Posts Tagged ‘Urban Meyer’

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

This is a guy I was studying back in 2008 when I was learning why Florida wiped out  a much more talented (and yes speedier) OSU team in Jan of 2007.  I also studied all the recruiting, talent and coaches in the SEC in 2008/2009 and quickly found out the wins over the Big 10 were not matters of talent and speed,  but coaches and schemes.  There’s a reason for the SEC having the highest paid assistants.

The Urban Meyer Schemes and Way changing OSU forever more – a foray into the future of the ever changing face of American Football!

Back to the Future – Shotgun Football (A 100 year full circle starting early last century)

OSU’s failure to understand the full implications of the Spread and the BALANCE of the PS

The morphing of the Passing Spread into the Power Spread, seen as the illusionary death of the Spread Offense in College Football

A True Power SpreadThe Florida Gator/Urban Meyer Offense

Urban Meyer – more than just Offensive Schemes  He has learned from a lot of coaches – yes, even the Power Spread.  And he was a great Special Teams coach before anything else.  He has always delegated well, recruited well and paid attention to all the details required to produce top teams.  In fact, he has a lot in common with a former great coach here at OSU named Jim Tressel.  And like Tressel he tended to take on too much and not let his highly paid assistants take over when needed.

Here’s a scary thought – as good as Meyer was, he may be better now. He has made mistakes in the past – even mistakenly moving away from his own gem of an offense!  He has the experience of years now.   And if there was one element as a Head Coach that a Nick Saban had over Meyer it was the ability to let his assistants do their job and not give into the obsessional need to take over ever phase of the team.  Meyer says he has learned from his time off – I BELIEVE HIM – expect this detailed, smart, open minded coach to be a Saban like delegator making him the Coach of the Year for 2012!

-Drew

Kurt to Drew:

Read the link.  Skip to last bullet point if you wish.  Meyer has maintained a relationship with Coach Stud apparently…

Drew to Kurt:

I said it before and I will say it again – Miles is holding back Studs, just like he would have done with Krags and he did with Crowton.  With more control, Crowton would have most likely  ran more intricate passing spreads , but with only a little Power Spread mixed in – but at least he would have gotten rid of a lot of the once successful, but now outdated two back stuff and veer option football that Miles ran back as an OC at Oklahoma St in the 90s .  Krags would have also been more about the passing spread, but with a little more PS mixed in and staying more with one back sets.   Studs = PS ALL THE WAY, as he comes directly from the Urban Meyer lineage at Bowling Green.  
I know he’s an OL coach  and that could be a problem – but like I said – I keep an open mind –  he’s an individual and NO ONE has free reign to work the PS or any Spread at LSU with Miles in charge.
I tell you this I like some of the stuff I have seen from LSU’s scheming and play calling this year -but then all of a sudden it sucks again.  I know that Krag supposedly still has influence , but I cant help but think that Studs is working some good stuff into the LSU offense this year, but  as always, Mile’s insists at sticking with what “he knows” over and over and over again.  Mile’s is very successful in many aspects of being a Head Coach, from recruiting to motivation, but he’s not the up and coming offensive mind that he seemed to be in the 90s with Oklahoma State.  If there’s been one and possibly his only flaw at LSU its in his lack of any real focus on offense and his inability to forge his old school concepts on offense with what is happening today.
Put it this way – Meyer/Studs or Tressel/Bolshit – to run an offense?  Remember that a former Meyer protege at Florida, Stan Drayton, is already our WRS coach! He hails from Allegheny College in my area of Western PA and where my cousin went to school and played Hockey!
ONE REQUEST TO URBANPlease keep Fickell -who was turning into a heckuva Defensive Coordinator before the whole tattoo mess!
~Drew

SEE THIS:

This is what LSU needs to be doing with Jordan Jefferson to win the game —– POWER SPREAD —-  with the QB as a dual threat  —-  and this is the main reason I feel Alabama wins a defensive struggle.  Nick Saban’s Defense will not have trouble with the multiple Cluster of schemes that LSU runs.  And Les Miles will again do just enough to cost his team a crucial win.

BREAK DOWN:

OFFENSE – Alabama lost the big 3 at QB, RB and WR, but McCarron is a bigger recruit and talent than was McElroy and just lacks experience, Richardson is a MUCH bigger recruit than Ingram and an absolute monster and while those no way to replace Julio Jones, Haze and Hanks are fine in the multiple offenses skillfully handled by OC, Jim McElwain.  Plus, according to Phil Steele, Alabama has its “most exp’d OL in 3Y.”  Counting Richardson as a returning starter (since he’s a Heisman Candidate), Alabama has 8 starters returning on offense.  

LSU also has 8 starters returning on offense, but has had a switch at QB and OC this year as star QB recruit, Jordan Jefferson, found himself in a world of trouble in the offseason and former starter Jarrett Lee has seen most of the playing time.  The transition has been smooth as LSU returned 9 out of 10 Offensive Lineman, 2 starters at WR and their usual plethora of RB talent.  The big change is really at OC, where Gary Crowton never saw eye to eye with Miles and was supposed to be replaced with Spread master, Steve Kragthorpe, but he had to step down due to Parkinson’s.  Out went any real chance at consistent Power Spread with talented Jefferson as Miles is a former successful OC himself, but prefers to cling tightly to the old stand by schemes, only giving over slightly to the PS, because of Jefferson’s great running ability at QB.  With Pro Sets and some spread passing with Lee , this is easy pickings for Saban – the master at defending the passing spread. And Pro Sets are easy for any decent DC.

DEFENSE – Simple – 2 great Defenses and defensive minds. Saban is recognized as a defensive genius and Kirby Smart (DC) is his protege. John Chavis had as much to do with Tennessee’s great success in the last two decades as their head coach,  Phillip Fulmer.  His small, but speedy aggressive defenses were often overshadowed by the likes of Petyon Manning and other offensive stars.  He came to a great situation at LSU as they also use small, but speedy Linebackers and with Miles great recruiting and LSU’s traditions can actually get Chavis more talent than he even had to work with at Tennessee.  This year, according to Phil Steele, this is the most experienced LSU DL in years after several years of graduation and decline. Unfortunately, LSU lost possibly its greatest CB ever in Patrick Peterson (#1 DC ARIZ), but have 3 of 4 excellent starters back in the secondary.  With a total of 7 returning starters, LSU has had a top 3 defense all year long.

Unfortunately for LSU, Alabama has 10 starters back and has been the #1 defense all year!  With only one graduated starter on defense replaced by top notch JUCO DL, Jesse Williams, this defense is formidable and possibly better than the 2009 version. As good as LSU is on D this year, without Peterson, you have to give the nod to Alabama.

SPECIAL TEAMS – Always a staple of the detail oriented Saban teams – this year could be special as all the STeams performers are returning!  Again, LSU is hurt more by graduation as they lose a lot from their #2 ranked STeams of 2010. Miles surprisingly has had many good special teams during his head coaching career – not as much due to his attention to detail as with Saban, but more due to his all out aggressive nature and risk/reward mentality that permeates his teams.

COACHING – ALABAMA HANDS DOWN. Not necessarily because Saban is so great (overrated?) or Miles is so bad (underrated?), but because of 2 other factors

1 – Continuity – Two great DCs, but while I wouldnt call McElwain of Alabama a great OC, he’s solid, works well with Saban, and has been there a while. The OC at LSU is their OL coach under Miles and Crowton, Greg Studrawa. He also served as OL coach under Urban Meyer and Dan Mullen at Bowling Green, before being promoted to OC when Meyer left.  As OC he continued the success of  the Power Spread under Mullen and with Omar Jacobs as his QB.  I cant imagine what a PS guy like Studrawa must have felt being stuck in between Crowton’s passing spreads and Mile’s more conventional 2 back offenses. Its hard to know what Miles is thinking as Kragthorpe is a Spread guy as is Studrawa, but the problems with Jefferson changed whatever ideas any of these men might have had for LSU this past Spring.  A lot of potential with Studrawa, but a mess compared to Alabama’s solid situation and still not enough POWER SPREAD!

2 – DETAILS, DETAILS, DETAILS – While Miles is a great recruiter (possibly better than Saban, imo!), he doesnt adhere to the details that Saban does – almost no one does. He also doesnt have the organization that Saban promotes – again, almost no one does.   AND Miles will tend to take crazy risks during big games.  All these factors have lead to big losses in the past for Miles, where Saban probably wins the same type of game. Even the great LSU team of 2007 almost blew it with much disorganization, lack of detail  and crazy risk taking throughout the whole season!

BOTTOM LINE – Alabama has  lost a great leader at QB and a great WR (they replaced their Heisman RB with the same quality). LSU lost a great CB, dang good LB and had all kinds of problems this summer with their multi-talented QB.  Plus, more than anything, the OC situation is still shaky.  The losses are pretty even.

But the overall experience is on Alabama’s side.  Especially on Defense (slight edge) and Special Teams (Big Edge). Even if you give LSU the edge on offense – its only slight. Add in the coaching edge and  Home Field advantage for the Tide, plus Mile’s penchant for blowing big games and this is just too many obstacles for LSU and Alabama should win a great defensive battle

ONE CHANCE FOR LSU? – I will finish how I started:

POWER SPREAD WITH JEFFERSON (like OSU needed to do with this guy below!)

BUT WILL MILES FINALLY CATCH ON AND LET JEFFERSON AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, OC STUDWARA , LOOSE!  

-Drew