Comments about ‘Dick Harmon: Bronco Mendenhall plans to finalize coaching staff at own pace’

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Published: Monday, Jan. 10 2011 8:49 p.m. MST

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Bugoff
Houston, TX

While watching the Auburn/Oregon game I kept thinking about the BYU coaching staff.

Auburn had the better overall team.

Oregon had brilliant coaching.

I kept comparing Oregon's coaching to BYU's predictable outdated approach to football and wondered if BYU would ever be able to get back to greatness?

BYU has yet to defend a good spread offense well. It is not just the offensive coaching that needs dramatic improvement.

I understand BYU has recruiting limitations and also runs a pro set as that fits the type of players they can recruit but there has to be some innovative changes for this program to move forward.

Bronco deserves to choose his own coaches. But there has to be some new approaches.

I seriously doubt that any of the BYU teams of the last 5 years are capable of playing with the current teams of either Auburn or Oregon.

Bronco has to demand more of the coaches and also recruit more talent from a national/international talent pool.

Independence and the TV coverage will open up the recruiting. The coaching has to carry the team until more speed and talent can be recruited.

Compare BYU to BSU/TCU?

SportzFan
Salt Lake City, UT

An assistant with head coach experience -- at any level -- would be helpful for Bronco. His biggest weaknesses are:

1- situational decisions: punt or go for it; run the clock down or take a few stabs at the endzone; etc
2- managing coordinators
3- unified game planning. Offense and defense strategies can't be done in independent vacuums, they have to take into consideration a team's overall strengths: ball control against a team with a prolific offense and quick buy small defense, for example.

Cali Coug
Visalia, CA

We will never no how well BYU compares to other top flight programs until there is a playoff.

I stand with Bronco and the men of BYU.

Timpman
Heber City, UT

As the new offensive coordinator, I am concerned that Doman is biting off too much, by wanting to retain his QB coaching duties as well. It may seem like a natural fit, but being new to the OC job, I think that he needs to focus on his new role and the overall offensive scheme.

Y4LYFE
Lubbock, TX

Eric Dradge would be an awesome coach, as well as Cahoon. Lets hire one of them.

Still Blue after all these years
Kaysville, UT

My only concern is "why is Bronco keeping Weber guessing?". I liked his strategy initially, but its gone on too long. If he wants to get rid of Higgins, he's got options. He may need Wong to recruit the poly's. But Weber is a darn good coach. And what about Reynolds? is he still on or off?

Tommy2Shoes
Lehi, UT

Thanks Hedgie for your brilliant assessment. Actually Bronco's wife usually makes the bed that Coach sleeps in. BYU is a great place for Black assistant coaches and Black players if they buy into the special place called "happy valley" by many that live there. I liked Coach Hill but things didn't work out. Good luck Coach Hill in finding the right place for you. Good luck to all the coaches and players this off season.

IDC
Boise, ID

BYU is unique in its mission. BYU's mission effects which coaches and recruits are acceptable. BYU looks for good men who are good football players and coaches. The good men part comes first so BYU will lose out sometimes on highly skilled athletes. Just being LDS doesn't make you good and not being LDS doesn't make you bad. BYU will contine to attract good young men regardless of race or religion. The past 30 years have shown that there are plenty of good men who are also good athletes as BYU has been very successful. Not that anyone cares but I hope BYU never changes.

fresnogirl
Fresno, CA

Still Blue after all these year

Do we know that he and Weber (and the other coaches) haven't had frank discussions about the future of BYU football?

My guess would be that everyone knows where they stand. But again, not being actually part of the program, the most any of us can do (Yes, even you hedgehog) is guess and speculate. Ultimately, we will read about what the results are, but it is very unlikely we will ever know the entire process.

As for me, I trust Bronco's decisions. He strikes me as a contemplative person who acts rather than reacts.

And I laugh at the thought that football should be the first priority in ANYONE's life and the attempt at a certain troll to play the race card.

TJ
Eagle Mountain, UT

Hedgehog,
Looks like we need to add being afraid to jeasous and obsessed regarding how you feel about BYU. BYU will continue to be a top 20 program most years with the athletes they recruit and the coaches they hire. Good young men with charactar who are also good athletes. It is a matter of class. You wouldn't understand.

Lee Corso
American Fork, UT

It's all about recruiting. So get coaches who can SELL the University and the program. No clue if Cahoon or Drage have that type of charisma or not but I know Wong does. Just look at how he has raised money for his little ole high school. Plus the dude can flat out coach. And we need more help getting the Poly kids now that Anae is gone. Bringing him on is a no brainer. Do it please before the Yewts nab him.

cy1951
Arlington, VA

Bugoff has the right idea, but I unfortuantely misses the real point -- coaching matters greatly when you have 2 and 3 star athletes instead of a bevy of 4 star athletes. Watching both teams in the BCS faux-championship bowl, we saw two innovative offensive minds at work on both sidelines. They were stymied somewhat by very good and very fast defenses (both of which looked like TCU's defense), but that is the way BYU must play in order to level the playing field. When Lavelle worked the passing game to near perfection in the late '70s, and then the '80s and '90s, it was BYU's edge against teams with superior talent. Their defensive schemes could not adjust fast enough to handle it. Now, it is not only precision -- which Bronco preaches every day -- but speed. It is fast-break offense, with superior conditioning, that throws off defenses. It is the 2010 version of the Lavelle aerial show of the '80s. It's not just no-huddle, but no-huddle at breakneck speed -- 80 plays a game. And BYU can do this with good coaching and superior conditioning. It is the only way to compete now.

fender
Washington, UT

@Bugoff

I agree with most of what you say. I would add that BYU is several generations away from recruiting Auburn quality athletes to Provo. The African-American population in Utah County is less than one percent and there are virtually no black owned businesses. No culture, no athletes.

Without that BYU has to have a superior run game to hang with the big boys. Heaps may be great (although I'm not a believer), but teams like Auburn will eat him alive without a credible run game. They will need to rely on strength and technique on the O line. They will have Reynolds next year and that's a start, but they need a few more like him. They also need another back like Unga who runs downhill and can dish out some punishment.

Equally important, they will need an O coordinator who understands the run game and that's not Doman, so they need to pick up a skilled run guy, if they can, who can mesh with Doman.

Captain L
Provo, UT

Hedgehog: I kinda like Bronco's style LDS, yada,yada, football 5th on priority list. You ought to try it. BYU will continue to get the non LDS athletes just like they have in the past. Those non LDS athletes that appreciate BYU's football program, its life syle and standards will still sign on to play for BYU. BYU has more speed than people are thinking they have, there is alot of good athletes in the linebacker, wide receiver, tight end ranks. BYU's football team/program is on the rise and going independent and having the TV coverage they will get will give them the exsposure they are looking for.

Veritas Aequitas
Fruit Heights, UT

fender | 10:41 a.m. Jan. 11, 2011
Washington, UT
@Bugoff

I agree with most of what you say. I would add that BYU is several generations away from recruiting Auburn quality athletes to Provo. The African-American population in Utah County is less than one percent and there are virtually no black owned businesses. No culture, no athletes.

===

What does a person's skin pigmentation have to do with whether or not they are to be considered an athlete?

Did you learn it from Jimmy the Greek, that it came from "slave" days?

Captain L
Provo, UT

fender: What is it that makes you down on Heaps? Heaps poor play to start the season wasn't all his fault, it was tons of dropped passes and play calling that didn't take advantage of his strengths.
Heaps has as good of an arm as any QB BYU has had come in to the program and he has the mentality to be as good if not better than any of them as well. I know that is saying alot, and only time will tell but his talent and potential are there.
Also what makes you think Doman doesn't know the run game?
Doman was an option QB in high school and loved the run, what makes you think he doesn't appreciate the importance of the run?

Wyomin
OREM, UT

Ref: Bugoff

I guess that I watched a different game than you last night. I wasn't all that impressed. Cam Newton can't throw the ball with consistent accuracy and Oregon's Oline couldn't plow one yard when it mattered. All of the high speed offensive coaching of Oregon became useless when a couple of yards were needed.

Perhaps BYU can't recruit speed but it can recruit great line men like Riker Mathews who started the US Army Combined at left Tackle (the best left tackle in the West?) as well as quarterbacks .

BYU's pro style offense is more complex than the current spread offenses but when executed properly, is much more dynamic. Next year as the tight ends (Mahina, Holt, Mathews, Wilson, etc) and the new wide receivers (Apo, Phillips, etc) with one of the best olines in the country (yes, Reynolds is back) BYU's offense will be one of the best in the nation.

BYU's front seven on defense will also be one of the best in the nation. The Defensive backfield will still need work.

All said BYU will be better than either BSU or TCU or Utah next year.

BleedCougarBlue
Enid, OK

Ben Cahoon is retiring AND has applied?

Hire him, hire him, HIRE HIM!

That would complete all the changes we needed.

Back in the LaVell era, our receivers were known to be fearless and virtually NEVER drop a pass. Don't know if it's true or not but someone once told me that back then BYU trained their receivers by having them run full speed straight towards a brick wall while a QB threw passes very close to the wall. The idea being, to not worry about smacking into the wall but to focus only on catching the ball. Period.

Anyway, with Cahoon's PROVEN capabilities, since he actually did put in an application (I didn't think he was going to retire since he wasn't riding the bench and just took the CFL receptions record), I'd hire that guy in about 1.8 seconds.

BlueHusky
Mission Viejo, CA

Re BYU's ability to beat Oregon and Auburn:
BYU pounded Oregon in the Vegas Bowl. BYU beat Oklahoma in Dallas. BYU pounded Oregon State. They destroyed UCLA. Could they beat Oregon this year? No. Ever? Sure. They did in the past, they'll do it again.

How about Auburn? Well, their defensive line stuffed Oregon. I found myself wondering how BYU's huge line, triple-headed running game, and a seasoned (say, Junior) Heaps would do. I think it would be a good game. I was not overwhelmed with their offense. I don't see a pro QB there. Could BYU beat them this year? No. In the future, why not?

The generalizations about BYU being too slow, too white, etc. are witless comparisons to good teams having great years. BYU has had great years and will again. The difference is that in the future, their great years will be seen nation wide and they'll be playing in a good bowl game. It's gonna be fun.

CougarBlue
Heber City, UT

Ah, the joy of bein an armchair QB, whether you know anything or not.

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