Okay, I don’t wish to be the one to throw negativity on what could ultimately turn out to be a good thing, but something has been sticking in my craw for a while now—at least since this interview by Justin Scott-Wesley. Take a quick look/listen at the video below and then look for my thoughts after the jump:
Perhaps I am a bit gun shy after Todd Grantham, but any time a player is saying that a coach isn’t really taking the time to break things down and actually teach them how to get something done, I’m a bit skeptical about how well they’ll be able to execute it come game day.
I realize that Scott-Wesley clarifies things somewhat by saying the position coaches go a bit deeper into it after Brian Schottenheimer offers a general overview, but whenever I hear a player state that a coach is looking for him to do the work on his own and get it figured out before he steps on the field, I get nervous—sorry, but I am.
Don’t get me wrong, I agree with Scott-Wesley that the players should carry some of the responsibility of learning the installs, but both he and Malcolm Mitchell—who also spoke about Schottenheimer’s style of coaching—have been around the block a few times, are seniors, and understand their roles; that said, can we really expect a group of incoming freshmen or sparingly played underclassmen to immediately grasp those concepts as well?
Like I said, I am not trying to be negative, I’m just asking questions because, to be honest, this hire came under major scrutiny from the very beginning, and if Schottenheimer doesn’t adjust his methods a tad, there could be a whole lot of growing pains between here and next spring—and after what the defense went through with that other “NFL” guy, I don’t think Georgia fans are ready for another egomaniac with a play call sheet.
I’ll say this much, I want Schotty to be successful at Georgia—make no mistake, I love the Bulldogs and want them to reach the pinnacle of success in college football—but the worrisome fan in me is also keenly aware of what happens when communication breaks down between a coach and his players. I don’t want to see that happen to an offense that has thrived over the last four seasons, in spite of its defense at times.
That said, I hope Schotty’s style turns out to be just what the doctor ordered (trust me, I’ll trade points on the board for a consistent effort on the field each week because as good as Bobo’s offenses were, there were games and calls I still couldn’t quite figure), but until I see the finished product on the field, I remain cautiously optimistic about what the new guy can do.