Bumped. GO BRUINS. -N
Expanding On A Couple of My Game Day Thread Comments.
Some are questioning a couple of CRN's game decisions -- going for the 4th and 1, and accepting the penalty rather than forcing the field goal.
I do not question those decisions: In the context of the big picture mission -- the creation of a positive attitude and winning culture, CRN made the right call each time.
We must remember that CRN took over a team that played not to lose rather than one that played to win. For the last several years our players were told to take knees, punt on short yardage situations, always go for field goals in the red zone, and even to punt deep in sc territory.
The message this team received during those years was "we don't think you can do it" or "we don't trust you to make the plays".
Both of CRN's decisions that are being questioned conveyed the exact opposite message -- a message that must be sent and internalized if we are to develop winning ways.
On 4th and 1, CRN said to the O, you've been racking up yards, I trust you to get this one. I have confidence in you. Go do it.
And, on taking the penalty, knowing that FSU's field goal kicker was weak, CRN was saying to the D, "Stuff them and they won't make the FG". Again, the message was one of trust in the players -- a message that must be sent and internalized if we are to develop a winning culture.
To succeed and grow, our players must believe that "relentless optimism" is more than a catch phrase, it is a way of life. CRN had to make these calls to prove his point: we are always going to try to win.
Actually, the way we were playing and running the ball, the 4th and 1 call seemed a "no brainer". FSU just stepped up and stopped us.
And, shouldn't a head coach believe that his DC would not let a team score on a 3rd and 22? In making that call he was telling DW, "I trust you, get this done".
(I'm biting my tongue. I don't think that trust is well placed. That's all I'll say, now.)
A few more thoughts: Most of our coaches are doing incredible jobs.
Norm Chow is a genius. He is doing more with less than any coach around. What a brilliant game he called. He got as much out of our O players as one could. And, they played a truly inspired game. They played with passion and heart.
Coleman played extremely well. No one who watched the play or the replay can get down on him for the fumble. It was a great defensive play on the ball. Coleman had it secured but it's not always possible to protect it from a direct hit. He was the right player in the right place. Sometimes things happen. This one play cannot overshadow his entire game.
The O line is pulling together. Palcic is doing a great job. And so are the players.
And a special shout out to Kevin Craft. He has heart and skill. He played within himself and Chow's plan. Both coach and player should be proud.
We are still having special teams problems, but there was clear improvement this week. We are now getting run backs. The holding call was a killer -- but it was real and obvious. Kids make mistakes. Terrence Austin was huge.
Our receivers were running good routes and catching the ball. Embree? Terrific.
There was a lot improvement in all of these divisions of the team. This was not where the game was lost.
One last comment to some of my BN brothers and sisters: I am so tired of hearing that the O is somehow responsible for the D's poor play -- that the D is on the field too long and that it is the O's fault. This mantra started last year and was spread by Walkeristas as a way of defending him against many of us who questioned his coaching ability.
I have reviewed both last year's drive charts and statistics and this year's. The argument that the O is responsible for the D's poor performance is a complete fallacy. This game really proves the point. During the first half, we had a time of possession lead of about 2:1. Our O had long drives through out the game.
The D was on the field because it could not stop anyone. It's that simple. The D always controls its own destiny. All it has to do is hold for a 3 and out. This D allowed FSU first downs on more than 50% of their 3rd downs. That explains why they were on the field so long.
Our D players played their hearts out. Harwell and Price were stalwarts. I don't think the problem is with the players.
The ref's? The SPTR's were themselves, all game. Two or three very bad calls against us, the pass interference call and the roughing the passer -- neither of which were supported by the replays. They also made a bad call against FSU -- the interception that wasn't. I coined the phrase SPTR's years ago. I cannot understand why the Pac 10 doesn't deal with the issue; a major conference cannot continue to have such inept officials. I am not claiming that they were the reason we lost. But, I am saying that so long as we demand excellence from our coaches and players it seems odd that we accept mediocrity from our officials.
This is a game we should have won -- not on paper but on the field. I'm sick that we didn't.
But, I can't help but see the progress most of this team is making and the incredible contributions the new coaches are making to our program.
These new guys, and CRN are going to get us there.
We are not just playing games -- we are rebuilding a program and culture.
To CRN, we understand that to build that culture you have to put the game in your players' hands and let them know that you believe they can handle the situations.
When it works you will be a hero. When it doesn't people will grumble. But, go for it, we have your back.