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Kurt Rambis

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Everything posted by Kurt Rambis

  1. Not entirely sure I agree with this - will depend a lot on how many guys we get through the portal. This year, we had portal transfers and freshmen who were Lanning's, and even there, some of the recruits were Mari holdovers, if I'm not mistaken. Next year, many of the upperclassmen will still be Mari recruits - Lanning's guys will largely be freshmen and sophomores. I think it may take yet another year before the majority of the team is Lanning's players.
  2. I wish I had a better sense of why the D was so underwhelming this year: lack of fit between players and scheme? Lack of player development? Poor schemes/coaching? Over-rated players? Three DCs in three years basically screwing everyone and everything up? Either way, we're losing a ton of players off an underperforming unit. Freshman talent is important long term, but short term, some help has gotta come from the portal, or next year will be particularly ugly.
  3. Again, who knows with each player why he's transferring? Some are pretty obvious, like Butterfield who couldn't get onto the field no matter what the situation was, or other players who aren't getting playing time and are watching other high-level recruits come in. With guys like Walden, it could be the coaches have advised him to leave due to injuries, demonstrated ability, or culture fit. It could be he chose to leave for one of those reasons, or because he misses home, doesn't like the rain, doesn't like his position coach, thinks he can get a better NIL deal elsewhere, got a girlfriend in another state, needs to be closer to home for family reasons, doesn't like the offensive or blocking schemes, thinks he's being unfairly held back by coaches - whatever. I had plenty of classmates at Pepperdine who transferred out, and each one had a different reason. I imagine it's much the same for athletes.
  4. Man, does that look like a kid having a happy birthday? Looks more like someone piddled on his cake to put out the candles.
  5. I think you could say that every coach of a really good team that isn't undefeated "blew it." Why? Because his team wasn't good enough to go undefeated. Whether the issue with the loss(es) was risks that didn't pan out, bad play calls at key moments, a game plan that didn't work well against an opponent, failure to recruit a great QB, failure to have his team ready to play in a loss, failure to recruit depth, failure to hire great assistants, failure to keep some great players from the portal or attract great players from the portal, whatever. The Ducks failed to have dependable backup QBs, had a porous defense, and had some risky decisions backfire. So yes, Lanning blew it. So did Saban, Day, Sweeney, Kelly (both Brian and Chip), Riley, Fisher, Wittingham, DeBoer, and every coach not named Harbaugh or Smart.
  6. My perception of Brady just went up about ten notches.
  7. While I do remember the 80s, and even the 70s with this team, I don't compare the current situation to that one. I compare the current situation to reasonable expectations and recent history. The Ducks have gone through a variety of failed coaches and finally hired an extremely young, first time HC, who then hired a variety of fairly young assistants. They were absolutely going to make some mistakes (and did). The players were going to struggle some adjusting to new terminology and a new system (and did). Before the season, most people (fans and experts) were projecting 2 - 5 losses and some serious growing pains. The team lost 3 games, including two which were very close, with a gimpy QB. Disappointed? Absolutely. Particularly since wins against BYU, WSU, and others had many of us thinking that the CFP were a distinct possibility - or at least the Rose Bowl. But compare this season with last season, when we lost against a Stanford team we should have destroyed, played boring football, kept it close against mediocre competition, and finally got pummeled twice by Utah. Not only is this season an improvement over last season, but I believe it is putting us on the right track for the future. Assuming recruiting stays strong, Lanning learns from some mistakes, and we get a good new OC, Oregon will remain in competition for major bowl games and the playoffs.
  8. Not that I'm great at prognostication, but I actually expected this one. Guy was a tremendously high recruit but didn't produce that way and wasn't the top WR in the room. Multiple coaches while at Oregon and now his OC is leaving and probably his QB. I particularly expect three kinds of players to transfer out from any school: Top recruits who don't pan out quite as expected - either they'll blame the coaches/team/scheme for holding them back, or maybe they're actually being held back or not the right fit in some way Guys buried on the depth chart who want a chance at more playing time Big-time producers at small or moderate programs (e.g. WSU, Rutgers, Illinois) who feel they can accomplish more (and probably earn more) elsewhere He certainly won't be the last Duck we lose to the portal this year or any year.
  9. I think it's fair to question the wisdom of some of Mullens' decisions, in hindsight. At the time, most of them seemed pretty good. Helfrich - Before: bright offensive mind taking over for Chip. After: seemed to hit his nadir as an OC - not HC material. Taggart - Before: high energy, fantastic recruiter. After: don't really need to rehash this disaster. Cristobal - Before: loved by the team, keeping a great recruiting class, Alabama pedigree, great recruiter. After: not much of an actual coach. Lanning - Before: bright young defensive mind, UGA pedigree, national title winner. After: tbd Sure, we probably could have hired someone with HC experience. Look how well that's worked out for Wisconsin, Arkansas, Texas ATM, ASU...
  10. Years ago, I had a co-worker who got pulled into jury duty. Her case involved a Black guy who went to a bar. He was having a beer, minding his own business, when another couple of guys started hassling him for no reason. Witnesses said it was obviously racially motivated, including repeated use of the N word. The guy lost his cool and punched one guy. My co-worker was upset that the jury had no choice but to convict him of assault. No matter what awful things were said verbally, the guy answered physically, which is a step up in seriousness. Although the instigators' behavior was shameful, he had no right to escalate it to a physical confrontation. I see the same thing here. If the fan said something, maybe he should be barred from future games. Maybe OSU should be fined for allowing fans on the field. But unless the fan was the physical aggressor, the player had no right to turn a verbal altercation into a physical altercation. And even if the fan did touch or grab his facemask, as I've seen suggested, a punch to the head is an escalation of the force used in the physical contact. I'm guessing he doesn't play in the bowl game - not much more the team can do to him, unless the school itself wants to step in and take away his diploma or his right to be in the graduation ceremony (if he's graduating), or kick him out of school. Dismissal is an option, but other than continued pre-draft support (e.g. participating in the pro day, continuing to work out and practice), I'm not sure what difference it will make to a guy with one game left in his college career. Understandable reaction, but not an acceptable reaction. There's a big difference.
  11. I would imagine the primary type of player who might travel with Dillingham would be guys who didn't get featured in the offense a ton who think they'll have better opportunities at ASU - largely backup skill players. Guys already getting a lot of run probably see no reason to change a good thing. And I would expect some of those guys to leave any way, ASU or otherwise. This may affect some recruits for whom Dilly was the primary recruiter - no idea who those were. Also may get some guys who want to travel with the new OC coming in. Heck, college football team rosters are a crapshoot anymore, so who knows?
  12. Same here on Cardwell. Couldn't figure out why they were bringing in both Whittingham and Irving. I thought Bo Nix had the opportunity to be a huge bust and set back the development of the other two QBs. I thought the D would be pretty good - especially the LBs. I thought the Ducks were probably a 3 - 4 loss team...so sadly I'm correct there.
  13. My father specialized in turning around "dumpster fires." He would be hired to run a division or a company hemorrhaging money, with few prospects, and every time he had them profitable within three years. He had plenty of people each time saying, "Don't take that job - that's a graveyard." But he relished the challenge. I have no clue whether KD is cut from the same cloth, nor whether he has the chops to extinguish a dumpster fire, nor whether he'll have any chance of success if he goes to ASU. But some people think they can turn around even a horrible situation - and sometimes, they're right. I would hate to lose him after just one year, but if he thinks that's a good position for him, more power to him. I've left companies for a big raise and a promotion, so I feel it would be hypocritical for me to castigate KD if he decides to do the same thing. I just wish him luck in making the right decision for himself, his family, and his career (if the job is actually offered to him). Successful programs are always going to lose assistants who want to become coordinators, and coordinators who want to become head coaches.
  14. FYI, CBS Sports has the following to say about the ASU job: Watch for Oregon offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham to get a good look. ASU may fall into one of the best hires of the cycle. The talented Dillingham seems to be the leader in the clubhouse, but you never know with an administration that got rid of Herm Edwards then retained the AD who hired him (Ray Anderson). Dillingham, 32, is a proven commodity despite his relative youth. His quarterback, Bo Nix, may get a Heisman Trophy invite. Dillingham would be given all kinds of resources to turn around the Sun Devils. In the new Pac-12 (without USC and UCLA), why can't ASU compete for a playoff spot every year?
  15. Certainly ASU is a dumpster fire. But many, many people will look at a dumpster fire and think, "Yeah, but I am good enough to put it out." No idea whether Dillingham fits that description. But you notice that every year, perennial dumpster fires like the Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns, New York Knicks, Pittsburgh Pirates, Northwestern University football, and Vanderbilt football have head coaches. So I'd have to guess lots of coaches out there are looking at ASU and thinking, "Yeah, but I am good enough to put it out." The big questions are whether Dillingham is one of them, and whether ASU thinks he's the guy with the extinguisher.
  16. That's a great observation, but I don't think the options here are 1) run the QB or 2) not allow any running. Any more than it is 1) always go for it on 4th down or 2) never go for it on 4th down. It's a question of when and how to run the QB. Runs where the QB gets outside and has a reasonably clear field, generally facing DBs or LBs at worst, and has an opportunity to slide or run out of bounds are one thing. Running a QB between the tackles or into heavy traffic is another. It simply adds a much higher level of risk to the equation. Russell Wilson vs. Josh Allen is a good example. Wilson runs when he has to or there's a clear path, and rarely takes a hit (or at least that's how he played in Seattle). Allen runs at will and often seeks out contact. Allen hasn't gotten hurt yet, but that's probably coming. Until he gets hurt, it's a tremendously effective strategy. If he uses his arm and legs to get them to the Super Bowl, Bills fans will be elated. If he separates his shoulder in the playoffs while getting extra yards or running in traffic, they'll be devastated (again - hey, it's the Bills). Also in question is what the backup situation is like. If you've got a good backup QB, maybe you can take a little more risk. I think the jury is still out on whether we have any capable backup QBs. We've seen nothing of Butterfield, and Thompson has done nothing at all in a very, very limited backup role. It's pure risk-vs-reward. I'm not sure there's a clearly right answer, but the more Nix runs, and the more traffic in which he's running, the greater the chances we'll see Thompson or Butterfield for a lengthy amount of time.
  17. The vast majority of onside kicks are desperation moves when the opposition knows you're going to do it (e.g. down by 6 with 45 seconds left in the game). Surprise onside kicks not done in desperation, I would assume, have a different success rate. I would love to know the success rate of "expected" versus "unexpected" onside kicks - might tell a very different story for all we know.
  18. There are many, many risks in life. Some are smart risks; some are dumb risks. Playing the stock market with intelligent help and/or substantial research is a risk - but at an average return of 8% a year over the past 90-something years, it's a smart risk. Playing the stock market by throwing darts at stock listings is a dumb risk. I like seeing coaches take smart risks. Running your QB in certain situations is a smart risk. Some trick plays (including onside kicks) are smart risks. IMHO, going for it on 4th down at your own 34 with a backup QB in the game is not a smart risk. I'm thrilled with what I've seen from Lanning and staff so far, and I like the fact that they are willing to take some risks, but I agree that they need to be a little smarter with some of the risks they take.
  19. The reality is that we all could look back on the careers of Nick Saban, Joe Paterno, Woody Hayes, Bear Bryant, and any other legendary coaches and find blown calls and flat-out mistakes. Just like we can look back on Hall of Fame QBs from the NFL and find some "WTH?" interceptions or bad decisions. Mistakes are gonna happen. The keys are 1) to minimize them, 2) not to repeat them, and 3) do enough good things that your team overcomes them. From the UW game to the Utah game, I think we already saw some of #2 happening...
  20. I wish I could believe this could happen. I definitely could see UGA beating LSU and Clemson losing. BUT... ...given the lack of respect the Pac-12 gets (and has deserved in recent years), I have to believe a 1-loss B1G team goes even if they don't make the title game. Or, if it's an absolute beat-down in the B1G, that a 2-loss Bama team goes. And if TCU has one loss, they still might also go over the Ducks. That 49-3 score will loom very large, as will the Pac-12's recent weakness and east coast bias. I think not only would all these things need to happen, but by BIG margins - Ducks swamp OSU and USC by 30, Michigan and Clemson lose huge, etc. If tOSU beats Michigan 24 - 20, I don't see Big Blue losing its grip on #4. Remember, the committee isn't just voting in what they truly feel are the top 4 teams. They want a SHOW. They want ratings. I doubt the committee really wants a UGA/Oregon rematch, and the only way the Ducks get in is as the 4th seed. Pure logic says the Ducks would have a shot under the circumstances you described, but I doubt the committee will choose based on pure logic.
  21. I don't think so, unless SC beats Notre Dame first. A two-loss USC team probably isn't going to the playoffs, even if they win the Pac-12. So we go to the Rose Bowl if... SC beats ND and Oregon beats OSU (SC goes to the CFP and Ducks are in the Rose Bowl) Oregon beats SC in the conference title game (we won't go to the CFP but will be in the Rose Bowl) If SC loses to ND and then beats us in the conference title game, they would go to the Rose Bowl as a non-CFP conference champ.
  22. Seems to me that in some ways, this is the opposite of the UW game. Last week, the Huskies played very well and deserved credit, but Oregon basically gave the game away with too many mistakes and missed opportunities. This week, Oregon played very well and deserves credit, but Utah basically gave the game away with too many mistakes and missed opportunities. The missed 38-yard FG in the first quarter. Two picks. The pathetic pass on 4th down that landed at Kincaid's feet. Letting a gimpy QB who hadn't run all day convert a critical 4th down with a run (really just a stumble forward). Just shows how, when teams are fairly evenly matched, little things throughout the game create a win or a loss. The devil is in the details.
  23. Mel Tucker, Jimbo Fisher, and MC all have massive guaranteed money, and all three programs are experiencing serious buyer's remorse at this point. I wonder whether schools will start thinking twice before committing tens of millions of $$ to long-term contracts in order to land a new coach?
  24. Since Lanning and staff didn't recruit either backup QB, I don't think recruiting position has anything to do with it. I've gotta believe the coaches simply think TT has more potential and/or is a better option currently than JB, based on what they've seen in practice and position meetings. Since none of us gets to see any of that, it's impossible for us to know, unfortunately.
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