I am concerned about the coaching....

I would like somebody who is a coach or former coach to give their opinion on what they they really believe about the coaching this year. How do you tell if Coach Morris is an excellent coach, a mediocre coach or a huge mistake? This is a serious question. I am no expert, just a football fan. Recruiting is a big part of coaching and that looks great, and I think Coach Morris is an engaging, personable, sincere guy. But the game coaching…the lack of aggressiveness when we had a couple of chances to win, the mistakes, the offensive play calling, the lack of effort in several games. We never looked ready to play well. We didn’t look sharp. We didn’t seem to get the most out of our lean talent or did we?

Maybe the answer is it is too soon to tell, but I would like somebody who knows his stuff to wade in on this. I am not ranting or bitching…just trying to get an honest answer.

GREAT post…Look forward to reading appropriate responses. Thanks for posting!

All very good questions. Answer will be the excuse de jour. No talent. Which somehow means we can’t get plays in for 30 seconds, have a ton of procedure penalties, blow all of our timeouts on offense (which doesn’t matter because he are rarely in close games) and just generally don’t look prepared or willing to compete.

Who isn’t

I think it’s more a Jimmy and Joe problem, but when you go 2-10 everything is to be questioned.

If we don’t win at least 5 next year it will be time for alarms to start going off.

Chavis was done when he left LSU, If you don’t have a good defense a so so offense will not get you wins

A defense it destined to fail if an offense cannot move the ball. You do not win many games when you never cross the goal line.

I don’t think you can say definitively one way or the other yet.

He will be a better coach with better talent.

Everyone is.

Hoping this is not a John Pelphrey hire for football. There are a lot of similarities in the resumes of Pelphrey and Morris as far as experience and their profile was raised by the head coaches they worked for.

One notable difference - Morris doesn’t appear to be a lazy goof that sleeps until 10:00 AM and shows up at work just in time for rambling, incoherent press conferences.

Please accept a huge caveat - I have run a competitive program (not football; specifics redacted for my own personal reasons) in public schools before being blessed to join the ranks of higher education 8 years ago and just getting to be in a classroom.

inherited talent is almost never aligned with where you would prefer it to be located in your program. Never. Eh-ver. (A “Sandlot” moment here.) Oh, it is for someone else but never for you or a program you care about.

You tend to worry more about the future you are building than the current product (especially once fate has been determined, by and large). You are looking past seniors who inherited a leadership position for the underclassmen who are chomping at the bit to be “the guy.” These are the gems who you lean into beginning in January and empower them to be the student leader who transforms the program. You are far quicker to “cut bait” with a “not yours” player than someone you recruit into the program - all within your rules, of course, but that’s how it works.

You often have to accept that things get worse before they get better. The culture you inherit can be worse than the results on the field, in other words.

By culture, I do not mean “work ethic” or “weight room work” or “lazy” or whatever the more cynical folks ascribe to CBB on message boards. I mean the way that the players are programmed to “buy in.”

Think about it - a year ago we were reading a lot of posts about how CBB had elevated recruiting at UA. What he was recruiting, though, was a player who wanted to be in a trench war, who wanted to get dirty, who wanted to play with a small chip on their shoulder. And, all the academic and character stuff that we really do value but tend to overlook at times like this.

Heck, we have a boatload of players with skills (and lord knows we are willing to debate the relative level of those skills!) but skills that are not aligned with the philosophy of the HC. Offensive players abound like that at UA right now, maybe half the roster!

I was always very quick to shift things. It led to some tense moments in “year one” but there was rarely a holdover in year two that was problematic. The “buy in” was there. By the third year you have a bunch of “your people” and it is not really an issue - you are able to see if it worked, or not.

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There are things I would see the first two weeks of work that I’d knew would compromise us by the end of the season. But, by that time it was too late. For Morris, by the time he finished spring drills and didn’t have a QB he should have known we were in for some challenges. We can all guess on this, but mine is this: if CCM had to choose in May, the starting QB would have been Kelley, Storey would have transferred, and the transformation would have slowed a full season (until Noland or a recruit could take over). Kelley might have actually gotten us an extra win or two, inadvertently, but by the time we hit mid-October CCM needed at least some of his offense being worked on by the team. That would have been compromised with Kelley at QB. That is a perfect example of my discussion above - you sacrifice the fairness to Kelley (he wasn’t necessarily the clear #2 when Storey was named #1 but someone had to be #1 and CCM knew it). The decision was to go with the guy who more quickly got the system in place.

I had to explain to my son today that I was not bothered by the fact I thought we’d lose badly. I rooted for me team, wished the players well, and had a quiet, sad moment for some players I really like who won’t be back (seniors and others). I know it will be better. Hard for it not to be better! And, there is a lot of wisdom in the coaches’ room. There was with Bielema - from time to time on his TV show he’d chat about something, in depth, that showed that the keyboard jockeys (sometimes even me!) were wrong…but it just didn’t work out anyway.

I said this a while ago and I will again. By January right at half of the team is “his”. If there are players not buying in they should be purged, aggressively and quickly. Even middling talent can perform if they buy in and all the gears mesh.

I worry less about Morris (or CBB, for that matter, or our talent) than I worry about Morris not purging enough players quickly enough. I also worry that a coach that is a good fit, long term, gets plucked away by another school.

That’s a pretty low bar. I don’t think going 2-10 with many of the players who took Arkansas to the Belk Bowl 2 years ago warrants a free pass just because he doesn’t sleep in every day. Not saying I want to go back to the big sleepy coach…but that does not mean I’m at all happy with this current bunch.

Me neither - but think of the players on that Belk Bowl team that made plays ( Morgan, HATCHER, Sprinkle, Rawleigh, Allen, Ragnow, Wise, etc) and think about the guys recruited to fill their shoes. Were they filled well or has recruiting failed us?

As I said last weekend after watching an historic blow-out loss to Mississippi State, it was only 2 years ago that the Hogs won in Starkville against a good Dan Mullen team. 2 years later, the Hogs are destroyed there and in most games, but we are told it’s a lack of talent and nothing more and the coaching staff is helpless to do any better. Like I said then, it does not add up.

Yes, I’m concerned, and everybody should be concerned.

The Razorbacks got blown out in 7 games. This team did not improve but just got worse and worse and ended the season playing their worst football of the season. Coach Holtz used to say “they remember November” but now we wish to forget November and October and September. That display in Columbia today was just another one of the disgusting displays of the season. There have been too many to count.

That so many people — including some of the media — continue to passionately defend this horrific display of college football is beyond disappointing. I’d like to say it’s infuriating because you must think we’re stupid, but who has the energy any more? Who cares? And that’s the real problem — apathy rules now —- and the acceptance of mediocrity is the name of the game.

I give this coaching staff an incomplete at the moment because - HOW IN THE HELL DO YOU DO ANYTHING WITH THAT OFFENSIVE LINE? Bielema didn’t recruit one guy who can play after Ragnow. Two of our starters this year were walk-ons and no one recruited Colton Jackson but us. Storey is average on his best day, but what could you do with those guys up front? Can’t run, can’t throw anything that takes over 3 seconds. So what do you do?

Ugh