Tuesday, April 03, 2012

The Offensive Coordinator

Clearly, I’m off my game.

Somehow I completely blew through the hiring of Greg Davis last month as the offensive coordinator at Iowa. There are many things I find disturbing about this announcement.

This statement from head coach Kirk Ferentz is one of them:

“Greg's units have demonstrated impressive production and they have done so using a variety of systems and styles - he has done an outstanding job of playing towards the strengths and abilities of the players with which he has worked.”

Woah, woah, woah. Say whaaa?  Is Ferentz the only person (besides the Dan Dans and David McWilliams) who doesn’t realize that the offensive players, namely quarterbacks, who were successful at Texas were successful despite being handicapped by having Greg Davis as their OC? Isn’t there a general consensus that Davis did absolutely nothing to foster and develop the unique strengths and abilities of his players? From what I can gather, he worked pretty hard to fit all of his players into the little quarterback molds he developed sometime in another decade. Players were successful in spite of him.

Another disturbing point of note is that Hawkeyesports.com throws out this horribly mis-guided statistic:

Under Davis' guidance, Texas averaged 39.0 points per game in the last decade (2000-2009), which ranked second nationally and first among BCS conference schools.

Again....Um, No. Texas was blessed that they landed talented, top recruits each year who knew how to play football and were bonded together by on the field leadership, thus were able to succeed.

This hiring decision has also alerted me to the disturbing conclusion that Iowa has decided to roll out a whole new offense - one Greg perfected at Texas. I’m not a football expert or anything, but I don’t think the patented Horizontal Offense (TM)  is the best way for any football team to go.

Additionally, I’ve learned that Greg Davis is … I won’t say delusional … but I will say maybe he’s a little out of touch. Let’s take a peeksie at this snippet from a Brian Bennett article on ESPN.com:

But Texas finished 88th nationally in scoring during a wildly disappointing 5-7 season in 2010, and Davis was forced out by his longtime boss, Mack Brown.

"Our talent level slipped a little bit, and we were just not as good," Davis said of that 2010 season. "We just didn't handle things as well as we had. That was really the only year out of 13 that I was there that I felt like we didn't do as good a job as we should have."

I hate to burst anyone’s bubble, but many of the burnt orange faithful (myself included) had been calling for Davis’ head since even before the Longhorns won the BCS title in 2005. Again, many (myself really included) felt these teams were successful due to a combination of amazing defenses and offensive talent that Greg Davis, no matter how hard he tried, could not stifle.

Also, have my eyes deceived me or has Greg Davis taken a page out of Gary Patterson’s Guide To (Not Taking) Accountability?  Really Greg? Texas has TOP RECRUITING CLASSES EVERY YEAR. Texas has MORE MONEY THAN ANY OTHER COLLEGE FOOTBALL PROGRAM. Saying the “talent level slipped” is NOT A VALID EXCUSE FOR THE ABISMAL FAILURE OF A SEASON THAT WAS 2010.  Greggie...if you can't make the sweet-sweet-top-talent that Texas manages to recruit every year work, then what do you intend to do at Iowa?  Don't go nuts, I'm not saying Iowa players aren't talented, but let's think about this for a minute. 

Maybe Iowa knows something I don‘t know. Apparently the Ferentz clan is amazing at football coaching, otherwise, why would Kirk Ferentz’s son, Brian, be selected out of a pool of over 100 applicants to be the offensive line coach at Iowa? The University says that the elder Ferentz was not a part of the decision, nor his contracted salary…which is just $15K higher than the defensive line coach hired at the same time...the AD must love him some Ferentz. 

I'm not judging.

Hey, if my Dad called me up to work for him at some obscene salary I’d say "yes" faster than Chris Simms can throw and interception. Hell, I’d probably just move back in with my parents so we could carpool. And I don’t even know what the heck he does for a living, really, which would make my new job completely awesome. I’m sure I'm totally qualified and could do it.  Not to mention, in the words of Brian Ferentz, I would have to take it because "you can't say no to your father.”


But back to Greg Davis...also from the Big Ten Blog on espn.com is the little gem:

Davis designs an offense based on what his players can do best. For example, he said he had never used a zone read play until Vince Young came along at quarterback in Austin. Option plays were cut out of the playbook when the less swift but super accurate Colt McCoy took over the job. When Davis first started at Texas, the Longhorns rode the running game behind Ricky Williams -- "You didn't have to be Bill Walsh to know you've got to hand it to the big boy," he says.


And poor James Vandenberg….Davis has his eye on you:

"I see a guy that can make all the throws, who's throwing it from one hash mark on the field to the other," he said. "That tells you right there that he has a good arm. I see a good decision-maker. I was pleasantly surprised that he is more athletic than I had first anticipated. He's making plays off schedule and gets the ball out of his hand quickly. I would anticipate him having a really good senior year for us."

I, personally, would anticipate Greg Davis squashing that football-loving fire right out of his sweet little quarterback heart. All of those great throws are going to mean squat when it’s third & eight and Davis makes him throw a two yard screen pass for an eventual loss of 6. James, take these words of wisdom to heart: It’s easier to purposely break a play and fix it yourself ask forgiveness than get booed by your fans permission.  

Of course, it will be a little hard to feel bad for Vandenberg after hearing he is excited to work with Davis because "It's some fresh blood." The only plausible reference to fresh blood I can think of when it comes to the King of the East/West Offense is that he will suck it out of his players’ football loving souls.

Please note, I am not insinuating that Greg Davis is a vampire.

He’s not shiny enough.



  1. Maybe Brian Ferentz was hired because he was a highly successful Tight End coach for the New England Patriots. Heard of them?

    1. You know, I think I have heard of them! Seven superbowl appearances, three wins? I'm especially familiar with Pete Carroll. :)

      I didn't say Ferentz wasn't a highly successful tight ends coach or that he wasn't the right fit for the job. I don't have a problem with the hire. I think it's great when former players come back to their college programs to coach - ie. Major Applewhite. I do think it will be interesting to see what happens with a father/son duo on the staff, a big brother with direct supervision of his player brother and possibly another brother on the field!

      I know it's easy to post comments anonymously on a blog, but there's no denying that conflicting information came out about the recruiting and hiring of the younger Ferentz. The University should have anticipated that people would be curious at the announcement, and could have easily released the names of the other applicants with their permission, leaving no doubt that he was the best applicant for the job. Kirk created the open position Brian filled. It took the University oversight committee three weeks to investigate his hiring and it's compliance with nepotisim rules - it's going to spark conversation.

  2. "Texas averaged 39.0 points per game in the last decade (2000-2009)"

    Misleading statistic. Don't those silly Iowans know that UT would have averaged 55-60 points per game if only they hadn't been held back by that vampire demon Davis?

    1. You left out the part of the statistic which I feel misleading "Under Davis' guidance." Please don't put words in my mouth - I haven't made any assertions as to what our averages would have or will be under a different coordinator.

      I also said very clearly that I was not insinuating Greg Davis was a vampire, nor did I refer to him as a demon.

  3. Um...this is Nick (writer at RamblingBeachCat) and I honestly couldn't tell you if you enjoyed my blog or not--said you read everything, but then said it was "wildly inaccurate."

    If you did enjoy it, thanks! If you could please tell me what was inaccurate, I'd like to know so that I can look into it :)

    1. No, I loved it!

      I was kind of making fun of the person who had corrections on your post. Such as it was actually a bridge over a tributary of the river, not the actual river.