Monday, November 8, 2010

Offensive Defense: Bottom Feeding

Another weekend, and another set of Hindenburg-like disasters from the Longhorns and Cowboys. The level of beat-down and the sheer amount of quit that is pervasive through the two teams have made me dread even watching them. It's like looking at two ugly mirror images.

The Longhorn, for all their preseason bluster, are plumbing new depths of fail in the Mack Brown era with each passing week. The last time the Longhorns were this bad, a coaching change swiftly followed. Brown himself opened up the bag of worms when he put every coach or assistant coach on notice, but the threats seem to have fallen on the deaf ears of the players who may be clamoring for the Muschamp regime to start earlier than perhaps Mack was anticipating. Brown himself has admitted that his role in recent years has found him as more of a CEO than head-coach, and his willing lack of presence as he prepares himself for better things has left his team wanting. There is no rallying figure to bridge the rift in the philosophies of the offensive and defensive coaches.

Clearly, Gilbert has been mismanaged by Greg Davis worse than Britney Spears, and his attempt at reinventing the offense poorly conceived. The "pro-style offense" is great and all with the right personnel, but why recruit a kid that was borne out of the spread? He has no go to possession receivers, a "senior" line that seems easily confused by simple defensive stunts by their opponents, and no dominant running-back to take the pressure off and open up the game and dominate time of possession. Why press when you don't have the personnel? Pressing, though, has been all that Gilbert is able to do, with his most recent attempt matching historical Longhorn totals for interceptions in one game. This recruiting class was supposed to have been special, so either the kids that were brought in have been totally unprepared (which falls on the coaches), or they are prepared but unresponsive (which falls on the coaches).

Mr. Davis, the game has passed you by.

Muschamp's defense and its recent problems seems easier to diagnose as full-scale "quitting." In some respects, once the bottom falls off along with the expectations for the season it's probably human nature to just get the year over with as fast as possible. Why get up the energy when the kids on the offensive side of the ball and special teams are hemorrhaging points off turnovers and can't produce? Even still, the fact that there seems to be very little self-respect or UT pride on display should is pretty alarming and points to Mack's laissez-faire CEO approach.

So wholesale changes are "on the way," but that's exactly where things get interesting. If there are sweeping coaching changes, who is tasked with rebuilding the staff and the team? Is it Mack Brown, whose waning attention has resulted in the meltdown? Is it Will Muschamp, the coach in waiting? For his pride's sake, I find it difficult to believe that Mack would allow himself to go out like this, but what would it have mattered to even name Muschamp the "coach-in-waiting" if he isn't even given the opportunity to hire his own staff?

It pains me, but the only excitement I get from football are the prospects of change in the off-season.

Speaking of off-season - I can't wait for the Cowboys'. No really, I wish I could wait, but I sit on baited breath, waiting for news of the axe coming down on Wade's marshmallow-man noggin. First and foremost, Jerryworld needs to divorce himself as the GM and just focus on owning the damn team, because clearly his greasy Wingstop fingers have been mucking up the works for 16 long years. Really bro, trade away all your backup linemen - I love to watch long-toothed QB's get rag-dolled.

At least I have, my Los eSpurs. The team looks injected with quality youth, with Blair playing the bruiser to Splitter's finesse. I really can't wait to see Tiago take on Lama-face - it is going to be epic. Honestly, they have two pretty solid rotations and the size down low with Splitter/Blaire/McDyse/Duncan to push around anyone in the league. The frail and suspect crew from the 2009-2010 season that had Pop "experimenting" with rotations deep into January is now suddenly deep at almost every position. Oh yeah, it's also going to be 2011, when the astral alignment will be in place to win a championship because it's an "Odd-year."

Thank god, because 2010 can suck a green weenie.

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