Friday, December 01, 2006

Where Do We Start?

Over the 2006 Fresno State football season we have seen plenty go wrong for this Bulldog team. Lately we have been lucky enough to see this team somewhat turn their season around (albeit against terrible teams). Today I only propose one question to anyone who reads this blog. Please give me your insight so we can discuss this through you readers as well. Believe me I enjoy giving every one of you readers my thoughts on the Bulldog season and what I have thought of the coaching and the players. However, I think Fresno State's failure this season is something that we all have an opinion on. So here is my question for every Bulldog fan out there that desperately wants to see this team improve:

"What do we need to do to fix this team?"

I know there are many problems within the Bulldogs football team but I wonder what you as fans think needs to be fixed in order to turn Fresno State back into the squad that challenged every team on their schedule regardless of who they played. I am sure many of us are confused and maybe we can come to some kind of concensus on the Bulldogs team and where they need to improve before we embark on the 2007 season. At the same time I guess there is one other question i would like to ask as well.

"What is already working and needs no improvement at all?"

I look forward to anyone who wants to respond and let me know what they think about the 2006 season and what we can do to make 2007 better.


Anonymous said...

Hill has a weakness in character. For some reason, in the last few years, when the Dogs lose a big game, it seems to set the format for the rest of the season. Hill needs to address his own issues and become the commander and chief the Dogs need. Since a lot of this game is mental, he must find a way to set their goals on winning and to play football the way the Dogs used to play, with intensity.In 'o6 we have seen defensive players backing away from plays instead of going in for the brutal kill they are known for nationwide.

nsc said...

That is true, I never thought of it as a mental weakness but I guess anytime you endure a losing streak of two or more games in college football it becomes a mental game. Maybe Hill needs to figure out how to keep his players motivated regardless of who they are playing. I have a feeling that if the Dogs would have been 5-3 going into the last four games of the year with losses to the three power schools that are all ranked Hill would not have been able to guide the Dogs to three wins in a row as he has. It very well could be mental, I just never really thought about that.

Anonymous said...

I believe there was some kind of internal isuue on the team this year among the playres.I don't think it was the scheme,basically the same scheme has kept us in the top scoring teams in the nation for the past ten years.The defense has been the best in the WAC the two years previous to this year.You can blame the coach all you want,but he's not out on the field playing.I live in AZ,but was born and raised in the central valley.So I haven't got to see the dogs play as much as I would like.But what I have seen is not bulldog football,No attack on either side of the ball it's like guys are waiting to get hit.Now that they have started playing the younger players there seems to be more fire.Now as far as I know the younger players have the same coaches as the seniors.Don't get me wrong this senior class has accomplished great things while playing at state.But somewhere they lost their fire.Maybe it's scheduling,maybe it's not having confidence the new QB,maybe ,now just maybe the players have read so many negative things,that they lost faith in the system,once that happens your dead.I know this you can't coach intensity,a player either has it or not.One other thing I wanted to get nsc's opinion on because really I'm not sure.I only got to see Sean Norton play very little(I understand he wasn't really given a fair shot)but when I saw him,it seemed to me he threw quite a few high balls,Am I wrong?Could this be the reason Pat doesn't seem to want to go with him,being that to many high passes tend to get WR's injured.I don't favor either QB,which ever one gets the job done should be are QB.

nsc said...

Well let me start with Norton. He threw the ball a bit more efficiently than Brandstater, but the problem is we never were able to see Norton play when he wasn't running for his life. The only game in which Norton had time to throw was the Hawaii game which coincidentally was his best game of the year. I would have just liked Sean to play a game against a lower tier WAC team to see what he could have done. At times his throws were a bit high but they were no worse than Brandstater.

The problem with the seniors seems to be regret in my opinion. I think Young, McCauley, and Williams all regret not going pro at the end of last year. I didn't want any of these guys to go pro but now that I look at the team consider this: Chastin West is our go to receiver, Wendell is a much better center than Young, and Jenkins is becoming a very good corner in place of McCauley. The Bulldogs youth is what gives us something to look forward to and I have to say they have picked up whatever slack the seniors are leaving behind.

Anonymous said...

NSC, you have posed great questions. First the easy one: really, nothing is working so well it doesn't warrant attention. We will lose DW, so all aspects of the game need replacement, repair, or improvement. I am not being negative; just honest.

In order to not go on for a 1,000 words, I will mention 3 areas that I believe need the FIRST considerations:
1) Coaching. Our coaches, led by our head coach, need to rethink their thinking. For instance, PH wants to dominate teams with smashmouth football, plus he wants to play the strongest OOC schedule. These two ideas might be mutually exclusive since we can't recruit the strongest players. Hence, we need a scheme that plays to the strengths of the players we can recruit. So start with recruiting, and reconsider all aspects of coaches' decisions.
2) Offensive line. I expected to be stronger than we were this year. Due to our QB situation, we will need to dominate on the O-line for our runners to succeed. With the D's focus on our running game, the QB might be able to hit some downfield receivers--IF our coaches heed my first point and reconsider their passing schemes.
3) D-Backs. This year was B-A-D! More than once the play was so poor it cost us games (does anyone remember MM so out of position he made game-losing mistakes in the Oregon and--choke--Utah St. messes?). Embarrasing as it was, it was pointed out on national T.V. that our D-backs were playing with their backs to the ball--who is teaching this!?!

Of course, there is more, but every journey of a 1,000 miles begins with the first steps (sorry). Let's get going!

Steve Burnes

nsc said...

Steve I think a problem lies within the thought process of the Bulldogs offense. Here is how I view the problem: If you have a certain type of QB that is not necessarily the best pocket passer, you change your offensive philosophy. You do not try to fit a QB who cannot play in your system into it. It makes no sense to go and recruit someone who cannot make the throws you require in your system.

I have to say with respect to the offensive line we should be fine. All offensive lineman aside Denman will be returning next season and I feel like they are gelling well with Young being gone. I was never a fan of Young, he held far too much to be a good center. Since Young has left our running production has become amazing. That is not a coincidence, it is plain as day that our line is getting better with each game. Do you realize Brandstater has only been sacked five times this season? Yet he still makes bad throw after bad throw.

Lastly our d-back situation will be much improved next season. Jenkins is becoming a good corner, and with Haynes, Harris, Jefferson, and Bell we should be fine. I mean it would be hard to be worse than we were this season in the secondary.

I think of all the points you make Steve the first is the most important. Good coaches make their system work around the talent they bring in. They made it work with Carr, Volek, and Pinegar, why can't they do it now?

Anonymous said...

I don't want to take too much time here.

1) Quarterback, give fair shot to all on team because TB sucks in my opinion and it is unlikely he will improve that much for next year.

2) Offensive line, TB got rocked in first few games; SN had no time to pass in LSU and Boise;

3) Coaching--play calling that will work with the talent that you have; don't stick to same old shit when it isn't working.

4) Special teams needs to be more consistent.

5) DB's need a lot of work.

6) Team as a whole needs to get its head out of its ass and play like they mean it, including punks who are focused on NFL. Might as well have cut them last year and let them go based on the "hopefuls" performance this year [especially Paul Williams and McCauley; didn't play very well nor did they step up and assume leadership roles]

I think the defensive line and linebackers have been pretty solid.

Nothing really to brag about except for Wright who will leave; but perhpas the backup will come through as he looks pretty good so far.

nsc said...

I can't argue with anything you say, I mean each one of those areas are in need of dire improvement. However, as I stressed earlier our o-line isn't nearly as bad as it seems. They are getting better with experience and I know D-Wright is having a spectacular year but who is opening those holes for him to rush through?

The NFL talent has all dropped so low they might not be drafted at all this offseason. Young went from a sure fire 2nd round pick to being lucky if he is drafted. Williams is too physically gifted for someone to pass up in the fifth or sixth round. The wild card is McCauley who still runs the fastes 40 on the team and is tall, strong, and has skill to play corner. Will someone still look at him as a second round pick? I think so.

Overall we have a long ways to go. All of you have hit on the head exactly what is wrong with this team. There is plenty to fix and I hope Pat Hill sees it the way we do.

Anonymous said...

Thanx for the thought provoking blog, NSC.

Steve Burnes