Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Saying Goodbye to a Great Kid

Yesterday the Fresno Bee reported what every Fresno State fan knew was coming: Sean Norton was given his outright release from the Fresno State football program. He now can look at other options as far as playing college football. As everyone who reads this blog knows I was thoroughly impressed with the way Norton played when he was given a chance to come into the game against Hawaii. He showed a toughness to me that Brandstater just doesn't have. At the same time I feel like he was a much better deep threat than Brandstater will ever be. I know Brandstater has a strong arm but he has absolutely no accuracy down the field. Case in point: Take a look at the deep ball thrown Fernandez's way on Saturday. Brandstater should know by now that ball needs to be thrown deep to the corner of the end zone. Instead he floats the ball short to a spot only the defender can get to. Norton did not make the same mistake when he would throw the ball deep and aside two throws during his three game tenure Norton threw the ball well.

I feel like Fresno State let an opportunity get away with Sean. At the same time I have no respect for our coach, absolutely none. I am tired of defending a man who has caused more havoc in 2006 than most coaches do in a lifetime. We have had a complete breakdown with respect to this team and if there is anyone that does not feel like Pat Hill is at the forefront of all of this they are wearing blinders. Do all of you really feel like the Young situation was just Young failing and that's all there was to it? Do all of you feel like the reason our seniors played so badly was truly because they were looking towards the NFL? Let me offer an alternate view for you. McCauley, Young, and Williams all could have gone pro after the 2005 season (which in turn might have been a good thing when looking back at the situation). I am quite sure Pat Hill did all he could to keep them at Fresno State for their senior seasons. After all three agreed to stay they had to watch Pat Hill flirt with leaving to the NFL. How would that make you feel as a player? Your coach does all he can to keep you in Fresno because of your so called commitment to the program only to turn around and inquire about leaving himself. Fresno State's situation is spinning further and further out of control with each day that passes. The Norton situation was just one of many that 2006 endured, none of which are pleasant in any way.

However, I am writing this blog to say goodbye to a kid I think will prosper wherever he ends up. Sean Norton has the drive to be a great football player. Sean Norton has the skill and intangibles to become a college QB everyone will remember down the line. Although he will be relegated to playing at a Div. 1AA school if he wants to play right away, Norton should do well wherever he decides to go. As a Fresno State fan I want this team to win but I cannot support many of the decisions Pat Hill made in 2006. I almost feel as if he is in this for himself now and does not care about anyone else including those who give their all for the Bulldogs program. Norton is a class act regardless of how you look at the situation. He never complained and handled the situation as best as a young QB in college could. Yesterday when he was interviewed he did not throw the Bulldog program under the bus but instead stay composed and gave an honest evaluation of what happened. I am sure he had to bite his tongue during that interview but he did the best possible thing he could. Others schools he inquires about going to will see this team first attitude and give this guy a chance without a doubt. Thank you for the effort, time, and attitude you gave to Fresno State Sean. Many of us will miss the opportunity to watch you play college football for Fresno State. I wish you the very best wherever you head and I know you will succeed wherever you may end up.

Where does this leave the Fresno State football program in 2007? Is Tom Brandstater going to be our QB for another season? As of right now it looks as if he is the best option we have. In other words we will not win more than four-six games in 2007. Pat Hill made an interesting comment about the QB position in the Fresno bee today. Hill stated "I don't think you can develop a quarterback as quickly as everyone wants." Most people do not realize that Brandstater has been in the program for three years now. Yes this was his first year as the starter but he redshirted and was the backup for his Freshman season. If he is not ready now will he ever truly be? How long does Pat Hill feel it should take for the QB position to develop, five years? The
Fresno Bee goes on to talk about what needs to be fixed in order for this team to improve in 2007. Personally I do not feel this is a one year project. I feel this team will be down for the next three-four seasons. As long as we continue to count on a QB who cannot make the reads, execute the throws, and lead this team to victories we will end up with far more losses than most of us can stomach. I realize many of you do not agree with me but I solely blame the head coach for this team falling apart. Pat Hill is in charge of this team and it is his job to make sure this team never divides. It is Pat's job to make sure the best man is on the field. It is Pat's job to play those who give us a chance to win every week. Pat has not done this and if there is anyone who disagrees, well as I said earlier take off your damn blinders and open your eyes to what is truly going on at Fresno State.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad he is leaving, Norton deserves to playing, too bad it won't be at FS. In the short time Norton played he was the better QB. I'm not sure if i want to know the reason Hill did not play him more, I think that would just piss people off. I think Hill will regret this one for a long time. I wish Norton the best of luck and apologize to him for being delt the hand he received.

Anonymous said...

I agree witn anonymous. If Brandstater remains the starter next year we will have another bad season because he won't improve. He just doesn't have what it takes. His reads are slow or nonexistent, his timing is off. With Norton just watching him play you could tell he took the game more seriously and had the QB presence. Brandstater doesn't have that and you can't teach that.

Seriously, I am not a FSU alum and just moved to Fresno and thought I'd follow the local team this year. But after this mess, if he is starter next year I won't waste my time following the team or griping on these boards. It doesn't make a difference if Hill's coaching tactics are the same as this year.

What a disappointment this year has been. If I was Brandstater I'd probably consider stepping down on my own accord. I'm sure his team mates are sick of his poor performances as well.

nsc said...

To both anonymous's I have to agree, Brandstater is not the man and unfortunately it seems Hill is hell bent on keeping him as the man. Look at our options at QB now. We have Brnadstater who is woeful at best, Colburn who has never played a college game and Faulkner who is graduating high school this year. This team is not going to be good in 2007, just be ready for it.

Anonymous said...

Brandstater may not be the answer, I'll give that another season. But little Sean was definitely not the answer based on what I saw of him at the LSU game.

Sport fans are famous for "the grass is always greener" thinking but when frustration with one player leads to creation of an over assessment of the skills of another, then all credibility of the one making the arguement is lost.

I do agree that the program will be down for at least another year, maybe two but it would be foolish to ride Pat Hill out of town on the strength of this season given his successes at FSU.

I wish Sean the best and suspect the best awaits him at a DII program.


Anonymous said...

if i remember correctly, davd carr wasn't overly impressive in his first outing against ohio state. unfortunately we'll never know how sean would have turned out. i think they used him as fresh meat for lsu, and to protect brandstater's psyche. i wish sean the best.

nsc said...

DetroitDog my only question for you is do you live in Fresno? If so I will sound stupid but if not then here is my point. The announcers in the LSU game did the same thing you are doing. They said Hill is doing a great job and we will be back before you know it. They have no idea what they are talking about because they do not live in fresno and don't know what is going on here right now. I am just making a point that you can say from your one game of watching Sean he wasn't the choice, but if I am not mistaken did Moore drop a sure td in the first quarter in that game? If you don't think so go to the fresnobee on the net today, they have the picture of that play. Did Williams drop a forty yard deep ball in that game? Did Kinter drop a 20 yard route? If these all are caught that game is completely different.

Sean is a great talent. He has what it takes and it is too bad we will have to find that out at another school and not at Fresno State.

Anonymous said...

With better play at the Qb position we probably win at least 4 of the 8 losses. Brandstater will need a load of improvement this summer to make it next year.

But all this stuff about Hill is nonsense. This guy has given us ten solid years and yet these comments sound as though he is intentionally attempting to wreck the program. What possible motivation could he have for doing that? Hill has been consistent that the game is about winning and has never given excuses when the team did not come through. He is suffering as much as we are.

Anonymous said...

"Hill has been consistent that the game is about winning and has never given excuses when the team did not come through."

It appears to me that he is making plenty of fucking excuses for goldenboy Tom Brandstater as we sit here blogging away.

In addition, he makes very bizarre and hypocritical comments all the time; take the good QB comparison he just made the past couple days.

I swear some people think he can walk on water too.

Anonymous said...


I didn't have the benefit of listening to the announcers at the LSU game since I was sitting in the end zone watching the game. Yes, there was a dropped pass in the end zone.

What was also obvious from the end zone is that Norton is undersized and overmatched to quarterback against the level of talent that LSU fielded that day. Could he be an average quarterback in the WAC? Probably.

No, I no longer live in the valley but I grew up there and am an alumni. I attend at least one game a year, sometimes two and follow the team as closely as possible. I tend to have more confidence in Hill's decision making than I do in computer chair quarterbacks that seem ready to lynch the man.


nsc said...

Anonymous there is a big difference between a computer chair QB as you put it and someone who knows what they are talking about. I write the blogs daily for this team meaning I pay attention to what is going on every single day. I have been monitoring the Bulldog football program for many years, I am not new to this. You might notice over the time you read this that I will not unfairly call for the replacement of a player. I went to the scrimmages and watched the QB's play. Norton played better. I watched the games live, Norton played better.

Go to the collegian (Fresno State newspaper) and read a column by Darell Copeland. He covers the tragedy that is the Sean Norton case and look at what he has to say. This coming from a guy who had the opportunity to see every practice. I am fair, I don't call for anyone to be replaced until it is needed. Brandstater needed to be replaced after the Washington game, it's unfortunate it never happened.

By the way the program here is a mess right now. Feel good you aren't hear seeing it first hand, things are much worse than our 4-8 record shows.