Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Departures, a day later

The article in the Herald sort of confirmed what has been floating out there: Tuggle's decision was completely amicable and Haden's was less so. Tuggle came to play for a different staff with a different depth chart. He got a chance but future opportunities at QB were unlikely.

Haden's situation is a little more complicated for a variety of reasons. First he is much more high profile recruit. Second, regardless of his health or his stats, there was still hope among those around the program that he would contribute and blossom. But ultimately he was unhappy. When a player is unhappy you can go a few different directions. You can appease him with more playing time. Try to give him extra attention. Talk to his parents. Or let him decide if he wants to be part of the team. The risk in the tough love approach though is that it sends a message to the whole team. It says that you are all in or all out. Spaz even referenced the all in or all out mentality in one of his answers to the Herald -- "If they don’t want to be here, they don’t want to be here."

Spaz isn't the first coach to do this. The difference though in sending tough love to a Billy Bennett type vs a Josh Haden, is that Haden was not as expendable and was popular. Forcing his hand gets rid of a grumpy and potentially negative influence, but it can also snowball if the team doesn't rally behind Spaz.

But how the transfers were handled has more importance in the long term because players will always be our biggest recruiting tool. The staff and the sales pitch gets the guys on campus for a visit, but how a recruit feels among his new potential teammates often makes or breaks the recruiting. There is a lot of self selection involved in the process. The guys think "would I fit in? Do the players seem happy? Do I like the vibe?" After something like this the players left behind will definitely give off a new vibe. They will either buy into Spaz and give that endorsement to recruits or they will send off a message that don't know what to make of their coach.

Transfers happen after coaching changes. More will probably come. Let's hope though that Spaz and Co use this to rally the team and find more guys who want to play at BC.


whitey_b said...

Is it me or was Haden not that good? I appreciate his bloodlines (father, brother at UF), but he wasnt really durable or that quick really. No burst.

I think he sees his brother and wants that kind of success, but I dont think he's the same talent or next level future. I really dont think it was his unhappiness with BC but the unhappiness that he might have felt anywhere because of his limited ability.

eagleboston said...

Haden was not near as good as his accolades. I can think of at least 5 BC running backs in the past 15 years that were better. My all-time favorite is Derrick Knight, but BC had a stretch in the late 90's and early Oughts where they had great running backs.

I hate to see BC lose any players, but sometimes it cannot be helped. Harris beat out Haden and Haden wants to go somewhere where he is the featured back. I wish him the best of luck.

The Tuggle situation is eerily reminiscent of an Iowa sutuation. 2 years ago, they replaced Jake Christiansen, son of an NFL player, with Ricky Stanzi. Jake trasferred to a smaller school as he wanted playing time. Meanwhile, Iowa is undefeated and in the Top 10. I hope we can have similar results with Shinksie next season.

Dan said...

It'll be interesting to see what becomes of Haden. He could probably be used better given is skill set but if you can't make something big out of the holes a BC O-line creates on their good days then I doubt you're gonna be a featured back at too many schools.

Also, I'm a little skeptical of the last line in that article that says it was a coincidence that they left on the same day.

morrina said...

Did anyone see this nugget from HD: "This has to be frustrating for Spaziani and for Eagles' fans. Both of these players provided depth and experience at their positions that will be noticeably missed." True for Haden, but not really for Tuggle.

Erik said...

I wonder if we completely abandon the bazooka now, knowing we need Harris to stay healthy.

Maybe we can get Jeff Smith involved in that action, getting your faster player moving before the snap has potential.

cjack said...

Don't expect to see Jet anymore, but why can't Finch serve the role Haden did? Personally, I've always thought Clyde Lee would fit that role well (and he's practiced it throughout pre-season...)

eagleinexile said...

I concur with general consensus that Haden was not as good as his billing. I was expecting a back more like William Green, about the only similarity was jersey number.
Now, I realize we've had a coaching change, but is the cupboard really that bare at RB? TOB's first year we had Omari Walker, Mike Cloud, Quinton Lee and
Cedric Washington. Granted, Lee did not amount to much, but the other three were all 1,000 yard rushers (usually only in 11 games) at some point in their careers, and Spaz was the RB coach back then. I just find it hard to believe that there is no one on the bench ready to step up and fill in for a guy who thinks he's better than he is.

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Raj said...

I really think Haden is getting a raw deal from our fans. He was a good player, not a great player, but also didnt get that many touches to prove himself. Comparing him with Willie Green is ridiculous. Willie Green was a monster with tremendous size speed. I actually sat in a class with him (the 1 he attended), kid was stacked. Josh Haden didnt wow us with his strength or size, we knew we were getting an undersized back with good quickness.

With limited touches, there are plenty of times where he broke off 20 yard runs. I'll take that from a freshman RB. And having Smith in the backfield is scary. I'm glad he got back to playing, but let's be honest he's better suited as a WR at this point.

eagleinexile said...


I was really referring to the "hype" generated by Haden's recruitment. We had not had that for an RB since Green, and I think people (I for one) were expecting somewhat of a game-breaking ability from Haden. Yes, he was a good player, and he will be missed, but my real comment was directed at our apparent lack of depth at RB. It's time to let the young guys step up and see what they can do, kind of like Central Michigan's QB, who owes his success to BC knocking out the starter 3 years ago. But I agree, Smith in the backfield is not desirable.