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Wickline


Brasky
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Been a while, friendos.  

I was watching the Astros the other night so I could save my TV, sheetrock and my marriage.  Every once in a while I'd flip over to the abomination and a discussion with a non UT fan friend of mine ensued about what exactly is wrong with the 'horns.  I think for years now the most glaring of our problems has been the OL.  Swoopes is awful but the line I think is a bigger problem.  Which brings me to my question.  I thought Wick was supposed to be a guru of OL?  I thought he was widely considered to be amongst the very best in the business??  I understand that he hasn't had much to work with but it doesn't seem possible to me that he's trotting out such an incredbly poor unit.  This is Texas.  As thin as we are there is no way in hell that we don't have people on campus who can at least be average.  

What is the deal with Wickline?  

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On LHN Dan Neil said that he saw a world of improvement from last year's O-line play to this year.  He also said the two best players on the field at ND were freshmen Williams and Jefferson.

 

I hope at some point this year Buck Major can break into the line up at right tackle so Perkins can move back to guard where he belongs.

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Wow, I'm super glad to hear Neil said that....  I guess.  They didn't look good to me at all.  As bad as Swoopes is he seemed under steady pressure and it ddin't appear we thought we could open any holes in the running game (even before it was a blowout).  Thanks for ths insight, though.  I was so psyched when we got Wickline and want him to succeed here.

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Hopefully Perkins can take #66 place if he is moved back to guard. Watson can help the OL and QB out if he would go to a quick dink and dunk passing game that forces LBs to react to passes instead of backing their ears and coming at us. that would allow the run game to work as well. When the safeties have to come up to help on short routes you can then burn them deep. Tech and Mizzou did it for years, so why can't we?

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Hopefully Perkins can take #66 place if he is moved back to guard. Watson can help the OL and QB out if he would go to a quick dink and dunk passing game that forces LBs to react to passes instead of backing their ears and coming at us. that would allow the run game to work as well. When the safeties have to come up to help on short routes you can then burn them deep. Tech and Mizzou did it for years, so why can't we?

 

The "West Coast" offense Watson prefers is based on the short passing game.

 

The problems we have right now is Swoopes isn't a threat to run when we do call zone read plays and he's slow to read coverage in the passing game. Pretty lousy combination. Good kid, just not a D1 caliber QB.

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With two true freshmen on the OL, I'm not sure VY would have much success either. That said, Swoopes is simply not athletic enough to effectively run the read-option. He seems like a helluva nice kid who is a poor fit for where we are. Even the short passes he attempted Saturday were 99mph fastballs or way off the mark. However, the one time he did get a little time and could set his feet, it was a completion to Burt. Granted Burt made a diving catch, but at least the pass was close to the mark. I'm not sure Heard is the answer, but at least he is athletic and perhaps can avoid the rush better than Swoopes. At this stage, Heard is our best option, and I would not rule out Locksley at this stage. The coaches should have done Swoopes a solid in the offseason and moved him to TE in the spring. 

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Looking back, I suppose the chance to steal someone with the reputations of Wickline away was too tempting to pass up. And the timing was perfect.

 

However, with the same benefit of hindsight --

(1) It's clear he and Watson were never going to be a good match, system-wise.

(2) Anyone with even minimal knowledge of the 2013 Horns knew the OL was weakest position on the squad.  What we really needed at the time was someone who could level the earth finding and successfully recruiting OLs (whether high school or JUCO or from wherever).  Wickline is not that recruiter.

All of this is on the head decision-maker.

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Did either of our juco OL play on Saturday? Didn't get to watch the game, was celebrating parents 65th wedding anniversary. I thought the purpose of juco players was immediate impact.

 

 

While Hodges not winning a starting job was certainly a disappointment - Nickleson was always viewed as a project who was going to require some time.  If Hodges saw the field it was on ST's.

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With two true freshmen on the OL, I'm not sure VY would have much success either. ....

 

 

The thing about this is that other offenses survive poor OL play.  Mike Leach never had great lines at Tech (I can only remember one good NFL OL from all his years there - Louis Vasquez - maybe I forget someone) - yet he designed a successful offense around it.  His defenses were primarily what held his teams back.

 

It is on the OC to run a smart scheme, given whatever tools he has on-hand.  What you cannot do is make the weak areas worse.

 

Based off the success Watson had with Teddy Bridgewater, he came to our team with a clear idea of the scheme he wanted to run.  But the problem was that he did not have the personnel to run it.  You knew it and I knew it.  I have no idea why Watson/Strong did not know it.  Nonetheless, once Ash was declared out (the only QB we've had who could run Watson's schemes) and we had the other various departures, Watson and Strong should have known it at least by then.

 

What does a reasonable OC do in this situation?  Does he stubbornly cling to the scheme that once worked for him?  Or, does he adjust his scheme to fit the personnel that he actually has on hand?  (A separate question can be raised whether Watson would have ever had any success an an OC had Bridgewater not landed in his lap).

 

In our case, we cannot pass block.  As a unit, we are lucky to hold off the pass rush on any given pass play for 3 seconds.  Often we cannot hold the rush for 1 second.  Given that team weakness, the smart OC does not call for 7-step drops (or 5-step even) with five check-downs with a slow-footed, slow-passing-motion, slow-thinking QB.  This does not do him or anyone else on our team any favors.  The opponent loves this sort of nonsense play-calling, especially on 3rd-and-short.  Ever watch Oregon? Or Baylor even?  Notice how quickly the ball leaves the QB's hands on those slants? It's gone in 3 seconds.  Now visualize how many times we have tried to run that play.  We are still using slants designed by Fred Akers. 

 

Combine all that with the philosophical variance between Watson and Wickline, and we were screwed from the outset with this group.

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The thing about this is that other offenses survive poor OL play.  Mike Leach never had great lines at Tech (I can only remember one good NFL OL from all his years there - Louis Vasquez - maybe I forget someone) - yet he designed a successful offense around it.  His defenses were primarily what held his teams back.

 

It is on the OC to run a smart scheme, given whatever tools he has on-hand.  What you cannot do is make the weak areas worse.

 

Based off the success Watson had with Teddy Bridgewater, he came to our team with a clear idea of the scheme he wanted to run.  But the problem was that he did not have the personnel to run it.  You knew it and I knew it.  I have no idea why Watson/Strong did not know it.  Nonetheless, once Ash was declared out (the only QB we've had who could run Watson's schemes) and we had the other various departures, Watson and Strong should have known it at least by then.

 

What does a reasonable OC do in this situation?  Does he stubbornly cling to the scheme that once worked for him?  Or, does he adjust his scheme to fit the personnel that he actually has on hand?  (A separate question can be raised whether Watson would have ever had any success an an OC had Bridgewater not landed in his lap).

 

In our case, we cannot pass block.  As a unit, we are lucky to hold off the pass rush on any given pass play for 3 seconds.  Often we cannot hold the rush for 1 second.  Given that team weakness, the smart OC does not call for 7-step drops (or 5-step even) with five check-downs with a slow-footed, slow-passing-motion, slow-thinking QB.  This does not do him or anyone else on our team any favors.  The opponent loves this sort of nonsense play-calling, especially on 3rd-and-short.  Ever watch Oregon? Or Baylor even?  Notice how quickly the ball leaves the QB's hands on those slants? It's gone in 3 seconds.  Now visualize how many times we have tried to run that play.  We are still using slants designed by Fred Akers. 

 

Combine all that with the philosophical variance between Watson and Wickline, and we were screwed from the outset with this group.

 

Well said

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While Hodges not winning a starting job was certainly a disappointment - Nickleson was always viewed as a project who was going to require some time.  If Hodges saw the field it was on ST's.

I believe Nickelson is a 4 years to play 3 guy anyways. I could be wrong though. 

 

From a roster perspective, it would be dumb to burn Nickelson's RS this year. 

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Just got through reading on another site a review of how the offensive line played against ND.  

 

Here are the cliff notes.

 

C. Williams actually played well overall, especially considering the caliber of competition and him being a true freshman. 

 

Again, considering the competition, Doyle, Perkins, and Vahe all did okay overall.

 

Flowers was absolutely terrible. 

 

Based on this, I'm not sure that Wickline isn't doing a better job than he is being given credit for.

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Just got through reading on another site a review of how the offensive line played against ND.  

 

Here are the cliff notes.

 

C. Williams actually played well overall, especially considering the caliber of competition and him being a true freshman. 

 

Again, considering the competition, Doyle, Perkins, and Vahe all did okay overall.

 

Perkins was absolutely terrible. 

 

Based on this, I'm not sure that Wickline isn't doing a better job than he is being given credit for.

Did Perkins do "okay" or "terrible"? Make up your mind, NTG!

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