24.Apr.2012 Beavers Feigning Attitude

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Interesting article by Cliff in which he backhandedly criticizes the program. Hey, it's a start for the mainstream media.

Some noteworthy quotes:

Poyer said. “I look back at the film when they were a great team, back in 2001. They had that swagger.”

Does anyone else feel it would be best to look at 2000 as an aberration and just let go of it? Too many fans (and now players) cling to that blip of success. It was an anomaly.

Poyer goes on to say:

“Coming into this season, I feel we can be that team,” Poyer said. “Confidence is that key. If you have that you can be a great team."

While I agree with him that confidence makes a great team, I disagree that they can be that kind of team. What breeds confidence is positive reinforcement. From where is that going to come? Since the Beavers recruit 2 and 3 star athletes, the positive reinforcement doesn't come from the National media et al during the recruiting stage. Underdogs need to find that confidence from within, and I don't see the passion in these guys to do that. I expect to see a team with low confidence this season. The bookend DEs have confidence and Wynn shows leadership, but can they inspire subpar talent to rise above their ability? That's a lot to ask.

Another Poyer quote:

“You can be nice, but on the field it’s the game of football,” Poyer said. “You need swagger and cockiness. You can be as mean as you want on the field. We don’t need to talk trash. I can hit you and not say anything.”

What Poyer fails to understand is that jawing at a guy gets in his head more than just hitting him. There is a psychological and physical component to this game. If a player hits someone hard and says, "Next time it's going to be even harder.", then the opponent becomes fearful. If they hit someone and say nothing, then the opponent might think it was a lucky hit, or the opponent might jaw and get in the defender's head. Poyer is justifying his passive nature. It's not good.

And finally, Poyer essentially slips and admits he is a soft player:

“In the trenches you have to be violent,” Poyer said. “I see where he’s coming from. You have to be violent with your hands in your technique (in the secondary). You can’t let the other guy know you are soft. If you do, it’s over.”

"Know"?? I think Poyer meant "think", but this is a classic slip. Poyer is a good college corner, but he doesn't have the killer instinct. He's "nice"…just like his coach.

It's good to see Cliff backhandedly criticize, even if he has to backtrack and blame the "naysayers"

However, Riley has now had all his recruits the last three-four years. And they are too nice, just like Riley. At least that’s what a naysayer would say. -Cliff

The bottom line is that, as always, this starts with the type of player the head coach targets. Riley has a comfort zone. You see it in the coaches he hires, and you see it in the players he recruits. He likes nice guys with high character. The reality is that those guys, many times, lack the sociopathic tendencies (e.g. aggressiveness, callousness, lack of empathy, etc) that drive people to greatness (or in Riley's case, even mediocrity).

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  • Savannah says:
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    this reminds me of something…
    http://www.katu.com/news/national/Woman-donates-kidney-to-help-boss—who-later-fires-her-148726695.html

  • Beaver Byte says:
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    Loved Jordan Poyer’s attitude comments to the G-T. We need Poyer and a few more cocky leaders to develop a tough identity for the OSU football team regardless of whatever vibe Riley is emitting. Like Poyer says “You need swagger and cockiness. You can be as mean as you want on the field. You have to be violent with your technique!”

    Pac-12 Power Rankings:
    http://beaverbyte.com

    • Bill says:
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      Sorry football identity isn’t built through words, it’s through actions and the players aren’t the ones who need to start exhibiting swagger, it’s the coaches.

      The coaches need to be the ones to say don’t back down, get violent and stomp their opponents when they’re down (not literally, but like runing up the score or play the 1’s in garbage time).

  • bendbeaver bendbeaver says:
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    I disagree with a lot of your comments as your essentially saying there is only one type of psychology a successful a player can have. You also push that there is only one type of psychology a successful coach can have. A lot of the time people push their own projection of what’s needed to dominate on the football field, and I suppose that comes from our own background. My own football background was that you first and foremost played with class and sportsmanship. You knock a player on his ass and then help him up as a reminder of what just happened. Taunting was for a-holes. We won a lot of games, too. You lose games with ‘sociopathic tendencies’. You win with discipline and focused, explosive energy.

    • angry angry says:
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      So it is pure coincidence that the most successful team in OSU history full of “thugs”?

      Also, I never said only sociopathic players win. What I was implying is that personality type (i.e. “Type A” personality) tends to succeed in life. Beta, or “Type B” personality, tends to be passive and achieve less.

      Would you rather I have said the Beavs need more Type A personalities? I am willing to do that.

      • rsteve503 rsteve503 says:
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        Type B personalities can be as “violent” as anyone….its called role playing. You learn to assume a role in a given situation. Leaders can play the role of followers, and followers the role of leader, if they are perceptive or can learn those roles..

        Taunting, for instance, can be done and should be done, by even milktoast players, as a tool for disrupting the attitudes and attention of opposing players. Get under their skin.

        But one hallmark of that 2000 team was team speed, and attitude aside, we should work to get that back.

        • angry angry says:
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          Type B personalities can be as “violent” as anyone

          Yes, but they need more coaxing.

          And I never said “violent”…there is a mindset to go after things and take what is yours versus a mindset to sit back and wait for things to come to you. Beavs have too many of the latter. Whether you want to call that Type A vs B, sociopathic, etc doesn’t really matter to me.

          • rsteve503 rsteve503 says:
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            You seem to be fixed that we are stuck with the B’s.

            We arent. Its as simple as that. But it all rests with the coaching. If you coach to win, and if that is clearly important (getting pissed on the sidelines when we are losing, for instance), then you will get more A’s.

            And so take a look at that 2000 team. Full of A’s. Riley recruited some of them.

            So he can do it…..but the problem is, will he? Can he regenerate the will to win that he had when he first came to OSU?

          • angry angry says:
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            You seem to be fixed that we are stuck with the B’s.

            No, we can get A’s who like Riley’s character, but we strike out with recruits who don’t fit his temperament. I’ve seen quotes from numerous recruits along the lines of “I liked Riley, but my dad thought Riley was too laid back” etc. These were usually highly sought 4-star recruits.

            So, we can get Type-A’s like Dylan Wynn who love Riley’s character, or Type-A’s like James Rodgers who get overlooked, but if it’s a recruiting battle against an aggressive coach, forget it. We see this every year. Then people blame location (Corvallis) and weather instead of the coach or AD attitude. I can think of a dozen examples of this off the top of my head, but there are probably hundreds.

          • bendbeaver bendbeaver says:
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            Every team’s fans complain about recruits they lost. Riley’s personality type is a minority amongst other coaches, so you’re evidence of identifying dozens of examples doesn’t support the argument that it’s due to Riley’s personality. I follow Purdue with the same intensity that I do the Beavs. Purdue lost TE Smith to the Beavs. Purdue’s coach is considered a ‘players coach’ who is intense and can get pumped up and the players know he has their back. They also play unfocused football and often lack dicipline (i.e. lots of stupid penalties). All of the players who came to OSU denied more than one coach who was likely type A.

          • angry angry says:
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            What is Purdue’s TE situation? Because the Beavs don’t have any D1 TEs, and Smith will likely start from Day 1.

            Not sure Smith wanted to be a Beav as much as he wanted immediate playing time, as evidenced by his many late visits.

        • numbers says:
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          Team speed! Absolutely. I loved that about that team. There is so much core strength associated within a fast team. I hate to say it, but look at the success of the stupid ducks with all that speed on the field.

  • sparkyd73 says:
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    It is very rare that I totally disagree with Angry, but this is one of those times. I think you’re reading something into a statement by a 21-year-old that just isn’t there. From what I’ve read about Poyer he is a confident player who doesn’t mind doing a bit of trash talking. The 2001 defense is not the only one in recent history that had a mean streak. I think it’s reasonable to say that Riley does not inspire a mean streak but he certainly doesn’t disapprove of it either.

    To say that Poyer is inadvertently admitting to being a soft player is just silly. A more plausible reaction to the statement would be that he was calling others on the defense out, but I doubt that was what he was doing either. He was speaking in generalities, saying that he and the D needed to be more mean and cocky. I find it weird that Angry would criticize Poyer for saying some things that quite easily could have been put into any post on this site.

    Part of being a change agent is to speak it even before you go out and do it, and I think that is exactly what Poyer is doing here. He is being a leader, exactly what this defense has been lacking for the last couple of years. The best players on the defense have not been willing to step up and be leaders. I think this is a great step forward. I’d love to see one of our LBers step up and be a vocal leader as well.

    • Bill says:
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      I agree about reading into Poyer’s statements too much. Poyer was the one who knocked out Owusu with a shoulder hit and he’s not afraid to come help in run support. Corner’s jobs aren’t to look for the big hit. Corners who go for big hits are likley to whiff and give up the big play.

      Had this been about linebackers or safetys, then it would be more applicable. The Beav;s are sorely lacking swagger in both areas. Can’t think of one guy who is considered a killer (big hitter). The last killer safety we had was Aflalava and the last killer LB was probably Doggett. I thought Doctor would be one of those guys but he’s not.

      • angry angry says:
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        Poyer was the one who knocked out Owusu with a shoulder hit and he’s not afraid to come help in run support.

        He also got beat numerous times by Sac State, including the game winner. He’s a natural football player, but he has more Riley in him than Chip Kelly, and that holds him back imo.

        Anyway, I am not trying to knock Poyer, as he is one of the least of our concerns. I am knocking the attitude and the fact these guys have to fake confidence because they don’t naturally have it, and the coaches haven’t instilled it. Generally speaking. I’m also impressed Cliff wrote a semi-negative piece.

        • Bill says:
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          Should have wrote about Ruben Robinson…….everyone would have agreed. Haha

        • slamadam says:
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          not to be overly cliche, but it might be fair to say that “a light went on” for poyer between the sac state and stanford games.

        • sparkyd73 says:
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          I don’t think that Poyer is talking about faking confidence, rather to exude the confidence rather than repress it.

  • wannabeav says:
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    First of all, he probably means the 2000 team that went to the Fiesta Bowl. The 2001 team was still the greatest bunch of underachievers in the modern history of the team, and I count the 2010 and 2011 teams in that determination. Go back and look at the roster of talent and tell me you disagree. Many of the stars of the 2000 team were still around plus guys like Steven Jackson. The 2001 team was coached by Dennis Erickson, by the way, though I know in stipulating that I come across as a Riley apologist. Nevertheless, at this point you have to conclude that 2000 WAS an anomaly; there is nothing in the current mix of circumstances (OSU trajectory compared to that of other schools, notably Oregon) to think that kind of season can be replicated with regularity. In fact, with this much passage of time, we know it can’t. It is reasonable to expect that this year’s team will play better, including with more confidence, or, if you like, swagger. Still, there’s one factor from the first part of the 00’s that gets little attention in the calculus of rising and falling programs. OSU had reached such depths that truly for many years into the Riley/Erickson/Riley era, conference teams overlooked their games vs. OSU and with a modicum of talent and motivation, those Beaver teams were able to sneak up on people they had no business beating, starting with Oregon in 1998 and the early victories vs. SC at home. THAT does not happen any more. OSU has the respect of the conference and for that reason teams bring their game (SC the year before last being an exception that proves the rule.)

  • rsteve503 rsteve503 says:
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    “Does anyone else feel it would be best to look at 2001 as an aberration and just let go of it? Too many fans (and now players) cling to that blip of success. It was an anomaly.”

    No….I dont feel that way. That team had an undersized defensive line, a local boy TE, a walkon QB, an undersized RB, and on and on…

    There is nothing on that team that cant be recruited now, today, to Corvallis. Type A personalities, the whole schmear…

    Attitudes are generated in funny ways, though, and I think they basically come from the players, the kids themselves. So even the swagger can come back, if the coaching can give them the tools to win with.

    The player quality can be got, the swagger can be got or come back, and we can do it again…..but only if the coaching is up to it.

    • angry angry says:
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      The player quality can be got, the swagger can be got or come back, and we can do it again…..but only if the coaching is up to it.

      I’ve heard this for several years now. Remember Cav trying to motivate Remmers? Make him play with “a mean streak”? Do you remember that, and how it ended up? There is a natural temperament to every human being. Riley is popular in landing recruits who fit his. Every once and a while he gets a Dylan Wynn, but what attracted Wynn was Riley’s character not his temperament. If Riley could land aggressive, alpha recruits who like his character rather than beta recruits who like his temperament, the Beavers would be a much much better program.

      • wannabeav says:
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        Angry: this may be the most cogent post you’ve ever made.

      • rsteve503 rsteve503 says:
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        That doesnt negate what I said. That 2000 team was at least partly recruited by Riley.

        Cav saying he wants to motivate Remmers doesnt mean he knows how to do that, or even worked to do it…..just lipservice, maybe. If you want to manipulate someone’s attitude, you dont say that to others, or he will resist what you use to accomplish that.

        Riley landed Wynn, so Riley CAN recruit the A’s.

        Lets face facts. When you cant coach sufficiently to beat a Sac State, you are going to have trouble getting the A;s, the aggressive guys who want to win. You will get more B’s who just like to play and to whom winning isnt that important.

        Back in the late 90’s Riley had the focus of getting OSU back to a winning stature. It is pretty clear now that winning isnt as important. Maybe he is getting back to that, but if not, I cant see the team getting a swagger under a coach who cant coach up a win in a close game.

        • bendbeaver bendbeaver says:
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          I think a lot of people on here think that it’s up to the coach to huff-and-puff to give the team ‘swagger’, confidence, or whatever we’re calling it. If you think that’s true, then that’s soley based on your theory of motivation and influence authority has on people. Like it or not, Riley puts that development of confidence, motivation, and identity back on the team and the team leaders. I for one prefer having it team generated. There’s benefits to both, though.

  • Mike says:
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    I agree with your sentiment, but think Poyer does that toughness & attitude. He plays like an underdog but sees himself as elite. I’ve seen him jawing & he’s never a guy w/ his hands on his knees. We need more guys like him. And much more like Darnell Robinson & Richard Siegler.

  • slamadam says:
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    i think it might be fair to add that it doesen’t matter what your natural temperment or personality is all that much when you’re undersized with average speed/strength and you have mark banker and langsdorf as coordinators.

  • HopefulBeav says:
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    I’m also going to have to disagree with the majority of this write up. I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all for the current set of players to idolize that 2000 team and try to play up to that level. Do I think they’ll go 11-1 and end up in a BCS game? No. But I’d much rather have them asking themselves “what did those guys to get to a Fiesta Bowl?” instead of “what do we need to do to get to another Sun Bowl?”. Dream big and go out and work for it.

    I also disagree that it’s a lot to ask for Wynn and Crichton to inspire the other defenders to rise above their talent level. After years of playing sports I believe that those kind of guys really do make the rest of the unit around them better. Seeing one of your teammates nail an opposing player and get up screaming afterwards pumps up the whole defense. I think a huge problem the last couple of seasons has been that we haven’t had those guys who will yell at a teammate for playing lazy or take it upon themselves to demand better performances from the rest of the defenders. From the reports I’m reading it sounds as though we have a couple of guys who are willing to be those players. Not to mention there is the X’s and O’s factor where if you have two defenders flying into the backfield that’s going to have a ripple effect. It helps your secondary not have to cover WRs as long and it forces the offense to have to run the ball more, allowing you to stack the box to counter the run. Basically it minimizes the offenses ability to exploit weaker players on the field.

  • ean says:
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    I think it has more to do with talent level and less to do with attitude. When a well known kid takes an unofficial to OSU and coach Riley doesn’t even say hi to him that is a problem. When that same kid goes to UofO on an unofficial Chip drops what he is doing to introduce himself that makes it all the tougher for OSU to land the kid. Said kid and parents leave with a better impression of UofO. It is sad because this example I am speaking of involves a family with a strong OSU tradition but there is a good chance they go to UofO.

  • ObjCritic says:
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    One thing that needs to be emphasized even more than it has in a post above, is the fact that team was had SPEED. They had confidence and swagger because they KNEW they could perform physically. This team’s DTs and Oline can’t say that, most of the LB’s can’t say it (consistently) and neither can the RBs.

    I said on Cliff’s site – anyone can have “attitude,” and confidence has to be earned. I think many people use attitude as a substitute for genuine confidence. Riley’s teams lack both. As has been said here many times, they overplay the underdog mentality and “hope” to win.

    If they were true DI, PAC-12 athletes, they would say “We aren’t underdogs, we deserve to be playing in this conference and we can win.” But, wiht players like Remmers and Robinson, instead we get good ‘ol LunchPail U, gosh its nice to be here hope we can win.

    I sometimes wonder if Riley’s turning down USC had something to do with his confidence. What if he coached at a school that had recently been a national powerhouse (albeit unethically), possessed its own natural recruiting power, and he STILL couldn’t get past the Sunbowl? What if there were no excuses?

  • NCAA_viOlation NCAA_viOlation says:
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    Beat the Ducks!

  • BeaverBill BeaverBill says:
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    In reading these posts and seeing a number of people stating that confidence comes with winning then let me ask you this… how stinking important is it for OSU to beat Wisconsin this year?

    Huge.

    I think after last years crappy season which had the highlight of Sac State and Wisconsin it is really important for OSU to win at the start of the season… They need to win BIG at the beginning and if they do, watch out, because they won’t know any better after that.

    • oneoldbeav says:
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      With the changes in personnel (not just Wilson) and, I believe, 5 new faces on the coaching staff the Badgers are not the same team as last year. They don’t have home field. They (like most) will likely be looking past the Beavs.

      That said, it is way too early for a prediction but I am not counting this one as a sure loss by any means. How big would a win be? Yeah, huge.

      Now, if Riley could find a couple DT’s…………the previously mentioned thought of Isaac and Hasiack (sp) spending a few plays on D is probably not in the cards. It would be interesting though to see Hasiack converted to DT to go with Masaniai and maybe some 3-4 alignment.

    • ObjCritic says:
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      Elephantine. “Huge” is one of the most overused terms in sports broadcasting:

      “Bill, how big is this series/play/replay review?!”

      “It’s huge Tom, huge!”

      “Really? You said that about the last play.”

      “They’re all huge Tom.”

      “Well taken in context, doesn’t that imply that none of them are huge if they are all equal and there’s no specific relief?”

      “Nope Tom, it’s huge! That’s what they pay me to say!”

      From a confidence standpoint, I agree beating Wisconsin would be important to the Beavers. I expect Wisconsin’s defensive line to treat the middle of OSU’s D like a Division II squad however. Wisconsin may have new coaches and a new QB, but they’ll still have a running game, and the thought of OSU’s safeties tackling Montee Ball after he’s generated 10 yards of steam does not offer me much optimism.

      I agree that with all of the incoming Oline talent, Hasiak ought to be given a look at DT. He supposedly has an “attitude,” let him get after somebody.

  • oneoldbeav says:
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    http://www.oregonlive.com/beavers/index.ssf/2012/04/oregon_state_spring_football_d_10.html

    Lindsay reports on a little “tude” from Woods and Doctor.

    And Cliff reports, “I liked the intensity, but I like self-control,” coach Mike Riley said. “That would have cost those guys a game or the rest of the game. That will be the lesson for the team tomorrow.”
    Sounds like the “lesson for…tomorrow” will not push swagger but, I suppose, Riley’s statement is subject to some interpretation.

  • ObjCritic says:
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    So can Storm rip off some big games next year and spur some bad sports cliches?

    Beavers Sportin’ Serious Woods….Beavers Give the Woods to the Huskies…Woods Sheds Tackles in Beaver Victory….

    and will Reser end zones become the “Woods Shed?”…

    or the negative context: “Poyer Calls Woods Soft in Beaver Loss”….

    Then there’s the obvious, less juvenile cliches to along with his first name….

  • NCAA_viOlation NCAA_viOlation says:
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    Came across this article in the O today, about Oregon starting up an auction site to sell old athletic gear they have on hand, ebay style to their fans.

    http://oregonauthentic.com/

    One of the items is a LMJ #21 Jersey which is going for big money. The Jersey actually has his name printed on the back. Is that allowed? I know the school can’t profit off a players name while that player is currently eligible, but is it allowed after the student leaves the school? Could Oregon State start selling Gary Payton gear if they wanted to? Not saying they should, but if that is allowable, how come we haven’t seen anything like it?
    I wonder how that makes the athletes feel? James couldn’t sell his own jersey on the street for $15 while he was a student, but the school can sell it now for $700+. Doesn’t seem right, but I guess kudos to them for finding a new revenue stream. Their fans have no problems opening their wallets so the school is smart to keep collecting what falls out.

    • numbers says:
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      If recall correctly we do the same thing. I remember Stephen Paea gear being on auction after hr finished at OSU. Others as well.

    • Bone says:
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      I also think that it he has declared and has an agent he is no longer considered an amateur anymore.

  • ObjCritic says:
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    This is encouraging: http://www.gazettetimes.com/sports/beavers-sports/football/osu-football-beavers-expect-trent-bray-to-make-an-impact/article_a9282baa-8e23-11e1-aae6-001a4bcf887a.html

    Playing fast, hitting, hitting the sled everyday, getting off blocks….definitely been missing from the LB unit for a while. Addresses the “attitude” issue as well.

    Hope they get to tackle lots too…

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