FanPost

Turner Gill to UofL?

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UofL should get rid of Kragthorpe.  Here's why:

1.  All aspects of the team have gotten worse

Since Kragthorpe has arrived, each unit (Offense, Defense and Special Teams) has gotten worse.  I won't have the exact stats right here, but UofL's offense is out of the Top 10 this year for the first year since 2002 and this is the worse UofL offense since 1992 or 1993.  That's just bad how quickly the offense has gone down.  Regarding the Defense, you have to make sure you're not just comparing this year's defense to last year's terrible defense.  It was embarrassing what Rutgers did on Thursday and the only thing stopping them from scoring 100 was the fact that they kept trying to run those Wildcat plays as opposed to standing in the pocket and throwing bombs downfield.  And don't even get me started on Special Teams.  I don't know how many students UofL has (30,000?), but there has got to be someone in the student body who can kick a 30 yard FG.  I mean, sheesh.

2.  Commitment to stay means nothing

I hope people don't read too deeply into Kragthorpe's recent commitment to stay and help build this program.  The only reason he is staying is because he wouldn't be able to get a head coaching job elsewhere.  Not even SMU would hire him.

3.  Things are going to get worse before they get better

As sluggish as the offense looked this year, one thing that was not mentioned one single time was any criticism of the offensive line.  UofL is losing two of its best lineman ever in Eric Wood and George Bussey.  I don't even want to think about a nightmare scenario where UofL's O-line is 2002-esque next year.  Just think, it coulda been worse this year -- waaay worse.

4.  Kragthorpe inherited a NFL roster

One thing you hear about a lot of new, but unsuccessful coaches is they don't have "his guys" yet (ie, "Give him a couple more years so he can get 'his guys' in there.").  Last year, Kragthorpe was given a NFL-ready roster and it became worse.  That team had NFL draft picks in Brohm, Douglas, Barnidge, Urrutia, Wood, Bussey and Bolen and they lost to Syracuse...at home!  Ack!  All I'm saying is a team with Kragthorpe's best-case-scenario guys coming in would not be as stacked as the team from last year.  Kragthorpe was given a NFL roster on a silver platter with a bow around it and couldn't effectively use it.

5.  JUCO is not the answer

Kragthorpe keeps talking about JUCO as the band-aid answer to all of the team's issues.  The problem is, JUCO is not a sustainable program builder.  If you think about all of the teams that have historically relied on JUCOs (Arkansas hoops, Cincinnati hoops, Kansas St. football, Texas A&M hoops, etc), none of those teams build a consistent winner year-in and year-out.  Sure, sometimes the teams are good, but they can drop like a rock quickly.  JUCOs are effectively 2-year mercenaries.  UofL has spent the last 25 years cultivating relationships with high school coaches in FL, AL and GA.  In Alabama specifically, UofL has recruited such NFL starters as Kerry Rhodes, Dewayne White, Amobi Okoye and Brandon Johnson.  Kragthorpe has effectively turned off the spigot and cut off this pipeline.  The pipeline is important because you need to have local guys still on the team who can speak to some of the younger juniors and seniors from their home area who are getting recruited.  And don't even get me started on this kid from Central who UofL hasn't even spoken with.  If a top school comes in and signs a kid from Central that UofL doesnt even speak to, then we've got a major issue on our hands.  I mean, that's almost negligence.

5.  Wasn't Kragthorpe a QB guru?

Didn't we hear all of this stuff like all of Drew Bledsoe's success is directly due to Kragthorpe's mentorship and coaching?  There have been two NFL QBs starting the last two years with Brohm and Cantwell.  I don't think you can make either of the following statements:  (i) Kragthorpe has cultivated a special bond with either of those guys or (ii) either one improved under Kragthorpe's tutelage

6.  It's best to cut bait

Rather than giving him several more years to prove himself (can you say, Tyrone Willingham Part II?), wouldn't it be best to simply admit that the program has a downward trajectory and that we should cut bait and start over?

7.  Know your audience

I've always been miffed about Kragthorpe's policy with the press.  He usually says nothing, but when he says something, he's actually saying nothing.  He's got to realize that this isn't Tulsa where he's overshadowed by OU and OSU or at Boston College where the Eagles play fourth-fiddle to all of the pro sports teams.  Koach, you're in Louisville where UofL football and basketball are front page news in the offseason.  People actually care about your team and simply ask for a modicum of real, substantive information from their head coach.  When you don't build rapport with your fans, you lose the tiebreaker in decisions when your performance isn't good and you aren't winning ballgames. 

6.  John L. Smith is available

You keep hearing about John L. Smith for various openings around the country and there are continued spottings of him at the B&W club at the UofL games.  However, I don't think I could ever be supportive of him returning to coach because of (i) that terrible, poisonous feeling we all had in 2002 when ESPN discovered that John L. had accepted the MSU job and annouced it during the bowl game vs. Marshall and (ii) the fact that nobody wants to go back to those faded maroon/red jerseys with no names on the back of them.  Michigan St. had the top-of-the-line Nike jerseys when he arrived there and John L. quickly outfitted them in Army green unis (with no name on the back). 

For the aforementioned reasons, I'm officially supporting going after Turner Gill as head coach of UofL.  That guy is a winner.

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