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Coach’s Corner: Texas vs. Iowa State

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Why aren’t there any open receivers?

NCAA Football: Texas at Iowa State Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Once again, I would like to than everyone for their input. This would not be possible without you. I think I covered everything here, but I also tried to avoid redundancy. I ran out of time quickly this week, so no video, but I will try to get some up in the future.

What happens when a coach devises a play or game plan and is wrong? - Billy Becker

This happens more than you think. In some cases, coaches are more stubborn than others, which just compounds the situation. Obviously, listening to the players and assistants is a very valuable skill for a coach to learn. Learning this skill more quickly will relieve a great deal of pain and anxiety. That’s a lesson I had to learn the hard way, personally, as I developed through the ranks of coaches very quickly, and with a military background to complicate things, hadn’t learned that I didn’t always have to be right. It didn’t really hit me between the eyes, as you would say until I started studying coaching philosophy.

There’s a concept called cooperative coaching. Basically, this philosophy runs more like a republic and less like a dictatorship. Players (or assistant coaches) skills and opinions are considered when making decisions with this type of coaching. As a coach, when a certain play or plan doesn’t work, asking players what they think, what they are comfortable with, or why they did what they did will often help resolve the problem in a more efficient and effective manner than forcing your will on everyone. Herman and his staff will likely need to resort to these measures if they are going to be successful this season.

In you example, the coach would organize a time a practice to walk through the play in question and have the issues with the play explained to him. He would ask the players/assistants what the problem is, and have them explain their difficulties during the walk through. He would then either devise a way to resolve the issues or realize that his concept is simply not going to work. I hope that answers your question.

Porter/CW3? Haven’t seen anything out of Porter that makes me think hes a starter over CW3. What’s going on? - Luke Madsen

Porter makes fewer mistakes than Warren III. It is fairly easy to see that Warren III is a better ball carrier than Porter at this point in their careers, but Warren III makes too many mistakes when he doesn’t have the ball. He may also not perform as well in practice as some have seen in games. I think a combination of those things have put him in the back seat to Porter.

Why can’t we seem to find open receivers? - Luke Madsen

I think this is a combination of many different factors. One is having young quarterbacks learning a new offense. There are times where receivers are open but the quarterback is late in the read, and either throws the ball late into a now covered receiver, or realizes he missed the read and doesn’t throw the ball at all.

Another factor playing in is that with the O-line banged up, Iowa State did not have to use as many blitzers to get pressure on the quarterback. They were happy to drop eight into coverage and only rush three for a good portion of the game. It is possible to get receivers open against five defenders underneath and three deep. In fact, there are concepts specifically designed to beat this coverage, but they rely heavily on timing are difficult to execute. They become even more difficult when they haven’t been practiced because the coaching staff did not foresee the opposing defense running that type of coverage.

What’s the best fix for a really inexperienced O Line with 0 depth? - Luke Madsen

I think I kind of covered this in a previous response, so I will keep it simple. This year, we will be forced to use duct tape to keep our o-line together, figuratively speaking. The only real solution to the problem is recruiting and time.

So it was a surprise to see Kerstetter out at RT, the coach’s reasoning being he had better practices than Okafor, who is now listed as backup LT. That leads me to ask about how Okafor’s stock must be low considering that Nickelson is still starting LT and just letting people push him around in pass protection. Is it that bad? - Thor’s Brother

Yes and no. It is that bad in the present, but I don’t think its anything that is unfix-able this season. Unfortunately, depth is a major issue at this point, so Texas does not have the luxury of pulling a guy out of a game, coaching him up and getting him back in there. They will have to learn as they go, but I do think that most of the problems are due to foot work and mental lapses, which are correctable, especially when properly diagnosed and stressed throughout the week.

Why is an experienced center like Shackelford snapping low? Is he just in a hurry to get into his position post-snap? Is it the equivalent to the "yips" for center? - Thor’s Brother

Shackelford is actually not that experienced as a center. He played tackle in high school, so last year was really his first year at the position. Its also worth mentioning that he missed a few games last season due to injury, so he really doesn’t even have a full season under his belt. Additionally, watching film from last year compared to this year, it appears that Shack is using a different technique to snap the ball. I am not sure of the reason for this, but this may be part of the problem, or an attempt at a solution for the same.

With a our barely there line (who has given time here and there) and no running game to speak of would it be more advantageous to go to more a quick hit passing game similar to Colt’s offense in 08 and 09? - TexanFromHell

The short answer is yes. If I had more time, I would go back and highlight several different opportunities that were there in the passing game against Iowa State, but either, the concepts weren’t in the game plan or the coaches didn’t see the opportunity during the game. Likely a combination of the two. For the other questions, I think it is a combination of poor routes by the receivers at times, not calling the correct pass concepts at times, and then quarterbacks missing open receivers at times. I will get into more detail on some pass concepts that could work, but the short answer is yes and all three.

Truth or dare if you had a vial of sodium Pentathlon with Herman and Beck tied to a chair, what questions do you want answered? - Tickle Tackles

I would most likely ask them why there is an absence of the west coast offense based short passing game they were supposed to be so versed in when they came to Texas. In a close second would be if they realize that they can run power without the quarterback being the ball carrier. Those two things, along with the inside zone were supposed to be the backbone of this offense, and have really not been featured at all thus far. I think those concepts offer a lot of opportunity, and both Beck and Herman have featured them in the past.

How far off is our secondary from being really good? - Txfunbob_66

I am not going to say that our secondary has arrived, but they look like they are well on their way to being very good. Of course good secondaries don’t and can’t work in isolation. There has to be good play up front in order to help pressure quarterbacks and stop the run (otherwise the secondary becomes susceptible to the play action pass). Football really is a team sport, so it is unfair to praise one aspect of the defense without pointing out that the defense as a whole has contributed to this point. They only gave up 256 yards to Iowa Sate, which has a pretty good offense. Additionally, the defense has improved every week this season. Because of that, I think they are well on their way to being one of the best defenses in the country.

Whats the deal with Shane Buechele? Is he more injured than we think? - Burnedsince61

I am not going to speculate on Buechele’s health or try to diagnose any problems with his form. I simply don’t have all the information I need to comment on that. I would really need to be at practice on a daily basis to be able to make an intelligent comment. What I can say is that Buechele is still making some mental mistakes. He appears to be adjusting to the speed of the game, which is not uncommon for a quarterback in his second year of college football. Sometimes, that second guess can result in issues with release point ect, which may be the case. I personally believe that the issues are more mental than physical.