Monday, September 15, 2008

When All Else Fails....

Three games in, and nobody's happy. Obviously there are issues, and they are plenty. But don't fret, as you are not alone in your unhappiness. Coach Wulff is right there with you, and because of the inept performances thus far, changes are a brewin' on the Palouse. And rightly so. Per Bud Withers in the Times today:

1) Xavier Hicks is back. You may remember him from his off-the-field, uh, slip-ups. But the kid is a big-hitting safety who only started three games last year, but had 53 tackles and some huge hits that separated man from ball. UCLA remembers him, I'm sure, from last year's 27-7 win:

Hicks coming back means that the secondary will likely do some shuffling, with potentially Chima going back to corner, and Alfonso Jackson moving back to safety. Remember those two had switched positions, but due to injuries and other issues, it wasn't exactly working out. Go back and watch the first play vs. Cal, when Jahvid Best took the ball 80 yards. Look at the last line of defense on that play, and see the safety who completely whiffed on the tackle attempt. That's just one example, but it shows that a change needs to be made.

Having Hicks and Jackson in the middle of the field makes a heck of a lot of sense. Jackson had 65 tackles as a safety last year, and even though he's been beat up this year, he just didn't look like corner was the spot for him in that first game.

2) Myron Beck, who did a fair job as a safety, has been moved to linebacker. Makes sense. He's shown a nose for the ball and with his quickness, he could be a pretty good, quick outside linebacker. He's well-built at 6-0, 210, so it could be a really good move for him as well. And with all the issues we had trying to slow down Baylor's running game - QB Robert Griffin had over 200 yards himself, remember - Beck is probably going to eat into some of Kendrick Dunn's playing time at weak side LB.

But no matter what, we've GOT to stop the run, whether it's Beck's speed at linebacker, or if the tackles are going to be pushed out of the way, you better be strong up the middle in other areas with the safeties. Hopefully this change will help Trent man the middle of the field, because right now he's all we've had out there!

3) The o-line is going to shuffle again, and this time it might be for the better. Vaughn Lesuma will move inside to guard, and that could be the best for him. Lesuma isn't fully healthy, and even when he is OK, he's always had some issues with the speedier rush ends out there. He's a huge dude at 6-5, 330, so he might be better suited to be a road grater inside and lean on some defensive tackles with all that girth. Steven Ayers and Joe Eppele will fight it out for the left tackle spot. This is big news, as Wulff has mentioned in his radio show how high they are on Joe Eppele's ability as a tackle, but his knee injury has held him back thus far. It sounds as though he is now ready to compete, so, we might see him play for the first time this year.

4) At QB - even with the turnovers shown by Lopina - Wulff made it sound like IF he's good to go, he will start on Saturday. The wrist is sore, but it will likely be Lopina if he's ready. We all have opinions on the QB, and the question can't be fully answered yet if you ask me. I would be fine if they continue to split time this Saturday, and then see what happens. But in true foundless, blog-style rumor mongering.....we've heard a few things about the QB situation recently, and well, let's just say it isn't a shocker that Lopina is getting a long look.

Finally, Vince has a good round-up of the different positions Wulff spoke about yesterday. Check it out here (but you probably already have by now...)

So there you have it. If you keep failing at something, well, what do you do? You try something else. It's pretty basic. But now that we are three games in, the coaches have found out quite a bit about the players they have and what they do on game day. And most of all, how they fit into what they are trying to accomplish. It's been a tough three-game stretch, almost like a mini-NFL-preseason audition if you want to know the truth. But the first three games are now in the rear-view mirror, and these guys can now make some adjustments going forward. Let's see how it all plays out on Saturday. I'm sure as hell hoping they taste victory, for everyone involved! These guys need a win right now.

In other news, the postings might be a little light this week. Real life is more or less getting in the way this week of our massive output of daily content.....we'll try to stay on top of things, but it might be a lighter-than-normal week. But just know we aren't going anywhere. Sorry. :)

Enjoy your Monday/week, and GO COUGS!

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

What happened to the rumor this summer that Martin Stadium is selling the naming rights to a big NW company???

Anonymous said...

love the picture of wulff scratching his head. soooo perfect.

monday morning has wulff on half.com ordering a copy of Division I Coaching for Dummies.

Anonymous said...

Please endulge us with the rumor mongering.. you can throw a huge caveat out there if it makes you feel better.

My guess outside of not knowing any inside scoop, is similarly to the swogs/brink escapades, rogers just doesn't fit the mold Wulff-man is looking for. And if your team is going to suck, there's no reason to use a fifth yr senior, you may as well go young and work towards the future. Weird that Dobes and Rosey didn't get that though..

Coug97

Brinkhater said...

Anony1:

From what I can gather, the news that we tried to break, broke. No new news is forthcoming. Too bad, i was so looking forward to taking credit.

Coug97: We'd love to both indulge and oblige, but we can't. What we can say, however, is that the 5th year senior argument is NOT what is going on there.

But, I do think that it is still appropriate to ask the question: What the hell IS going on there?

Obviously, they're trying. The coaches are, the players are, and so is the blogesphere.

Good news: PSU is terrible.

So we do have a fighting chance.

Brinkhater said...

Anony1:

From what I can gather, the news that we tried to break, broke. No new news is forthcoming. Too bad, i was so looking forward to taking credit.

Coug97: We'd love to both indulge and oblige, but we can't. What we can say, however, is that the 5th year senior argument is NOT what is going on there.

But, I do think that it is still appropriate to ask the question: What the hell IS going on there?

Obviously, they're trying. The coaches are, the players are, and so is the blogesphere.

Good news: PSU is terrible.

So we do have a fighting chance.

Anonymous said...

I was actually referring to what would be my philosophy whether or not Rogers did something off-field. As bad as this team is destined to be you may as well go young, real young. With that said, there's no reason not to get Lobbes some snaps now. It's a brutal deal for Rogers, but he types out well enough that he'll get a look from the NFL scouts. And for those who think that is ridiculous, there's a certain starter in New England right now that would beg to differ. He isn't there because of his stellar collegiate career, he's there because he's big and has a strong arm period.
Coug97

The Crimson Observer said...

I think this is gonna be a different team this Saturday from the one we have seen thus far this year. I'm still keeping faith and I like what Wulff is doing, I just wanna see some progress this year.

http://cougfootballobserver.blogspot.com/

Sedihawk said...

Who cares about any of this - I'm worried about my Merrill Lynch 401k! WAMU is downgraded to "junk" status.

GET THOSE BROKERS BACK IN HERE! TURN THOSE MACHINES BACK ON! WHERE THE HELL IS BEAKS!!?!?

Longball said...

Hawk gets 100 bonus points for the Trading Places allusion.

If you are having trouble coming to grips with the Cougs right now, just imagine being a UCLA fan. Its bad all over, folks.

Sedihawk said...

Hey Longball. Losing 59-0 to the Steve Young's would be tough. But a lot of CRAP-10's have the flags at half-mast right now.

I read an interesting/troubling stat on the plane today. Since 1960, there have been 29 teams in the Pac-10 coming off a losing season to change head coaches. Of those 29 teams, only FIVE had winning records the first year of a new coach. The most recent being Jeff Tedford, going for 1-10 to 7-5 in 2002.

Just goes to show you how tough it is. I don't understand why people are going so nuts three games in, questioning everyone and everything to do with Wulff, etc. It's like all off-season, Wulff warned and warned us about the state of the program, about how far behind we are in depth, talent, experience and a severe lack of fundamentals. We all shook our heads and agreed. Now three games in and people are crying that things are totally hopeless? I don't understand why anyone is surprised by anything we've seen thus far. Disappointed, yes, but surprised? Hardly.

Anonymous said...

Oh brother, here we go again - I don't understand why people are going nuts or are a little excited here?? Are you kidding me?? Lets see, closest we have been in a game after 15mins is 21-3.......have not even been within striking distance at the half.......have like 4times more turnovers than TDs this season......Gibson, Mattingly, Tardy, and you could argue Rogers (if he got some protection) all being wasted.......and I remember this webiste predicting anywhere from 4 to 8 wins this season and possible bowl......hmmmm, why are people going nuts only 3 games in......hello McFly?? I think you insult the intelligence of the people who comment here by saying that.....ok, sorry Sedi.....I know we all need a big collective group Crimson Cub hug here.....we are nervous we may lose to Portland St which could signal END of DAYS or so we feel.......yeah, we need a royal arse whooping on PSU - we all do.....anything short of that will not satisfy.
......one last thing, 6'0" 210lb linebacker?? Dude, most of us are bigger than that - that is scarey weak in Pac-10 - should play safety - heck I could find you 10 guys in high school playing LB that are bigger and faster - and why can't Mattingly go back to LB - what are the reasons?? I just don't get it.......when is basketball season again - 2 months?? Can Baynes play D-line?? ;)

Billyblaze
Reno, NV

Anonymous said...

Or how about the rugby team?? There has got to be some decent LBs in the making there with size and nastiness - or hell, maybe we should take a look at the waterboy/girl(s) at this point?? ;)
Ivory Clark, does he have eligibility left??
Go Cougs - a loss is a loss.....now lets get wins!!! :)
Billyblaze
Reno, NV

Sedihawk said...

Billy:
We were in the game with Baylor. It was 14-14 midway through the second quarter. Then the turnovers washed through and fatigue killed us in the 2nd half. I can't imagine many teams excelling after flying for 4 hours, and then playing a college football game in Texas humidity. And it was 25-13 in the third vs. Okie State. I know, not much to be excited about, but I'm grasping at anything positive right now.

Weakside linebackers in D-1 aren't always big and don't need to be. Go look around the conference and see the actual sizes of the weak side guys. 6-0, 210 is just fine. The game has changed with the spread offenses, so having a safety/weak side OLB hybrid who can run and hit works just fine today.

And please, Billy. I'm not insulting anyone's intelligence. Different opinions make the world go round, and you are obviously dug in on yours. And I love your passion. Believe me, I've got it too, and anyone who knows me would tell you the same thing. But I'm just realistic. I believe this will turn around, but it won't be quick-n-easy. I want these guys to have a few years to get it right, not flip out after looking bad three games into a new regime on a team with no depth and massive amounts of injuries. That's all.

Sedihawk said...

Oh, and the rumor? The way we heard it, it was close to reality in June, then it cooled off considerably. Who knows where it is now, as we haven't heard anything about it.

And don't sweat anything with Rogers and off-the-field stuff. From what we've heard, this change has been more about what Lopina has been doing instead of anything that Rogers has or hasn't done, know what I mean?

buschlightalum said...

sedi, you should just change your name to Mr. Positive. If it wasn't for guys like you, some of us would be using our season tickets as firestarters or coasters.

man i want to win. i hate to say it, but hell i'll be thrilled if ONE of the big 3 Washington teams wins this weekend. Go cougs!!!

buschlightalum said...

I take back what i just said above. Fuck the goddamn Huskies. Go Hawks & Cougs!