Wednesday, August 24, 2011


The guys over at Crystal Ball Run interviewed one of LSU's main bloggers, Kris Brauner, and proposed five questions about the upcoming season.  As part of his response to the question about whether Miles wins more games for you or loses more games, Braun says the following about Miles:
His decision making is often unconventional and sometimes borders on reckless. But it's rooted in a belief in his players and a belief that they are prepared to execute something a little different. The players take note. And as a result, they love playing for Miles. He's fun. He likes to go for it. He believes in them. And the game is never over when Miles is your coach. It makes for a healthy player/coach relationship that has benefitted LSU over the last six years.
And that right there absolutely nails my biggest criticism of Richt and his staff the past few years.  There has been no belief in the players whatsoever (Blutarsky and PWD were addressing these issues as far back as 2 years ago, and to this point we have not seen it change on the field).  That was evidenced when we kicked the field goal against UCF.  It was evidenced every time we sent Logan Gray out to fair catch the ball, instead of putting somebody on the field who could make something happen.  It is evidenced when you have a QB slinging the ball well all over the field, yet you choose to run Carlton Thomas up the middle on 3rd and 12 because you're too scared that you might throw an interception.  The list goes on and on.

Now certainly there is a bit of a chicken/egg scenario in that do the players have to earn the faith of the coaches first, or do the coaches have to show faith in the players first?  I would argue that the coaches have to show the faith first.  If you call plays and believe in the players to step up and make those plays, then more often than not they will.  And even if they fail, you have to continue believing in them, and if you do that, then they are more likely to succeed the next time around.  But if you constantly make decisions showing that you don't trust the players to make big plays, then even when you do finally make a gutsy call, the players have been conditioned to not be confident in those situations.  Early in Richt's career at UGA, he became known for being gutsy, there were numerous gutsy 4th down calls that he made or special teams strategies that put the players in position to make plays, and it nearly always worked.  It became a positive feedback cycle..........the more times Richt made gutsy calls, the more times the players believed in him and came through, which gave Richt more confidence to make future gutsy calls, which made the players believe in themselves and the coaches even more, and so on and so forth.  But the past few years have been just the opposite.  In order for us to turn things back around, Richt has to find a way to reinstill that belief in himself and in the players, and make decisions accordingly.  Richt has made a lot of changes recently, but if this mentality does not change, I'm afraid the rest of the changes won't matter.  If it DOES change, however, watch out........we could be in for a fun year.


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