I don’t recall seeing the article on WholeHog sports, but I thought Bo’s commentary In the HI Belk Bowl review was excellent. It made good points and raised questions about a lack of leadership from both upperclassmen and the head coach that I hope CBB is asked about when he meets with the media.
It may make the next Being Bret Bielema taping a bit awkward, but I appreciate Bo’s willingness to delve in to the topic - the leadership issues that resulted in epic collapses and uneven performances are worthy of analysis and discussion.
So who is the enforcer on this staff? Who was the enforcer on the team? Who is the coach everyone is scared to death of? Who was the player or players that demand respect and performance? More importantly, who will that be this coming year in what we all realize is probably a critical year in CBB’s long term future?
I’ve mentioned it before during the season and even the past two years. I don’t see a player on our defense that is talented enough or who has taken it upon themselves to be the enforcer against the other team when they are killing our QB with hits after he’s thrown the ball. That can be a leadership issue. As many times as we’ve seen BA or AA get drilled just a tad late with no penalty, the defense needs a guy that says “I’m not going to let you get away with doing that to my QB. Yours is about to pay.”
I’ve been scouring this board and every other source I can get my hands on to try to understand the second half collapse and inconsistency epidemic on this team. I’m not a football coach, nor an insider, but I do run a business. How can a football team play so well in the first half and play so poorly in the second-- not just once, but as a systematic pattern? Same thing with the win one, lose one pattern. This article is the first thing that I’ve read where I can say to myself, that makes sense-- it is lack of leadership and discipline. All the other factors cited didn’t quite get me there in terms of explaining it from an intuitive standpoint. The good news is that CBB has a track record of providing it, so he knows how to do it, and it can be fixed quickly (hopefully). I’m assuming he’s addressing this in part with the new coaching staff.
Not sure what the mystery is all about concerning our discipline. Simple to me, Bret dropped the ball. I think he started believing the ‘being Bret Bielema’ stuff and let things get away from him a little bit. He’s the one that needs to be 110% all the time. After all, that is what he gets paid for right?
We discussed some of this earlier on the board. Bo and I discussed this topic on his show in the days following the bowl game. So it has been thoroughly discussed. Bo did a nice job with this column. We both went over these thoughts as we rode to the Charlotte airport in the early hours of Friday morning after the game. I think we have pointed to the leadership area, particularly when your seniors that you’ve coached the last four years make mistakes like Drew and Jeremy made.
I believe Bret works hard to encourage leadership and define it within his team. He has a leadership council that meets with him. He has helped players go to leadership workshops like the Ultimate Training Camp hosted by Athletes in Action. I know Dan Skipper and Austin Allen were among those that went last May.
Leadership is a bunch of things. Why they failed in the second half of the last two games can be covered with leadership, but I also think it can be covered by not having what you design your program around and that’s the offensive and defensive line. You have to get those players in place. So in that regard, recruiting is leadership.
Again, we’ve discussed all of that here and mentioned leadership. Bret is in charge of that. He is the leader. As we’ve always said, the head coach has to be the leader and the team will reflect him.