I’m signing off for a while, but wanted to leave you with some Bobby Johnson quotes from last week’s call-in show. He did a good job explaining why the Commodores struggled this year. Some people scoff at this kind of thing, but I really do believe we’re on the right track and just had one of those years in which all the stars line up and, well, the world explodes and you’re screwed.
IS HE GOING TO MAKE CHANGES TO THE COACHING STAFF? (TED CAIN! TED CAIN! TED CAIN!): Get a load of this answer: “Do you make a change because you weren’t very good or do you try to find out why you weren’t very good and correct it? If it’s uncorrectable then you want to make a change. And if you can correct it, let’s get back to work.” What do you want to bet that this entire staff will be getting back to work.
WHY DON’T WE SCRAP THE NO-HUDDLE OFFENSE AND RETURN TO LAST YEAR’S OFFENSE? Johnson asserts that outside of the no-huddle, which was employed to confuse defenses, the offense is basically the same, with one back, the same pass routes and zone reads.
WHAT WENT WRONG WITH THE OFFENSE? “The lack of playmakers at the wide receiver position,” Johnson says, citing the losses of Jeffers-Harris and Wheeler. “The young guys have not been able to make up that slack,” he says. He says that John Cole is “getting a lot better,” Udom Umoh is “gonna be a good player,” and Collin Ashley is “getting better.”
WHAT HAPPENED TO WESLEY TATE — YOU KNOW, GOLDEN'S LITTLE BROTHER? “Warren and Zac just got a quicker start,” Johnson says, adding that after it was clear Tate would redshirt he moved over to the scout team and did “a fantastic job.” “Four years of Wesley Tate after a year’s experience will be much better for the program and for Wesley.” Norman and Stacy are talented backs who can do lots of things, but Tate may end up being the better pure SEC tailback. He’s a big strong guy with all the tools.
WHO ARE OUR TOP PLAYERS GOING INTO NEXT SEASON? Two words: “Larry Smith,” Johnson says. “I’m telling y’all, he’s gonna be a really good quarterback for us.” Other players: Defensive backs Sean Richardson, Casey Richardson and Eddie Foster, linebacker Chris Marve, and defensive linemen T.J. Greenstone, Adam Smotherman, Tim Fugger and Theron Kadri. (We get it, the defense is our strength.) On offense, running backs Zac Stacy and Warren Norman, of course, and also redshirt freshman tailback Wesley Tate. He also throws in tackle James Williams, whose loss this season hurt us more than anybody seems to realize, and redshirt freshman lineman Wesley Johnson.
SPEAKING OF THE OFFENSIVE LINE, WHO’S KEY FOR US NEXT YEAR? In addition to Williams and Johnson, the coach mentions Ryan Seymour, who started against Florida at left tackle and played well, and Caleb Welchans. He also mentions redshirt freshman Mylon Brown. He doesn’t mention current starters Reilly Lauer and Kyle Fischer, or rising fifth-year senior Joey Bailey, who’s played in every game.