Mike Leach’s quarterbacks have by no means price him his job

Will Rogers and Mike Leach

Will Rogers and Mike Leach
Picture: Getty Photos

The subsequent time a pundit says “Lacking on such-and-such QB price coach X his job” might be my subsequent go to to the psych ward. You recognize why Spencer Rattler didn’t price Lincoln Riley his job, and Paul Chryst couldn’t survive Graham Mertz? One seems at a chalkboard as a spot to attract performs, and the opposite sees a canvas.

Granted, being the coach each quarterback desires to play for helps hold the QB secure teeming with thoroughbreds. It’s not a coincidence that Riley’s system produces profitable quarterbacks. If it wasn’t Caleb Williams, it might’ve been another person the identical approach Mike Leach molds 4,500-yard passers wherever he goes. Ohio State head coach Ryan Day has given us sufficient proof that he additionally will get the most effective out of his sign callers.

Sure, Alabama has all-world expertise on a regular basis; Nick Saban additionally all the time has some failed head coach rekindling his prowess calling the offense. Invoice O’Brien is on his solution to one other head teaching job after Steve Sarkisian and Lane Kiffin used the Bama bump to return to the sidelines. Whether or not these disciples are nice head coaches is irrelevant. In case you give them infallible substances and solely ask them to cook dinner, not run a kitchen, they’ll provide you with high-end meals.

Despite the fact that Chryst’s steaks come out completely temped, you’re nonetheless consuming meat and potatoes each Saturday.

Which brings me to my subsequent challenge (course?).

Concern concerning the cooks at LSU and clearly Texas A&M

Just like the Crimson Tide, each time the Bayou Bengals get a succesful coordinator they appear otherworldly. Nonetheless, after watching Brian Kelly’s groups at Notre Dame for almost a dozen seasons, my inclination is that we’re not going to see constant fireworks in Baton Rouge. Right here’s the place his groups ranked nationally in factors per sport throughout his tenure with the Irish: 68, 49, 81, 74, 40, 33, 53, 24, 42, 13, 30, 20. Subsequent, title me his finest quarterback. Ian E-book? Deshone Kizer? Take away the non-power 5 blowouts, the Tigers are scoring 25 factors per sport this season. The win-ugly stuff that flourished in South Bend is rather a lot more durable to tug off within the SEC.

Since Jimbo Fisher received the nationwide title at Florida State in 2013 and completed second within the nation in scoring, his group’s scoring offenses have completed ranked: 35, 46, 31, 71, 19, 62, 37, 56. The Aggies are 108th in scoring this yr and that features their non-conference video games, and his quarterbacks have develop into as nondescript as his offenses.

For the sake of equity, let’s check out Leach’s previous two stops. Right here’s the place his squads have completed since 2012 when he took over Washington State: 108, 52, 47, 48, 18, 50, 15, 11, 110, 60. The 108th and one hundred and tenth finishes have been the primary years with the applications, and this season they’re scoring 38 factors a sport (twenty third nationally) and 32 ppg towards Energy 5 faculties. So since 2012, Leach has had as many top-15 offenses at Washington State as Kelly and Fisher have mixed at Florida State, Notre Dame, Texas A&M, and LSU in about twenty years value of labor.

The Bulldogs misplaced to the Tigers in mid-September — which was imagined to occur as a result of one is LSU and the opposite is Mississippi State — however did put it on the Aggies final week. Quarterback Will Rogers has a 19-3 TD-INT ratio on the season, is amassing 346 yards passing per outing, and Miss St. goes to be annoying to play all season even within the SEC.

I do know huge faculties are hesitant to rent Leach as a result of he locks concussed gamers in closets and would fling toe fungus on the boosters, however somebody please give that man Mel Tucker cash.

How methods assist QB and groups

Programs aren’t dangerous for quarterbacks. They make the roles of everybody simpler. And it’s not only a bunch of extensive receiver screens, or the school soccer equal of a quantity scorer. It’s a quarterback seeing what his play-caller is seeing as a result of they’re on the identical web page. It’s getting a name in from the sidelines in a well timed vogue and never observing a play sheet prefer it’s written in Mandarin.

Have a look at USC this season. Clearly, it helps that the coach-QB tandem is of their second yr collectively. The remainder of the group is essentially new to Riley’s scheme although, and so they’re averaging greater than 40 factors per sport and have one turnover on the season. Whereas Williams has been sensible together with his decision-making, what number of occasions have we seen a botched handoff result in a fumble, a decide attributable to a receiver persevering with his route as a substitute of discovering the outlet within the zone — or any variety of miscommunications that appear to occur extra often in dangerous offenses?

Hendon Hooker is ready to run Josh Heupel’s break-neck-paced system at Tennessee so properly as a result of he’s in sync together with his coach and is ready to get linemen and talent gamers lined up rapidly and accurately. Sam Hartman executing Dave Clawson’s mind-boggling mesh operating scheme at Wake Forest is one other instance of a symbiotic coach-QB relationship serving to a unit hum as a complete.

Poor teaching vs. dangerous quarterbacks

After which we have now Wisconsin. They fired Chryst, and other people have been like, welp, powerful luck lacking on Graham Mertz. Certain, I assume. That stated, when was the final time the Badgers had a passing sport that instilled worry in defenses exterior of Russell Wilson greater than a decade in the past?

I do know they’re constructed on operating the ball, and that’s been the important thing to Rose Bowl appearances and 10-win seasons. Nonetheless, if Wisconsin desires to persistently compete for Huge Ten titles, it must be multi-dimensional. It’s clearly simpler stated than executed, however I a minimum of perceive the place the athletic division was coming from after watching Mertz regress the previous few seasons. The truth that they’ll run the ball so properly ought to make it simpler on the quarterback, and but anytime a Badger dropped again it felt like making an attempt to restart a Buick that’s been sitting in grandma’s storage the previous decade.

Former Nebraska QB Adrian Martinez choked persistently beneath Scott Frost, and now beneath Chris Klieman, he has Kansas State within the High 20 whereas rediscovering the arrogance that was sapped from him in Lincoln. Hooker was at Virginia Tech, who’s eternally challenged offensively, previous to blooming at UT.

I’ve stated beforehand that QB transfers are sometimes not the reply as a result of the issue normally lies within the head coach’s lack of ability to develop any quarterback not to mention one with dangerous habits and low confidence. The very best offensive coaches could not have the ability to flip sewage drainage right into a Heisman winner, however they’ll get by, and even thrive, with common to above-average expertise.

A head coach can miss on a quarterback and nonetheless discover/develop a succesful one inside a season or two. It’s not supreme, however it’s attainable. If a coach hasn’t put collectively a constant unit for occurring a decade, these misses could be extra consumer error than a scarcity of expertise.

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