One thing about Morris bothered me all season...

I am a football fan. I dont understand things at the level some folks do.

What bothered me is a seeming unwillingness to adjust his play style to the players he had. It seemed like he was intent on hammering the square peg into a round hole. The less it worked, the harder he hit.

He had to know he had a team of players recruited for a different style.

Am I over simplifying this? Is it an issue? A concern? Did anyone else see this?

I’m not looking for a fight. I am just wondering what others may think.

I think he did adjust. I do not think you saw him run much of his offense because of the talents of the players. Sadly, the group he inherited did not fit any style. Simplicity was the best option.

Two things come to mind. First, he took over a 4 - 8 team so it wasn’t like he was coming into a situation with an
8 - 4 team with most starters back. Second, we hired him for a complete transformation. We haven’t done anything worthwhile since 2011. He hit the restart button and is bringing in close to 30 new players and hand picking 50 or so on the current roster that can play his style of ball. I don’t think any of us thought we would only win 2 games so that makes us have thoughts like your comment.

Thanks, Clay. I appreciate the insight.

Yep - he slowed things down and the vertical game ( a staple of his scheme) was largely shelved after the disasterous results against N Texas.

This team supposedly built to be a “ power team” has not been able to run it against good defenses for the better part of 3 years with a few exceptions along the way.

I have a question after reading your response to Gentry’s question. Do you feel there is anything that CCM should take ownership of concerning this season ? WPS

I hope that out of this mess the staff got a good idea who can be taught/develop enough to be useful going forward, based on the exposure to the systems this year. That evaluation is as much about mental makeup as physical talent.

I suspect that the number of guys on the current roster who either will/can/might be productive going forward is in the mid-20s to low 30s, and some of those guys will either be seniors next year or won’t be really ready as redshirt freshmen or third year sophs to be in the two deep. So 29 signees is not going to fix the talent problem, though it will likely put a dent(and maybe a pretty big dent) in it.

However, I think that addition by subtraction will bring a much better product to the field next year. We are still going to be short of depth in many spots, and the talent may still be marginal in a few areas. But the mentality of the team can be substantially improved, primarily by getting rid of anyone who did not demonstrate they bought in fully this year.

I saw a coach who, very early on (spring practice), realized that “left lane, hammer down, full-tilt boogie” was simply NOT gonna happen this season.

I think CM saw two different approaches for 2018:

  1. Scheme and call plays for which the current roster was recruited.
  2. Simplify the RPO as much as possible and go with that.

I think with Approach 1 he saw 4, maybe 5 wins.
I think with Approach 2 he saw even fewer wins.

I think he decided there was no “meaningful” difference between those two win-total results.

I think he decided that Approach 2 would get him started earlier on his path to turning this program around.
I think he decided that Approach 1 would delay the inevitable for one more season.

I disagree on his expectations - you don’t go to SEC Media Days and say the 2017 team should have won more than 4 if you think you are going to win even less. That doesn’t make sense with respect to the expectations game all coaches play.

The red-shirt freshmen next year are his recruits. I would certainly hope he expects some help from them.

The only reason I’m giving him a pass is what I heard from sideline person in the know early on. This person Was in CCM office preseason and overheard CCM discussing roster with someone else. Said he had 12-15 SEC level players at the time. Take it for what it’s worth, I know person who told me this, know what he heard. If coach tho is talent level that slim, he needs a few of his recruits before I can fall off wagon…

I bet if you asked him at the end of the season he would say no more than 10 SEC players.

The talent level is bad and anyone close to the program definitely agrees or should agree with that.

Of course CCM has to take ownership for the results of this years team. He is the head coach of a 2-10 team. It’s his record. Having said that, I don’t put a lot of blame on him for having coached this team to a 2-10 record. The players( not all), were primarily responsible for that record.
Were there some coaching/play calling mistakes? Yes, there were. But, come on guys, whether you like this coach, think he is a bad coach or even the wrong coach, do you really think he was the problem? Even the great Saban has his critics. Even Saban and/or his OC/DC have made coaching mistakes, but they had a product on the field that could overcome those mistakes just due to pure talent! Coach CCM didn’t have that luxury. The lack of talent on the field magnified those mistakes. He didn’t have talent on the field to overcome them.
I’m not comparing CCM to Saban, I honestly don’t know how good a coach Morris is. Not by this years record, not by the play on the field this year. I will wait and hold judgement on his coaching abilities, how good a coach he is or even if he is the right/wrong coach for Arkansas.
All I know is these are the players he HAD to work with.
All I know is that he had a completely different coaching style and philosophy. It didn’t fit these players. No matter how hard he tried to repackage,(or make adjustments), the product on the field, it was still the same results because the product was always the same.
I think this fantastic recruiting class for 2019 has stuck together, (so far), because a lot, if not all, believe in CMM and his style of play and his philosophy. A lot of these current players didn’t seem too, or were unable to play that style. They hadn’t been coached to play that style and I doubt that they could transform themselves to that style of play in one off season or in one season of play.
Next year CCM will have a lot of players that will fit into his style and philosophy.
I don’t really know what to expect out of the team next season, but THAT team will be his. They will for the most part be his players. The next couple of years will expose CCM as to his coaching abilities and success here at Arkansas. He and his staff will have full ownership of this team. That’s when I will make my judgment, as a fan, on whether this was the right hire or the wrong hire. Till then he is our coach and I stand behind him and wish him all the success in leading our Razorbacks back to relevance.

The question regarding ownership is simple. He coached a 2-10 team. It’s his record. He owns that forever. So, yes, ownership is his.

Blame, yes. He is the coach.

I thought they would win a few more games ahead of the season. But I was wrong.

I do not see talent in the lines and I do not see talent at quarterback. Speed and athletic ability is not there in an SEC way.

But it starts with size and depth in the offensive line. There was not enough depth in the offensive line to conduct a practice in August. We were counting heads for 3 weeks and it was 8 or 9 healthy players. If someone went down in practice for a few plays – and that always happens – it almost stopped practice.

That’s scholarship offensive linemen. Eight. And two are former walk-ons, Johnny Gibson and Ty Clary. And one was a converted defensive tackle, Hjalte Froholdt. Austin Capps moved over from DT to help with depth. That means at that point only five were on scholarship as an offensive lineman when he came to school. Five!!!

I bet there was not another Power 5 team in America that conducted an August practice with only 8 scholarship offensive linemen.

Clay… great points
This isn’t what people want to hear that don’t like the hire. Its also counter productive to all the current posts bagging on CCM coaching ability, how he can’t coach, worst coach job in UA history etc. Read that again people, 5 scholarship Linemen, 2 walkons and 2 defensive linemen brought over to the OL. I doubt Pitman would have done much better than Fry, And I’m in a wait and see on CCM as far as his coaching ability but I sure hope he is cause this season sucked

It isn’t about not wanting to hear something. I thought we would struggle at times this year. I knew the OL would be an issue. For that reason, with this schedule, I thought we would win between 5 & 7.

Some of the insiders picked 8 wins on August 30, 2018 (well after all the—they only have 8 OL to practice with/5 scholarship OL to practice with—talk).

But now, the narrative is that Morris had absolutely no talent with which to work and no chance.

Everyone has a narrative. Narratives change. You notice if you pay attention. I choose not to listen to the “he had absolutely no chance” narrative.

It’s either revisionist history or some of the preseason predictions weren’t what people really thought at the time.

If it’s your position that a coach should never say anything in public that they can’t deliver, you’re not alone. There are many (including folks on this forum) who feel the same way.

I’m simply not in that group.

I think every coach knows that everything they say in public will make its way back to their players; and during game week, to the players on the other team.

Ergo the invention of “coach speak.”

So when CM threw out that “4 win” line at SEC media days, I interpreted it to be nothing more than a motivational ploy intended for his players; that if they worked hard every day this season to be the best version of themselves, that they should be more successful than the previous year.

Simply my opinion…

Steve Caldwell said the same thing over beers at the Jonesboro Country Club with some close friends this summer ( he played at ASU).They were not supposed to repeat that, but of course some did and one told one of my best friends. Said it will be a long rebuild.

My buddy only told me only after I took his $100 bet if the Hogs would win 6. He took the under and has called me weekly to rub it in!

Amazing offensive line information. Question is why are we only recruiting to just sign 5. I think ole Miss is signing 6 or 7. We have catching up to do. He stated he wanted 15 on scholarship.

Clay - this is a very puzzling post. You say now you see no talent at QB and very recently you defended Ty and said “he’s an SEC talent.”

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I’m confused…Which is it?