We have two games in the books for the 2010 season and have brought you coverage from all angles:
A Utility Belt of Winnebagos & Bears, a Derridian deconstruction, a cinematic allegory, a sidesaddle tribute to a newborn, a synopsis of what actually happened on Offense and D/ST, and a Tuscaloosan Blind Side Tale.
Where else can you find this kind of coverage?
I haven't read any of the actual articles but my wife tells me they're great and Sailor Ripley's latest getaway to hunt wild grouse in some foggy European isle suggests things are going swimmingly well at BC, Inc. thanks to you loyal readers.
Next week Brickhorn will look at how changes in patent law since 2005 have affected the spread offense, while SydneyCarton will actually program your DVR to the ideal game recording schedule if you give him your IP adress. Feel free to send an email anytime to adminATfantakeDOTcom with any editorial requests. Including a virus or two would be fun.
It's like the Prague of west Texas, not necessarily in architecture but rather both cities offer Chlamydia with an airborne disease option.
Even without Leach, strange things WILL happen and I expect more outlaw theatrics on Saturday. So why not draw first?
A few ingredients I'd like to see in the playcalling mix:
A wheel route to DJ Monroe on 2nd and short. 86% success rate on five attempts in seven years!
A lead draw to Fozzy on 3rd and 6. Show him film of Hodges Mitchell's 80 yd TD against Oklahoma State.
Barrett Matthews involved in the passing game. TE -- it's not just a blocking surface anymore! He's on pace for about 10 catches this year. I'd rather see 30.
Mike Davis on a skinny post. Mike Davis on a fly. Mike Davis in the endzone. Mike Davis on one of HenryJames' firemen calendars. I'm not picky. Just give us more of #1.
Multiple Wide Receivers Running Downfield More Than 15 Yards At The Same Time. Perhaps while even crossing routes?
An early corner blitz from Aaron Williams. Don't save your most creative blitz packages for the second half. The goal is to get Potts' head spinning early. Dropping E. Acho while #4 comes in for the kill is a good start. It certainly worked against Sam Bradford. Dislocating Potts' shoulder in the process would be an acceptable byproduct, although that would bring the better QB off the bench. We'll see Sheffield at some point on Saturday.
A Shortened Bench
WR: Mike Davis, Marquise Goodwin, Malcolm Williams, DJ Monroe, and John Chiles. That's it. Don't put James Kirkendoll on the edge and ask him to beat a corner deep or block a safety. Just don't put him in at all. Let's see some of the same accountability Muschamp asks of the defense on the other side of the ball. If somebody gets gassed, bring in Darius White or DeSean Hales off the bench. I want somebody who can make a play in the air or after the catch and don't care if he's a senior who tore up Rice his junior year and has bled for the program. Give me somebody like Mike Davis who just wants the damn ball.
Give DJ Monroe the key to the doghouse. It doesn't have to be like Pan's Labyrinth where a kid spends a whole season mired in Mengelian mind games because he dropped a loogie in Brian Davis' coffee or has fallen behind the GKWG schedule. He's never going to earn six degrees by his junior year like Dallas Griffin but let's do what we can to get him on the field and don't hold the fact that he has a learning disability against him. Get your best players on the field and see what happens when you show a little confidence in them when they least expect it.
We're a young team -- play like it. 12 true freshmen at two deep is 4th most in the country. Part of that is by necessity and part of that is because our freshman class is disgustingly talented. Discard dead upper classmen weight and bring along the pups so they're ready for the next four weeks that will determine our entire season. I know this isn't the Mack Brown ethos but when you don't have a McCoy/Shipley/Cosby troika of clutchiness to rely on, you make hay with what you have.
And what we have is a QB with an NFL arm that is fearless if you let him be and dangerous once he gets rolling. We've only seen about 40% of Garrett Gilbert's ability. With our defense, you can win with that against the Rices and Wyomings of the world but it needs to be at least 70% to get through this gauntlet unscathed.
If we execute the same way we did in the first halves against Wyoming and Rice, we'll likely spot a 2 touchdown hole before we get a hand on Long Duck Leong Jr. Then Muschamp dials up his witchy stuff and shuts down Tech for the third quarter until Greg Davis find the magic page in his playcalling phone book. Or the team gets properly motivated in the face of a pending loss. Swing first. Don't "weather the surge" or whatever six sigma bullshit our staff would tell our guys on the road. Texas usually fares pretty well in its first taste of adversity on the road. But do I wish that first stop was Lubbock? No.
Starter O' The Week! Forget about the charade of throwing a carrot to the one back that actually executed a play correctly by naming him the new starter on Monday. It's Pop Warner bullshit. Accept that you don't have a Cedric Benson or Jamaal Charles and that Malcolm Brown is still a year away. It's damn hard to get in a rhythm as a running back, and as an offense in general, by playing one snap and getting situationally subbed to the point of broadcasting the next running play.
Let one of Cody / Fozzy / Tre sustain a complete drive, or at least 5-7 plays in a row. Don't get twitchy if one guy fucks up a block or drops a pass in the flat. (Repeated fumbles is another situation altogether.) But if you bring in Cody on 3rd and short, maybe send Matthews on a drag route and hit your TE off play action. That would be a first this year, no? It's not because we're saving it for Lubbock. It's because we're still handling Gilbert with kid gloves. The staff is quickly forgetting this kid was baptized in a national championship against Alabama.
It's nothing new in a Greg Davis offense, directed by Mack Brown, featuring Mac McWhorter. They tried to do it with Vince Young and luckily failed, ultimately throwing in the towel before letting VY freestyle his way to a NC. Earlier in the decade it succeeded wildly with Chris Simms and we still bear the scars. Take the training wheels off Gilbert -- even if it means giving up a damn sack or INT against Wyoming or Rice -- these are games you are going to win anyway. We need practice in those games for situations you don't want to attempt the first time in
Lubbock, Dallas, or Lincoln.
I remain slightly optimistic that we'll see some things we haven't seen but equally pessimistic they won't work. Not yet anyway.
Gilbert won a shitload of games and broke plenty of records in High School throwing to skinny white dudes because they spread the field and let Gilbert use his arm, instincts, and accuracy to pick apart a defense that often times was faster and more athletic. In other words, whenever Lake Travis left the ivory confines of Lakeway. He can definitely do the same thing in our offense if he's allowed to use the entire field and not restrict #1, #9, and #84 to stop routes on the sidelines. The pass that Goodwin dropped? That was an NFL throw Marquise simply dropped. Gilbert is 2/3 on deep balls so far, one each to Chiles and Williams, and then the NFL throw to Goodwin. Maybe I'm missing a few plays but anything over 50% 30+ yards downfield is excellent. Other than Fozzy's run, these are the few highlights of this short season.
There's nothing Mack likes to talk about more than 'Splosives. So let Mason Walters put some Dokken on Mack Brown's iPod, pull down Greg Davis' pants in the group huddle, and let's blitzkrieg these fuckers.
You might just find the running game opens up in the process.