For all the bitching the NFL does about how spread offenses are a drag on player development, it sure seems like being a quarterback for Mike Leach has its pluses in that department.
Quarterbacks in his Air Raid offense are expected to know the ins and outs of every position on the field, but Leach affords them far more control in calling plays and making reads than most college (or professional) coaches would dare.
It doesn’t happen often, but Leach says there are games when his quarterback heads onto the field about 60 percent of the time with nothing more than an offensive formation. In those cases, it is the quarterback’s responsibility alone to give the offense his own play call, unless he decides to audible on the formation altogether.
It’s a level of trust between Leach and his quarterbacks that he calls “one of the strengths of our offense.” According to several former quarterbacks who played for Leach, it also serves to form what they describe as the most unique relationship between a coach and a player in all of college football.
“You don’t find that in a lot of offensive coordinators or head coaches,” former Texas Tech quarterback B.J. Symons said. “Some of them might be a little egotistical that you’re going to run what they call. … That freedom that Mike gave you — and it came from him trusting that you could make the right call — that was a big part of my success.”
Considering the level of micromanagement that goes on these days – everyone loves the get to the line early so the coaching staff can rework the play call based on the defensive set move, right? – you’d think that kind of responsibility would pay dividends at the next level. Not to mention that Leach’s teams don’t have to get to the line early to check sideline play cards…
According to Mike Leach, there isn’t a coach in the Pac-12 who is in favor of shutting down satellite camps. And yet, the Pac-12 representative, UCLA athletic Dan Guerrero, voted to do just that. Why? Let the Pirate explain:
“The committee. Well who did it? Them. Well, who’s them? We can’t tell you who them is. They want it shrouded by secrecy. I think we need as much exposure to this as possible…”
The truth is out there. Yar!
This must have been one helluva show to hear:
“So I’m sitting back there, and so I jump in the pool to kind of cool off, because it was cool to talk on the radio outside. And then I was also getting Fed Ex’s every week, to prep me for the game I was broadcasting. So I get in the pool, and I get out and I’ve got my board shorts on, so then pretty soon every time I get out of the pool I’m sitting on the lawn chair and I got these wet board shorts on so it’s like sitting in a diaper the whole time, you know.So you know nobody is around, fence around, so I think ‘What the heck, I’m taking these things off. And so I don’t have anything on, and I get up and I pace, I’m a pacer, I’m pacing right now. And then talking with my hands on air making just really profound points on radio, and I’m very proud of all the brilliant things I’m saying. And then I don’t have a stitch on, and through the gate here comes the Fed Ex guy, here comes the Fed Ex guy watching me pace around naked, talking on the radio about football and all this, and he’s like ‘What the hell?’ and then he hands me the Fed Ex, and of course I can’t break the conversation I have to keep talking. And the funny thing was, I’ve seen him every week, he never said anything, it was like ‘oh well another day.’ But yep, sure enough.”
Mike Leach, I love ‘ya, but no…
Mike Leach evidently yearns for the simpler days of arranged marriages.
I guess that’s gonna have an effect on recruiting in the future.
Hells to the yeah on this bad boy:
“Rather than coaches and athletic directors being asked about officiating, I think what needs to happen is, after the game, at the press conference, there has to be a representative from the officials answering these questions,” Leach said. “Right now, the officials aren’t accountable for any of that stuff, and they’ll make some screwy call right, wrong or indifferent, and there’s a coach sitting there, and everybody’s asking him. It’s a total ambush waiting to happen, because we’re not allowed to comment on it. If you do, you get fined.
“It directly affects the success or failure of your team, whether it’s a good call or a bad call. All of a sudden, you’re sitting there, and those questions should be directed to the referee, rather than you or the athletic director. What I think should happen is that when you have a press conference, as they come off the field, the referee should … have to answer any quick questions the media have on the calls they made and why this was made and how this was made, so coaches and athletic directors aren’t left with that, so at least there will be an explanation you see. … I think that needs to happen. I think that’s long overdue.”
Wouldn’t you have loved to hear the media go after the crew for an explanation of the celebration call on AJ Green? How about the targeting call on Ramik Wilson? (Or pretty much any game Penn Wagers calls.)
No doubt mistakes happen. Officials are human like the rest of us. But you know what else? Nobody likes criticism all that much. And maybe if officials knew they’d have to face public questioning about a controversial call, they’d make a little more effort to get it right.