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I have been going back and forth on whither I should post this or not but I would like to know others opinions as well. When I heard Harsin was coming to TEXAS I thought ok? His Offence seems fun for the players but very gimmicky and very unpredictable, (both a good and bad thing). After the season I have watched every game twice and some more. (I am a bit of a film junky) and too be honest I’m not overly impressed. Having said this I think the play of the QB hurt his play calling a lot but I am not convinced that he is the answer. Yes the trick plays were great and we had a surprisingly high scoring percentage on trick/ gimmick plays. But his "base" offence left some to be desired. I also understand that we had all of our running backs hurt at some point during the season and at one point all were hurt at once.Also he has shown that he is not on the same level recruiting as Major (though i doubt many are. Am I being too hard on the guy? I need to see next season to see what he can do with more time but I’m not overly encouraged. Feel free to tell me what I might be missing I have been know as a bit of a pessimist. Not trying to hate on the guy just wanting to know if i am the only one who thinks this. Thanks.
This post was edited by Hookem Duguid 2 years ago
I'm going to hold off judgement until he has some experience at key spots. I think ideally, he'd love to avoid as many trick plays as we used this past year. We used them because we weren't very good.
What concerns me the most are his passing game concepts.
I think he'd actually prefer to use MORE trick plays, but the setup plays have to be successful in order for them to work. Those setup plays were not successful last year.
Inconsistency at the o line killed us as well. When we got our o line going (tech and kansas) we were able to move the ball in the manner we wanted. But not having a wr threat in shipley and davis's drops and mental issues combined with our qb issues gave teams the advantage to stack the box and shut our run game down. Well be fine next year imo.
XoGisele, Ashley Sky, Niki Skyler
Are you british?
I'm not going to draw too many conclusions about his offense until he gets some of his players in place. I do know that we were much better this vs. the previous year.
But it's a moot point. We could bring in the love child of Bill Walsh, Mike Leach, Emory Bellard and Don Coryell to be our OC and our fans would come up with reasons to whine and complain about him.
Not gonna judge until he has even a competent QB. IMO he did a great job of playing around our deficiencies. Smoke and mirrors until the team better understood the offense, running team once the QB position cratered, not much you can do once your top 3 RBs go down.
If you're going to judge anything from 2011 you be very optimistic. He cobbled together enough offense to win eight games despite terrible QB and WR play, inconsistent OL play and injuries to his top four play makers.
His play calling probably was worth two wins at least.
Is he the answer? Who knows but he did nothing last year that should leave anyone discouraged.
Let's see. He brought in a new offense to a program that, a season before, had almost no offense; was working with two young quarterbacks who each had limitations after having been a bit spoiled by coaching arguably the most football-smart quarterback in the country; was trying to make things work behind an O-line that, while improving, was still light years from being where it needed to be; and had a rash of injuries to the very running backs who, when healthy, were tearing it up.
I don't think anybody considered Boise State's offense predictable, even though in reality it's not all that gimmicky; but it does require everybody being on the same page, and last season there were times when everybody wasn't even in the same zip code. I don't expect that will be the case this year.
So in answer to your question, yeah, you're being a little bit hard. If the 2012 season turns into another exercise in frustration, your concerns will carry more validity. Frankly, I think by this time next season you're going to think Harsin's a fricking genius.
I understand your concerns but if you look at how he handled offense compared to that other OC that will not be named basically with the same group of players it's night and day.
Harsin was hit by the injury bug on several key players. If Fozzy has stayed healthy who knows what the season could have been.
But that's no excuse. I would say you should look much closer at what he did. He manufactured a running game on a weak offensive line where we previously couldn't get a first down probably even with 12 men on the field. It's not just his "trick" plays. Look at how he used Marquise, DJ and Jaxon Shipley to create yards. He used previously limited players in new variety of ways to make them productive. You can't evaluate his offense fairly until he has at least one consistent QB to run it. He actually adjusted the offense as the game went on based on defensive tendencies. That was a huge difference compared to the past.
I say let's give him another season at least before the gnashing of teeth. Of course, this is Texas so it's our right to complain at the very start. I would say, if you want to complain, your legitimate gripe should be that Mack Brown, he of the $5 MILLION a year salary, let the program lapse to the point where major changes had to be done. The program should have had much better consistency year to year. Just my thoughts.
It is still befuddling to me to have witnessed the incredibly low talent level on offense the last two years. That is not on Harsin. It is on Mack. Let's see what happens over the next two years. I still believe in Harsin big time.
I think he did as good a job as Manny. The difference being he is redefining how Texas plays on offense. Unfortunately the talent was just not there last spring. Basically he has torn down and rebuilt everything.
This spring will be huge for the development of the offense. Across the board, not just quarterback. The wr's and o-line really need to step up, a tight end has toemerge, running backs need to get and stay healthy. The talent is getting into place for the team make big strides and be ready for August.
This post has been edited 3 times, most recently by okhornfan 2 years ago
i really do hope your right.
what makes you ask? Im scottish actually.
I think it is a mistake to judge any coach on a single year, whether it is his first or his tenth. With Harsin, it's easy to get caught up in the gimmicks, because that's what everybody wants to focus on. I felt that his formations and play design were fine. Execution, with the combination of so many young players AND a brand new system, was lacking at times.
I had some issues with play calling in relationship to the score and momentum shifts at times, but I expect Harsin will get some of that cleaned up. He wasn't in a lot of close games at BSU, nor did he have to face top level competition several games in a row. He needs time to grow, along with the young players. If you still have the same doubts this time next year, then there may be cause for concern. However, I'm not going to assume that will happen.
I don't. In fact he's mentioned having to manufacture offense with those plays because we couldn't get a whole lot going. Ideally, I don't believe OCs want to have to move the ball that way.
You spell "offense" as "offence". Americans use "offense". It seems to be a UK thing to use the spelling "offence". Not that it's wrong but it's a telltale sign.
Anyway, Scotland rocks!
I agree that we need to hold off judgment for another year, but I think overall we're moving in the right direction.
Chris Peterson definitely played a large role in molding the Boise offense, and I think coming to Texas and installing his own offense was a bit of a challenge for Harsin. Boise was stacked with talent on offense, more than just Kellen at QB. Titus Young (Lions), Nanee (Panthers), and Pettis (Rams) are all contributing at WR on NFL teams, and everyone obviously remembers Ian Johnson at RB. Overall his stable of RBs was not as strong as his WRs, even though during college the RBs probably got more attention.
That ties into what we've seen year one here at Texas. He was able to resurrect a running game that really has had no consistency since Cedric Benson. Many folks want to point out that we had a great running game with Jamaal Charles, but that really wasn't the case, at least it wasn't very consistent. Greg Davis was able to manufacture a running game because of the threat of VY running at QB, but it definitely wasn't consistent. Halfway through the year everyone was wondering what the hell was wrong with our running game before Charles went off. But, even when he went off it wasn't in the form of a consistent ground game; it was a 2 yard run, 1 yard run, 80 yard run. The last couple years were even more pathetic. And that's coming offseason after offseason of Mack Brown pleading with Greg Davis to figure out a way to run the damn ball.
Fast forward to this past season and the difference in the ground game was night and day. A lot of that has to do with the drastic improvement in OL play, which can also be attributed to the hiring of Stacy Searles. But, Mack finally got what he wanted in the ground game, consistency (outside of the injuries). And now Harsin's about to have the best stable of running backs he's ever seen in his coaching career... should be fun to watch.
However, for every step forward our running game has taken, our passing game took as many steps back. Was this all Harsin's fault? No. While many want to remember our passing game as all peaches and cream, as it was in the Colt McCoy days, let's not forget what Gilbert's numbers were in his one year under Greg Davis. 59% completion %, 2744 yds, 10 TDs, 17 INTs. - Pitiful.
So Harsin is now dealt a hand that includes rotating a true freshman QB (while he came in for spring ball, it has been said he barely got any reps until fall, at which time he was splitting time with 3 other QBs), and a sophomore QB that can't throw the ball 20 yds down the field. Their combined stat line (including Gilbert): 58%, 2360 yds, 11 TDs, 12 INTs. If you throw in Shipley's passing stats it gets us over 2400 yds and 14 TDs! (ha).
So while it was not a substantial improvement, it was also not a substantial drop off. Throw in the fact that our best WR was hurt for over half the year, and it gives you a little more sympathy. And John Harris, who was said to be emerging as a consistent threat, missed the whole season. Add in Goodwin, who didn't participate in any preseason activities, and it's pretty apparent that Harsin didn't have a whole lot to work with.
I am with you though that sometimes the trick plays were a little gimmicky. I feel that it was really apparent in the OU game. I loved that play where we lined the OL out to the left and threw to Whittaker (if memory serves correctly) for a nice gain. But all those jet sweeps and WR reverses were getting eaten alive. I wish we had gone with a more downhill running attack in that game. But after that game I felt that Harsin started developing an identity on O. But then the injuries took their toll.
With all that said, I really believe we need to give him one more year. I think he's a real smart guy that is going to maximize the talents of the team. He brings a lot of ingenuity and creativity to the table, and with a little more consistency, less injuries, and more experience at QB, I really believe that good things are in store for next season.
I think everyone is going to be pleasantly surprised with the development of Ash from year one to year two. Add in Gray as a weapon, a deeper OL, full slate of WR's... our O is going to hold it's own. And with our D, we're talking 10 wins min. If we add in DGB... well that'll just be straight sugar!
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by BhamHorn 2 years ago
I think that Harsin brings a lot to the table- a certain buzz about his playcalling, players that want to play in his system, and a bag of tricks that allows him to wins games that he shouldn't, given injuries and the like. And as fans, we like to watch his game calling over other coaches that were around- his plays are much more exciting.
However, I do think there is one knock on Harsin that is not getting a lot of attention- his recruiting skills don't seem to be on par with others, such as Applewhite, Wyatt, and Brown. I realize that he has never recruited Texas before (to my knowledge), and he hasn't worked with the Texas HS coaches until this year, but it seems that he doesn't have the same level of interpersonal skills with recruits that a truly successful recruiter has.
For instance, when DJ called Harsin to tell him that he was going to TCU instead of Texas, Harsin couldn't convince him otherwise. It took a subsequent call from Major to get things going again. Just my thoughts....
The jury is still out...need a productive QB that Harsin doesn't have to baby...
I agree whole-heartedly that any critique of his plans and play-calling are way too premature. I hesitate to dub his "trick" plays as such. They are IMO mostly designed to make the defense consider the options hence be a step slow in reacting. Do you call Manny's play calling trickery? Much the same to me. As far as recruiting is concerned, how can you compare an out-of-state, first-year coach to a UT icon? Every high school coach and player in Texas knows about Major. I had the fortune to meet and talk to both Major and Harsin when they were in Midland. Harsin is very, very personable and IMO will do just fine once he has a chance to establish a confidence with the high school coaches and a reputation with future players. Lastly, regarding Mack, I don't think anyone is more disappointed in and takes more responsibility for the last two years as he does - actually last year wasn't too bad considering the injuries IMO but that's not germain. He has worked his butt off to correct the situation. I'm proud of our coaching staff from top to bottom!
He manufactured offense when it seemed like nothing was really there. Injuries and the offensive line killed a lot of what he wanted to do. This year, I expect dramatic improvement.
Actually, Harsin mentioned not being able to get to trick plays in certain games because the base plays weren't working.
We were 5-7 for a reason. Wait to judge him until he at least has a Big 12 -average-level quarterback, stable of receivers, and offensive line.
Would you expect an in-his-prime Mike Tyson to win a title fight with both hands tied around his junk?
Ha... Depends... Does he have a muzzle on too?
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