I can certainly understand not being physically able to run a play. But, how can you be there for years, watching film, being coached, studying the play book, having a virtual reality set up, practicing over and over at practices, and not know the freaking plays?
A lot of years they say they have simplified things, cut back the playbook, working to be really good at just a few things, and gotten back to the basics. It’s got to be frustrating for the coaches.
Maybe it’s just coach speak? Maybe a 6’6, 325 pound guy just can’t block? A junior safety can’t cover or judge an angle to make a tackle? Are we just not there yet, talent wise? I know there are some really good players. Do we just not have enough speed and talent to be competive?
Sorry for the rant. I just want us to be good and competitive again.
I never played beyond high school football. I know college plays are so much more complex than high school, but have no direct experience. I would assume the “not knowing the plays” would be the reading the defense (or offense as the case may be) correctly. I know even in high school, the same play call would result me (a tackle) blocking different people, depending upon how the defense lined up. There would be a call by the center, then the right guard, then the left guard, then the right tackle, then the left tackle. All of the calls together would tell me what to do (usually the calls on the side of the ball where the play was not going didn’t matter), but the call by the center and the guard and the tackle on the side the ball was going to were all critical, if any one of those players messed up the call, the whole play got messed up. If it was that complicated in high school, I can’t imagine what it is like in college.
That still doesn’t excuse a guy who has been there for a few years from not knowing it. But I bet it is hard.
I think it’s complex as far as knowing formations, calls, and reading defenses, especially where it comes to option routes versus a specific play call. I do think sometimes maturity has something to do with not knowing the plays. You have to want to be good. And, that requires much effort and much application of the tools made available.
Having been around lots of teams and having been around the Razorback program in the 90s and early 2000s I can tell you that it’s just like any other walk in life.
There are talented people who just coast or never quite put things together. It doesn’t always make them bad people. Maybe they have a blind spot and don’t realize they aren’t maximizing their potential.
Maybe they do and don’t care and like enjoying the perks of the job without putting in the work to climb the ladder.
We often assume that bc these players were offered they have the necessary work ethic or athleticism or technique or skill.
It just doesn’t work that way here or anywhere. There is attritition on every roster. There has to be in order for the #s to work. There are several guys in every class who never get it. That’s frustrating but remarkably consistent and common.
Good post, TNP. You are so right about how things work in all walks of life. Not everybody has the desire to rise to the top of the ladder. I’ve worked in many different corporate structures and those that rise to the top usually are very bright and put in the time and effort, sometimes at the expense of missing out on other things in life that are more important. A person can be very good at many things that will not result in recognition. I’m a damn good gardener, but no one cares except my wife.
I suspect many of these kids when they arrive on campus get a quick education on how tough the competition is going to be to get playing time. Some take the challenge and maximize their talent. I guess that is what sets apart the great coaches. They are able to get the most out of the kids on the team.
What you never know is how any youngster is going to do once he is not monitored by a parent. Sometimes the parent is the one making sure they do their homework, get to school on time (or early) and get to bed on time. Once there is freedom, they aren’t so plugged in as far as anything goes. Once bad habits creep in, then you see the real heart of a player. And, it may be that sports (specifically football) isn’t the focus anymore. I know it’s frustrating for the coaches. They do their best, but it may be that football is not the deal.