Dick Harmon: BYU football: Taysom Hill's injury has Brandon Doman on hot seat

Published: Monday, Oct. 8 2012 9:00 p.m. MDT

Doman needs help in design and choreography, and as shown Friday in Hill's injury, better communication. Communicating is his strength. With a head coach that is excelling as an outstanding defensive coordinator, he needs an experienced voice that he trusts, that will criticize his decisions in and out of games so he gets better.

Like Utah's rookie offensive coordinator Brian Johnson, Doman is learning on the fly. Doman's main job experience as a coach came with Anae, who was also learning on the fly as a first-time offensive coordinator.

Critics have to understand that knowledge and experience take time, albeit Doman's clock is ticking. He isn't at odds with taking criticism.

I like Doman's expressions in the book "Running Against the Wind," explaining how he likes the mentoring he receives from former BYU quarterbacks and players.

"The one thing I've learned as a coach is that I certainly don't know everything," Doman said. "But I want to learn. If I am offended, or my ego gets in the way of my learning or of getting better at this profession, then that'll be the downfall of my coaching career."

He is right on.

Doman continues:

"These guys have played at the highest levels, they know BYU, and they understand what it means to be a BYU QB. They were inside a very similar system that we run offensively. They can relate to our players in a real, unique way, so I would take every ounce of guidance and information that these guys have, even if it has to do with the coaching or the technical side of things.

"I may not like it, or I may not believe the same thing they believe. But for the most part, 95 percent of everything we talk about, we're on the same page. I'll usually make a change if they point out something that we could be doing better. I might spend some time looking at it, and I'll make the change."

So, in quoting Doman here, he knows he has a safety net. And he knows he needs it. Me advocating it here isn't something he hasn't considered. He has asked for the help of Steve Young, Ty Detmer, John Beck, Gifford Nielsen, Max Hall and others.

Folks close to Friday's situation with Hill's 19th tragic carry tell me Doman called that option play, then realized he'd made a mistake and quickly tried to change it or call time out but it was too late.

Doman's learning curve is an interesting one. It is made even more intense when one considers he was called to be an LDS bishop in the offseason. This means his Sundays, a prime preparation day for college offensive coordinators around the country, is occupied by meetings that begin at 7 a.m., and continue, oftentimes, into Sunday evening.

That is an added challenge.

A funny anecdote with ecclesiastical blessing for Doman took place this summer when I called Ty Detmer in Austin to interview him about his induction into the college football hall of fame. I told Detmer it appeared Doman could really use his help now that he is a bishop and offensive coordinator — a rarity in football. I asked Detmer if he would come to Utah if asked.

Deadpanned the Heisman Trophy winner, in the way only the Texan can deliver: "I don't want to be called to be his first counselor."

email: dharmon@desnews.com, Twitter: Harmonwrites

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