Elevated (noah) Comments

You will have to forgive us for taking a day off after Saturday’s debacle. We just needed a break.

To start off this Monday we are going to elevate some comments from Saturday’s blog entry that we thought were really good and deserved special attention.

noah always delivers with accurate and astute insight. On Saturday he did a super job ofkeeping his head and trying to paint (what I think) are pretty accurate pictures of things for frustrated fans. He attributed his demeanor/perspective to the following:

I think the difference between my reaction and the reaction of others is that I expected us to be a pretty terrible team this year. Apparently,there were a lot of people thinking we’d nine games.

We’re a bad team. It happens. FSU damn near lost to Troy last night. Maryland and UVA are supposed to be led by brilliant coaches and they apparently suck this year too.

If you think changing coaches is going to fix this shit…you’re in for a rude awakening.

So, today we are going to elevate some of noah’s comments from Saturday’s thread to this entry so that it can serve as somewhat of a ‘guest column’.

I hope that we can encourage noah to keep visiting and sharing his thoughts. They are much appreciated:

My prediction is that we’ll win about three games this year. I think my pre-season prediction was four wins.

My post-season prediction is that we fire Chuck Amato, make all kinds of noise about hiring a top-notch, national-champion coach….end up hiring some poor, ill-prepared slob who wins about three games over the next five years and then 99 percent of the WPC stands around thinking, “Wha happened??� and saying, “I never wanted to fire Amato!�

The problem isn’t coaching. The problem is that we’ve gone about 3-for-80 in recruiting quality offensive linemen. To date, we’ve landed quality OL in Leroy Harris, Curtis Crouch aaaaand….uhh…well, I’m sure one of the guys we signed in the last two years will probably be halfway decent.

But we’ve whiffed on everyone else. We’ve been getting commitments from players who ought to be lining up for ECU and Marshall and W. Kentucky State and have no business trying to block for ACC backs.

Problem #2 — we signed two top 20 recruits at quarterback to replace Philip Rivers…it just happened that they were both horribly overrated. I watched Dook and Wake today — neither Stone or Davis would start for those two teams (whoever thought we’d trail both Dook and Wake at the quarterback position??).

It’s going to take a couple of years. I hope we give Amato the time to do it.

I have no doubt that we won’t…

In response to a question, “how are we not better than Akron” noah stated:


(1) The history of NC State is a pretty sorry one;
(2) The line between being pretty good and being pretty bad is a thin one;
(3) The failures that we’ve had in recruiting have been total losses and they’ve been at absolutely critical spots; and,
(4) Because even the best programs have bad years…Penn State, Tennessee, Notre Dame….

Sometimes the answer is to fire the coach…sometimes it’s not.

I’d just caution everyone that wants a new coach to recall the difficulty we had in hiring a coach for our basketball program…a program with two national titles and 10 league titles in the greatest basketball conference ever.

In football, we’ve won 10 games or more a grand total of ONE time. We would have just fired the guy who got us that double-digit win total. We have not won a league title since 1979.

In further response to “no NC State coach should lose to Akron”:

Dick Sheridan lost to ETSU at home. Should we have fired him? He also lost to awful Louisville and Va. Tech teams in years when he had great teams.

MOC lost to Baylor (the week after we beat #1 FSU)….and Baylor didn’t win another game all year.

Monte Kiffin only beat Richmond by six one year and got smacked around by Dook more than once.

Tom Reed lost to Furman.

Bo Rein lost to Furman and ECU when they were in the Southern Conference.

Earle Edwards lost to Richmond in 1970.

Al Michaels lost to Kent State.

Unless your name is Lou Holtz, you have plenty of bad losses on your resume if you’ve ever coached at NC State.

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'06 Football General

125 Responses to Elevated (noah) Comments

  1. choppack1 09/11/2006 at 8:14 AM #

    If this loss was a fluke, I’d be more willing to dismiss it. However, it’s not. As another poster rightly mentioned, we’d been flirting w/ this moment for quite a while. We narrowly escaped embarassing defeats vs. Arksansas State, SMU, and UConn.

    I’m really torn right now – Amato has clearly raised the talent level immensely for this program. However, as we enter year 7, the results just seem to be getting worse and worse since the Gator Bowl run.

    The season isn’t over yet – heck, we can still win an ACC championship and go to a BCS bowl game. The season can still be satisfying – even special.

  2. BoKnowsNCS71 09/11/2006 at 8:29 AM #

    Stick with the coach. He’s not the problem. Justin Burke might be an answer at QB. Harrison Beck is coming next year.

    The OL may be weak but when a team puts 8 in the box and dares you to throw — the problem isn’t just the OL — it’s a passing threat. Everyone expects us (dares us) to run. There was some offense in the second half (as usual Stone’s best half historically).

    I agree with the W-L record this year to some extent. However, I think the coaching staff will move things around and pull out a few upsets. We are the underdog this year. It ain’t going to be pretty or fun — so just be a fan and support the Pack this year. After all — we can’t say “Wait until basketball season” either.

  3. class of 74 09/11/2006 at 8:29 AM #

    A better question is how many have faith in the direction we are headed with Amato? Is he the right jockey and we just have a bad horse or is he a bad jockey with a decent horse?

  4. StateFans 09/11/2006 at 8:31 AM #

    We are going to be VERY TIGHT on how we moderate comments on this entry. So, please make sure that you spend your time only sharing the most insightful of thoughts (like the previous three comments) on this one.


  5. redfred2 09/11/2006 at 8:39 AM #

    Good stuff!!!

    I want to keep Amato around as long as possible, BUT there has to be some indication that the players can play above and beyond their skills capacities when necessary. That comes from the sidelines, up in the booth, somewhere someone has to figure a way to better exploit the other team’s weaknesses and enhance our own strengths, and ON GAME DAY. That is game day coaching.

    I agree with Noah’s comments. I have said, as have many others who seemed to have forgotten when this football season got closer and closer, that this is a DOWN YEAR. All I expect to see is improvements in certain areas. We do not have the personel and are not ready to challenge for anything. Let’s all get back down to reality, watch as the season progresses, and hope that there will be a few bright spots along the way.

    There is only one crazy scenario that would make me think twice about any coaching change with the powers at be still in place at NCSU right now. I DO NOT see that happening at all. Until then, I’m a die hard CA SS’er. Just wait until next year!!! Or the year after that, or the…….

  6. SuperStuff 09/11/2006 at 8:40 AM #

    I say stick with Amato. Tough out these loses this year. Virginia Tech stuck with Beamer and look how that program is today. We just need some consistency on our staff that will translate into wins down the road.

  7. BoKnowsNCS71 09/11/2006 at 8:43 AM #

    Thanks. State fans. We don’t want to be seen as a bunch of whiners (like the folks over in CH).

    We’ve got talent and a lot of guys did not play (A.J, Andre, etc.) Injuries are hurting us too.

  8. Lock 09/11/2006 at 8:45 AM #

    I’d be hesitant to be rid of Amato, if only for the defense he brings in year in and year out. Once again, our defense kept us in a game we had no right being in. This has become a trademark of an Amato team. Now that he has his defense established on a yearly basis, I’m willing to wait until we can get a consistent QB to give our defense some time to rest.

    If we’re still having problems then, then maybe it’ll be time to consider a change. But for now…we’re still doing something right, even if it’s only on one side of the ball.

    God it’s so tempting, though, with the Cowher situation. Still, we can’t rush Amato out the door just to take a stab on Cowher. Amato brought us to our highest point in a long, long time. But there’s no denying he’s been burning through a LOT of those points he’s earned.

  9. Rick 09/11/2006 at 8:49 AM #

    I am torn about this whole thing. I like Chuck and want him to succeed but do not know enough about football to know if he is our problem or not.
    I will say this, we were mentioned on the Texas OSU game telecast and that is not a good thing.

  10. PAPacker 09/11/2006 at 8:49 AM #

    There is a lot of great insight in these posts but I think the problems are also structural.

    I cannot understand why Stone continues to start given his inability to make reads, his inability to complete fairly easy throws, (i.e., underthrowing Bowens and Hill in the flat with defenders fairly far off them), his propensity to throw into double coverages on very low percentage passes, etc. Yes, he is consistent for about 20 percent of any given game. It is a disservice to him, to the team and to the fans to keep him in there. Amato may say “all he does is win.” I would say all is he does is hand off and force passes. I would be ecstatic to see us go 1-10 and start Justin Burke or a combination of him and Daniel Evans for the rest of the year. State is one-dimensional and its offensive line is not strong enough to open up holes the rest of the year with the box packed. Even with Herschel and Earl, you have to force people to cover your receivers. Stone does not have the touch. He can heave the long ball or sling the bullet but his motion looks hatchet like.

    Contra Noah, the Stone situation is an issue of bad coaching. We did the same thing with Jay Davis last year: stuck with the guy who was not getting it done for 6 games until the season was a wash, then went to a less experienced quarterback. I predict that with Stone we win maybe four more games. I know the philosophy at work here. Try to save Burke until State has a better supporting cast in the years to come. If Texas, Florida and many other big time programs can stick a freshman into tough games now, why not State? How do we know those better casts are going to come, especially given State’s ongoing flirtation with mediocrity?

    Contra Noah, State has had some impressive years. Not national title years but years of competing on the same stage with strong national programs. Holtz, Edwards, Sheridan all had strong programs. Marquee programs take years to build and State has never had a coach hang around long enough to build one and stay to enjoy it. Given the facilities and rabid fan expectations, I think State could rise much higher with a coaching change. Amato has his players and his staff out there. He may be able to improve things over time but the boneheaded, can’t see the forest for the trees, approach to quarterbacks ends the conversation about progress very quickly for me.

    OH and why hasn’t more hell been raised about the apparent fact that Kennedy was clearly down before the ball passed the goal line? The pic on packpride seems to be pretty clear evidence that State did not lose to Akron. Am I missing something?

  11. PAPacker 09/11/2006 at 8:51 AM #

    SFN, sorry for the long post, I read your comment after submitting my post. Cut as needed, please.

    SFN: Your post is great! Don’t worry about it. Thanks!

  12. noah 09/11/2006 at 8:59 AM #

    “SFN, sorry for the long post”

    There was good stuff in there. Don’t cut it. (even though I disagree with several points)

    My point wasn’t that we haven’t had some good years in football. My point was that even the best coaches (minus Holtz) all lost to inferior teams. Holtz’s losses all seem to be of teams of equal or superior stature.

  13. Adverse2Change 09/11/2006 at 9:06 AM #

    I’d say a lot of people have unrealistic expectations for this team. Consider the history, 516-496-55 overall and 11-10-1 in bowl history. You look through the year by year data and State is an average to below average team consistently. The 11 win year with Amato has spoiled us and made us expect more than we should. Building a dynasty doesn’t come over night. I say give Amato more time, either way we are on target (in a historical perspective), anything more will be great.

  14. Wolfpack4ever 09/11/2006 at 9:17 AM #

    Good Stuff said here. I do want to point one more time to Stone’s second half passing and in particular to his passing and leadership in the fourth quarter. Finding Tony Baker on 4th down was pure Phillip Rivers IMNSHO.

  15. choppack1 09/11/2006 at 9:17 AM #

    “I’d say a lot of people have unrealistic expectations for this team. Consider the history, 516-496-55 overall and 11-10-1 in bowl history. You look through the year by year data and State is an average to below average team consistently. The 11 win year with Amato has spoiled us and made us expect more than we should. Building a dynasty doesn’t come over night. I say give Amato more time, either way we are on target (in a historical perspective), anything more will be great.”

    You know, if Amato was a legacy hire – similar to O’Cain – I’d buy that argument. However, Amato was brought in because O’Cain’s mediocre record wasn’t good enough.

    For Amato’s first 4 years, he was certainly meeting, if not exceeding expectations. He was 35-17 overall and 17-15 in conference. Since then, he’s 13-12 overall, and 6-10 in confernce. This means he now has an overal losing record in conference – which changing conference fortunes or not, is how he should be judged.

    Right now, it’s really too early to say that our program is clearly heading in the wrong direction or has plateaued under the current coach, but Saturday’s game is a dark moment for the program.

    Regarding the call, on the other boards there is a story about how the ref who called the TD also was the one who overturned TA’s call. (Or at least he was involved in both calls.)

  16. packpigskinfan23 09/11/2006 at 9:27 AM #

    Give Amato more time… unless Cowher will come here, but I have a feeling we are all dreaming on that one.

    Amato is a defense guy. We have consistently had a great defense under him. Our defense did let us down with the last drive by Akron, but you know… it happens. Our problem is clearly offense, but I will repeat what I have said so many times before- our offense does NOT fit our QB. I think Stone is a pretty good QB. He has shown a LOT of promise, heart, and effort. THE COACHES(M Tressman) need to come up with a more dynamic game plan then the 6-play playbook that we seem to have right now. I still say keep Amato- ditch Tressman

  17. redfred2 09/11/2006 at 9:35 AM #

    It’s all Philip Rivers fault, damn him.

    If he would never have played at NCSU the program would have stayed below mediocre, Amato’s ego and focus would have stayed in tact, and we’d be a little further ahead of the this schedule at this point.

    I hate him. J/K

  18. BJD95 09/11/2006 at 9:40 AM #

    I am kind of in the middle on this one. I certainly agree that people shouldn’t be riled up about Amato SOLELY (or even primarily) because we lost to Akron. But that’s not all there is.

    Is it logical for this to be a down year? Absolutely. The personnel situation pretty much dictates that. The problem is that coming off a 2 year stretch of 6-10 play in conference (or a 3 year streth of 10-14, take your pick), it’s hard to say that a “rebuilding year” has really been earned. The angst over losing to Akron and probably having a bad 2006 season would not be so bad if not for the (IMHO, indisputable) fact that NC State fell short of even reasonable expectations the past THREE SEASONS.

    So, my mindset entering the year was NOT that we would be a 9-win team. Rather, it was that after three straight years of underachievement, it was time to overachieve for a change. That’s what I needed to feel good about the direction of the program again. I didn’t list a specific benchmark b/c I had trouble coming up with one – thinking I’d know it when I saw it. I sure as hell haven’t seen it yet.

    That said, I still say that I would give Amato ONE MORE year with this group of assistants (no matter the 2006 record), to see if we can have a better year with reason to be excited about the future, with the prospect of better QB play (Burke or Beck, take your pick). But that’s it. The Gator Bowl year doesn’t buy Chuck a lifetime pass – at least not with me. He failed to capitalize on the opportunity that season presented (in terms of program momentum).

    We also need to face a few realities, which should be evaluated in tandem with noah’s points. First, the recruiting success is unquestionably going to fall off (you could say it already has) based on the mediocrity of the past few years, followed by a likely worse 2006. Thus, the best reason to keep him is significantly eroded. Second, Chuck Amato is NOT a young man. It’s not like he has a potential 20-year dynasty in the making if we just stick it out. I also think this makes it even less likely we will see him make the proper adjustments to his strategy and persona.

    I remember saying when Doc Holliday left for Florida that I would rather have lost Chuck than Doc. Time seems to bear out my initial reaction.

  19. State88 09/11/2006 at 9:46 AM #

    We would not have lost the game if the officals would have made the right call . It happened to us against UNC and now Akron. Yes, we should not be in that position but we were and the game was decied by blind zebras. Also, all the should Chuck stay or be fired talk would not be discussed if the correct call would have been made. I think we should stand behind Chuck. All coaches go through some poor years. If we dump Chuck or even we run him off who are we going to get? Remember the basketball situation. We have a great basketball history and had a hard time getting a coach to want to deal with us, we had to get one of our own (which I like). Let’s not make the same mistake again.

  20. MatSci94 09/11/2006 at 10:01 AM #

    Also keep in mind that the Off Coord position has been a carousel since Norm Chow left. I think its hard to underestimate how hard that makes things for the offense, not just in the current players adjusting to different systems, but also in recruiting (the last guy was looking for X, now we are looking for Y).

  21. packbackr04 09/11/2006 at 10:08 AM #

    i agree with alot of what Noah and others say here, PAPacker has a great post above. it is hard to understand how Stone continues to get the starting nod… his continual inability to make plays is hard to overlook. as i walked into C-F on Saturday they announced Daniel Evans’ name, everyone i was with was sure Evans was going to start but that ended up not being the case. To Stones defense there were alot of dropped passes on saturday that should not have been dropped. And he did look better (maybe best ive seen him in the 2nd half).
    My biggest gripe is Chucks call to go for it on 4th and 1. I just didnt see the upside, there was no excuse for it. no one but the students wanted him to go for it. We had all the momentum going into that play, and it totally reversed what we had going. Akron was totally on their heels and that gave them a huge boost. In a low scoring event like that, just put the chip shot 3 in, and let your D take care of it. the call Totally changed the complexion of the game and is a call that will haunt Chuck for the rest of his days at NCSU.
    The season is a long one and we cant give up on our team or on Chuck but what they showed me on Saturday(namely Chuck and Trestman) was not encouraging.
    My final 2 cents is that if Stone is not working and we are only going to win 3 or 4 games as most on this site believe will be our final number in the win column, then move to another guy who gives you a better chance to win. Dont play Stone like we did Davis for way too long. Good stuff SFN, Keep it up/

  22. BJD95 09/11/2006 at 10:11 AM #

    One other thing to remember – there is still plenty of room to have a good season. Who in the ACC really scares you now? Clearly, we have to get our shit together first. But the opposition is not SEC-like this year, for certain.

  23. redfred2 09/11/2006 at 10:13 AM #


    I agree with your post wholeheartedly, especially the parts about under and over achieving.

    My only reservations about a change are the people, and ideals, in place at NCSU. Those people who would be instrumental in making the change. We need coaches who can coach THE GAME and the KIDS. Nothing else. We don’t need proper and presentable diner dates who are guaranteed not to embarass, or even make an impression, or another person to blow smoke up Wendal Murphy’s and the “in crowd’s” rear ends.

    Just a proven winner on the football field, not a new and all in compassing SYMBOL of every aspect that is NC State.

  24. choppack1 09/11/2006 at 10:38 AM #

    “My biggest gripe is Chucks call to go for it on 4th and 1. I just didnt see the upside, there was no excuse for it. no one but the students wanted him to go for it. We had all the momentum going into that play, and it totally reversed what we had going. Akron was totally on their heels and that gave them a huge boost. In a low scoring event like that, just put the chip shot 3 in, and let your D take care of it. the call Totally changed the complexion of the game and is a call that will haunt Chuck for the rest of his days at NCSU.”

    Actually – since we were only up 3 – I didn’t have a problem going for it. We make the first down – and then punch it in – game over – period. If we score, we’re only up 13-7 – and a TD still beats us. The argument for kicking the FG would have a lot more weight if we had held them to a FG. We didn’t – they scored 13 points on us in their 3 possessions.

    Now, I did think the play call was horrid. You have a big QB, a FB and 320 lb lineman – you run it right and right behind #76. Instead, we choose a play which isn’t stones forte and to the weak side of our OL.

    I’ll never fault a coach for playing for the win in those situations. However, yet again, when it comes to a key short play call -we fall inches short:
    tOSU, UNC and now Akron.

  25. BJD95 09/11/2006 at 10:46 AM #

    I also think Chuck was right to go for the 4th and 1. We should have been able to keep them penned in deep.

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