Blog Entry

Mack Brown: It's on the coaches

Posted on: November 26, 2010 11:56 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli

Texas fans don't have much to be thankful for this season, as on Thursday night, just a few hours after stuffing themselves full of turkey, they saw the Longhorns season come to an end with yet another loss at home.  Though, to Texas' credit, at least this home loss came to a ranked team. I doubt that's of much solace to the team or the fans, as the 'Horns finish the season 5-7 and not eligible for a bowl for the first time under Mack Brown.

Speaking of Brown, he went out of his way following last night's loss to Texas A&M to let everybody know that this season wasn't his player's fault.  It was the coaching staff's.

"I think just disappointing. You can say a lot of words. It's not our standard at all. It was obvious tonight that our players are as good as theirs. I think it goes back on coaches. It's not talent. We had our chances to win the game. People have said it's talent, it's not."

As you'd expect after making a statement like that, Brown also discussed whether there would be any changes to his coaching staff for next season.

"What I will do is take my time and evaluate the coaches and the staff and each player and everything that we're doing. At that time, I'll be able to make the conscious decision on what's best for the program."

Talk to any Texas fan, and they'll tell you that the answer is FIRE GREG DAVIS, as the team's offensive coordinator has found himself to be the target of the most scorn this season.  Still, while I think it's honorable of Brown to place the blame on the coaches, it can't be entirely their fault.  Yes, the players on the field are all part of some of the best recruiting classes in the country the last few years, and they are talented.  Still, that wasn't Greg Davis out there throwing 17 interceptions this season, that was Garrett Gilbert.  It wasn't Mack Brown coughing up the ball, it was the players.

While I wouldn't be surprised to see changes on the Texas coaching staff, even if it's just to appease the fans, I don't think it will fix anything.  No, the only people who can fix this Longhorns team are the ones wearing the pads and helmets.

Since: Feb 26, 2007
Posted on: November 28, 2010 9:05 pm

Mack Brown: It's on the coaches

If "the only people who can fix this Longhorns team are the ones wearing the pads and helmets", why do we have coaches? Aren't they paid (a lot of money) to recruit good players, develop them, provide them good game plans, and put the best players on the filed?

Since: Aug 27, 2006
Posted on: November 28, 2010 5:56 pm

Mack Brown: It's on the coaches

I would also add that what lost texas at least two games this year was abhorent special teams mistakes.

Since: Aug 27, 2006
Posted on: November 28, 2010 5:56 pm

Mack Brown: It's on the coaches

Ditto. Greg Davis gets the balme because he deserves it. You can't rely on talent that is capable of starting as a rookie in the NFL (Vince Young, Colt McCoy, to a lesser extent Chris Simms) to pull you through games. Yes, Davis has been at the helm when Texas playetrs busted just about every NCAA record written (Ricky Williams still holds something like 20 records; the 2005 team set the all-time scoring record), but most of that credit has to go to the players. If Ricky Williams doesn't break tackles in the backfield, he goes nowhere. If Colt McCoy isn't the most accurate passer in the history of college football, thrwoing to two NFL caliber solt receivers (Jordan Shipley, Quan Cosby), and is a great scrambler, the offense goes nowhere. If Jamaal Charles isn't about the fastest human on the planet, no way we beat OU.

Maybe Garrett Gilbert threw 17 picks because people are sitting on routes - the same ones they've seen them over and over and over. The best plays in the A&M game were scrambles and busted plays.

The best offense Texas had was the 2005 zone-read offense Greg Davis didn't want to run. Colt McCoy became a stronger, and faster runner to overcome the fact that he hardly ever had guys open. It was a simple offense designed around misdirection and occassionally throwing the ball downfield. That wins in college.  

Other teams seem to be able to play with Texas with vastly inferior talent (Iowa State, Baylor, UCLA for example). If you need NFL caliber players making insane plays to run your offense effectively against college defenses, that's a systemic problem - not a player problem.

Since: Jul 17, 2009
Posted on: November 26, 2010 1:05 pm

Mack Brown: It's on the coaches

I agree with you that it cannot entirely be the coaches fault, that the players on the field have to make plays.  However, Texas talked all during spring football and then again in the summer about how they were going to be a power running team.  Texas does not yet have the personnel to be a power running team.  They have one power player on the offensive side of the ball, and that's Cody Johnson.  Garrett Gilbert came from a spread offense, so his development was stunted a little with the switch in offensive philosophies.  They've since reverted back to a lot of shotgun-read formations, but they doomed their season early-on when the coaches tried to dictate what style of offense they wanted to run.  You run an offense that is catered to your talent.  It's the first rule of coaching.  Honestly, I don't see why they don't run a spread offense, force the defense into a lot of nickel/dime packages, and start Cody Johnson at the lone tailback spot with no fullback.  Sure, he's not that great of a pass-catcher, but he would be a beast on draws and the occasional screen.  Defensive backs do not enjoy see a train-wreck coming in their direction.  It would also get Garrett Gilbert back into a better comfort-level.  He would also have Johnson in the backfield to chip or double-team whoever is terrorizing their offensive line.  Greg Davis is always the person most blamed for Texas' offensive troubles, and this is definitely not the first time he's heard it.  Longhorn fans have been asking for his replacement since Major Applewhite was the quarterback for Texas.  I, for one, believe the only reason he hasn't been fired is because Vince Young brought a championship, then Colt McCoy turned out to be better that most people thought.  Championship with Vince Young, then the winningest quarterback in college football history will save your job for a while.  However, the limits of his offense are obvious.  Texas can't get the ball downfield, period!  That, to me, is on the coaches.  Maybe they need to give ol' Major Applewhite a chance as an Offensive Coordinator.  He's out of his coaching comfort zone, coaching RB's for god's sake, and he has experience as an offensive coordinator already.  I would be very surprised if Greg Davis survived this round of "conscious" thought that Mack Brown is doing as we speak.
The defensive side of the ball is where I wonder about talent.  People under-estimated the importance of Earl Thomas to that secondary.  Both of the cornerbacks will be going pro after the year, but the safeties have had a tough year against the pass, and it's not going to be any easier next year when those two corners leave via the NFL Draft.  We will have to see how those backup corners fair when pressed into a starting role, but like you said, there is definitely some highly-rated players coming out of high school on that roster.  The linebacking corp needs to play more controlled, stay in their assignments, but attack!!!  That is Will Muschamp's style of defense.  Attack, Attack, Attack!  However, I've never seen one of his defensive teams continually torn up on the ground.  Texas' defense always ranks extremely high against the run, but ever since their game against UCLA, every team has just run it down their throat.  The defensive line and the linebackers are not that good of a unit, at this time.  They are young though, and Jeffcoat, Hicks, and Okafor look like big-time players in a year.  

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