There are so many issues surrounding the state of this program and its future that it’s tough to make broad-brush statements with respect to Andy. I think largely he’s done a pretty good job on the recruiting side in this new era. I think the players respect him and he doesn’t seem to get too up or down emotionally. In retrospect this was supposed to be a re-building year and I think he views it in that manner.
On the other side why, if in a rebuilding year (which became very obvious early in the season), weren’t more kids thrown into the mix to see what they have? Why didn’t Andy assert authority on the defensive side of the ball with his coaches instead of allowing them to a) force a system that doesn’t suit the personnel and b) not having the younger players prepared or allowing them the opportunity to prove themselves? I’m sure the defensive coaching staff will argue that the best players were on the field. I find that comical because the starters sucked across the board. Further, the fact that with few exceptions NONE of the younger players were put into the rotation in practice. The young kids were relegated to the scout team, which provided the excuse that the coaches couldn’t play them because they didn’t know the plays as they didn’t practice them. For that and that alone D coordinator needs to be fired yesterday.
On offense the same thing was the mold until injuries forced them to add kids to the mix. A successful OL is every bit 5 playing as one, individual talent is less important than it is on D. To not have OL backups at least somewhat ready to go as the season progressed is an utter embarrassment. The question is who is at fault for this, the OC or Andy? Or is it both?
When the opposing offense tips its hand that they’re going to double Newton and run plays to his side its entirely on the coaching staff to make sure a safety and LB are in position to prevent what happened on Saturday. That’s 100% coaching and only highlights the coaching staff’s inability to recognize what was going on and to adjust accordingly. There was no adjustment. Forgetting how awful the offense looked the game was primarily lost due to the defensive coaching staff not making proper adjustments. I bet nearly every person watching the game was screaming to shore up that side of the D. The defensive coaching staff looked like complete buffoons on national TV.
On offense Nick seems like a nice kid but he’s not Kaepernick. Either make the kid a pocket passer or let him run but not both. The offensive game-plan looked like a 3 year old made it up. If you know you have issues on OL you can’t run the option when you have the opposing defense in the backfield immediately. Not running the offense through Pelletier was a complete joke. Even if he got doubled on every play it just meant secondary routes should have been open.
I get that this was the 150th game and all but that only means you play your guys through the half then re-evaluate. The game was over by the half. The right thing to do especially on D was to run everyone out there and see what they could do then at the end of the game you bring back your seniors for a series or two. The fact that the coaching staff blindly stayed with their awful players is cause enough for dismissal. I’d like to see the entire defensive staff fired and no kids anointed starters for next year. Let them prove their worth to the new staff and the new staff better realize how incompetent the exiting staff was this year.
I stayed in my seat until half-time then spent most of the second half wandering around Yankee Stadium seeing what it’s about, listening to people in the concourse, and, for a bit, I was inside one of the lounges warming up. The alumni for the most part were happy to get together with old friends and tell stories but every one of them was thoroughly embarrassed by the team’s lack of competitiveness. This was a HUGE game for both teams, it was in a large venue, it was on TV and no doubt donors to both sides were in attendance. You cannot underestimate the negative impact this game will have not only in recruiting but for donors to the program. I’d argue that had the game have been competitive there is a chance that future games could have been held at arena’s like Red Bull arena. This game killed any chance at that. The consensus I got from the crowd was that yeah we paid to come and see our friends and prayed the game was good but don’t expect us to do this again. The fallout for this has to fall fully on Andy’s shoulders.
No one knows how the recruiting will be impacted by this debacle. The positive is that at Lehigh academics are as important as athletics to the student-athletes so hopefully there is minimal impact.
The worst outcome is no changes. The best, imho, is completely gutting the defensive staff.