Category Archives: Mike Leach. Yar!

Mike Leach ain’t got time for that coachspeak.

Say what you will about Leach, he’s good for quote material.

Leach coaches in the Pac-12 now but coached in the Big 12 and SEC previously. He said he faced the most skepticism when he coached in the Southeast.

“First, it becomes it won’t work,” Leach said. “Second, they basically say, ‘oh it’s a system,’ suggesting that people who don’t do it that way — who just run it up the middle, stick all your asses together so one hand grenade can kill everybody  — that’s the right way to do it. Since they do it the right way, they’re OK with the fact they lost.

“This is a great time to be in the SEC; everybody’s got the same offense: run right, run left, play action. And they tease themselves and say we threw it four more times a game this year than we did last year.”

“… who just run it up the middle, stick all your asses together so one hand grenade can kill everybody” — hey, when did he have the time to watch tape on Georgia’s offenses the last two seasons?

In defense of the SEC, I would suggest that any conference would perform better offensively, regardless of scheme, if it deployed better quarterbacks than what we saw last season.  Let’s not forget we’re not that far removed from two teams with their asses stuck together finishing in the top five in yards per play.

Even so, before you dismiss Leach as a blowhard when it comes to belittling SEC offenses, remember that he had a big hand in this:

Just to give you an idea of what Mumme pulled off with his newfangled attack, compare Kentucky’s offensive stats from 1996, Bill Curry’s last season there, with the 1999 stats.  Notice a bit of an improvement there?  Kentucky’s 1999 yards per game average would have ranked the Wildcats fourth in last season’s SEC (and is about 115 ypg more than last year’s UK team averaged).

One more thing about that ’99 team of Mumme’s.  The quarterback that season was the immortal Dusty Bonner, who succeeded some guy named Tim Couch.  Couch, in his last season at UK, threw for 4,611 yards in 12 games.  That total would have led the SEC last season by more than 700 yards (and Arkansas played one more game).  That 1998 Kentucky team wound up playing in the Outback Bowl and Couch was a Heisman finalist.  How many other seasons can UK claim like that?  Maybe I’m missing something, but that strikes me as a pretty good indication that a pass-based spread attack could function just fine in the SEC.

I see no reason lightning can’t strike again.  (Hell, for that matter, look at what Missouri did last season.)

The problem, of course, is that you can’t play Air Raid on defense, and that was Kentucky’s Achilles heel when Leach coached there.  Will this year’s Ole Miss prove to be different?  Hard to say, but don’t forget that Freeze has changed his coordinator on that side of the ball, too.  In any event, Ole Miss ought to be entertaining to watch this season, if nothing else.

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When the Pirate chooses a captain

Really, this is awesome.

“I thought, ‘What is this captain stuff?’ Everybody around here can be their own captain. I’ve got assistant coaches to be their captain. The coach tells them what to do anyway,” Leach said.

“My experience with team captains, as far as really taking the team on their shoulders, hasn’t been incredibly great. It’s typically good kids where nothing happens. They’re out there just trying to do their job and play the best they can, but the notion of a bunch of captains inspiring everybody is difficult to do and unrealistic. It doesn’t really happen very often.”

“So then I thought, all the guy really does is the coin toss. And then I decided one of the most screwed up things about this country is in order to do anything, to cross the street, we have a committee. So I figured screw the committee, we really only need one guy. And he’s gotta be smart enough to either call ‘heads’ or ‘tails.’ That’s it,” Leach said.

“So then I thought, ‘Should I get the biggest guy on the team or the littlest guy on the team?’ And then I thought, ‘Jamal Morrow was on The Price Is Right and was fairly lucky and went to the final round and almost won the sucker.’ He was closest to the price but he was over by like three dollars. The other person’s under by like 60 dollars, but since he’s over he loses. So I figured Jamal Morrow’s a lucky guy, plus he’s got pretty good energy to him, so why not Jamal Morrow?

“And then Jamal Morrow goes out and did have an amazing knack for winning the (coin) toss. He wins it almost all the time. I’m serious about this. I don’t know what his record is, but it’s something incredible. But I don’t even really care about that because one way or the other you get the ball one half or the other, except one time when I played Nebraska. Morrow had a funny tendency to win, and then I’m thinking, ‘I don’t want to sit here of and think out a new guy to do it.’ So Jamal Morrow has gone out there for the coin toss for about two-and-a-half years and quite honestly done a tremendous job in my opinion. And then we got on a roll and I liked it even better.”

The Nebraska reference is to a game when Leach decided to kick off to start both halves.  ‘Cause that’s how a pirate rolls sometimes.

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So, how’re the wife and kids?

I take it Todd Graham and Mike Leach won’t be exchanging Christmas cards this year.

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Wednesday morning buffet

Plenty to nosh on this morning…

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Filed under 'Cock Envy, College Football, Georgia Football, Mike Leach. Yar!, Science Marches Onward, SEC Football, The NCAA, Urban Meyer Points and Stares

“We have the atmosphere of a JC softball team.”

Dawg fans, Mike Leach is here to tell you that, when it comes to a football team not showing up for a game, you could have it a lot worse.

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“Pick a good one.”

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…

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“They want to do all their stuff in the dark.”

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!

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