22.Nov.2015 For Those Questioning Gary Anderson after 1 Year
I hope that’s just frustration and knee jerk reaction, or it is going to be a long 3 years.
Let’s summarize this real quick, then look at the “why”: the Beavers will not be good (8+ wins) until 2017.
The “why” should be obvious, but Riley recruited players for a pro offense and a 4-3 defense, and Andersen doesn’t run either. So the process is going to go like this:
Year 1 — Gary Andersen assesses what he has by playing games, then recruits to the immediate needs. His first recruiting class (2015) recruiting class bulks up and learns the system.
Mostly he has done this by loading up on defense, but I do think he went too light on QBs. Let’s remember he came in and had an immediate dead period, so this year is his first true recruiting cycle.
Year 2 — During the offseason, if he hasn’t already, he’ll sit down with guys and let them know where they stand (i.e. likely that they won’t be playing/don’t fit the system). Those guys will transfer. This is likely why we saw the open scholarships jump from 12 to 25. Starting in February, almost half the roster should be GA’s. At that point he can make progress quicker. But those players still need to bulk up and grow, along with his 2015 class.
Year 3 (2017) — His recruits finally are at the phase where they’re read to contribute. This is the earliest a reasonable fan can expect to see good teams, though they will still be young.
That’s it. It takes years to filter out the old recruits and rebuild the system. Riley is having an epic failure by Nebraska standards partially for this same reason. He is trying to run a pro offense with guys who don’t run that and don’t really want to run that. He also has a bunch of guys on his staff who love Bo. Riley will probably get to 8 or 9 wins at NE as he gets his guys. Same with Andersen. Some guys on this roster loved Riley, most guys don’t fit the O or D systems, etc. It takes years to fix.
Now, I did think GA would be good for a few wins and the Beavs would be at 4 or 5. So that is shocking, but when you look at the eyeball test, the players simply do not pass. To me the sign of a coaching problem is losing close games with botched management, and the sign of a talent problem is not even being competitive in games and opponents having their way. This is a talent problem, and some if it is guys love Riley and simply never bought in, despite what they may have said. I think a lot of Riley’s guys came in expecting an easy time of it and didn’t like being pushed. Some guys don’t love football, but instead view it as a means to a degree and great social life. Riley recruited these types, and they’d play for him because that was the mutual understanding. Andersen wants recruits who love football first, and then view the degree and social aspects as perks. It’s an entirely different mindset.
Think of the situation as a very slow, percolating water filtration system. Every “drop” is an Andersen guy, and eventually there will be a full cup of them, but until then, there’s poison in the well. That will take minimum of 3 years, though with JC help you never known. Also, as a benchmark, look how long it took Leach, and he’s a very good coach and pretty good recruiter. It’s not just getting your guys in and the former coaches guys out, but then it takes years to train them up to Pac-12 standards. Year 4 might be most realistic, but I think year 3 given GA will go hard after JCs and do everything in his power to make this quick. As I said prior, I think GA fails only if his coordinators let him down or he never finds his QB. Those are my concerns. If you want to talk about those, totally valid, but I don’t think getting down on GA at this point makes much sense. I mean, you can talk about it, but I won’t engage in the discussion because it just isn’t realistic expectations.