Posts Tagged ‘Tom Herman’

First, Herman at OC combining like minds with WRs coach Stan Drayton (former Florida asst under Meyer) and HC Urban.  Now Coach Withers, who will continue to grow his impressive resume, teaming with another top “up and coming” defensive mind in Luke Fickell. Apart from getting Charlie Strong to leave his HC position with Louisville and join our staff, this couldn’t be a more impressive list of assistants that Meyer is accumulating.

Meyer, by his own admission, spread (no pun) himself too thin trying to manage every aspect of the huge Florida football program. While Tressel never admitted the same, its pretty obvious that he did the same. Not only with all the problems inherent in today’s modern big college football program, but just in the way his offenses went sour after Troy Smith left – especially evident in the whole Terrelle Pryor debacle, where, not only were the offenses during this time never able to really take advantage of Pryor’s skills, but the off the field problems that Pryor was a part of arguably led to Tressel losing his lofty position a top the College Football mountain.

Tressel was a great coach with one serious flaw that contributed to problems in his offensive schemes and even more tragically problems off the field. That same flaw, while present in Meyer at the end of his time at Florida, really does hold the same validity when comparing his career path with that of Tressel. Meyer worked his way up the ladder at BIG SCHOOLS. Tressel also was an assistant at some big schools (mainly OSU in the 80s when he missed coaching with Meyer by one year), but once he took over Youngstown State his “up the ladder” progress was basically over. He ran Youngstown State – I mean RAN every aspect on the field as well as off. He was the “Senator” way before that moniker was used at Ohio State.

Ironically, the same success that got Tressel the GRAND OSU job is the same success that ultimately led to his ignominious and truly tragic ending. Tressel is a good man and a great coach – everyone who really knows the man says the same thing – but he took on too much at OSU and it caught up to him – first with his anemic Offense, then with his bungling of “off the field” issues. Coach Tressel needed some better assistance with his offense – maybe a new mind, or just a little less control. He seemed to be giving a little more freedom to Darrell Hazell near the end with some decent results. But he could never totally let go of the control that he has always had since YSU. The story is tragic because Coach T is a smart man and with some new influences from other like minds may have once again been able to show his prowess at putting together good offenses. Don’t forget the incredible jobs he did with a very poor thrower in Craig Krenzel and a very raw product coming out of High School in Troy Smith. Even the way he used lanky Todd Boeckman needs to be commended. The real trouble started with Pryor and the insistence of using him in a pro passing/multiple scheme offense, forcing a very round peg into a square hole – a lot of room for mistakes.

I do not expect the same tragic error from Meyer for two reasons. First, Meyer has had a long coaching history in big programs under big coaches. He has had a lot of influences before taking the head job at Bowling Green, let alone the head job at BIG SCHOOL Florida. In other words, Meyer knows the value of assistants and HELP! Not that Tressel didn’t – all good coaches understand this – but his wisdom in accepting help seems to have gotten away from him after YEARS of the TRESSEL WAY. Not necessarily ego – maybe more of a lack of practice – as the demands at OSU were far greater than YSU and have even become greater since the infamous Maurice Clarett days. Urban has had the advantage of “growing” into a Big College Head Coach – an advantage that Coach T never had as he was basically “thrown” into his big position. The autonomy that worked in the early 00s didn’t quite do the trick as we approached a new decade at what seems like warp speed.

Second, Meyer already had his spell of over managing and luckily got out before Florida suffered years of bad offenses, mediocre teams or bowl bans and coach dismissals. Not to say that is the scenario that Florida was headed, but their last offense was a bungled attempt to pull away from Meyer’s own successful Power Spread and there were plenty of rumors of off the field issues and discontent among the players during his last two recruiting classes. Now, with a year away from the game and seeing what happened with Tressel, Meyer has some perspective never afforded our former great coach. We already see in the way that Meyer is assembling his staff that he’s ready for new blood and like minds to help him in all aspects of running a major college program. For all the talk of Nick Saban’s brilliance in defensive schemes and recruiting I always felt his best attribute, bar none, was his ability to delegate. On the field as well as off.

One last note on Meyer and his overall awareness of all things football. He was a Special Teams coach in the past in addition to his job as a WRs coach. He LOVES Special Teams – just like another former great coach at OSU. And I can bet you he will not stop until he is satisfied with the quality of EVERY SINGLE MEMBER OF HIS STAFF including our Special Teams coach.

-Drew