09.Sep.2010 How Not to Spend a Bye Week
Many times in the history of human thought a belief once heretical has become a universally accepted truth…the history of science is partly the history of paradoxes becoming commonplace and heresies becoming orthodoxies
–Encyclopedia Britannica, 1959 edition, on "Heresy"
We've had a week to digest the fact that the Beavers are not a National Championship caliber team. How's that going down for you guys? Over here it's fine.
As time passes and reflection sets in, I start to see reasons for optimism. For starters, the coaches (specifically Banker) are saying the right things. "Need more speed on the edge", "middle linebacker is a weak link", etc. Last year, it took Banker three games to admit #28 shouldn't be on the field. Banker seems more open to scheming for opponents as well. What a wild and crazy guy. What's next? He tells cornerbacks to turn their head and make a play?
The only bad news I've heard so far is that the coaches have given the players three days off. To me, this should be interpreted as rewarding the players a loss. I know it's not, but that's the message a player will (subconsciously) receive. At the very least, it's mismanagement of time and a lost opportunity to improve execution through repetition. If I were the coach, and I saw how much work lay ahead, I'd reschedule that recruiting trip. Three days off when Cameron Collins needs to be worked in at a new position in order to salvage the defense/season? Yeah, with that I have an issue.
What should be done:
1. Move Collins to linebacker permanently, this year, now, today, this minute.
2. Have a nickle package where Poyer plays CB, #28 and Mitchell play safety, Hardin moves to rover, and Collins/Doctor are both on the field.
Such a package would afford the team speed, pass coverage, and run support necessary to defend spread offenses. Against standard pro offenses in the Pac-10, a lineup of Roberson (MLB), Doctor, and Pankey would be an upgrade. If Pankey could be replaced with Unga, things would be looking even better.
Without shifting the defense as described, I don't see any possibility of the Beavers shocking the world later this month. In fact, it's hard to be confident about the Louisville game with the status quo. Hopefully we see creativity and change once the coaches return from their…vacations.