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My conversation with Phil Steele this morning regarding our Horns for '14


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Y'all

Spoke with Phil Steele this morning on Bill King's show. Phil Steele is always a gracious guest and seems to be an overall good guy. That being said, I asked about the upcoming season and voiced my concern with Shawn Watson as Offensive Coordinator, err, I mean QB Coach (wink, wink) of the Horns in the up-tempo, high-powered, spread offenses of the Big 12. I acknowledged the development of Teddy Bridgewater as QB at Louisville however I then pointed out Texas thumping Colorado in the Big 12 Championship in '05 and his team only scoring points in a game like that. Furthermore, for a team to give up 70 points, the offense and special teams have to contribute to a score like thatt as well. I went on and discussed Watson's stint at Nebraska and concerns with that as well. I then finished by stating that I felt the Horns would end with 9 wins, 10 if everything goes well with Ash as QB (otherwise all bets are off!)

Steele's response was nothing less than interesting and concerning. Steele agreed with my assesment of Shawn Watson and said that "Despite running multiple systems throughout his career, Watson is still unproven as an Offensive Coordinator and a concern." Those are Phil Steele's words folks, not mine. Shawn Watson is 54 years old and has been coaching for some time now. He has a track record as a coach and with the exception of the development of Teddy Bridgewater Watson hasn't showed himself to be any better than an average OC at best. Hell, at least Greg Davis developed Major Applewhite, Chris Simms,, Vince Young, & Colt McCoy as QB's. And let me tell you, Major & Colt weren't 5 * recruits like Teddy Bridgewater was coming out of HS. You would think that the University of Texas would not have to settle for an unproven coach at any position on this staff ESPECIALLY at the position where the guy will be calling our plays on offense. And yes I am very much aware that we have a lot of QB's camping with Watson in Austin. Darrell reminds me of that daily. That being said, camping and committing are 2 separate matters altogether.

Steele went on to say that Charlie Strong must be "licking his chops" to work with the RB's, WR's, and defensive players that he has inherited. Phil Steele ended our conversation by saying that he agreed that if Ash remained healthy he saw a 9 win season- 10 max. Many schools around the Nation would love to have a record like that. We shall see- the season can't get here fast enough!

Happy Independence Day folks and Hook 'em!

SG

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I am repeatedly on the record saying Watson will be lucky to last the season and that he will be gone prior to signing day in 2015. I will be massively surprised if the offense shows up for the UCLA and OU games. I don't think Watson has the skill to scheme around the weaknesses the offense has going into the season. That being said, we are six weeks from starting to find out what he can do with the UT offense. 

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Same guy who said TEXAS 2013 OL would be among the Top 5 in the nation .. . 

 

 

the 3 major stops Watson has made are CU .. .Neb and UL. . .. at both Neb and UL, he worked with defensive minded coaches.  They tend to not like high scoring offenses but rather offenses that keep the ball and control the clock, wearing out the other team. 

 

UL last year was only #25 in scoring but #3 in both 3rd down conversions and TOP nationally.

 

If we are going by the "one game" logic you offered. . .I'll point to CU II and Colorado's RB putting up a RECORD day vs the #1 defense (statistically) in the nation. . . .we were averaging only allowing 14 points a game. . . .they would put 32 on us (I don't give their O credit for a pick 6). . .basically they doubled us up. . . .this with a backup QB.

 

At Nebraska he had Taylor Martinez and did fairly well with him.

 

As far as Watson and Bridgewater .. . by all means, let's list all the OC's who faired better without top flight talent. . . .Norm Chow was considered the pinnacle at one point but never had a great year without a Heisman quality QB.

 

I would also say it's pretty clear the Top QBs in the nation do not share your opinion. . .Zach Gentry has already committed and the Maryland kid has us in his Top 3 .. . . not to mention the 2016 QBs lining up to camp here. . . . .I have a sneaking suspision we're going to see some good offensive play at TEXAS. . . .now it won't reach GD levels. . . but keep in mind Mack wanted to win with O not D.    And outside of 2010, the worst GD's offense ever finished was #18 in the nation.

 

This is a quote from one of the 24/7 posters which I thought was worth repeating here:

 

I looked up info myself on footballoutsiders.com and I respectfully disagree with you this time.

Based on their Fremeau Efficiency Index (FEI) over Watson's last 5 years as an OC, and despite the Pelini philosophy clash years at Nebraska, Watsons offense still managed to average in the top 28% for opponent adjusted efficiency of his offense. Last year 2013 wasn't even his best year.

And considering that Strong is focused on scoring more points than his opponent in each game, rather than just scoring a lot of points in general, I don't agree that Watson's history as an OC is average or uninspiring. 

 

 

 

NM, got my answer. . .you just were a call in to the show. . . . 

 

 

 

 

 

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I am repeatedly on the record saying Watson will be lucky to last the season and that he will be gone prior to signing day in 2015. I will be massively surprised if the offense shows up for the UCLA and OU games. I don't think Watson has the skill to scheme around the weaknesses the offense has going into the season. That being said, we are six weeks from starting to find out what he can do with the UT offense.

There is a reason we are losing recruits on the offensive side of the ball not only to A&M & OU, but Baylor as well. And it has an awful lot to do with the type of uninspiring offense that Watson & Strong ran at Louisville. Count me among the doubters as it pertains to Wickline and his input as OC. The offense ran at Okie State was Gundy's brain child. After T Boone put his foot down regarding Gundy hire a full time OC and relinquish those responsibilities or else, Gundy got religion and hired an OC with a like-mind offensively.

 

Fedora was a student of it. Holgerson was a student of it. Wickline was simply the Offensive Line Coach for it. Even with Ash at 100% I am concerned about our offense. Furthermore, I am concerned about how attractive this offense is to recruits. That is my opinion and until I see how things pan out for myself I will remain that way.

 

Like I continually say, we shall see.

 

SG

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Personally, I'd rather see UT run a pro-style offense with more ball control and better clock management.

 

Having said that, it's not surprising to me that TXHSFB quarterbacks who grew up in the Spread aren't excited about Watson's offense.  We're damn lucky to retain Jerrod Heard, but he's more mature and focused than most.  A forward-thinking HS baller might see that Watson's offense will make him more NFL-ready than Briles or Sumlin.

 

But, that's expecting a lot from a 17 or 18 year old...

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Although Watson will be the primary playcaller, this will not be his offense alone. Every coach on the offensive side of the ball has had playcalling experience (Chambers being the exception unless you factor HS coaching). What this means is we will have superior game plans to any defense we will face (rather than just relying on talent alone) for the first time that I can honestly remember. In addition, a premium will be placed on player development and utility even more than when Harsin was around.

 

What this looks like in terms of results is up to if Coach Strong is comfortable loosening the reigns on offense or simply just scoring enough to win. I suspect you will be pleasantly surprised when this season is all said and done.

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Phil Steele is in business to sell magazines, not judge a coach's acumen. 

Yes I am aware of some of Phil Steele's miscalculations (Texas OLine comes immediately to mind as well as UT being a dark horse to compete for a MNC in '13). That being said, Phil Steele is arguably one of the best in the business.  The man would not be as successful as he is today if he had no credibility.

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Will give Watson the benefit of the doubt, and hope he is the guy....rooting for him to succeed all the way

 

No matter who is the coach or what offense we run, or how good the defense is....there will be at least 2-3 games that have to be won in a shootout style.

 

Whether Pro, run oriented, option or spread....we will have to have some high scoring games to get through the conference schedule..

 

Bama needed to be able to win a shootout to beat OU couldn't do it....they needed to win in a shootout with ATM and did it, they were in a semi shootout with Auburn and couldn't do it.

 

The SEC is beginning to have to face high octane offenses, will be interesting how that plays out...to early to say at this point.

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Yes I am aware of some of Phil Steele's miscalculations (Texas OLine comes immediately to mind as well as UT being a dark horse to compete for a MNC in '13). That being said, Phil Steele is arguably one of the best in the business.  The man would not be as successful as he is today if he had no credibility.

 

 

I am actually a fan of Steele's work generally. . . .

 

but the reality is that he got a fan with a clear agenda on the line and basically gave him a politically correct/don't go out on a limb answer he wanted to hear. . . 

 

Watson runs the offenses his HC's want him to run. . ..he has been very successful in that context. . . 

 

He developed Bridgewater, he clearly has the eyes and ears of some of the very best QBs prospects in the nation.   

 

As to having to win with shoot outs. . . .perhaps but in that case, Watson will work this year with one arm tied behind his back. . our OL is questionable and has no depth, we are unsure of our QB .. . and despite that, I'm sure our offense will struggle at times and look good at times. . . . and regardless of what happens on the field, a great many fans can already provide their reviews. . . .

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I am actually a fan of Steele's work generally. . . .

 

but the reality is that he got a fan with a clear agenda on the line and basically gave him a politically correct/don't go out on a limb answer he wanted to hear. . .

 

Watson runs the offenses his HC's want him to run. . ..he has been very successful in that context. . .

 

He developed Bridgewater, he clearly has the eyes and ears of some of the very best QBs prospects in the nation.

 

As to having to win with shoot outs. . . .perhaps but in that case, Watson will work this year with one arm tied behind his back. . our OL is questionable and has no depth, we are unsure of our QB .. . and despite that, I'm sure our offense will struggle at times and look good at times. . . . and regardless of what happens on the field, a great many fans can already provide their reviews. . . .

If you are insinuating that I have an agenda then you are ABSOLUTELY CORRECT! I DON'T believe Shawn Watson is the best The University of Texas can do at OC, err, QB Coach, play caller, or whatever the hell you want to call the guy. He is 54 years old and has a track record. He hasn't won on the biggest of stages and quite honestly I don't think that the University of Texas needs to "settle" for anyone that is unproven as a coach.

 

The truth of the matter is that many if not most on this staff are unproven at the level of success that we expect at the University of Texas- hence the lack of "buzz" the program is receiving from recruits, fans of the program, alumni, national pundits, and especially from BMD's. . I hope this staff proves everyone including myself wrong but I agree with the BMD's. Charlie Strong wasn't my first, second, or third pick I would have chosen as our Head Coach.

 

That being said, he has my support.

 

SG

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87...lack of BMD buzz? Really? You KNOW why red didn't want Charlie. As for jamail, mack would have been here until doomsday if joe had his way.

 

I don't know whether Watson will be worth a damn. What I do know is your original argument holding the 05 CC game against him is weak and I'd argue Bill Walsh could have been wearing a CU headset that day and an epic ass kicking was forthcoming.

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87...lack of BMD buzz? Really? You KNOW why red didn't want Charlie. As for jamail, mack would have been here until doomsday if joe had his way.

 

I don't know whether Watson will be worth a damn. What I do know is your original argument holding the 05 CC game against him is weak and I'd argue Bill Walsh could have been wearing a CU headset that day and an epic ass kicking was forthcoming.

Yeah, one game is what I'm basing my concern with Shawn Watson on. Nice straw man argument Barry.

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'I then pointed out texas thumping of Colorado...'

 

You know I'm quoting YOU right?

 

Strawman my ass.

Yet you ignore my point about Watson being 54 years old and outside of the development of Bridgewater, Watson is still seen as an unknown by some of the top analysts in College Football today? Yet you ignore the fact that Watson was run out of CU? Yet you ignore the fact that Watson was run out of NU?

 

Like I said, "nice straw man argument Barry!"

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1) who the hell is Barry?

2) I acknowledged I have no idea if Watson will be worth a damn

3) the very first point you made in the first post dealtwith the 05 CC game. MY point was it wouldn't have made a difference who was coaching CU that day so I don't know how it's relevant in any way to what the guy may do at ut in 2014.

 

You evidently think it is relevant. Fine.

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If you are insinuating that I have an agenda then you are ABSOLUTELY CORRECT! I DON'T believe Shawn Watson is the best The University of Texas can do at OC, err, QB Coach, play caller, or whatever the hell you want to call the guy. He is 54 years old and has a track record.

 

He hasn't won on the biggest of stages

 

 

and quite honestly I don't think that the University of Texas needs to "settle" for anyone that is unproven as a coach.

 

 

 

 

2001. . . .took TEXAS to the woodshed with a national title on the line. . .his O ran roughshod (career day for their RB) over our D.  we were averaging only allowing 14 points a game, they hung 39 on us. . . .yep, conference title games are not big stages. . 

 

He went to Neb where he coached under another defensive minded HC and set records, while turning Martinez from a running QB to a true dual threat option.

 

Ask Coach Boom, in the Sugar Bowl, he whipped Florida's vaunted defense and made them look stupid. . .had Florida any brains, they'd have fired Boom in the locker room and ran across the field to make CFS and offer.

 

Now maybe the Sugar Bowl isn't a "big stage" to you so you will be really unimpressed by his whipping of Miami a year later.

 

Along the way, he developed Teddy Bridgewater into a 1st round NFL pick (likely the best QB of that NFL class) and a Heisman candidate. . . this while fielding an outstanding offense that seriously out performed us the past 3 years.

 

 

I'll say this for the last time to you as I fear your confirmation bias will over ride everything else, Watson his here because he will run the offense CFS wants. . . .it's not a nintendo offense. . .all of Greg Davis' records are safe. . ..we ain't going to be Baylor. . .we don't need to. . . .

 

Defensive coaches don't like pinball/basketball on grass football. . .they want the offense to pound the rock, sustain drives and control the clock. . . . .there is more than one way to skin a cat but one of the oldest (and still unchanged) adages in football is defense wins championships. . .

 

Just ask Indianapolis. . . .

 

Oh, one other thing .. . .

 

Some of the very best hires of the last 20 years were "unproven" . .. . and some of the most "proven" hires were flops. . . 

 

Pete Carroll at USC

 

Bobby Stoops at OU

 

Guz Malzhan at Auburn

 

Gary Shaw/Jim Harbaugh  Stanford

 

Vs guys like:

 

Rich Rod at Michigan. . . .

 

 

Give me the best coach. . .and yes. . .I have a bias. . .I never bought into the idea Saban Meyer or Harbaugh was coming. . .after that. . .CFS was my #1 with Jim Mora my #2

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2001. . . .took TEXAS to the woodshed with a national title on the line. . .his O ran roughshod (career day for their RB) over our D.  we were averaging only allowing 14 points a game, they hung 39 on us. . . .yep, conference title games are not big stages. . 

 

He went to Neb where he coached under another defensive minded HC and set records, while turning Martinez from a running QB to a true dual threat option.

 

Ask Coach Boom, in the Sugar Bowl, he whipped Florida's vaunted defense and made them look stupid. . .had Florida any brains, they'd have fired Boom in the locker room and ran across the field to make CFS and offer.

 

Now maybe the Sugar Bowl isn't a "big stage" to you so you will be really unimpressed by his whipping of Miami a year later.

 

Along the way, he developed Teddy Bridgewater into a 1st round NFL pick (likely the best QB of that NFL class) and a Heisman candidate. . . this while fielding an outstanding offense that seriously out performed us the past 3 years.

 

 

I'll say this for the last time to you as I fear your confirmation bias will over ride everything else, Watson his here because he will run the offense CFS wants. . . .it's not a nintendo offense. . .all of Greg Davis' records are safe. . ..we ain't going to be Baylor. . .we don't need to. . . .

 

Defensive coaches don't like pinball/basketball on grass football. . .they want the offense to pound the rock, sustain drives and control the clock. . . . .there is more than one way to skin a cat but one of the oldest (and still unchanged) adages in football is defense wins championships. . .

 

Just ask Indianapolis. . . .

 

Oh, one other thing .. . .

 

Some of the very best hires of the last 20 years were "unproven" . .. . and some of the most "proven" hires were flops. . . 

 

Pete Carroll at USC

 

Bobby Stoops at OU

 

Guz Malzhan at Auburn

 

Gary Shaw/Jim Harbaugh  Stanford

 

Vs guys like:

 

Rich Rod at Michigan. . . .

 

 

Give me the best coach. . .and yes. . .I have a bias. . .I never bought into the idea Saban Meyer or Harbaugh was coming. . .after that. . .CFS was my #1 with Jim Mora my #2

 

LOL!  You, like me, have an antagonizing way of answering comments.  But I will admit, your points have a basis of truth and makes us review our own opinions.

Damn you! :)

 

 

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LOL!  You, like me, have an antagonizing way of answering comments.  But I will admit, your points have a basis of truth and makes us review our own opinions.

Damn you! :)

 

 

 

 

:D

 

To me a strong sign of intelligence is challenging your beliefs with new information or information presented in another light. 

 

As opposed to those who confirmation bias is so strong, they can't see the forest for the trees. . . 

 

 

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