Question for Morris About Expectations

At SEC media days Morris said he’d watched all of last season’s games and he was trying to figure out how we only won 4 games - implying we should have won more and he expected more.

Fast forward four months and we are about to finish 2-10 which is the worst record in school history. That said, I would think reporters covering the team will want to revisit CCM’s August comments and ask for his insights on why this team did not match the 2017 team win total which he suggested underachieved.

Did he misjudge the returning talent?

Were there buy in/culture problems which inhibited his ability to get this team to maximize its potential given the talent on hand?

Was it due to the team’s inability to grasp new schemes/concepts?

All of the above?

It’s not an easy thing for a reporter to ask about, but when a coach gets in the expectation setting game before the season and doesn’t perform he needs to be asked about it and, hopefully, he gives some candid answers.

[quote=“JacksonReid”]

At SEC media days Morris said he’d watched all of last season’s games and he was trying to figure out how we only won 4 games - implying we should have won more and he expected more.

Fast forward four months and we are about to finish 2-10 which is the worst record in school history. That said, I would think reporters covering the team will want to revisit CCM’s August comments and ask for his insights on why this team did not match the 2017 team win total which he suggested underachieved.

Did you misjudge the returning talent?

Were their buy in/culture problems which inhibited your ability to get this team to maximize its potential given the talent on hand?

Was it due to the team’s inability to grasp new schemes/concepts?

All of the above?

It’s not an easy thing for a reporter to ask about, but when a coach gets in the expectation setting game before the season and doesn’t perform he needs to be asked about it and, hopefully, he gives some candid answers.

[/quote]I agree, though I’m sure it was his way of trying to pump sunshine into a bad situation. He tries to be as optimistic as possible, but his answers may have brought too great of expectations.

LOL. You really expect him to answer that honestly in public press conference?

What did you expect him to say at SEC media days? “Boys, I’ve been through the roster and man do we suck. I had better talent in HS. We will probably win 2 games and be lucky to win those. “

That’s what you wanted to hear from the coach? At SEC media day? Really?

We have long road. We have one of best classes coming in but still low / medium compared to SEC.

We are 4 years away from being .500 or better.

I think this league is about 75% recruiting and 25% coaching.

CCM is the best hope we have had in recruiting in a long time. I think he gets us there but it will take time.

Your answer implies he was being less than candid at media days .

Assuming you are correct I personally would have answered as positively as I could have without saying the last team underachieved by only winning 4 so as to not set an expectation I may not be able to achieve.

That’s merely PR 101 and I would have thought being a HC for years at the HS and college level he would have been more savvy in how he addressed the topic of expectations.

However, perhaps he really believed it and thought the last bunch underachieved with only 4 wins. If this is the case I’d like to know what he thinks four months later.

My two cents.
Morris handled it the right way. His personal thoughts may be different than his public ones but he is selling hope which is what he was hired to do until evidence of winning takes over the selling part. He inherited a train wreck it seems but he also bears some responsibility which he knows. We wondered why so many receivers were offered given all the talented ones we had coming back. Appreciated the focus on defensive line because this is a defensive line league, knew we need speed, etc. Twelve months later we now understand why he took that route. We fans know very little about the team other than Saturday games. We can see the problems on display just like the coaches do on a daily basis but these are the cards they have to play. Clearly you cannot meet your objectives with this output so you have to deal with what you can at the moment. Next 90 days will determine how long the rebuild will require–recruiting, coaching changes if any, and graduate transfer options will all become clearer then.

I agree with comment earlier that recruiting is the biggest part of success in this league, Morris has focused on that and the efforts show. Same efforts have not shown up on field yet. His job is getting all of this to come together. He will earn his salary and deserves the fan’s support. We could have won 2-4 games more this season but that is still far way from where we need to be.

I was born in 1952 and attended my first Razorback game in 1960. This is the worse Razorback team I have seen and I thought the 1997 Nov run. of games with Danny Ford was the worse until this year. We will likely lose ten games for first time since 1952. My expectation is that we have no where to go but up from here. It will not be easy but it can be done.

I think there is an old saying in military circles: “You don’t get to fight the war with the army you wish you had, you fight it with the one you’ve got.”

CM came in and cobbled together a recruiting class that everyone knew was not going to provide a lot of immediate help. Boyd’s been the best, though he needs a full spring to get more into the playbook, Gerald has come on a bit of late, and Woods and Pool have shown some talent while making the typical number of freshman mistakes. Several others have played quite a bit without standing out. Some of the others, especially the linemen, may eventually be good players, but we just don’t know.

So CM had to do the best he could with mainly BB’s holdovers, amidst a switch in systems on both sides of the ball. So I get being optimistic with the media and the team pre-season, he had to coach what he had, and work on trying to get what he wanted.

He and the staff have made some mistakes this year, without a doubt, and some changes on the staff seem very likely(new receivers coach comes to mind). The career rejuvenations were few(Watts, Limpert, O’Grady). So the staff did not work any miracles, and did not get the holdovers to play above their talent level. But at the very core of it the upper classes did not have effective leaders and had plenty of guys who were willing to let go of the rope, or at least not hold on tight and pull hard every week. Maybe things would have been a little different if we had not blown the CSU game, but I kind of doubt it.

But that does not mean long-term the CM regime is going to be a failure. This year’s debacle gives CM free reign to run players(and maybe staff) off in droves. And I hope that’s what happens. I’d rather try to play with 75 scholarship players next year, without some of the defeatist, selfish attitudes we’ve seen the past two or three years, than have another year when so many upperclassmen have mailed it in on multiple occasions or in some cases simply not bought into the system at all. Sometimes you can’t change a person’s mentality, you just have to get somebody new.

I am genuinely excited about this year’s recruiting class. I do think we’ve got some guys on the team now who are good players who could be really good players next year. But I want to see some ruthlessness in the way this team gets rebuilt. Anyone who wants to be on the 2019 roster needs to be shocked into understanding to their core that you are either in or out, and there is no in-between.

How dare him try to be positive about a bunch that underachieved in 2017 and has done it again this season?

Like I said earlier, what was he supposed to say - they have sucked, we suck now and we are going to suck in the future?

As far as the questions, they have been asked and will likely be again Monday.

If he thought they were likely going going to suck again then he’s foolish for saying in a public setting they underachieved in 2017 at 4-8. Makes it easy for people to say he deserves a big ole coaching F for doing even worse.

Needs to brush up on media relations 101 IMO.

Yes, you do.

Going into his first season as head coach, you think it was more important for him to keep public expectations down than to try to get his team to believe in themselves and play better? BS.

Winning a press conference in August does not mean much compared to trying to actually trying to win games. He also inadvertently put his finger on the problem. The upperclassmen on this team did underachieve to talent level in 2017(hence the statement, can’t believe they only won four games), and they kept right on doing it in 2018. Did they have enough talent to win eight or nine games? No, not even close.

But they had more than enough talent to win five or six. Unfortunately they also had way too many guys that either gave up too easily or cared too little among the returnees. CM and staff can be criticized for not getting more out those guys, but in the end the bulk of that problem is on the players themselves. So long-term the answer is culling the herd and bringing in a lot of new(more talented) faces with young, impressionable minds. The returnees for 2019, generally, are going to be on a very short leash in regards to attitude and effort.

Witty

Good and resonable response and may well be on target - would like to see if CCM addresses the question this way if asked.

PS Sounds like you think he was being candid in his answer at media days.

I think he was saying what he thought would put some much-needed belief in his players.

Very rarely do I think coaches anywhere say what they really mean.

That’s why the term coachspeak exists.

Certainly not as witty as using Tito’s or Bert or anything like that, which I see you are still doing regardless of whether it was the big issue that you were told or not.

I think CM probably looked at the tape and said, man these guys had enough talent to do better than four wins, and that is what he said. What he did not know was that he was not going to be able to coax more production out of those guys. So the candor was the observation that the returnees under-produced to talent.

Most every new coach believes in his ability to make guys better players, so the optimism was both justified and expected, positive thinking was needed and good. Gigging CM and staff for not instilling a deeper resolve into the returnees is understandable. But at the end of the day most organizations have a certain number of people who just can’t or won’t get out of their own way no matter what you do. We’ve got too many guys like that right now, and things won’t get better until that number gets chopped way down.

I’m not going to gig this staff too hard over anything. They inherited a broken, losing culture and are about to do all they can to purge the problems.

Kudos to them.

It was

Again, nope it wasn’t as big as you make it out to be.

But it is an easy narrative for you to just throw out there without any validation other than you say so.

I live here, was around him a lot whether it was practice or not and talk to a lot of people in and around the program.

I also don’t just get one side of the story.

I fully agree with the idea of 75% recruiting and 25% coaching; and that these guys recruiting is going to get us there if we have the stomach to hang in there. It’s not going to be very soon. We have both physical and cultural problems that have to be replaced one at a time.