1. Welcome to Georgia Tech Swarm! JOIN US and be a part of the SWARM! GO JACKETS! THWg!

Coaching Philosophies and differing opinions...

Discussion in 'Georgia Tech Football' started by forensicbuzz, Mar 29, 2014.

  1. forensicbuzz

    forensicbuzz Helluva Engineer

    Messages:
    3,268
    This is in response to a reply in another thread. I originally posted it there, and then thought it might instigate an interesting discussion on its own. I've made some personal observations that I think may be diametricaly opposed to others' opinions. So, let's keep it respectful.

    Many coaches can be successful at Tech. It generally only takes understanding the unique operating conditions associated with the Institute, and adjusting the execution of one's philosophy to fit within the framework of those conditions; and a willingness to do so. The time to reach epiphany differs depending on the ego of the coach.

    Now, I think I'll surprise some folks here:

    I think CCG's "ego" was more detrimental to Tech's success than CPJ's. First, I have tremendous respect for Chan Gailey. I liked him as a person and as a leader of young men, but his conservative approach on Offense and his steadfast adherence to his offensive model made the fans and the administration lose faith in his ability to get us beyond the 7-win mediocrity we saw almost every year.

    Many may say that CPJ is even more stubborn in his offensive philosophy (pun intended) , and that he flat out refuses to adjust to the times and his players. Here's were we totally disagree. I think CPJ has a base offensive philosophy that is centered around the veer-option offense. Others know the right terminology much better than I do, but watching CPJ over the past 6 years, I've seen him significantly modify the way the offense works to cater to the strengths (and avoid the weaknesses) of his players. Yes, he believes in his base offense, but that offense is so flexible that it can be modified to fit whatever type of players the coaches are able to bring in.

    As an example, look at the differences in the four starting QB's he's had (assuming JT starts this year). Nesbit, Washington, Lee and Thomas are about as different as 4 QB's could be. CPJ has modified the offense to best fit these guys (and the supporting cast), so as to continue the success on the offensive side of the ball. Based on pure physical ability of the three that have already been starters, I lament most about VL. I think if he would have bought into the system, by the time he was a RS Senior, he could have been Heisman-worthy. We'll not know because he didn't buy in, but JT has that chance now.

    There are those that complain about GT being average or mediocre the past 4 years (actually the past 13 years), and I'll agree, I've been dissatisfied with our performance. The difference I see between CCG and CPJ is that I see CPJ making tweaks, adjustments, modifications and tactical changes to improve the performance of the team. He gives me hope for the future because I see him looking to improve.

    Some on here that are critical of CPJ have stated he's not doing enough, quickly enough. That may be true, I don't know. But I will say that I think CPJ has Tech headed in the right direction and doing it while maintaining the integrity of the program. I don't anticipate a change in leadership in the foreseeable future unless something dramatic happens.

    There are many things I didn't add to this OP, so if a discussion evolves, I'll contribute and expand my thoughts in responses. I know there are better football minds than mine on this board, but these are some of my thoughts.
     
    Lexjacket, jchens_GT, John and 10 others like this.
  2. dressedcheeseside

    dressedcheeseside Helluva Engineer

    Messages:
    13,614
    I agree and his tweaks and changes are not restricted to style, strategy and play calling. Some of the bigger changes have to do with coaching personnel, particularly DC, recruiting staff and recruiting philosophy. Now he's earned the right to pursue any prospect that meets NCAA minimum standards if he so chooses.

    The last point is interesting to me because it seems contrary to our new approach in recruiting. It seems to me we are now targeting more kids on the upper end of the academic spectrum than on the lower end and it makes a lot of sense. Imo, kids need to fit the school first, football second. The fact that we had the smallest last minute defection count in recent memory is no accident.
     
  3. alaguy

    alaguy Helluva Engineer

    Messages:
    1,117
    It is my opinion that unless a QB is "under-ctr" with option plays IN HIGH SCHOOL it will take a 2 full yrs in D-1 games AT least to be very capable in this offense-even assuming he has the needed physical ability and then only with enough talent(ie-OL.,WRs) to help. The QB is more critical to this OFF than others.It is a dangerous Off but it takes a LOT of practice -almost TOO much to execute well the run game to the detriment of the pass game.(it is not by accident we have had less than 50% passing every yr but one).
    otoh-PJ must be a helluva field coach- if you look at the poor returns from recruiting like the 2010 class-of the top 10 guys only 5 returned much contribution at all-and we still have been decent
     
  4. forensicbuzz

    forensicbuzz Helluva Engineer

    Messages:
    3,268
    I absolutely agree with both of the above posts.

    I think CPJ has utilized lesser talent at key positions to achieve higher-than-expected success. His moves have not always been on the field, but they've always made sense.

    To me, the most important position on a college football team is the QB. In order to be successful at the highest level, the QB HAS to be a play-maker. That's not necessarily true at any other level. This offense takes that need and puts a spot-light on it. If we don't have a play-maker at QB, we'll never reach the top. With a good QB, we can maintain our status quo. I'd call Nesbit and Washington good QB's by the time they were done.

    I wish it didn't take so long to get these guys to the point where they really know what's going on.
     
    ATL1 likes this.
  5. AE 87

    AE 87 Helluva Engineer

    Messages:
    12,968
    I agreed with your first post, but I think your point about CPJs adjustments means the QB doesn't have to be a superstar.
     
  6. forensicbuzz

    forensicbuzz Helluva Engineer

    Messages:
    3,268
    I agree they don't have to be superstars to be successful, but I do believe on the college level that to be at the pinnacle (Top 5), the QB has to be a play-maker. There are rare exceptions, but not many.
     
    ATL1 likes this.
  7. GTNavyNuke

    GTNavyNuke Helluva Engineer Featured Member

    Messages:
    7,273
    Thanks Forensic. I used to really think CPJ had the team going in the right direction and that we had a chance to be in the top 20. No longer can I believe that after the results of the last four years.

    But I don't think it is because he isn't trying and adapting as you point out. One other area that he has adapted is on ST - he now has starters playing ST and has a ST coach. He got that ST coach despite having spent the previous several years saying one wouldn't do any good. So he changed and we have seen the results on ST. {At some point I'll post the odds of getting a better coach than CPJ are very slim.}
     
    augustabuzz likes this.
  8. Stonewall

    Stonewall Ramblin' Wreck

    Messages:
    206
    give me a healthy OL, a playmaker QB, playmaker BB, and at least one playmaker AB or WR and this O will kill enough clock and put up enough points to win every regular season game on our schedule when coupled with a top-20 D. coach's biggest issue is he hasn't been able to put all those pieces together and make them work in harmony since '09.
     
    vamosjackets likes this.
  9. ATL1

    ATL1 Helluva Engineer

    Messages:
    7,377
    I feel the flaw with this offense is it's lack of a consistent passing attack, that's my concerns with the philosophy so far if it or can it produce an efficient and effective passing offense.
     
  10. GTNavyNuke

    GTNavyNuke Helluva Engineer Featured Member

    Messages:
    7,273
    The obvious flaw has been the passing game. The question is whether that is a schematic deficiency, a lack of personnel to execute and/or a lack of practice.
     
  11. forensicbuzz

    forensicbuzz Helluva Engineer

    Messages:
    3,268
    I think the issue with the passing game is two-fold: the more one practices something, the better one is at doing it, and based on what I've read and heard, we don't practice it much; if a large portion of your passes are low percentage completions, you're not going to be very successful.
     
  12. ATL1

    ATL1 Helluva Engineer

    Messages:
    7,377
    I'm going to go with all three.
     
  13. AE 87

    AE 87 Helluva Engineer

    Messages:
    12,968
    It may be that I was over-interpreting your use of play-maker. Let me say again that I agree with your OP 100%.

    Here's the basis of my thinking about whether or not the QB needs to be special. We had #16 offense (footballoutsiders) in 2011 with Tevin in his first full year at QB and David Sims in his first year at B-Back. I was often a lonely voice in support of TW as our QB, but I can still say that there's room between where he was at and a guy who's a game-changing QB. With just a fairly modest upgrade in OL, B-Back, and/or QB, our offense would be top ten. If we had had even our 2008 Defense with that 2011 offense we would've beat UVA and may have avoided the drop-off against Miami the next week. We probably would have even beaten VPI and played the ACCCG. VPI scored 28 pts/game on offense and allowed 18 on average in 2011. We scored 26 on them but gave up 37. We were very close to a very good season that year, but the main problem wasn't the offense. An 8 win season would likely have been at least a 10 win season with a better than average D.

    In 2012, we lost to both VPI and Miami in OT. Maybe we don't lose to MTSU if that d'oh U game goes the other way. A seven win season becomes a 10 win season with a better than average D.

    Let me be clear what I'm talking about by "better than average" D. According to footballoutsiders, our D has been ranked 48, 53, 70, 68, 58, 57 for the 6 years under CPJ. Our O has been ranked 29, 6, 49, 16, 22, 31. We need a QB who buys in to our coaching, but our I'm not convinced that he needs to be a game changer, or play-maker himself. 2011 TW with Dwyer at B-Back would've probably been as successful as 2009 JN, imo.

    I know that the people who don't like CPJ's offense will continue to complain about it regardless. However, the fact remains that our offense has been really pretty good even with less than superstar players. It seems like all of these coaching threads end up debating problems with the offense. Now, I'm open to hearing arguments that CPJ's focus on the offense or how he relates to DC's ties their hands so that our D's always under-perform. However, talking only about what our Offense needs to do or the skill level of our offensive players as if that's the issue just misses the point, imo.

    I expect that our our offense will again be top 25 this year. If our D can become top 35, we should be really competitive. For those unfamiliar with footballoutsiders, their statistics only count games against FBS opponents and when the game is competitive (i.e. not plays during blow-outs). They're ranking teams by a combination of play and drive efficiency adjusted for the opponent rather than just total yards or total points.
     
    vamosjackets likes this.
  14. forensicbuzz

    forensicbuzz Helluva Engineer

    Messages:
    3,268
    What that play-maker on offense gives you it the extra little you need to push you over the edge. I can remember a QB from UNC, one from Clemson and one from VT specifically that all took the game into their hands and the end and single-handed defeated in games we should have won. That play-maker is the difference between a 10-win season and a 12 to 13-win season.
     
  15. ATL1

    ATL1 Helluva Engineer

    Messages:
    7,377
    Football for Insiders

    I wasn't able to make much sense of this;
    "The Fremeau Efficiency Index (FEI) considers each of the nearly 20,000 possessions every season in major collegefootball[​IMG]. All drives are filtered to eliminate first-half clock-kills and end-of-game garbage drives and scores. A scoring rate analysis of the remaining possessions then determines the baseline possession efficiency expectations against which each team is measured. A team is rewarded for playing well against good teams, win or lose, and is punished more severely for playing poorly against bad teams than it is rewarded for playing well against bad teams."
    http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/feioff2013

    I'm compare CPJ to Art Briles whom arrived the same year at Baylor as CPJ to GT. After a humiliating '09 Briles has gotten into a rhythm and a Heisman winner.

    GT Baylor
    2013 #38 #10
    2012 #28 #1
    2011 #16 #1
    2010 #41 #32
    2009 #2 #103
    2008 #18 #25

    What does that say to me is that having talent matters a lot and having balance matters.
    Clearly Nesbitt, Dwyer, and Bay Bay was the most talented team CPJ ever coached.
    Briles having RGIII

    The NCAA rankings are for total offense 2013
    Baylor #1
    Georgia Tech #44
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2014
  16. AE 87

    AE 87 Helluva Engineer

    Messages:
    12,968
    The difference between efficiency and total reflects the difference in number of plays and drives. GT runs fewer plays has fewer drives on average so our efficiency ranking is higher than for total o, and Baylor is the opposite. Imo, GT 09 says you don't nec need balance to be efficient.
     
    vamosjackets likes this.
  17. ATL1

    ATL1 Helluva Engineer

    Messages:
    7,377
    Your right but I prefer 3 out of 6 to 1 out of 6 averaging in the top 10.
     
  18. CornerBlitz

    CornerBlitz Ramblin' Wreck

    Messages:
    160
    Unfortunately, CPJ's biggest strength is also his biggest weakness. The offense is schematically sound and sometimes even superior. The problem is continually convincing the caliber of athletes we need to win bigger to come play in it. We have been physically out manned by the big boys too much. I believe we should be in the "show me" posture as GT fans who love our team.

    I hope the ship gets righted this year.
     
    vamosjackets likes this.
  19. iceeater1969

    iceeater1969 Helluva Engineer

    Messages:
    6,658
    Seems like we are only focusing on the offensive coordinators failings. If coach was not calling the plays and was managing the overall, how much sooner would Groh have been encouraged to simplify and to play press coverage when we blitz to help the undermanned DL ( remember MTSU scores again!). These corrections are occurring one at a time as fans raise heck. We are about 1-2 years late. He needs to do two years of head coaching this year. Either he coaches like (as he said about some team that kicked our ***) his hair is on fire and builds a team that is strong at the end of the year we are doomed in 15. His philosophy has been too conservative for me plus I am going to Norte dame game and I want to win. I think the team is ready to be aggressive and overcome errors thay may make. And THWG !
     
  20. Whiskey_Clear

    Whiskey_Clear Banned

    Messages:
    10,488
    Don't know how long you've been a Tech fan but this has been our major issue my entire life and I've been watching since the 70s. Even during O'leary's years, which are much ballyhooed today....our teams that beat UGA (3 in a row) were not more talented than the mutts. We still had a talent deficit but had closed the gap enough to be more competitive and steal a couple. Not much has changed with regards to recruiting. There are parrallels from CPJ to the O'leary era as well. Great O but weak D generally. Other parrallel that I see is both are good coaches able to get wins vs. more talented teams. We get rid of CPJ it will be a mistake IMO and I have yet to hear anyone put forward a candidate that would do a better job.
     
    Lexjacket and jwsavhGT like this.

Share This Page