many chances down the field, he's got to do a better job of taking what the defense gives you. I watched quite a bit of the first half of the Missouri/Nevada game and that's all that Daniel did, took what the defense gave him. Of course this works in conjunction with the receivers staying on their routes and not getting knocked off early. In order for Harrell to be efficient, the receivers have got to get to their routes as quickly as possible.
- I think Leach is saying all of this now because last year, against Missouri and Colorado, all of these things happened. Harrell pressed, receivers weren't getting into their routes, and the offense struggled. Leach sees those things now, but rather than wait for a really bad game, he wants to address it now.
- I've got no problem with Leach doing this publicly. I'm guessing that he's done it in the locker room and in film sessions for the past two weeks, but obviously, things haven't changed. Perhaps this will.
- Remember how when you were a little kid and you were fighting with your brother or sister in the back of the car, your mom turns around and says, "Don't make me stop the car and come back there and spank you." I get the feeling this same type of conversation is going on right now in a much different setting and circumstance.
Link Dump: DT's Texas Tech v. SMU slidshow . . . DT with fans enjoying RaiderGATE . . . Texas Tech legend Dave Parks is recognized at halftime for his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame . . . KCBD11 with highlights from the win against SMU . . .