There was a Plan for the Offensive Line | The Boneyard

There was a Plan for the Offensive Line

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Aug 26, 2011
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Have they totally screwed up?

Diaco came in and kept one existing coach - Mike Foley. His mentor had to be part of that conversation. Foley was the guy that created many raw Connecticut players into solid players over a half dozen years. For instance, in 2006 the stories of Will Beatty & Donald Thomas & Zach Hurd. Then Mo Petrus. Diaco doubled down with that by bringing his colleague Mike Cummings, who has the distinction of taking a really raw Eric Fisher at Central Michigan and turning him into the First Pick of the NFL Draft. I don't believe, collectively, that these guys looked at the roster and didn't know 2014 was going to be extremely challenging. (and to my eye, the one consistent kid (Gus Cruz) wasn't even supposed to play in February)

Recruiting in January? Rutherford was on board - a good pickup as he was desired by other bigger programs. But Crozier and Oak were classic late bloomers; kids from Florida that didn't make the first tier but played great their Senior years and earned the push. Could Diaco/Cummings et al bring in the whole group of JUCO and transfer kids - that are less evaluative risk (but maybe MORE character risk). Addazio has done this. Cincinnati has done this when needed. USF has repeatedly done this. I think Diaco - with a ND mindset - fought this path. They went with what was in the cupboard; and they damn sure are out hard trying to get OLine types in their class for Feb 2015.

The Net: I think we do have a good groupings of WRs (Geremy Davis might be the best talent we've had in 10 years) and good four tandem of RBs (and the FR are looking good) and who knows about the TEs (but they look the part. Whitmer & Boyle? The point is that NONE of this looks good because you simply can't run a play in this level of College Football behind the existing line.

We are in this position in mid-October because of a choice that Diaco made as a strategist. And, certainly, with Patterson & Cummings & Foley on that staff, he had ample wise men advising him. We suck & they had to know this was possible. And, therefore, the insertion of Crozier & Rutherford early was absolutely part of the path. Oak is being lauded. And, kids that were recruited by the previous regime -that were found not playable - are not getting to the field. It is a raw group of guys and several are not getting passing grades.


Done with U-con athletics
Oct 7, 2012
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To me, the line of scrimmage is about Will first and technique second. You can teach technique but the players have to have the drive. There have been waaaaaaay too many examples this season of our front being easily dominated at key moments of games. We've been pinned back to under the shadows of our goal posts against several opponents and, in almost every instance, have given up a safety. Stony Brook should have been awarded a safety but it didn't matter because they got a defensive TD on the next play. Temple and Tulane...two defensive fronts that won't remind anybody of the '85 Bears, both smelled safety and went out and took it.

At some point, the ol' Bill Parcells challenge should be issued. Aren't you tired of losing? Aren't you tired of being pushed around all over the field? Aren't you tired of being EMBARRASSED week in and week out? Get some goddam drive and start firing off the ball. Hit some m-fers in the mouth and don't stop hitting until the whistle has blown. If you get beat on a play and you now have to watch your man dancing around in your backfield because he just made a play that resulted in a loss of yards for us, you don't walk over to...YOU RUN OVER TO your QB/HB/ball handler who was tackled in the backfield, pick them up, apologize and then make sure that that will not happen again. Then play your tail off to make sure that it doesn't happen again.

Right now, our OL needs to be coached up not only in technique but also motivated/confidence.
Dec 25, 2011
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I agree that most of UConn's offensive problems can be attributed to the issue on the OL. A poor offensive line can screw-up even the best pro quarterbacks out there - just ask Eli Manning about last night's loss to Philly or Tom Brady and pair of Super Bowl loses the Pats had to the Giants. When the QB is too busy running for his life in between being pancaked, especially when the running game is non-existant also due to a poor OL, offenses do not work well. Are UConn's problems this year all due to the mess that the PP & GDL show left behind or on Diaco or mix of both, I do not know.

PS - I am a Niners fan, so no love for the Giants; but, best wishes to Victor Cruz. He is a heck of a WR and a feel good story out of Patterson NJ, a city that can use all of the feel good stories that it can get.
Aug 27, 2011
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Can't someone interview Foley? This board puts more words in his mouth than should be humanly possible. I would love to understand what he thinks the problems really are.

I'd like to hear from Foley as well, but I wouldn't expect honest answers.
May 22, 2012
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I think hard to come in and interview for job that you are a program builder and then turn around and ask the AD to bring in JUCO transfers. Not sure if going JUCO route will work anyway for several reasons.

1. Although there are exceptions, kids are often in JUCO due to character and/or grades and since surrounded by others on their team who are there for similar reasons the environment and values they experience in the locker room is quite different than a team like UCONN and is a big risk, look at the TE from California who did an official here but choose Vandy and now involved in a case. Because of these types of issues our President and AD mindful of the on campus sexual assault issues and the grades issue with the basketball team will be very resistant to this route as they are trying to get into the Big10 and JUCO players do not fit the profile.

2. Another reason a JUCO player will be looking for a P5 team so you are not going to get a top JUCO player, you will get someone who will probably need some development anyway.

3. You can also not burn freshmen redshirts and then bring in JUCO's, either one or the other. When you burn a freshmen redshirt you are telling them that you think they can compete for starting role next season, if you bring in JUCO's, you are basically telling them that you burned their shirt and now they might not be able to compete for starting job until their senior year. Easy enough for them to then transfer, take their redshirt year and then still have three years left elsewhere, this will allow them chance to starter as rs sophomore and ensure with fifth year that they will graduate.

If Boyle and that type of QB is not what Diaco is looking for, I think a better band aid for next year is a mobile fifth year senior QB is the route they should be looking at and develop game plan around their skill set. This would take some pressure of a developing line and can also develop the NC state transfer and new recruit Davis under the style of offense you expect to use with them in the future. We have six eligible freshmen and sophomores linemen on two deep and Oak who will be rs freshman this year, between Cummings, Foley (if he is not made a scapegoat) and Balis they should be able to make them better all around. I would start process now and with exception of preserving Oak's RS,get them as much time as possible the rest of this season as this year is now all about the future.
Oct 8, 2011
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Whatever happened to Schafenacker? He started for one of the best HS teams in the country.
Anyone know what his status is?

Another HUGE problem we have is the blocking at TE. With Bloom and Meyers, we have two freshmen who can catch the ball.
But we don't throw to our TE's. NEVER! And since neither can block, I say we put Hashemi in there to help at TE (since we burned his red-shirt for special teams).
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