Sunday, October 24, 2010

Robbie Caldwell agrees his offense stinks and he's not going to take it anymore

Did you hear Coach Robbie Caldwell’s press conference last night?

None of that stuff we’ve heard the past seven years from Bobby Johnson about lack of execution.

He said three things I’ve been waiting to hear:

1. The offense played terribly and something’s going to change.

2. The playcalling was terrible and something’s going to change.

3. Nobody’s making plays and somebody’s got to step up.

Here’s some excerpts:

On the offense in the second half: “They made some adjustments, shut us down. I’m very disappointed in that aspect of it. Very poor performance second half offensively. That’s very disappointing. We’re gonna have to do some things. We’re prepared and ready to go.”

On what changes he has in mind: “I got several things. You’ll see them next week hopefully. We’ve got to do something different. We gotta maintain some clock, do some things — we’ll make some adjustments.”

On whether the problem is the offensive personnel or the playcalling: “It’s a little bit of both but we’ll talk about that when I’m ready — not right now.”

On true freshman Logan Stewart starting at center: “He did a good job considering he’s a freshman but it didn’t work out. A little complicated for him in there, the game got too fast.”

On the difference between Vandy and South Carolina: “It’s a difference in playmakers. You gotta have some people who can make plays. Were working toward that. We gotta have somebody step up. Right now on offense our playmakers are our running backs and they can take that away by loading the box. We haven’t been able to compensate with the passing game yet.”

On redshirt freshman Walker May, who got a boost in playing time at defensive end: “We need a spark, we need somebody to strike the match, light the fire. And he’s done that on special teams as a defensive player. What’s he weigh? 218 pounds soaking wet?
Man, what a motor he’s got… He’s gonna be something special — he is something special.

On the need to make changes: “When I jumped into the seat, things were already laid out but now it’s had time; we gotta make some tweaks. We still got some great opportunities ahead of us. The season’s not over by any means. We got some good young talent and that’s what it is, we gotta get ’em ready to go.”

So what kind of changes will Caldwell make?

1. Somebody new calling the plays. Herb Hand? He’s sure got his hands full with his line.
2. Stick with the veterans on offensive line. True freshmen James Kittredge and Logan Stewart are great prospects for us but way over their heads right now. But who’ll play center if Joey Bailey can’t go?
3. Play the best skill players, regardless of age. Jonathan Krause started over John Cole, which is a start. Cole, Umoh and Wimberly are great guys with great work habits but they are not SEC receivers. Barden’s got to step up. Matthews has got to learn the dang playbook fast. What else? Tate in the slot? We’re lining up Zac wide but he’s not really a burner out there.
4. Keep throwing young defenders out there. Walker May looked sharp. Steven Clarke is a man out there, too, and got a ton of minutes last night.
5. Think he’ll do something at quarterback? Charlie Goro? Probably not.

Should be interesting. I like how Caldwell’s reacting. He’s going to make a change. He wants to be head coach and he’s not afraid to piss off some of his buddies if that’s what it’s going to take.

This week’s Sporting News magazine says that Vandy may have “found a keeper in Caldwell.”

The jury’s still out, but I sure haven’t given up on him yet, and I look forward to seeing what happens next.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I say if your going to shake up the offense, then take the play-calling away from Kiser; force the issue at WR (no more paying your dues regarding the freshman WR's & playing time) and play your best WR's regardless of class; and kill the "no-huddle" because it has not worked. Go Dores !

Andrew VU '04 said...

You are ever the optimist, Dimon. After watching the Georgia and SC games, I thought, "There's no way he'll be able to put a positive spin on this that looks anything but contrived." And yet you did. If I was part of an organization which granted medals, I would give you several.

DIMON KENDRICK-HOLMES said...

I've believed all along that we never had a chance to beat Georgia or South Carolina, even if everybody did his job nearly perfectly, so I'm not going to jump off a building or anything now. Caldwell's in a tough situation and must clearly rebuild the offense, and he needs at least a full season to do that. He's got talent, yes, but he's still got the worst talent in the SEC. It's a tough challenge and he wasn't going to do it in seven games.

Mark said...

While some performances have been out right horrendous, this is a young team. Hearing Caldwell talking about changes on offensive, whether with players or personnel is something we’ve been waiting for for a long time. Herb Hand has always been an interesting hire. While coming to Vanderbilt is a step up from C-USA it was surprising he came here under an interim coach, at least at the time. It makes me think he might have promised something down the road…offensive coordinator maybe? Whatever the case, I doubt we will see the former co-offensive coordinator with Gus Malzahn, the duo that lead the nation in total offense when they were together, not involved in playing calling for much longer. Robbie isn’t an idiot; he has to see what Malzahn is doing at Auburn and want to try to see if Hand can emulate a fraction of what Malzahn has at Auburn. If it isn’t this season, it will be next season for sure. Robbie wants this job or he wouldn’t be talking about changes. If we have to wait a year to see Hand doing the play calling, I’ll wait and hope they give Robbie one more year. It’ll be worth it. Go Dores.

Knox said...

The offense closed for the nite sometime in the 2nd quarter, and we didn't see it again. As much as I enjoy the games, they are horrible on offense

Anonymous said...

While LS and the passing game has not gone well, I never really hear about the assitant coaches taking responsibility for the poor showing of the offense. Whatever you think of LS, you don't just come to Vandy afer a great high school career and not know how to play the position. The assistant coaches are primarily respsonsible for evaluating talent, teaching the position, and developing talent. Seems to me that Kiser's handling (development) of LS has not gone well; and Charlie Fischer handling as passing game coordinator and WR coach has also not gone well either. I like Coach Caldwell for finally being openly honest and saying what most observers have noticed for 2 years now about this offense. I'm pulling for Caldwell but he needs to be very agressive in changes to his staff. Go Dores !

Vandygal78 said...

Glad to hear he is going to make some significant changes. One suggestion; is it legal to put sticky stuff on the receiver's gloves?!
I figured if I didn't see fire in the players then Caldwell had lost the team. But they did work hard, so hopefully Caldwell can shake things up.Go Dores! Do whatever it takes! We can upset Florida.

DIMON KENDRICK-HOLMES said...

Vandygal, yes, I believe it's illegal to put sticky stuff on gloves. And I agree with you that the players had some fire on Saturday. It's encouraging that the defense bounced back so quickly after Georgia, but it's also discouraging that the offense hasn't bounced back once in the past three years. I look forward to seeing some change, any change, on that side of the ball.