Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Counterpoint

Eagle Action posted a article today blaming recruiting for BC and Spaz's current problems. I like Eric Hoffses's work in general but assume this was written in response to my "No Excuses" post and the general feeling around the message boards. I obviously don't buy the talent excuse and would ask the following two questions to anyone who claims talent is the issue.

1. Does BC have 2-3 talent?
2. Has the staff done a good job with the talent they have?

28 comments:

Scott said...

I'll bite. So do we have talent better than our record of 2-3 (soon to be 2-4). Our problems are on offense, and particularly at the skill spots. So really, your question is, "do we have better offensive skill talent than Notre Dame, Va Tech, NC State, and FSU?

The answer is, how many of our offensive skills guys could currently start for those teams?

QB: Some Day Rettig may be better than Crist, T.Taylor, R.Wilson, and Ponder, but not as a True Frosh. Shinskie/Marsco aren't even walk-ons at those schools.

WR: Our best guys are Swiggert, Amigon, Coleman ... and possible Phillips/Lee if we ever see them. That group had less than 10 career receptions, and questionable speed (but for Lee) Maybe some day half from that group would make it into a regular rotation at our 4 loses, but for now, not would play as a true frosh at those schools.

RB: Montel is a good steady, between the tackles runner. And even special in a well-balanced offense. He might start at some of those schools, and even do well.

Our strength on offense is supposed to be our underperforming the o-Line, Costano would start anywhere. Lampham & Clairborne probably could as well. We're unspectacular at the other spots, but as a whole, our Line should be as good as any.

Still, I don't think you'll ever see an ACC team with as little experience and speed as we currently have at QB, WR, and RB. But I expect our QB/WR's to be very good once they've played together for 2-3 seasons, which is a rare opportunity in college ball.

By year 4, they should be special ... if they are developed and coached well.

Ryan said...

Am I missing something here? Wasn't half or more of this staff here during the Jags era and involved in recruiting all these guys? You can't have it both ways; either they players suck (I hardly think so and it's a chickenshit move to throw them under the bus) and it's the staff's fault for failing to recruit better ones OR the coaching staff sucks for failing to develop them and scheme around their weaknesses. Jags wasn't the only one in charge of this team.

Patrick said...

ATL, couldn't agree more that if recruiting is the issue, then the current staff is largely responsible for the lack of talent.

To answer the first question, though, BC may have 2-3 talent (lest we forget that last year, the WF, FSU, Maryland, and Virginia games all could have very easily gone the other way, and we could have been 4-8).

We do, however, have plenty of talent to be competitive, and we should not be getting blown out by fringe top-30 teams like ND and NC State.

BCDoubleEagle said...

Don't count this team out just yet:

A few players have taken it upon themselves to make sure everyone has their intensity where it should be.

“I think everyone is pretty fired up,” said defensive end Alex Albright. “After practice (Tuesday) I was in the locker room and (cornerback) DeLeon (Gause) and (running back) Montel (Harris) were going around the locker room saying ‘We’ve got to bring it this week! We’ve got to bring it this week.!’ That’s not usually something you see after practice. Everyone’s pretty tired, but they were getting in everyone’s face, getting excited and I think that energy’s going to translate in practice over to the rest of the players.”

Gause thinks that approach was necessary.

“There’s a fire that needs to be sparked,” Gause said.

- http://bostonherald.com/sports/college/football/view/20101014chase_rettig_ready_to_return_bc_could_use_spark

Bravesbill said...

So instead of losing by 50, they'll only lose by 40 instead?

Rob said...

Do we have 2-3 talent, sure, we played 3 tough teams, no guarantees that we'd win any of those games.

Has the staff done a good job with the talent they have. No. We have the talent to compete with VTech, NC State, and ND. But with the exception of the first half of VTech, we were not competitive in any of those games. We were embarrassed. We're not Vanderbilt, we have legit talent and the ability to compete and win against any team in the ACC. The fact that we haven't done so is on the staff.

We've been embarrassed 5 times in the last two years. We've looked incompetent on offense at least that many times. I think that's a really bad sign for the future of this team under Spaz. Hope I'm wrong.

TC said...

To Question 1: I'd say yes, we do have 2-3 talent. You stack up our overall talent against VT, ND and even NCST and I think most experts would agree that we don't have the depth, athleticism and experience of those teams. Particularly at the QB and WR.
However, the gap is not nearly as wide as the results of the those three games suggests. Which leads me to Questions 2. NO, we have not maximized the talent we do have. Not even close. And that's been the most discouraging aspect of the last 3 games. Uninspired play calling, zero emotion, sloppy, undisciplined penalties - this more than talent has led more than anything to the blowouts - IMO.

Rob said...

Also, I just wanted to add: Keep the pressure on ATL! Talent is not the only issue here, it doesn't benefit the team or the coaching staff if the fans and media let them skate by on this "we don't have the players", nonsense. We should have been seeing the talent improve over the past 17 games. Instead, I'm having trouble thinking of a lot of players who have gotten better under this staff. But I can think of quite a few who are performing worse. That's damning, and it needs to change or the coaching staff needs to change.

ATL_eagle said...

The three teams we lost to are not juggernauts.

VT lost to James Madison. Notre Dame lost twice in close games and got crushed by Stanford.

East Carolina put up points on VT and we got shut out.

I could go on. Talent is not the issue. And if it is talent then Spaz, McG, Siravo, Sirmans, Commy and Day need to look themselves in the mirror since they recruited the majority of these kids.

VinnyBostonCollegeEagle said...

It all turns around this week. I think we will look at these last three games as a growing process for this young team! I truely expect and believe that we will win this game!
Rettig brings new leadership and once we get going we won't be stopped!!!

GO EAGLES!!!

TC said...

Talent is not the only issue and not the biggest issue - but it's definitely an issue at QB and WR. Our starting QB is one of the least talented in the ACC, if not the country. Our receiving core has potential - but our top 3 receivers consists of a guy who was playing DE in the Spring, one who has 2 years of organized football experience and one who played HS QB last Fall. There has been an ENORMOUS talent disparity at those key positions vs. ND, VT and NCST.
But to your point ATL - the current coaching staff was responsible for recruiting this talent and is responsible for maximizing it. So I put the last 3 weeks squarely on their shoulders.

Rob said...

Vinny,

I love your optimism. Let's hope the team shares it. I know I'll still be watching.

Atl,

Agree that these guys recruited the talent, so they shouldn't complaining about it. But we are young at QB and WR. What I was saying is more that it is conceiveable that we could go 2-3 with some of the youngin's playing against the teams we played, who are not pushovers. 2-3 would be disappointing, but somewhat reasonable, if we had played these teams tough. That's the bare minimum to expect with the talent we have.

But we weren't even in the games, and the only real spark I saw was when Rettig finally calmed down against ND. Of course, maybe he wouldn't have needed to calm down if the staff had figured out he was our best chance sometime in the spring/summer.

Doornekamp! said...

When's the last time a BC wide receiver was a regular in the NFL? Was it Waddle? We've had a bunch of pro-caliber players from every other position, but we can't seem to even luck into a star receiver. What's up with that?

Also, can someone explain Boise St. to me? They never rank in the top 50 in recruiting, yet they manage to be regularly in the top 10 these days and competing against the biggest of the big boys when they happen to play them. How do they do it? Is it just great coaching? Or have they played too few real opponents to really have any idea what's going on?

dubyacubed said...

I watched the 2006 BC/FSU game last night and was surprised to be reminded of how many of those players have had or are having NFL careers. My evaluation is that we certainly don't have near that talent level and the fact we are playing os many true freshman is evidence of that. I also noticed the "can do" attitude of Ryan and that team was impressive. That only comes with confidence and our team is lacking this now. Having said all that what ever happened to BC teams playing at at level that is above their talent level. That has been our trademark and we seem to have regressed. However, I don't want this blog to devolve to a mdium where we only tera apart the current staff and team (Get rid of TOB, Jags is not committed, Spaz is over his head) this just doesn't feel good to me. Talent is down and all this transition has put us in a trough. Spaz will have a couple years to continue the success of BC so how about some constructive comments that a recuit might read on this board.

mod34b said...

Another take on the talent issue is to ask how our "somewhat lesser" talent limits the options for the coaches.

Take Harris. He is talented. But his talents seem to be limited to btw the tackles plays. Because he lacks true "turn the corner" speed, we can't run outside with him.

Take the present DL. They are talented in run stopping; but they lack the burst of energy and speed to be even decent pass rushers. As a result, the opposing QB gets too much time, and we have to resort to the horrible "bend-don't-break" defense.

Take the current OL: formerly talented at run blocking, but not very talented at pass protection. As a result, QB lacks time and we need to throw shorter passes, but our WR are not quick enough and experienced enough to have crisp short routes; QB can't thread the needle on the short plays.

Take our kick returners: they lack true big-league elusiveness, quickness and speed; hence we are often stuck with bad field position. We have to be happy that they don't fumble.

So it is all one big mess where weaknesses limits options. It's easy to say the coaches play calling is bad, but what are the options? If Shinskie can't make a simple out pass for a 3 yards gain, what can the coaches do? If Harris can't run wide, what can the coaches do (The old "T" formation to give him a few yards lead time, maybe?)? If the DL can't rush, what great defensive packages can be implemented. Don't get me wrong, there must far more options than are being used now, but the options are limited base don talent issues. It is what it is.

Because BC will always lag somewhat in the recruiting department, we need a coach with some imagination and verve. Spaz ain't that guy. He can't make silk purse from a sow's ear.

Doornekamp! said...

I agree with ATL's point, which is that recruiting is really not a factor for what's happening. While maybe we aren't as talented as the teams we lost to, it's no excuse to lose as badly as we have lost. Our talent may explain why we have a tough time ever doing better than 10-2, but it doesn't explain getting blown out on a regular basis to teams that aren't great in their own rights. How many very good players did we lose from last year? Gunnell, Tennant, McLoughlin, Bowman, Rollins, etc. were good, but were they that good? Look at ND for the last few years - they always had great recruiting, but something was lacking. It seemed like the players just didn't want to go out and lay it on the line for Charlie. Not saying that's what's happening here...just that recruiting is a big piece, but it doesn't always explain why a team struggles.

BCDoubleEagle said...

Two points:

1. Has anyone considered that it's BOTH recruiting and coaching, and not necessarily one or the other?

2. Before we completely throw Spaz under the bus, let's see what happens when we start a healthy, legitimate Div. 1-A quarterback for several games in a row. That has not happened since 2008.

Danny Boy said...

Lets look at the trends from the past 10 years.

We have been a team who have always lacked talent compared to most of our competitors. We never have had the same caliber recruits, the same amount of athletes, or the same amount of playmakers.

However, we have been a team that gets coached up, makes fewer mistakes than we cause (on the whole) and generally do what is needed to win. We use each tool to their best and play within our own identity.

Now we have an OC who has a history of refusing to model his schemes after the tools in his chest (see: Parker, Willie). Instead of finding ways to boost Shinksie's confidence and talent over 17 games, he keeps hammering away with the same game plan. Instead of finding ways to get our most valuable asset (Harris - another undersized RB for Tranquill to deal with) the ball he space he keeps sending him into a wall of defenders.

Crane was by no means a great QB, but look at how he progressed in just the course of 8 games. Uncle Dave has seen twice that with no progress (and maybe even some regression). When Davis came in, the OC tailored the game to help Davis be successful. Have we seen any of that with our current OC?

Maybe he knew that Shinskie and Marsco weren't the answer this year. If thats the case, why redshirt Rettig at all? We have a wealth of QBs, we can afford to burn a redshirt. Our current coaches don't seem to make decisions. They seem to float by on cruise control until something forces their hand. That isn't coaching, that is coasting.

Knucklehead said...

Our major problem this year is that we do not have a major problem. We has several major problems. 1)The Offensive line is the worst that we have had in years. Costanzo and Claiborne are ranked highly on the draft boards. They are proving this year why draft boards and recruiting ranks are bogus . . . it gives players a big head which leads to reduced effort and football has everything to do with effort. Also the loss of Matt Tennant has been huge. Without a decent QB or Center our offense is highly vulnerable against good defensive schemes. 2)The coaching. A) We have had three coaches in 5 years(or so). We have three different sets of players. TOB's, Jags(felons), and Spazs'. Have you all seen the spike in suspensions with Jags "guys?" The kid from Trinity Pawling is a disgrace, the wide receiver from Jersey is hurt but he would have been suspended otherwise, B) Spaz needs to figure out what his head coaching identity is so that the players know what to expect. Spaz is a pseudo Al Skinner in terms of his true mentality towards life but then he has this football mentality which is kind of disciplined/hardnosed. The players have to be seeing through this because they are completely uninspired, C) Who is the O-line coach? Whoever he is should be let go or moved to another role on the team. D) Our talent has always been inferior when compared to better teams be it in the Big East or the ACC. The only difference now is that we are not playing inspired smart football. That is coaching, that is talent, and that is players that do have now.

I love Boston College football. We may have to bite the bullett for the rest of this year and next to give Spaz a chance.

At this point as long as we beat Duke and UVA I will be happy this year. Those schools still have a chip on their shoulder because of The Civil War and we need to knock it off.

Final thought. ND beat us because we were rooked by the officials in the first half and because of coaching. Fortunately/ Unfortunately Boston College will never pay officials under the table for calls and it will never pay someone 4 million dollars a year to coach football. Gene's overall perspective is what differentiates us from literally everyone else in college sports. He may take alot of crap but he has kept the program clean. For that I will deal with a couple of down years. Wwe all know Boston College sells itself so better coaches and players are on the way

Knucklehead said...

Our major problem this year is that we do not have a major problem. We has several major problems. 1)The Offensive line is the worst that we have had in years. Costanzo and Claiborne are ranked highly on the draft boards. They are proving this year why draft boards and recruiting ranks are bogus . . . it gives players a big head which leads to reduced effort and football has everything to do with effort. Also the loss of Matt Tennant has been huge. Without a decent QB or Center our offense is highly vulnerable against good defensive schemes. 2)The coaching. A) We have had three coaches in 5 years(or so). We have three different sets of players. TOB's, Jags(felons), and Spazs'. Have you all seen the spike in suspensions with Jags "guys?" The kid from Trinity Pawling is a disgrace, the wide receiver from Jersey is hurt but he would have been suspended otherwise, B) Spaz needs to figure out what his head coaching identity is so that the players know what to expect. Spaz is a pseudo Al Skinner in terms of his true mentality towards life but then he has this football mentality which is kind of disciplined/hardnosed. The players have to be seeing through this because they are completely uninspired, C) Who is the O-line coach? Whoever he is should be let go or moved to another role on the team. D) Our talent has always been inferior when compared to better teams be it in the Big East or the ACC. The only difference now is that we are not playing inspired smart football. That is coaching, that is talent, and that is players that do have now.

I love Boston College football. We may have to bite the bullett for the rest of this year and next to give Spaz a chance.

At this point as long as we beat Duke and UVA I will be happy this year. Those schools still have a chip on their shoulder because of The Civil War and we need to knock it off.

Final thought. ND beat us because we were rooked by the officials in the first half and because of coaching. Fortunately/ Unfortunately Boston College will never pay officials under the table for calls and it will never pay someone 4 million dollars a year to coach football. Gene's overall perspective is what differentiates us from literally everyone else in college sports. He may take alot of crap but he has kept the program clean. For that I will deal with a couple of down years. Wwe all know Boston College sells itself so better coaches and players are on the way

ATL_eagle said...

dubyacubed:

I don't want to spend all my time taking down Spaz. It is not fun. This blog is always more fun when we are winning. I like to think I defend the players so when an article comes out from EA throwing the current players under the bus, I will call BS.

Ryan said...

Who is this receiver from Jersey who is hurt but would be suspended? Phillips? What are you even talking about with Jags players being felons? Seriously idiotic.

Knucklehead said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Knucklehead said...

Colin Larmond Jr. He basically recruited the Phillips kid though so you were close there Ryan.

I forgot to mention Ugo Ukpara(spelling), Jessie Tuggle, and Josh Hayden . . . all highly questionable character-wise.

Ryan said...

Who's Jessie Tuggle? I can see you really follow this team closely. Regardless, none of those players were felons as you put it.

Knucklehead said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Knucklehead said...

Don't get sarcastic because you didn't know who Colin Larmond Jr. was. Your ignorance is not my fault. Never-the-less it is sad that you do not know who he is especially for someone who follows the team a closely as you do.

My brother was roommates with Hayden 2 years ago. I know more than you do so beat it.

Darius said...

Like how to spell his name the supersecret BFF way?

Just sayin'.