I'll take a different view of the situation --- not an ego trip on the part
of this young man, but I believe the Y coaching staff thinks so much of Riley
that they will do the right thing & not only provide a capable replacement,
but also protect a young man they know & respect from further injury.How tragic would it be to have Riley go from 65% capability to 25%
capability thanks to a blitz or blind-side tackle.... That simply can't
be allowed to happen. The Y coaching staff will not permit it;
their concern & consideration for their players, coupled with an appropriate
medical opinion, will dictate the correct decision, and you can bet that
decision has already been made.
I changed my mind. Start Nelson. He wants to play hurt and be the tough guy?
Let him. Our offensive line couldn't stop ten grandmothers rushing the QB,
so why put in Hill and have him get mangled? Let Riley, Bronco and Weber play
the ruined season out. Let Holmoe go downs in flames, too, when it's all
over and see if THEN he can actually make some tough decisions for the
betterment of the program.
I'm going to make a prediction for Friday. If the offense does not come
out and play lights out in the first half know matter who starts and quarterback
then I think things could get ugly like last year against Utah. The defense has
to be frustrated to death with playing more than well enough to be 4-0 not 2-2.
This isn't brain surgery - Nelson is ineffective for whatever reason. A
change needs to be made.
Ute44 is right . This is NOT Nelson's call to make. Like a good soldier
he'll do what is asked of him. If the coach (Bronco) thinks a 65% Nelson is
better than any of the backups, he'll play. That works for some superstars,
e.g., a flu stricken Michael Jordan was able to singlehandedly beat the Jazz.
The problem is Nelson is no Michael Jordan. This decision by Bronco is a
no-brainer--let someone else start and let Nelson heal. But then again, we all
know presumably easy decisions are very difficult for the BYU coaches these
days. I still like Doman. I find his humility, as evinced in another
article, very refreshing. Although I agree that he needs to let go of some
stupid plays that don't work, I still have faith in him. Although I respect
Bronco as a terrific defensive coordinator, I am progressively losing faith in
him as a HC. Memo to Tom Holmoe: Put Gary Andersen #1 on your radar
as a future replacement for Bronco Mendenhall.To other wishful
thinkers: Mike Leach does NOT meet the qualifications to be a head coach at BYU.
Its all very odd in deed. I agree with Yfan, the coaching staff has choked once
again. Doman's guessing, wondering, unclear mental direction from the very
first game and the HC what is the deal with all the head scratching. The Washington State game was full of glitches and stalling play's, Riley
was frustraited with the enability to finish some very finshable plays and
drives. Doman's wierd pattern began back then and has now completelty
exploded like a ketchup packet under your shoe, wow what a mess of things he has
So coaches are saying that a half-Nelson beats a full Hill? I don't think
so . . . and two painful losses to great programs that are down this year (just
like Texas and TCU last year) prove it. And whatever happened to
the plan to start Lark if Nelson couldn't go? We practice (allotted reps)
that way all pre-season, then change our minds when the season starts? I
don't get it. The way we've handled the most important
skill position on the team over the past four seasons tells me that Bronco needs
to 'stick to the knitting' on defense and hold Doman accountable for
restoring an effective aerial attack . . . soon.My biggest concern
is that after mopping up the WAC at the end of the season (Utah State
respectfully excepted), we'll say once again that we're back on track
and go into next season with high expectations . . . rinse and repeat.
As a life long BYU fan, I am very concerned that Coach Mendenhall did not
adequately discern that his quarterback was not at full strength and unable to
play well enought to produce desired results. It appears to me that Riley was a
major reason for the two lost ball gaames. I think a lot of BYU fans will not
be content with 7-5 seasons for very long. I would argue that is where the team
is headed if the coach continues to make questionable decisions. Probably would
be better for Coach Mendenhall to put some priority on winning faily soon. Not
very many teams win ball games without putting the best (healthiest) players on
the field during crucial times. I think for what Coaches are paid (even at BYU)
we can and should expect better coaching.
This is all on Bronco and his coaching staff. They decide who plays, and it
should not be in Nelson's hands to begin with. It is a shame for his health
and well being that the coaches didn't step in and tell him to sit for a
few weeks. Don't blame Nelson. Personnel decisions should be made by
If Riley would have put his pride aside and told the coaches that he is too hurt
to play and that he felt that he was hurting the team then we would have beaten
Boise State and probably Utah! Only you know how bad your injury is. Not the
doctors, not the coaches. Put the team first and not yourself. It takes a big
man to put the team first. So frustrating! This isn't Andrew Luck we are
talking about where if he is 85% you have a tough decision to play him or not.
This is a 65% Riley Nelson. Not a hard decision.
Injured or not he looked like the same QB as he always is. So does he play
injured all the time. Same poor decisions, same trying to scramble out of the
pocket instead of stepping up into it, same overthrowing recievers, same bad
decisions, same lame line audibles. He and Doman should pack a lunch and leave
together. They both are terrible at what they do.
I admire Riley's competitive spirit, but Bronco and Brandon blew the Boise
State game by not pulling Riley as soon as it became apparent that he
couldn't throw a pass more than 15-yards with any accuracy.Baseball managers know when their starting pitcher doesn't have it
anymore, even when he says otherwise. I'm disappointed that
Bronco and Brandon couldn't tell that Riley simply didn't have it
anymore against Boise State.Do the smart thing Bronco and Brandon;
start Hill, prepare Lark as your backup, and let Riley rest and heal.
I know my name is starthillnotnelson, but it depends on how Nelson does. If
he's horrible, I love my name. If he's good, I'll change it.
I don't think Hawaii is a terrible team, or that BYU should underestimate
them, but I think BYU could easily beat them. I think they should start Nelson.
If Hawaii shows up and stops Nelson, they should put Hill in. Starting either
QB is risky, with Nelson not being 100%, and also with Hill being a freshman.
Another thing with Nelson is this could ruin him or soar him. A bad game lowers
his confidence and others confidence in him, when again a good game could really
boost him and silence his critics. I'm glad I'm not a coach, because
this is a tough decision
I love the "can do" attitude that brings Riley to give all he's got
for the team, and I feel bad for him and his big chance, but anyone who has
watched the last two games kn0w that Riley can't perform because of his
physical ailments. It is PAINFULLY obvious he is in pain. He just carries
himself differently, and has trouble passing or running. His courage is
admirable ... but it is hurting not only himself, but the team. Time
for Hill or LARK TO STEP IN ... LET RILEY HEAL FOR THE BIG GAMES TO COME.
I agree that Riley needs to swallow his pride and do what's best for the
team but why is Hill suddenly #2? Lark doesn't merely deserve it, he has
payed for and earned it.
Isn't Riley a pre-med student? His football career obviously isn't
going anywhere, so it seems to me the risk of playing isn't worth it if he
wants a long and successful career as a doctor. I don't know how much he is
hurting the team since there is plenty of inexperience at QB but I think you can
certainly make the case he may be jeopardizing his post-football career. Put it
down Riley for your own good.
@Wayne RoutIf Riley were playing at 165% he would still be slow and unable
to pass the ball more than 15 yards. I have never been able to understand why he
is on the team anyway.I agree 100% with your comment. I'll
tell you why he is on the tema. It's because he is a good boy and does
what he's supposed to etc. Bronco needs to stop trying to be
the Bishop and start being the football coach and if he doesn't want to
start, then maybe BYU needs to look at re-hiring Lavell Edwards, cause we know
that he will get the job done.
If Riley were playing at 165% he would still be slow and unable to pass the ball
more than 15 yards. I have never been able to understand why he is on the team
RE: 86&90 UTEI have to disagree with you on this one. A 65%
Nelson couldn't throw the ball over the linebackers last week to hit wide
open receivers. Why would this week be any different. If Riley plays more than
half the game on Friday BYU will lose. Riley is already a below average
quarterback so if he is at only 65% then it is like putting a decent quarterback
out there at below 50%.
My favorite part of the Boise game was watching Riley celebrate on the sidelines
after the touchdown. He was out there supporting his teammates with all the
enthusiasm that he plays with. I don't know him personally, but I know his
heart is completely about helping the team, and he's willing to sacrifice
himself to do that. I don't see this as an ego thing, just a demonstration
of his desire to compete. He's still the team leader, the coaches know
this, and even though I've lost some confidence in the decision making with
the team, I'll still trust them more than I trust any of us who sit around
not playing the game.
Another baseball icon besides Lou Gehrig who knew when to step down was Mickey
Mantle: "I can't steal second base when I need to; I can't go from
first to third on a hit to right field when I need to." He meant, of course,
"I can't steal second base when the team needs me to; I can't go
from first to third on a hit to right field when the team needs me to."
Riley Nelson should be saying, "I can't complete a forward pass when I
I see one really big problem with the coaches this week, they're giving
most of the reps to Hill to prepare him in case he needs to play. By doing this
they're not going to be able to accurately critique Nelson which means that
Nelson will look like he's better than he really is. And since Nelson
won't say, hey Coach, I'm only feeling about 70%, the coaches will
think that he's fine. Best case is he limps the Cougars along and worst
case is that he gets beaten up even worse. I agree that Nelson needs to know
when to step aside. And the Coaches better get with it and make that seemingly
hard (but should be really easy) decision to go with the backup. They should
have seen Nelson's limitations in practice and sat him rather than playing
him to two losses. But Nelson's got to make it easier on the Coaches by
saying he's not 100%, this is a TEAM sport after all.
I just don't understand why the coaches feel they owe Riley Nelson all of
the benefit of the doubt here. Yes, he worked hard, but I have never heard
anyone say that Lark, Hill or Munns have worked any less hard. Don't you
owe it to them to let them do their job when the first stringer is hurt?
Do the rational thing, for heaven's sake.Playing hurt is
salving the ego, not helping the team.The bigger man recognizes the
team is more than the individual players.It's time to cheer
teammates from the sideline; that's where they need him now.Nelson came in for Heaps when he was faltering and Heaps was healthy. Surely
he can understand to step aside now is the bigger thing to do.Imagine the resentful feelings that the other excellent players would
understandably feel toward him for taking way their major reason for playing, if
Riley forces his way into the starting lineup. That, together with
the message coaches would send to his teammates if they cater to the personal
agenda of a sixty-five percenter.
I do NOT mean to overlook Hawaii. They have spanked us before in similar
situations.Riley is my qb. He's earned it, he deserves it.But if he is not 100%, then he isn't ready to prove he is 100%.
Time to rest and heal and let the other men take the shot. After all,
they've earned it too. They deserve it.And please don't
underestimate the pressure of this decision on all concerned. Ultimately it IS
Bronco's call, and yes it IS just a game. But it is a game that shapes men
and builds character. That IS his priority, and that is why he IS the right man
for the job at BYU.Best possible outcome in a game, or the best
possible outcome in the lives of young men. I trust Bronco to make the right
call, and hopefully the right call can have positive results in both arenas at
the same time.
If other playerS were at 65%, TheY would be sitting on the bench, maybe not
even in uniform. Coaches decide who will play, but then, these coaches
haven't been making very good decisions lately, so why should this one be
Doctors, schmoctors! Anyone who watched the past two games could see that
Nelson was way below 100%. For the coaches to let him lose those games is
inexcusable.Responsibility for this trainwreck begins at the top.
Open your eyes, Bronco!
I'm a Utes fan and I have mad respect for Riley Nelson. He plays the game
he loves and plays it hard. He's a tough kid.
I would expect the Coaches to discuss with the Team Doctors as well as Riley and
make the decision. Riley is a warrior and only 24 years old, of course he wants
to play. Coach Mendenhall and Doman need to man up and do their jobs. Consult
with the Doctors and review the tapes from the previous two weeks. This
shouldn't be that tough, but then going for two instead of the tie and
overtime wasn't that difficult either.
re: BigCougarDo I think Riley is blameless? No. But, he has done his
best IMO with all obstacles placed before him. I see parallels with
my favorite NFL team... Riley = Chad Henne, Doman = Dan Henning, Bronco = Tony
Sparano. That scenario worked out for the best; didn't it?
I think that Riley realises that he erred. Give the guy a break. He is 24 years
old (I hope his older coaches can show some discretion though). I am a huge
Riley fan. Huge. But I think that if he is not 100% for Hawaii, he should be
resting on the bench. 65% is way too low. I believe in Riley more than most of
the guys in their Lazy-Boyz, but I need to believe in him as well to rest
himself to prepare for some larger games. Who knows, maybe they just need to let
Riley get his long power-hair back.
The coaches blame Riley while Riley blames the coaches. In the meantime Riley
puts his own selfish interest ahead of the team And they lose two very winnable
games in the process.Who are the leaders of this team? Bronco
praises riley's leadership. Riley puts his interest ahead of his teammates,
That's not much of a leader. Now they're both pointing the finger at
the other guy. I guess this is what happens when winning is not a very high
Agree. You've got to know when to hold, when to fold them, when to walk
away. Reilly should NOT be the decision maker. That's why you pay coaches.
Never let the inmates run the asylum.
I don't think it matters at all this week who BYU lines up at quarterback.
They are playing a bad Hawaii team. A 65% Nelson will do just fine. So what if
you only win by 20 instead of 35. It will matter more against a real team.
Perhaps this article should have been held up and posted next week.
Good article. At work I'm amazed at those people that have
such a high opinion of themselves that they show up sick, spreading their germs,
being and making everyone so miserable to be around them. They get little
done.Excuse me while I 'manage' my sick time, stay at
home, get better and let my team move on without me.I trust the
coaches and players to make the best decisions. Please work on this the best you