Monday Morning Ramblings

I wonder how they are going to keep these guys motivated. A horrible month of September that saw just one win over a non-BCS team, but otherwise, it was four routs against teams that we are supposed to compete with on a weekly basis. We have heard of it before, where you get 1) a new regime with an entire new, hard-ass approach, 2) there are major issues from day one, and 3) the team falls apart and splits off into different factions as the locker room lawyers and bad apples show their true self during tough times. Numbers one and two have happened, and number three could as well. I don’t envy Wulff right now, and he said as much in today’s Times:

As for whether something is being lost in translation from coaches to players, Wulff said, “We’re asking them to do some different things. In our mind, we’re asking them to be more sound and more disciplined. We’re just struggling, getting kids to execute.”

Oh well. As Wulff said, it’s a one-game season from here on out, and the only thing they will focus on is this week’s opponent, UCLA.

Speaking of UCLA, they are still a work in progress but showed some improvement vs. Fresno State, losing 36-31. The troubling thing about the Bruins? Their running game got on track in a big way, churning through the Bulldogs for 234 yards.

As with any team on the schedule from here on out, the opposition’s goal will be to 1) run, 2) run some more, and finally, 3) run it. Get used to it. Why would any offense do anything else but do the most simple thing in the game, which is handing off and asking your offensive lineman to run block?

I know some people have rallied that with our defensive tackle situation so bleak that maybe they should just go to a 3-4 and play up to their strength? Well, they have done some of that, if you haven’t noticed, and it’s obviously not working. But how about going in another direction? Maybe instead of experimenting with a 3-4, they should go to a FIVE MAN FRONT, almost like a goal-line defense! How about a 5-2 defense? Mullennix, Turpin, Ahmu, Eichelberger and Mattingly all along the front, with Greg Trent and Ken Dunn at linebackers? Bring down Jackson as a rover instead of a strong safety spot, putting eight in the box, while having Hicks play free safety as a centerfielder, right down the middle of the field? It puts your cornerbacks out on an island, sure, but what other choice do they have? Besides, UCLA’s QB play has sucked this year, so there shouldn’t be a whole lot of fear in their passing game. Just roll it out for first and second down, see if you can put the QB in second or third and more than 5 instead of second or third and less than 2. Then go to your regular nickel packages on obvious passing downs. But at this point, anything should be an option, for what they are doing now isn’t even close to working.

You think things are bad in Pullman, well, they are. But how about Seattle right now? UW loses a game they have pointed to as one they had to get, allowing Stanford to waltz to their way to 466 total yards, surpassing their best mark by well over 100 yards on the year. They also lose Jake Locker for 6 weeks, if not more depending on how his broken thumb comes along. Now 0-4 and a huge underdog at Arizona, 0-5 looks pretty likely. What a mess.

Finally, nice going M’s. A 101-loss season is bad enough, and you are now “founders” of the 100-100 club (over $100 million spent in payroll, and at least 100 losses to go with it). But here they were, coming into the weekend, with a lock on the #1 pick in next year’s MLB draft if they just could have lost ONE GAME this weekend. Not two games, not three games. Just ONE more loss. Instead, in a meaningless series in every way, shape and form, they SWEEP THE A’S!?! Meanwhile the Washington Nationals did the right thing, laying down for the weekend and getting swept by the Phillies, giving them the #1 pick?? What a nightmare. Stephen Strasberg, the dominating right-handed power pitcher from San Diego State who routinely hits the upper-90’s on the radar gun and is head and shoulders THE GUY this year, pegged as can’t miss by every scout around. What a great idea to have him in the rotation with Felix and Brandon Morrow and the rest. So even when they win, they lose. PUH-THETIC.

Happy Monday!


9 Responses to “Monday Morning Ramblings”

  1. logan Says:

    so with the five man front…who comes in to give those guys a break? that would work if we had depth, but we have NONE. i would like to see it, but we just cant do it with the bodies we have.

  2. kaddy Says:

    What about Turpin? Is he hurt, or just not able to earn any playing time, even with our depth issues? You would think that he could play a few minutes, at least.

  3. kaddy Says:

    Hawk, I think you should do a poll about our home helmets, to see what the masses think. That Cougar script has got to go – WAY high school. I think the only reason we have it is because Wulff likes it.

  4. logan Says:

    turpin was listed in the 5 man front…

  5. Sedihawk Says:

    For one I would seriously consider burning the redshirt off Wolfgramm. He was our top rated recruit in last year’s class. I would love to see Wolfgramm as a senior in 2010, and that’s our theme these days – 2010 – but desperate times, desperate measures.

    Go with Eichelberger as a nose tackle, straight over the center. But Ahmu and Wolfgramm at defensive tackles on each side of Eich, right between the opposing guards and tackles. They don’t have to make plays, but just clog space at least make the offensive line account for the extra body inside. That in and of itself would be a positive step, and that’s one extra offensive lineman that Greg Trent or Kendrick Dunn or even Alfonso Jackson would have to worry about inside the box, letting them flow to the ball and make plays.

    Unfortunately, you’d have to live with Adam Hineline and Toby Turpin as the backups. But on third downs and obvious passing situations, go back to your standard stuff. I’m just talking 1st and 2nd downs, or any obvious running situations.

    Then Mullennix and Mattingly as the ends, with Kooyman and Graise backing them up.

    It’s SO easy to sit here and say this though! But seriously, what else can they do? Just hope that Ahmu and Eich are dipped in magic d-tackle waters and suddenly play like first-team All-Americans? That ain’t happening. What is the alternative? Keep doing the same thing, over and over, and keep failing miserably? I know there are philosophies, beliefs, etc, and trying to change everything every week might look like a panic move or whatever. But eventually don’t you have to say wow, enough is enough!?!

  6. Sedihawk Says:

    Oh, and Kaddy, I don’t think Turpin is totally healthy.

  7. Portland Coug Says:

    After watching these kids in the endzone on Saturday I 1000% agree. You will never get the angle on tv that you get sitting in the end zone and I was astonished at the line play. The holes were beyond gaping. Change the damn system so you have a chance. It’s men vs. toddlers right now.

    And the 5-2 is designed to clog running lanes, tie up offensive linemen and free your linebackers. We ran it when I played and as a linebacker I can tell you I rarely had to mess with a guard or center. I always matched up with the fullback or tight end on running plays and tht is a fair fight. All I would do is read the guard and respond accordingly. Guards will spill the offense’s guts as soon as the ball is snapped. but this is back in the glory days before the spread. The spread is fantastic because there are so many things that can originate from a single formation. You cannot simply key off the guards to decide if it is a run or pass. That hesitation from linebackers or safeties is part of what makes that defense such a pain in the neck to defend.

    Hawk the 5-2 would get eaten alive vs. Oregon or even Cal. You have to defend the spread by spreading out yourself and put as many athletes on the perimiter as you can. The 5-2 would have far too many one-on-ones outside and with those athletes they could pass for 500 yards if they wanted to. But I like it against UCLA or maybe even USC – more traditional sets and a fullback.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    The mariners are Pathetic. Yes. But I would not worry about missing out on the top pick. I harken back to the Mark Prior – Joe Mauer draft. When in doubt go with the bat over the arm at the top of the draft, every time. Remember the M’s were so stupid they almost drafted Mike Harkey over Griffey. They almost drafted Darren Dreifort over Alex Rodriguez. Both times position players and both times the right choice. What if the Cubs had Joe Mauer right now?

    This article says it best:

    Who will you remember, Joe Mauer or Mark Prior?

  9. Anonymous Says:

    I like the 4-4-3 defense with Mattingly back at LB…….but we have to get some pressure on opposing QBs – how many sacks have we had this year – one or two?? I would always rush 5…….show 3 or 4 rushing and blitz 1-2 others from various areas……I am not seeing any creativity at all from the defense – who is calling the plays?? How many 60+ point games in conference do we have to give up before we just say, crap, bring the frickin kitchen sink?? Also on offense, just hold onto the damn ball – we give the opponents 21-28pts a game on turnovers alone……can we just stop the charity? I really wonder if Wulff is making a difference just looking at the turnover margin – this should be improving but is not…..forget the 5-2, just do not turnover the ball and give the opposition the ball at your 20 for an easy drive…..I almost think we’d be better off punting on 1st down just for field position….#1 goal – do not turnover ball so they get the short field….2nd, stop the run and pressure their QB – I don’t care what u have to do – bring all 11 if u have to – DO IT!! 3rd, give your playmakers touches…..Gibson, Tardy, Anderson, Freishnect, Ivory, etc…….anyway, not quite sure why this is so hard to achieve?? I mean wouldn’t we all love to be in a job where we got 3yrs to produce results and the first 2yrs you could completely set the records for futileness and that was cool/expected?? At some point coaching has to be accountable…..I mean are we going to allow every pac-10 team to score 60+ on us?? If we hold ucla to 50, is that good?? I dunno….just really bummed…..

    Reno, NV

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