First of all, this is the first post that I have ever written so please be a little easy on me and maybe I will have to submit a couple more. I want to make sure that I get all my thoughts out to you all while the season is still fresh in my mind…
To me it all starts at the top with Coach Stoops. Is there a better coach to pull us out of the funk we are in?!? Maybe, but as a former player I could not be happier with what he is doing. What you may not understand is that he invites us older players to come back and be a part of the program. He understands that in order to get this program where he wants it, the former players need to be around and show the support for him and his staff. Coach, I love what you are doing and please keep it up.
Obviously this is the position that I like to think I know best. Yes, we need to get better at this position, and yes, Patrick and everyone knows it. BUT this was his first season under center. Trust me, it could have been A LOT worse (see 2000 season: 19 TDs 21 INTs). There are throws that Patrick MUST get better at and he must be more consistant in order to be successful at this level. I know that he will put in the work in the offseason and will be a better QB for it. Now having said all of that I would open the position up again and have another competition again in the spring. I think that Drew, Reese, and Maxwell deserve a shot. What a competition does is breed competitiveness and that’s what we need at this position. We need to get better here and I know that we will.
Man was this group a sight for sore eyes. I absolutely loved what these guys did this year. We had the homerun threat (BOOM), we had the ground-and-pound back (Heard), and just when you think you saw it all, in came JoJo. Imagine what another year in the weight program is going to do for these young guys. This was the group I was most impressed with this year and I expect huge things from them over the next couple years.
Someone needs to help me with this group, I just cannot figure them out. I guess it is a good thing that we have so many receivers because you could not focus on one in particular, but no one really stood out either. Yes I know that Garrett went off against Florida but not really again, and yes I know that Javess and DeMarco came in late in the season and did some things, but where was Timmons?
Here is what I do know and here is what I love about this group: they all have had big game experience and have a small taste of what it’s like to play in the SEC. You give me Baker, Bone, Timmons, Johnson, Williams, Snodgrass, Herrick, etc. and I will show you a TON of touchdowns next year. I know they are young but just like the running backs you get these guys competing against each other all spring/summer and these are gonna be bad boys to throw to. I cannot wait to see them next year.
This is the group that needs the most improvement. This is what makes or breaks every team that I have ever been on. If you cannot block the guys and open holes you will be behind the chains and it makes it tough for anyone to call plays. The offensive line showed times where they worked together and then we couldn’t make it through a game without jumping offside.
Here is what I know about this OL group though, Coach John Schlarman will not allow this to continue and will find the right combination of guys that are going to play the same way he did… tough as sh*t. We are only going to be as good as this group allows us to be. We can have an All-American at every position, but if the line lets us down we will not be a good team.
Here is another this I know about offensive linemen: they are smart and understand how to work hard and how to work as a group.
If you get anything out of this please understand that the team we have coming back is going to be so good. We are building depth at every position and creating competition at every position. These are all good things and will make us better in the long run. I challenge every player that reads this to make this your best offseason, work harder than you ever have before because the expectations are going to be even higher next year.
So that is the side of the ball I know well. Yes, contrary to what people think I do know little defense as well. So if we get some good feedback maybe I will try and write a review for those guys as well.