Comments about ‘BYU football: Nelson's injury may put Hill in starting QB role’

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Published: Monday, Sept. 24 2012 11:00 p.m. MDT

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It's telling when this situation has gotten to the point that the comments of most Ute fans are less desparaging and more out of confusion as to what is going on here.

"4. Riley doesn't want to miss out on any of his senior year. How many talented young players will flee BYU for other programs out of frustration with coaches who are more loyal to their pet players than the overall good of the team? How many recruits will turn away for the same reason?

5. Are we watching the end of the Bronco Era at BYU?"

4. Good point. This could hurt BYU in the longrun though it's not like they're doing anything with NFL caliber talent now (i.e. Van Noy, Apo, Hoffman).

5. He's a decent but, not great coach and a good guy. His job however is to win big games and it's even more important than normal now that BYU is independent. Win some games, you get home and homes with Wisconsin. Keep this up you get home and homes with Middle Tennessee St.

Ogden, UT

If Riley's back is giving him so many problems, I do not understand why the coaching staff does not want him to fully get better. His back is going to take Riley farther in life than being the quarterback for BYU's season that has gone south.

As an athlete myself, I understand the "play til you drop" mentality- it is what athletes want to do, play until they cannot walk. But, one day, doesn't good sense have to be the protocol?

Let's face it- Riley's play, even when he is 100% healthy, is questionable. Sure, he has grit, desire, and is probably tougher than all of us put together. But, he is not helping the team win, good or bad back aside. Let him rest. Get healthy. Then, let him play his senior year where he can play.

In my estimation, it is better to let Taysom Hill get the reps and playing experience. Truly develop him for the long haul. Give BYU a good chance of winning and getting back to BYU prowess.

Wasatch Al
South Jordan, UT

Since when does a player decide if he will play injured? Does BYU have any trainers and medical personnel who make those decisions? By the way, one national football service did have an award for Bronco. Going for two points with three minutes to go and no time outs was chosen as the worst college coach decison of the week.

Southern Utah, UT

Aggielove-Norm has a head coaching gig which is what he has wanted for a long time. Why would he give that up to go back to just being an OC?

While I have never seen Lark play, he is supposed to be a good drop back passer QB with a relatively strong arm. The question then becomes does the OL give him enough time to be a drop back passer? Hill is very mobile and a strong runner, and if Hill starts perhaps Lark could be the situational QB to stretch the field? With Apo and Hoffman, it could pay big dividends to get them deep on a regular basis.

I like Weber, but IMO BYU would be better served by going out and getting a top rung OL coach even if they have to pay him more than the tenured assistants currently on staff.

West Jordan, UT

"It's my senior year and my opportunities are very few. I hope to take advantage of every one."

I love Nelson but this statement makes him sound a little bit selfish to me. This BYU team is full of seniors who want to win but Nelson's performance is preventing that from happening. It certainly did on Thursday against Boise State. If he is not able to give 100% because of an injury then he is a liability to his TEAM, and he should do the unselfish thing and let Lark (also a senior) or Hill take his place until he is healthy and able to give 100%.

As far as the question of Lark vs Hill - Lark is the senior and probably knows the offense better, but Hill's style of play is more compatible with Nelson's (except that he is bigger, faster and has a better arm) which allows a more seamless transition between Nelson and Hill, and perhaps back to Nelson when he is healthy again. We also do not know why Hill was promoted above Lark. He may very well have just outperformed Lark in practices.

Somewhere, UT

Doman is throwing Lark and Munns under the bus because he can't coach a drop back passing quarterback. With BYU's receivers and tight ends this is the direction the offense needs to go. Give the senior Lark a chance to use Hoffman, Apo and Friel. Pretty soon there is going to be another game like last years Utah game where the defense decides that they are tired of being the only productive unit and quit playing.

Ronald Uharriet
SWun City, Ca.

Start Hill.

Use Lark as the back up to Hill.

If neither Hill nor Lark is getting the job done,
don’t waste time and put Riley in.

If Hill and/or Lark can get the job done, let
Riley sit it out and get ready for ND, Ga. Tec, and Org. St. games

Why use Riley until he is completely well with 3 big games
coming at us soon.

Why is that so hard to figure that out?

Why even consider using Riley on give me games as long as his
back is not 100%?


I'm ok with them starting Nelson @ Boise State if he says he is good and the medical team says he is good. But it didn't take long for most everyone to see that he wasn't 100%. It's at that point that it becomes the coaches responsibility. If I'm a player I'm going to want to stay in no matter what. If I'm a coach, I'm responsible to have the best player out there and take out those that are injured or not performing.
Utah and Boise St. are down this year and anyone who watched the game could see that BYU clearly could've and should've won both of those games. With a sharp backup in the game BYU could've moved the ball better than they did. I give credit to the Utah and BSU defenses and teams. They won the games and it will forever be that way in the history books. I don't even fault Bronco for going for 2. But it comes down to the coaches putting the best and strongest players and game plan together. That didn't happen in those two games.

Bountiful, UT

I'm sorry, hiding the fact that you're only 65% doesn't make you a fierce competitor, it makes you selfish that you're putting your own interests ahead of the teams. This is especially magnified knowing he carried this over from the Utah game and he was responsible for 2 losses this season.

He talked about having the trust of the coaches and yet he betrayed that trust and the trust of the entire team by not being honest about his situation and that he couldn't play to the level the position requires. Bronco goes on and on about leadership when he talks about Riley and an essential part of leadership is putting the needs of the many ahead of the needs of the few, or the one in this case.

The coaches trusted Riley to give them an honest assessment of his health so they could prepare properly for 2 of the biggest games on the schedule. That was his chance to show true leadership.

Ronald Uharriet
SWun City, Ca.

Reading all the post,
One would think that “What goes around, comes around” is in full bloom.

If I was this current coaching staff, I would not ever mention the Name
Gary Crowton again. It just might come back to bite them on so hard that
they won’t be able to sit down, especially if the fans start comparing what Crowton
was before being blamed for the honor code violation that took place off campus,
well into the night, in one of the players home.

He was great until he had to spend all of his time defending himself instead of coaching.

Gary went on to be the National Assist coach of the year while at Oregon.

Defending National Champions, LSU, took him as their own Offensive Coordinator.

This was a very talented coach, that like our 5 star QB Ben Olson, and our 5 star QB Jake Heaps, we ran them all off because their genius was more than we were use to and we just could not hadle it. Oh, I almost forgot how we ran Norm Chow after 27years of success under Lavel Edwards.

Roberts, ID

Which is it? If I'm not mistaken, prior to the BSU game, Riley said he was 100%, I don't think so. The bottom line is Riley has not won a game against a quality team. There are a lot of athletes that are gritty and gutsy, but that is not enough. I've seen a lot of gutsy and gritty Bull Riders that could not stay on for 8 seconds and that is how their talent is measured. Maybe Riley has a future a UFC participant.

Spring, TX

Nelson was a reckless quarterback when healthy. He played out of control. You can't have your quarterback playing out of control on nearly every snap. An injury was just in the waiting with his type of play. Now that we know he's injured, it's time to let him rest and play, to borrow from my Houston Texans, "Next Man Up." Whether that is Lark or Hill, Nelson needs to be pulled.

West Jordan, UT

@Ronald Uharriet

You must be related to Crowton or something because you are just about the only person I have ever seen try to defend his record at BYU. Crowton is a very good OC, but he made a HORRIBLE head coach at BYU. Instead of taking the program forward after Lavell retired, he took it backwards in just 3 seasons to pre Lavell levels. Bronco literally had to rebuild the BYU Football program from scratch after taking over. But even worse than his on-the-field performance were the repeated honor code violations by players. These were not isolated incidents under Crowton, they were repeated and stemmed from an underlying lack of discipline and understanding about the mission and purpose of BYU Football. These HC violations were very embarassing for BYU and the LDS Church, and this, more than his abyssmal record, is the reason he was ultimately fired, err, I mean stepped down.

Bountiful, UT

To be fair Crowton did have his issues managing the team, but he didn't exactly inherit a football program in good shape. After his first season the cupboards were a little bare, especially depth at Quarterback. Crowton recruited some good players that ended up as all-time great players at BYU and ended up playing in the NFL.

Bronco inherited a team that was ready to turn that corner and was on the road to recovery. I think the pressure of following the Legendary Head Coach was a lot more difficult than having to follow the guy who followed the Legend.

Yorba Linda, CA

I think that the coaching staff and Riley are playing politics with the fans. It seems curious that they continue to sell the "significant back injury" without saying what it is. What is it? A bulged disc, muscle strain, pinched nerve? When a guy hurts his knee they don't just say he hurt his knee, they identify a sprain, acl tear or whatever it is. I think they are doing this to protect Riley from the reality of his performances. He will probably play Friday and state that he's feeling good. As many fans feel, he is just not a great player even at 100%. The coaches have bought in and stated such, and now they are just trying to prove themselves right, even though it may cost the team.

Syracuse, ut

Apparently one player is bigger than the whole BYU program. This infatuation with Riley needs to end, if he's hurt, he should have never been playing against Utah and BSU, good grief, who is in charge? I'm also dissapointed in Riley for not doing the right thing, if you're hurt, then you are not helping the team any by playing at 65%. There's a lot of seniors on that team that deserve better than this.

Chandler, AZ

Since when has it ever been up to the players as to whether or not they play? It is strictly the coaches decision. As someone posted earlier, the trainers were negligent in leting Nelson play and Doman just plain blew it. He's got to know that when asked any player will say, "yeah coach, I'm ready to go." Get Serious. Doesn't Doman get it?

What if Nelson would have re-injured his back or done more damage to it during the last two games? These players have to live with their injuries the rest of their lives. These coaches need to be more aware and have the guts to make the call, protect the team, and protect the players, even if that means from themselves.

Spanish Fork, UT

If Bronco is relying upon Reilly to determine if he's healthy, just remember Reilly already made that decision against Boise St. when he admitted that last "Thursday I'd say 65 percent. Today, I'd say 75-80." So Reilly decided to play against BSU at 65% health??? Don't trust him again. Make him prove it in practice but in the meantime, start someone else. I don't care who gets the nod. ABN -- Grit and toughness only mean something in movies and in wins.

Whoa Nellie
American Fork, UT

Come on MLH, cut sammyg some slack. At least he didn't have seven (7) spelling errors in his post like you did.

I would really like to see Apo and Hoffman catch passes from a quarterback, namely James Lark. It seems Mendenhall and Doman can't man up and accept the truth about their current debacle of having their program run by a wounded senior quarterback.

Saint George, UT

One of my frustrations with Heaps was that he seemed to be afraid to throw a deep pass. Then Nelson takes over and he too seems afraid to throw a deep pass. Then Hill takes over and doesn't throw deep passes. What are the odds of 3 QB's being afraid to throw deep when they have arguably the most gifted WR in BYU history with Cody Hoffman?
Seems like maybe it isn't the QB's after all. Either Doman is afraid to call a deep pass or he is not coaching the QB's very well. Either way, I think the blame falls squarely on Doman at this point.

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