Dick Harmon: BYU needs to focus on craft of quarterbacking

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  • Cougsndawgs West Point , UT
    Sept. 27, 2013 11:03 a.m.

    BYU fans...take a breath. Some of you are already calling for Anae's head and we're three games into the season. If I remember correctly didn't Anae say in the beginning that this would be a process that takes time? Not once did I hear him suggest that BYU would come out blazing, scoring 60 points a game and leaving opponents choking on their dust. He has suggested patience from day one, and three games in many BYU fans have already given up.

    Here's a nickels worth advice. 1) See if Anae and Bronco are willing to make QB changes and give people opportunities...even change positions for Hill if it comes to that (I'd like to see him at running back). 2) Be patient, and you all may find that the future could be spectacular...if we can be patient (look at some of the recruits coming in). 3) allow the young inexperienced O-line to develop and watch for improvement. Rome wasn't built in a day, and despite what some of you think it can't be destroyed in a day either (or 3). Stay the course, the end product may surprise you.

  • Lightening Lad Austin , TX
    Sept. 27, 2013 8:35 a.m.

    I was once told that only a fool, after a failure, does the same thing yet again expecting to get a different result. Re-hiring Anae after he was fired, yes he was fired when Socrates whoops Bronco asked all his offensive coaches to submit a letter of resignation but now HE'S BACK and failing again. Not only Anae but he hired yet another inexperienced QB coach, only in this case the new coach played far less than his key student, when he was a varsity athlete. The factor that is maddening about Socrates is his inability to learn from mistakes of others. He has to try something that the college football world has already found to fail, like a child would. It could be his 2 QB system, the getting all your recruits to committ earlier than anyone else, the list goes on and on. But learning from his mistakes is dicey business. He gets dumped by bad Utah teams year in and year out, what's his response just organizational management 201 talk. He makes simply idiotic coaching mistakes such as Boise 2012 when he refused to consider overtime. And Anae that pass at VA, dumb just dumb

  • kosimov Riverdale, UT
    Sept. 27, 2013 5:53 a.m.

    Why do I hear so many remarks about "national championships", follows by criticisms of how the team is playing? Isn't a National Championship the goal of EVERY team at the beginning of the season?

  • kosimov Riverdale, UT
    Sept. 27, 2013 5:51 a.m.

    @Silent Lurker

    It took me a minute to figure out "mark key win". Did you mean "marque win"?

    What does "against a bad Texas team" mean? Did the team play badly that day, or is the team itself "bad", that is, they cannot play well no matter how they try? If the latter, I think you are committing the mistake of labeling a team or player as either "nearly perfect" or "lousy" with nothing in between. That is something we can and should avoid. A player can have a bad game, he can make a bad mistake; he can have a "marque" game or a lousy game. That player may also have a decent, average, or "so-so" game, a mediocre, sub-par, or below average game; it doesn't need to always be described in extremes. I am not pretending to know all about how to write. It is not the words themselves which matter; it is the thinking the words represent that matters. When we can think more like we claim we wish to be, we will become fans that other teams envy.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Sept. 26, 2013 7:26 p.m.

    "Can the mechanics of passing be taught? "

    Look no further than Tim Tebow for your answer.

  • sg newhall, CA
    Sept. 26, 2013 4:26 p.m.

    After reading this article I hear nothing but excuses from Hill Anae, Brono...okay basically the entire offensive power minds. Great Hill has a strong arm, but if he can't connect with his receivers down field what difference does it make? Hill should be moved to a running back and on special teams as a kicker/punt returner and the coaches need to find someone who is taller, bigger, and who can throw. Until the QB position is fixed BYU will continue to lose to Utah and to every other ranked team. They may win tomorrow, but the other games? No. Not if they play like they did against the Utes. This is turning out to be a losing season.

  • jarka-rus Layton, Utah
    Sept. 26, 2013 2:32 p.m.

    I was at the 1983 Holiday Bowl game!! oh the days or yore, sad what Byu's offense has become

  • Poppa-P Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 1:28 p.m.

    There is a simple two-word answer to BYU's current passing woes: Ammon Olsen.

    And yes, it's really that simple.

  • Chase Saint George, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 12:39 p.m.

    One of the pillars of the program is "Tradition".

    However, BYU doesn't recruit "QBs". The last one we recruited plays for the worst team in the Big XII. (His curse is currently affecting a certain WR).

    So what BYU does then is run. Run. Run. It was a gimmick against Texas. Why was it a gimmick? Because it can not and will not be replicated against better teams. BYU doesn't have another attack. It can't be balanced.

    Recently Coach Anae was quoted as saying that running in these parts is considered a heresy, or something to that effect.

    I'm not against change. I know things take time. BYU needs to make up their mind about who and what they are. Don't talk about National Championships and then come out of the gate at 1-2 and talk about how "these things take time", and "we've been here before", etc. etc.

    Big time winning programs should act like big time winning programs. BYU is not acting like a big time winning program.

    - A Fan...

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 12:38 p.m.

    I love this comment; "...like going to the Salt Flats to watch a Volkswagen." LOL!! Some have questioned if the mechanics of passing can be taught and will remind you of Dick's article right after the rivalry game where he referred to Steve Young's rise to starting QB. This will be hard for some to accept, but I was a BYU fan during Steve's days at BYU so I followed his career. He was not recruited as a QB, but kept insisting that was what he wanted to play. He was 8th on the depth chart to start his freshman year and couldn't hit the broad side of a barn from 10 yards. He had to learn how to pass. It can be done. So take heart Cougar fans. Your QB can be salvaged, if he is willing to put in the work and the coaches are willing to teach him.

  • Wookie Omaha, NE
    Sept. 26, 2013 12:18 p.m.

    Isn't spring and summer/fall camps meant to deploy the offense so that they QB and players could become acclimated to the offense? Bronco's not saying that they are learning on the fly? If so, simplify the schemes so that it would be such a challenge.

    If Anae is the QB coach then I think Hill will be okay, as he did a nice job with Beck and Hall before. However, does anyone know who Jason has helped mentor into a successful QB?

    Go UTES!

  • kosimov Riverdale, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 12:15 p.m.

    Wayne Rout: If you examine the game stats, you'll see that we are throwing the ball more than enough times, but we aren't completing the passes. I find it hard to believe Bronco is "against" throwing the ball; I think he will do what it takes to win. But, he made the decision a while back to become the DC, and turned the AC job over to Anae. Of course, whenever we lose a game, the boo birds start squawking and want to fire him, but that isn't the solution and it won't happen anyway. The time will come when Anae, his coaches and players will all learn to work together and we will see a return to the kinds of teams we've had in the past, however, as someone here already pointed out, the competition has gotten much better, which bodes well for us because when we do win, it will really mean something! Beating a BCS top ten team or even playing them close and losing means much more than blowing out a weaker team, even if we have more losses in the process, our overall successes will become much sweeter!

  • kosimov Riverdale, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 12:06 p.m.


    Yours is the attitude we need to have. I can't tell whether some of the people here who are ready to toss a player under the bus as soon as problems show up are just really mean and thoughtless or perhaps are young kids who don't appreciate the outcome of what they want. They seem to think that merely inserting another quarterback will solve all problems because they haven't seen his mistakes yet.

    To complete a pass: first, the defense must somehow be fooled into moving the wrong way or something else which will allow the receiver to be clear enough to have a chance to catch the ball. Both the receiver and the quarterback must do all the right things (look away, fake, etc.). Then, the receiver and quarterback must be running the same play, and the quarterback usually must throw to a spot where the receiver WILL BE several seconds later; he can't just throw at the receiver unless he is standing still or the ball goes behind the receiver. When the team all knows precisely how to execute the patterns and block for them, we'll win.

  • Silent Lurker Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 9:19 a.m.

    Really, what will a scheduled gimme game against a very poor opponent show us. BYU is a twenty one point favorite for goodness sake. The cougars should show better this week than their mark key win against a bad Texas team. Take heart BYU fans, the silver lining is that you only need one upset game and to also win the rest of your gimme games and you will playing in a bowl game. How nice for you.
    Four in a row and three years to go. LOL!

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 8:25 a.m.

    (Continued from above)
    5. College football is corrupt. Recruiting is out of control (think Oklahoma State). Do we really foresee a day in the near future that BYU will dominate PAC-12, SEC Big 10 and Big 12 schools? No. We'll get some wins. But a perfect season, which is what it would take to put BYU into the top 10 today is extremely difficult.

    6. Remember why we cheer for BYU. They work hard to produce a quality product. But that product is not measured soley by success on the football field. Perfect seasons are rare. Good young man held to a high standard (Athletically, morally and spiritually) are also rare. I think Utah and Utah State also strive for high moral standards. And BYU's rigor in that area changes lives. We have much to be proud of in this state.

    Good luck to Bronco, Anae and the players. I hope your efforts show fruition soon.

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 8:24 a.m.

    FDRfan: National Championships? You need to look at this realistically:

    1. BYU has the deck stacked against them with recruiting. They want players willing to adhere to the Honor Code. Many kids don't want to live by that standard and under that scrutiny.

    2. Local teams (Utah, Utah State) are better then they ever have been before. Look at Utah's depth of talent, and they will need every bit of it to compete in the PAC-12 over the next few years. (And BYU fans need to stop moping every time they lose to one of these other fine teams!)

    3. Pocket passers are all over the country. Passing the football is hardly an innovation today. Anae's philosophy is cutting edge. Some have tried a similar approach, few have the tenacity to make it work. It take discipline and time to develop a system like that.

    4. BYU fans have incredibly high expectations. Many were hoping for a perfect season this year, but look at the opponents! This is not the patsy schedule BYU and Utah once enjoyed in the WAC and MWC.

  • FDRfan Sugar City, ID
    Sept. 26, 2013 7:29 a.m.

    Having a good game against MTSU or Weber State really proves very little for a team talking about national championships. Not knowing enough about playing the game makes my comments silly, perhaps, but I remember when BYU emerged on the national radar. It wasn't from beating teams in the traditional way. I remember the old guard wisdom against BYU's style, yet they kept winning. Is there still room for innovation in the college game?

  • Sportfanatic West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 7:16 a.m.

    How long do us as loyal BYU fans have to sit back and watch this debacle? Ever since LaVell retired, there has been a downward spiral at the quarterback position. BYU hasn't has a traditional passing quarterback since Max Hall graduated. This hi tempo, fast break offense, is NOT BYU football. BYU needs go back to what has brought them so much success over the past 30 years. That is a quarterback who can throw the football. We're at a point right now where we have been for the past three years with Riley Nelson at the helm, to where Hill cannot hit a receiver. He's a great runner, but passer he is not. BYU just like they wasted the talents of Jake Heaps, is wasting the talent of one of the premier receivers in the country in Cody Hoffman! It's sad to see that Hoffman is our bread and butter player, and BYU cannot even get him the ball. Stop being so loyal to Hill as you were with Riley, and let Olsen in to throw the ball. Maybe that would put some pressure on Hill to perform. Cougars need a passing attack!!!

  • utahcountyute Cedar Hills, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 12:37 a.m.

    I'm sure the passing game will emerge this week and everything will be back to normal.

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    Sept. 25, 2013 11:30 p.m.

    If you can't pass, you can't run and visa versa. If you can't score, the defense will fade. Football is a game that demands proficiency in all aspects of the game to be truly successful. These coaches will never solve the passing mystery because the first thing is to have a quarterback than can throw the ball. We've established in the last two years that Bronco is not prone to throwing the ball. Get accustomed to this, because the days of landing top quarterback prospects are over. They have no place at BYU.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 10:03 p.m.

    Wait, so a passing game requires good blocking, receivers running good routes, quarterbacks throwing accurately passes the receivers then catch. Wow! So why haven't we been doing any of that?

  • David Centerville, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 9:48 p.m.

    Can someone help me with a concern? I cannot think of a passer that started with a QB rating as low as Hill's, who eventually turned things around and became a good passer.

    Can the mechanics of passing be taught?

    Hill is strong, no doubt about it. But can he become accurate?

    I hope so, but what are the odds?

  • poyman Lincoln City, OR
    Sept. 25, 2013 9:25 p.m.

    Perhaps our expectations are a little too high... We saw Hill for really only 3 games last year and now 3 games this year... Most games he won were Defensive wins except for Texas... We need to give him a chance to develop... He will and he will be good.

  • Mortoon Idaho Falls, ID
    Sept. 25, 2013 8:52 p.m.

    Wouldn't it be nice to have a Dave Rose as football coach?

  • Scott Farcus Beaver, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 8:33 p.m.

    Serious ?

    2 Q's in the backfield?

    I have a better idea, try a 2 QB system and rotate them in and out.

  • Levin Reno, NV
    Sept. 25, 2013 7:38 p.m.

    First, you are thinking of the pass from Eddie Stinett to Steve Young in the 1983 Holiday Bowl, not the championship year. Second, that was a trick play, by no means a staple of the offense.

    It is a good question whether you can succeed having multiple passing threats on the field. I say no. You lose a blocker doing that, unless you want to include the QB that doesn't have the ball in your blocking scheme. I wouldn't consider that a good idea.

  • FDRfan Sugar City, ID
    Sept. 25, 2013 5:23 p.m.

    BYU beat Michigan and won the national championship by passing to Steve Young. Why not put both Hill and Olsen in the backfield together? I don't think they will beat the Alabamas by playing their game.