Missing the big picture ...

So the guys over at College Football Resource (a blog which has basically become a good resource full of links to the college football blogosphere), have put up a post taking a closer look at the evolution of Karl Dorrell. It's a pretty interesting (and a loooong) post - making some key points on Dorrell's questionable credentials/experience but also missing out on a few. They end up missing the big picture on Dorrel.

CFR basically tries to zone into three aspect of Dorrell's tenure in Westwood. His resume, his season-by-season records, and the tumultuous coaching changes that have taken place under him during last three mediocre years. I think they hit the nail on its head when focusing on Dorrell's rather mediocre resume full of holes. Of course KD's backers hailed his experienced because he had supposedly great experiences as an OC at Northern Arizona, and at CU and UDub under Skippy. As CFR points out - not so fast:

* He is not an innovator---When he was hired at UCLA, the press clippings mostly harped about his desire to install the "West Coast Offense". Nowhere were there mentions of "Dorrellian" twists to the West Coast, it's as if he'd simply absorbed what had developed under tutors like Rick Neuheisel and Mike Shanahan without adding to the mix.

* Quirky OC duties---This may be a reach, but KD's never been strictly an OC. He's always been an OC and receivers coach. That's a bit unusual. Most OC's, to my knowledge, tend to worry just about the offense, or might add the title of quarterbacks coach. But in all seven seasons where he's been the OC of a team, Karl Dorrell's also coached the receivers.

*Independence---This is what I alluded to earlier. For the five seasons he ran the offense at Colorado and Washington, Dorrell was also under the employ of one Rick Neuheisel. Right or wrong, Neuheisel has been given credit as an offensive guru of sorts. If that's the case, chances are Dorrell's been given questionable coaching latitude by his boss. There are questions as to how independent he has been as an OC; whether he's been in charge of creating and implementing an offense, or whether he was just the manager and puppet for the head coach and what the big man wanted out of the offense. I don't have the answer to that.
Another thing that is worth pointing out is Dorrell's "NFL experience." Keep in mind he was a WR coach for the Denver Broncos in a team that is DOMINATED by Shanahan and (at the time he was there) and Gary Kubiak (Broncos former OC who is now the Texan?s HC). In other words Dorrell's role in the Bronco?s coaching tree was just about as prominent as Lavin's in Harrick's 1995 staff. Not impressive by any means.

Now CFR as mentioned does a good job of pointing out the huge holes in KD's resume, but they failed to recognize a key point while attempting to analyze Dorrel's season-by-season (mediocre) records in Westwood. Here is CFR:
Numbers aside, UCLA is a team that has improved from year-to-year under Karl Dorrell. Some have argued last year's record was inflated by a friendly schedule, but in my eyes they were also a better team than the 2003 and 2004 squads. That's a surprising revelation when one factors in the lackluster recruiting efforts turned in by Dorrell. Dorrell coached a handful of quality, veteran, high-profile Bob Toledo recruits his first season, then went out and recruited some lowly regarded classes on his own. Things are looking better for UCLA's recruiting this year, but the previous modest recruiting hauls should have dragged his 2005 team down. The opposite has happened, however.
Well that is not quiet right. It is clear Dorrell clearly underachieved in his first two seasons totally failing to take advantage of NFL talents Toledo left him on the defensive side of the ball and basically putting together a product that was utterly inept offensively in his first season. Now during his third season he won 10 games - largely due to the heroics of Drew Olson and Marcedes Lewis. I will give him credit for MJD but no one here will question how instrumental Drew Olson (a Toledo recruit) was in those miraculous come from behind wins against the mediocre teams. Without the DO UCLA would probably be a 7-5 team last season. Also it was Page, Havner, and London kind of holding the defense together (what was left of it)  last season. We are going to see how Dorrell truly does this season. This is his team, his players, and this is the season he is going to have to come up with 9 wins and a win over USC. After all one of the main reasons Toledo was fired  because he was getting blown out and embarrassed by USC towards the end of his tenure in Westwood. And as you can see things haven't improved one bit since he left notwithstanding that one "moral victory" we came up with two years ago:


Photo - AP

CFR goes on to provide a lengthy discussion on all the coaching changes in Dorrel's three seasons in Westwood to come up with the incorrect conclusion that Dorrell is a good coach. Dorrell has had some good moments during his three years in Westwood. But so did Lavin. But even after some of the fleeting brilliant moments from last season, one thing is still painfully apparent to those who follow this Bruin program. A basic foundation is still missing from this football program. Again kind of reminds us of those Lavin coached basketball teams that came up with those great wins at Round 2 of the NCAA and the miraculous wins at Maples, only to crash and burn at very end. Even the outside observers who tried to take a closer look at Lavin's program would often erroneously conclude that Lavin was a good coach. They always missed the big picture. Unfortunately for CFR, despite their hard work on taking a closer look at Dorrell missed the big picture as well. Dorrell hasn't showed anything tangible yet that he is a good coach and that he is the answer to reinstalling UCLA as one of the elite football powers from West Coast.

GO BRUINS.
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