O’Brien Stands By Mike Archer, Blames Players (As Usual)

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Tom O’Brien is nothing if not steady, apparently to a fault sometimes.   During his entire tenure at NC State, he has blamed his players for failing to execute – even in a win – and stood by his coaches.  Thursday, he was back at it:

“Mike’s been part of this before,” O’Brien said on Thursday. “He built a heck of a defense at Kentucky before he came here, a place where they had a long tradition of not going to bowl games, and winning.  He came to us as one of the top defensive coordinators in the country at turning the football over.”You know, sometimes it’s not the coach, sometimes it’s the arrows in his quiver that need to improve.

That heckuva Kentucky defense O’Brien described?  An objective examination finds that it was, well, not so good: its best ranking was 66th in country, followed by rankings of 102, 103 and 118.  That’s not very good folks, and it is quite frankly disingenuous for Tom O’Brien to describe it as a good one.  So yeah, apparently, Archer has been a part of several bad defenses.  Connecting the dots, it would not appear that he has improved them, either.

On the other hand, Archer’s defense was able to create turnovers at Kentucky. So, as Kentucky’s offense improved (Andre Woodson), the turnovers created by the defense helped to feed the machine. To replicate the ‘success’ that the Kentucky model created, Dana Bible is going to be need to figure out how to improve the Wolfpack offense. Can you imagine asking Coach O’Brien about that?

And as for adapting the game plan to his personnel?  Forget it.

Going forward, we’re going to stay with the plan,” said O’Brien.  “The worst thing you can do is start changing the thing every year.  I mean, that’s absolutely the worst thing to do.  Consistency is important.  Continuity is important, and that’s what we’re going to provide.”

Let’s hope not – continuity is the last things NC State fans want to see tomorrow.  The Wolfpack is on a three game skid in which their defense has been non-existant at best.  The Wolfpack have given up 131 points to middle-of-the-ACC teams, and have allowed record-setting passing yardage by Duke followed by record-setting rushing yardage by Boston College.  In fact, the last three teams who played NC State had a player awarded ACC Player of the Week honors.

This week, the Pack will face Christian Ponder and the potent Florida State offense.  Our community is currently voting 65% to 35% that FSU will cover the 9.5 point Vegas spread. (By the way, our community vote has nailed the last two votes/games – Duke and Boston College) Jimbo Fisher and Bobby Bowden must be celebrating knowing that the Wolfpack D is not only awful but also that O’Brien and his coaches are planning nothing new to shore it up.

'09 Football Tom O'Brien

52 Responses to O’Brien Stands By Mike Archer, Blames Players (As Usual)

  1. zahadum 10/30/2009 at 8:48 AM #

    On the money, Alpha. My biggest beef with TOB during his time here has been my belief that he suffers from a bad case of John Fox disease. At some point, you’ve got to coach the team you actually have, not the team you wish you had.

    And yeah, the heck of a defense comment was ridiculus.

  2. Daily Update 10/30/2009 at 9:04 AM #

    Our back 7 is terrible. Young, inexperienced and lacking of talent/athleticism to play at this level.

  3. BJD95 10/30/2009 at 9:05 AM #

    Nothing can be done this year. It is well beyond salvaging. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s game as much as a trip to an alcoholic dentist the morning after he has a big fight with his wife, immediately after opening an audit letter from the IRS.

    I will try desperately not to watch.

  4. PackerInRussia 10/30/2009 at 9:12 AM #

    ^ Good luck. It’s part of the curse. You’ll watch. And you’ll kick yourself afterward.

  5. TheCOWDOG 10/30/2009 at 9:19 AM #

    I can see our linebackers in coverage already. Err…unintentional oxymoron.

  6. DRW 10/30/2009 at 9:23 AM #

    Sounds like the words of someone who knows he may have made a bad hire, but his pride and arrogance prevent him from admitting he made a mistake.

    Therefore, he has to try to justify the decision and looks foolish doing it.

  7. Daily Update 10/30/2009 at 9:31 AM #

    I totally disagree DRW. Reggie Herring looked like a great D coordinator with 11 NFL players starting on that team.

  8. Pack84 10/30/2009 at 9:33 AM #

    Quite frankly I’m stunned by TOB’s choice of words here. It’s fine to stick up for your employees (his assistants). But to say “He built a heck of a defense at Kentucky” borders on being downright dishonest.

    Instead, why not simply say something like “I have all the confidence in the world in Mike and I’m sure we’re going to get better”.

    Gosh – I almost hate to say this, but TOB is beginning to remind me of a certain basketball coach we’re all familiar with. And that is seemingly a refusal to make changes in situations when it’s painfully obvious the status quo isn’t working.

  9. packer74 10/30/2009 at 9:40 AM #

    State’s defense is a train wreck. The Noles will continue the scoring onslaught with at least 38 and I will be taking abuse from my FSU alum brother.

  10. Clarksa 10/30/2009 at 9:50 AM #

    Yet another BC fan criticism of TOB that has come true…he blames the players and not the coaching staff.

  11. gso packbacker 10/30/2009 at 9:56 AM #

    we all knew from the start when Archer came on that Kentucky’s D wasn’t very good. However, I’m not sure I’d characterize TOBs comment as disingenuous. For all we may know, TOB may actually believe that they had a good D in Lexinton (or that he didn’t have sufficient arrows in his quiver 😉 ). If he thinks they sucked and now he is changing his tune that’s disingenuous, but if he’s always thought they were strong then that’s just innacurate (or ignorant if you prefer).

    That aside, I don’t subscribe to dumping things totally on the players, but I hate it when the coach always take the entire blame as well. It’s usually the coaches AND the players. At this point, dumping on the players is likely a less effective strategy for improvement than dumping on the coaches. Either way, wait til next year. 🙂

  12. T-FIC 10/30/2009 at 9:59 AM #

    Well lets see what tomorrow holds. I am hoping to see an improved defensive effort but allowing another 40+ points is unacceptable. We have a very young defensive secondary and it will take time but some improvement should be seen. BTW, I am calling for an upset at FSU tomorrow, write it down…

  13. Thinkpack17 10/30/2009 at 10:10 AM #

    I’d rather him blame the players I think. If he says “We got outcoached…” in a post game interview once more this year I am going to scream. If you are always getting out coached…coach better! I never expected this kind of year out of TOB. I expected some losses sure, but we just keep looking worse and worse. We were sold on TOB’s fundamental, disciplined, cerebral style. Frankly, I don’t see it.

  14. WPcec75 10/30/2009 at 10:17 AM #

    One can only hope that the week layoff has rejuvinated at least part of the team. I think our players have a hard time grasping that they need to “get down to business” on a consistent basis. How you coach that, I don’t know, because they are still kids in many ways. I know games have an “emotional” as well as a “physical” component, I wonder sometimes about how successful the coaching staff (top to bottom) is at infusing the emotional part into game day. TOB doesn’t come across as a really emotional guy! Certainly the technique part of playing has been lacking in a number of areas, but if you coach it and the players can’t execute it, the game day looks like an experiment. We still look like we’re in experimental mode to me.

  15. TheCOWDOG 10/30/2009 at 10:20 AM #

    Daily, while I wholeheartedly agree with your talent assessment,there was a statement made by O’Brien ealier in the week that particularly caught my attention.

    He offered that they had considered flip flopping Willie Young around in an effort to confuse the double teams that Young is drawing. They decided against it. I found the reasoning behind it rather odd. What he essentially said was the abscence of Nate Irving prohibited the strategy. I thought to myself, ” Wow, now that’s rigidity. ”

    Well, they darn sure need to reconsider that option and or find another way to consistently pressure, or we may not win another game. Check that. Will not win another.

  16. Broccoman 10/30/2009 at 10:35 AM #

    Well, TOB was considered the football equivalent of a former HBC here.

    Then again, we said that level of success in football would be good, though it hasn’t happened by far. Then again year 5 is 2 years away.

  17. Khan 10/30/2009 at 10:36 AM #

    If O’Brien really believes that Archer is a good DC then he is ignoring statistical analysis. Now, if he believes Archer *could* be a good DC, then I’m fine with that assessment, although I don’t know if I agree yet. I just don’t know how he could believe that though in the face of the stats that he can easily go back and look at with respect to Archer’s previous employment. Another alternative is that he’s a big dummy. I don’t really believe that either, but I guess it’s possible. The only other possibility is that he thinks Archer sucks, but he’s not willing to say it, which he probably shouldn’t.

    This year is over. Every week, another player is completely lost for the year. The players that are left are completely lost in the game.

    The FSU game could provide a turning point for our season, but it won’t. We’ll lose by 20 points. We’ll be outcoached, our players will not have played well enough, and we’ll keep chopping wood….at least that’s what we’ll hear after the game.

    FWIW, it was nice to see Carowhina get a nice signature win for their program last night. That was just par for the course. Oh, and Ron Cherry still sucks. Nice PI call, boys.

  18. Rick 10/30/2009 at 10:53 AM #

    NCSU is the home of the intractable and irrelevant.

  19. McPete 10/30/2009 at 11:10 AM #

    I think some people are forgetting TOB’s penchant for disinformation: there have been changes and experimentation in the last two weeks. He just doesn’t care to inform his next opponent.

    I doubt the offense will look any different. I wish they’d just scrap the spread formations and go to the I which they have preferred for so long now. Wilson could scramble out of any formation, and the next QB will be quite different anyway, and more suited to what this staff wants to run.

  20. Sam92 10/30/2009 at 11:58 AM #

    the bottom line here is that TOB is due for some criticism – a healthy dose, in fact

    this team is getting worse when it should be getting better

    and i also don’t like him supporting the coaches at the cost of demeaning his players, it smacks of a transference of responsibility.

    frankly, the coaching can’t be that good and TOB should own up to it

  21. PKTFAN 10/30/2009 at 12:53 PM #

    I seem to remember that after both the USC loss and the Pitt win that TOB admitted we were not a good team and that the coaches needed to coach better and the players needed to play better.

    If TOB had come out after the WF or Duke or even BC games and said— “its all the coaches fault, we are going to review every coach at the end of the year and heads will roll if not acceptable”—would that make everyone happy and feel we are all squared away for tommorow?

    TOB had the opportunity to come to NCSU because under the previous staff there was a lack of accoutablility across the board. That is not a culture change that occurs overnight. It may not be fast enough for you and thats fine to complain as everyone has that right. However, TOB was selected because he had demonstrated a “stubborness” to stick to a plan that demands accountability across the board. This includes players and staff.

  22. Wulfpack 10/30/2009 at 1:07 PM #

    I wonder if he and Foxxy had a cold beer the other night? Seems they are singing the same tune.

    Isn’t just a blast when you are going to into a game and you know you have no shot? Cardinals by 14. Noles by 24.

  23. Willie Loman 10/30/2009 at 1:14 PM #

    That’s basically a cut and paste from his radio show quotes with Tony. He clearly says they are going to focus on executing the scheme better, recruit the players necessary to run the scheme, and then COACH it better. I guess it is convenient to not do enough research to find out this has been a hot topic as of late in TOB’s interviews. If you did that, you would see he mentions the part about doing a better job COACHING.

    Hey, I don’t know if having faith in Archer is right or wrong…time will tell. In any event, surprised you wrote a slanted article with only a few excerpts from his previous interviews.

  24. beer03 10/30/2009 at 1:17 PM #

    If for a moment we stipulate that the “arrows in the quiver” statement is accurate, then the question for TOB and everyone else becomes “who got the arrows?”

  25. Khan 10/30/2009 at 1:18 PM #

    The daytight compartments are getting smaller….

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