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Normally I hate excuses, but campus tragedies are not normal. I have a son who is halfway through his freshman year at Purdue. It reminds me that even our basketball team is made up of 18 to 20 year old children. And yes, as a parent of a college student I guarantee that they are still children. Who knows how Tuesday's tragedy affected them, their friends, classmates, etc. I was proud of them for showing up and playing hard in a tough, emotional B1G road game. BTW, good write up - great balance of respect for the gravity of the moment and passion for Boilermaker basketball.
1 month, 2 weeks ago on Boilermakers Squander Opportunity, Lose in Evanston 63-60
I know a verbal is just a verbal, but there is good recruiting news today. Georgia RB Dexter Knox just verballed today. I didn't know who he was so I dug a little and found this:
Uhm, yikes. Boiler up.
2 months, 3 weeks ago on Recruit reminds us why we hate recruiting
@PurdueMatt Yes, there are a lot of talented players on the team. The problem is, the upperclassmen were not properly developed under Hope, and the underclassmen need at least a year in a B1G weight room, etc to be ready to compete. BTW, it sounds like you have a complete playbook that would work perfectly for this team. Maybe there is still time to share it with Coach Hazell before Saturday.
3 months, 1 week ago on Historically-Bad Boilers
@boilerdowd @winamacboiler @zlionsfan It's tough to find anything tangible to believe in, but I keep looking at the "Reshape, Rebuild, Return" poster hanging here in my office and wondering if it is a three-year poster.
Early on, Hazell said he wanted to reshape the culture of the program. It takes time to change something that significant, and probably has to start with the Freshmen. So this year was purely a reshaping year.
With a new doctrine installed, he can now begin to rebuild his roster, with players who have the attitude and abilities to fit his new culture. The program shows modest improvement next season.
Year three is fun. The first wave of upperclassmen, brought up purely under the "Hazell Way" are mature, D1 caliber players. Purdue goes bowling, and The Return is on.
Do I like what I see on the field? Do I have faith in every coordinator or position coach? No. But for now all I have is patience that this is a process.
@MichiganBoiler @CaryNW87 @berris_fueller Yup, they made "Scheelhasse to Hull" look like "Montana to Rice."
3 months, 1 week ago on Shoop! There it isn't.
@PurdueMatt For me, not you. Too many other variables. I'm not thrilled with the product on the field but I think the problems run a lot deeper than just the OC.
@zlionsfan @CaryNW87 You're right. "Undersized" may not be the word I wanted. "Underdeveloped," "Under-performing," "understrength" take your pick. All I know is they can't move anyone. Even Chip Kelly couldn't run an offense without decent blocking.
@berris_fueller @CaryNW87 Repsonse: Being a 5th year senior doesn't magically give you better ability. QB play has not exactly regressed under Etling – pretty sad when 3 seasons of D1 ball give you virtually no advantage over a college freshman. Response: Marve and co. got killed on a regular basis last year, too. Response: Are you suggesting that we go back to the system that didn't work before since that is what our guys were recruited for?
It sounds like you have an inside track on recruiting news. Do tell - who is / isn't coming next year?
@PurdueMatt And a good DC would notice the short passes and move the secondary up closer to the line, giving us the results you see now.
Jury is still out on Shoop. Hazell has said that he has intentionally kept the offense simple for Etling - that means Shoop isn't using the full playbook. He is using personnel that were recruited to run a spread offense, not a power game. He is also using undersized offensive linemen, or promising underclassmen. Heck, his starting QB was playing high school ball last season. On the other hand, I do understand that he came in with baggage from his other gigs. Before I replace my OC, I look to replace my O-line through the JUCO ranks. Just my uneducated fan perspective.
@Kmkeller_99 Good points. I wasn't disagreeing with you - Hazell inherited a grease fire of a program. I think he exposed a lot of the things Hope was able to hide with smoke and mirrors. I agree that he will have more success attracting 2,3 star athletes. But Gelen Robinson is an example of the "right" kind of 4 star guy. If Hazell can find someone of his caliber that says "I want to build something that I can call my own, not something that someone built for me," that can attract a couple other 4 star buddies, then we are in business.
I think you are exactly right about player development. It looks to me like our coaches are able to get guys into positions to succeed (catch the pass, break the run, make the tackle), but our guys aren't capable of execution. I have been saying for years that Hope can recruit but can't develop. So what Hazell has is a roster full of talented high school players who were never developed into talented college players. If you want evidence, look how fast the upperclassmen are losing starting spots to freshmen/red shirt freshmen.
3 months, 2 weeks ago on Recruiting giveth...recruiting taketh away.
Kmkeller - you tell recruits what Crean told guys when he took over the IU basketball program: "Hey Mr. 4-Star Recruit, you could go to Duke and sit for a year or two, or come here and start all four years." I honestly think that is how he was able to build his roster up so fast. I think Hazell could take the same approach with the right targets. I also think that higher rated targets take longer to commit - that is why we haven't seen a lot of signings yet. I am hoping that Hazell can make a few high profile transfers happen.
Imagine that you're in his position when you were in high school. You are trying to choose between two football programs, and attend a home game for each before making your final decision. One team beats a national power (on national television) in front of a packed, deafening stadium. The other gets embarrassed in a 3/4 full stadium that felt more like a home game for the opponent. Would you seriously choose us? No, neither would I. I wish Drue all the best. I agree with Quad Boiler. Hazell is going to need to try and build the program with 2 and 3 star guys before we can consistently lure in the talent we really need. I honestly think larger linemen on both sides of the ball will solve a lot of problems.
Just to be sure we're all on the same page, are some of you suggesting that we should demand instant, 100% results in Hazell's first season? With the same broken team that couldn't achieve results last year? I hope and pray my employer doesn't hold me to those standards. I mean, I'm damn good at what I do but I am not a freaking genie. I doubt any of you are either. Yes, losing sucks, but patience and recruiting are the only way out of this.
4 months ago on Other candidate update (keep your head up!)
Remember the poster: "reshape. Rebuild. Return." This is a three year poster. Hazell has to reshape this program. Tearing anything down to the studs or chassis is ugly. He has removed the old program and installed his new parts. Now he has to rebuild the roster to match. I'm going to "pardon the dust" and give him some time.
That's weird. Isn't USC looking for a coach?
4 months, 1 week ago on Jon Gruden is ready to return to coaching
My Bucs are a hot mess. They would be smart to trade down and accumulate some early round picks. If this class is as deep as experts say it is, it won't be hard to find an upgrade for Mike Glennon. Anyone see the Bucs/Panthers game? Yikes.
4 months, 2 weeks ago on 2011 NFL Mock Draft Updated | Mock Draft
Good thoughts, but while the players are ultimately responsible, they are simply not up to playing to Purdue standards. The upperclassmen are the product of the previous regime's inability to develop outstanding high school players into solid D-1 football players. As a result, we have a team made up of players who either through lack of training or lack of experience, are not ready for D-1 ball. That manifests itself as missed tackles, poor blocking, bad routes, loose pass coverage, etc.
If I heard my stats right, 11 starters against Nebraska were Freshmen/Redshirt Freshmen. Many of them were playing their first significant action at the college level. I simply feel that the cupboard is bare and we have to be patient while this promising young team gets the RIGHT training.
BTW, I have really enjoyed the last couple posts. Seems like adversity is bringing out the best in you guys.
One brick higher.
4 months, 3 weeks ago on How I Would Handle the Losing