Coach V’s Grades: TCU

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We left some great opportunities to score more points on the field in the first half. Blame should be spread around. The one constant that is often overlooked is that the players play and the coaches teach. Regardless of the disconnect between the two real winning teams find a way to get the job done. We seem to have lost the ability to have fun playing the game. It’s looks more like a full-time job at this point of the season—at least that’s the way it looks to me. Here are the grades.
















We found a way to eliminate the ground game after a very productive first quarter running the ball on early downs. Not sure whether it was by coaches choice or if Sam checked out of a base run call but we took two of our better weapons out of the equation. It’s also easier on our OL when we keep the defense honest. It would also help to actually have another couple of additional series that put pressure on the defense with real options not only available but actually used.

It’s going to be a long two weeks. It would be nice if we found our way back to having fun playing the game again. It’s easy to put all the blame on the coaching staff but regardless of how bad a play call is for the situation it has a chance to be successful if all 11 players do their job. Sometimes that’s extremely difficult but not impossible. Kinda like being a quality fan right now.

Players play. Coaches teach. Old has-beens try to find the golden nuggets in our defensive play. We have eight games under our belt. We have been teaching and learning since August.

The DL never lost the LOS. The DL tried vainly to apply pressure on passes but 3 vs. 5 isn’t exactly the best situation. The DL made several outstanding plays—many more very good ones and played winning ball across the board.

We also had one safety and one corner play extremely well. We had one LB that makes plays from everywhere but is hamstrung playing so far away from attacking the action too damn often. That puts a wrap on my positive point of view.

Here are the grades:

















I have two plays I want to discuss that show my frustration with our defensive approach. We have had eight games and a ton of practices since we started this journey. I think that’s a fair amount of experience to put a respectful product on the field for these two examples. Maybe with another bye week we can come to a successful conclusion if we are actually able to identify the problems. I don’t really hold out much hope but miracles never cease.

The main concern is a situation that occurs every week and we haven’t taken the steps to remedy the mistake yet. We are aligned in our base? look. Nose and two 4i’s plus two three technique LB’s. By alignment the nose has the playside A gap. The offside LB has cutback on flow away. The playside 4i has the B gap. The playside LB has C gap and it’s best that he scrapes immediately (off the 4i’s butt to the LOS) where he can force, spill, or contain according to the design of the play.

We might get one scrape for every 10 times the situation comes up. We mainly get either frozen or false step inside—either way we get pinned inside or attempt to undercut the block which cuts off even more pursuit. It’s not a once in a while happening—it’s almost every damn time. Nobody corrects it or there is no accountability for continuing to make the mistake.

Why do we need the backer plugging the same gap the 4i is controlling? I guess it beats stunting the backer straight into the OG but I don’t see the difference—we still have two in the same gap either way.

We don’t have an abundance of GL plays but the times we do we simply refuse to set any kind of hard spot to actually turn the flow back inside to the pursuit. If we did he might actually take the QB keeper which has scored a few hundred times against our strategy the last three years.

I still remember our college coach telling our hard spot (contain) that he didn’t give a damn if the edge had to run up the campus library to the third floor he wanted that ball turned back into pursuit which should be somewhere on the second floor unless they squat to pee along the way. He had a way about him you might say.

By the way, on the 3rd and 17 GL td pass that Estell didn’t quite break up exactly who had the pylon WR that was running free down the boundary? By alignment it appeared Estell had the deep half/third with two wide open receivers to choose between. If he jumps the post early doesn’t the QB just throw to the pylon WR? You might say he had his choice.

This defense hasn’t had fun all season. They are not well coached (or taught) but they still need to play the game. Once the ball is snapped it’s find ball and tackle ball. Players need to make plays regardless of circumstances. Good fundamentals sure make the game easier and probably more fun. Wish we would try it.