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

Photo Courtesy of photo1nc on SFN Flickr stream

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. wolfpackattack89 10/30/2009 at 2:04 PM #

    who cares about NC State sports anymore
    we suck at everything that matters
    the product we put on the field and court is just laughable

  2. zahadum 10/30/2009 at 2:30 PM #

    Something I hadn’t picked up on to start with; a coach named Archer and arrows in his quiver. Wonder if he was actually trying to make a pun, or if that was just coincidence.

  3. SaccoV 10/30/2009 at 2:32 PM #

    KHAAANNNN!!!! Just had to say that. Again, TOB needs to revamp his coaching staff at season’s end. He obviously won’t make staff changes despite clear indications of incompetence. If he doesn’t make those changes then, he’s then lost whatever support I have for him, which is almost 0 based on this season’s ineptitudes.

  4. Howler 10/30/2009 at 3:25 PM #

    I think TOB has 1 or 2 upsets in him for the rest of the season (mainly because of the skill we have at QB), and I am hoping this weekend will be one of them. But if and when it happens, don’t be fooled. This team can’t correct its problems this season. I feel especially bad for Toney Baker with all he’s been through. If this team ever got the opportunity to play with some leads, he could be having some impressive numbers.

  5. 61Packer 10/30/2009 at 3:28 PM #

    One of my biggest criticisms of our basketball coach has been poor management of players. Specifically, Lowe tossed his players under the bus to cover up coaching staff shortcomings.

    One of the reasons I’ve supported our football staff so far is because this was something I didn’t think they did. Apparently I was wrong from the start. Thanks for educating me, SFN.

    I really want to support our coaches, but if I’ve got to side with the coaches or the players, as long as loafing or dirty play isn’t involved, I’ll stand with the players.

    As a Wolfpack fan, I’m always hoping for better things tomorrow. Well, tomorrow is a game at Doak Campbell on Halloween. But even that’s not any more scary than the “state” of Wolfpack sports right now.

    Will there EVER be any good news?

  6. Rick 10/30/2009 at 3:33 PM #

    “I think TOB has 1 or 2 upsets in him for the rest of the season (mainly because of the skill we have at QB),”

    I believe any wins we have from here forward will, by definition, be upsets.

  7. Howler 10/30/2009 at 3:35 PM #

    Agree, from here on out “upset” and “win” is synonymous.

  8. BoKnowsNCS71 10/30/2009 at 3:56 PM #

    What do folks expect TOB to say? Firing Archer now is like letting a coach go who took you to 5 straight NCAA BB tournaments. Changing the defense means even more change in mid-season and would make this team worse. Plus if archer has recruits in the hopper for us — what happens when they leave as happened with our former BB coach HWSNBM? TOB has accomplished great things at BC and will do that here. Just give the man time and don’t constantly undercut his efforts to build a great program here.

  9. wolfpackattack89 10/30/2009 at 5:08 PM #

    I don’t see us winning another game.
    Maryland’s definitely not a gimme.

  10. hoop 10/30/2009 at 5:51 PM #

    What the hell do you guys want him to say? It’s like you’re mad about us having a bad season so you’re just going to find something, anything, to make him look bad. It’s a classic case of making a decision with your emotion and using logic to back it up.

    TOB came in after a season where Amato went 3-8 with decent players. Now we have worse players and you guys expect to go bowling. Get a grip. Rebuilds take time.

    Yeah, I don’t think he should be throwing his players under the bus but he does at times take blame as well. We have a bad football team. It’s not easy to try to spin it into something positive.

  11. GAWolf 10/30/2009 at 8:20 PM #

    I’ve said all along that I haven’t turned on TOB. However, given these blatantly false statements to, I assume, what he THINKS is an uneducated fan base truly angers me. Even before he said this I was of the opinion that he should make a move with Archer and Archer’s son, the DB coach who “we” (read ARCHER) brought on the staff as a grad assistant from a freaking high school in Kentucky. He’s “helping with” or coaching the worst position we’ve fielded in probably the history of NC State sports.

    As I’ve previously reported back to you guys after reading HOURS of comments about Archer from his time at Kentucky, it seems to be relatively reliable that Archer was removed from the position of Defensive play caller in his last season in Lexington. We hired him the next year. He “nepotistically” brings in his son and together they’ve all but ruined our defense.

    TOB has stood by him publicly, and as head coach and the mastermind of this hire that’s obviously his prerogative. However, and this is a HUGE HOWEVER, he’s stuck with the consequences.

    I’m watching tomorrow not in the hope that we win, but rather in the hope that I see ANYTHING that gives me reason to believe this defensive staff as an iota of fricking common sense. If we crap the bed tomorrow, and I fully expect we will, then that’s it. I’m done. TOB has lost me.

    What am I looking for? I hope to see fundamentals improvement and the elimination of stupid, costly penalties. Both of those can be improved upon even if we lack NFL talent. That’s especially true since this staff has had two weeks to prepare for this game. If we crap the bed, they ought to have to sleep in it. No more blaming others. Admit your mistakes, make adjustments and work toward the future.

    TOB almost sounds like an alcoholic trying to explain why he doesn’t have a drinking problem. The idiotic lies to people who obviously know otherwise
    (good defense produced at Kentucky) are just nauseating.

  12. GAWolf 10/30/2009 at 8:28 PM #

    Boknows: Seriously? We’re already terrible. We can’t get any worse. It’s also NOTHING like firing a coach who has gone to 5 NCAA tournaments, and even if it was there are always legitimate reasons to do both in certain circumstances. Archer has done NOTHING for us. Zilch. He did NOTHING for Kentucky. Zilch. Look at the numbers. And even still you can’t look at numbers in a vacuum. (5 NCAA Tournaments for instance.) Our Defense is not only terrible, it is COMICAL. We are handing out Heismans each and every week.

    I propose a t-shirt – “Mike Archer: Handing out Heismans since 1975”

  13. tvbman 10/30/2009 at 8:57 PM #

    Wow…TOB is becoming more like Herb every day.

  14. gcpack 10/30/2009 at 10:14 PM #

    I agree with PTK and hoop. What do you guys want him to do in the middle of the season? Fire the DC or say the DC isn’t capable.
    A great idea during the season and then how would the players respond?

    I said at the beginning that State may turn the corner this season but just as likely next season. Looks like it’s closer to next season or maybe 2011.

    Before I even logged on I thought to myself I bet the guys that run this
    site are going to be negative about football. Sure enough SFN didn’t
    disappoint. Why are you so trigger happy?


    The only choice is to continue to work with the team we have LEFT now and then adjust personnel, both playing & coaching, after the season.

    This is so unlike the HBK situation. HBK had, what, 9 years? This is TOB’s third so he is still dealing with TheChestNut’s kids to some degree. If we are in this situation in yr 5 then fair enough.

    Unbelievable! You guys always bail too fast.

  15. b 10/30/2009 at 10:23 PM #

    First off, I am not defending Archer because I think he has done a good job. I hate his defensive strategy. I hate the utter lack of fundamentals our defense displays. I hate watching our defense sit back and take it like 10 dollar hooker. I feel he is responsible for the defensive gameplan each week and SURELY responsible for the defense’s performance. I was raised to believe a coach takes the blame for a loss and then lamb-bastes his players in practice for making him do it. So the concept of blaming players (in the media) for their performance is unseemly to me.

    Having said that, using the Kentucky defense’s numbers to malign his ability is pointless. Why? Because they ALWAYS suck on defense, they are in the high 80’s low 90’s every year (before and since he was the coordinator) and they always will be. It’s like saying he stinks because he didn’t make spam taste like ribeye.

  16. VaWolf82 10/30/2009 at 11:28 PM #



  17. GAWolf 10/31/2009 at 12:24 AM #

    And if he isn’t winning because our defense is nothing less than horridly embarrassing, he should assess the situation objectively and do what he needs to do to fix the problem. Regardless of the reason WHY Kentucky’s D sucked with Archer….it unmistakenly sucked. So how on earth can TOB say anything to the contrary in a lame effort to cover for his refusal to take accountability? This statement alone destroys his credibility with me. I’m not saying to throw TOB out with the bathwater just yet, but his public disparaging comments about the players and now this is ridiculous statement is just baffling. We’re a performance-based organization allegedly. So far it seems to me we’re an organization that epitomizes the cliche about insanity being the act of doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.

  18. Broccoman 10/31/2009 at 12:52 AM #

    What do I want TOB to do- Simple: Can Archer at the end of the year.

  19. tjfoose2 10/31/2009 at 2:37 AM #

    “He built a heck of a defense at Kentucky before he came here”

    Wow. What planet does TOB think we live on? Very disappointingto here him say that.

    “I propose a t-shirt – “Mike Archer: Handing out Heismans since 1975″” – love it.

    SFN – I understand the need for ads, but the video + audio ads, w/ no option to turn off, are very very annoying.

  20. wolfonthehill 10/31/2009 at 7:48 AM #

    The state of where we are?

    I’m going to let my ticket to the unc-ch go, choosing instead to stay with family for our after-Thanksgiving oyster roast, as I typically do.

    It’s one thing to miss the UMD game… quite another to skip unc-ch.

    But I have no interest in seeing in person what takes place that day.

  21. Dr. BadgerPack 10/31/2009 at 8:55 AM #

    Alpha- Those rankings I presume are total yards… What are the respective turnover rankings?

    If your rankings are points, that’s darned bleak…

  22. DRW 10/31/2009 at 8:56 AM #

    Wolf: I have sold mine for the last three games. I’m tired of watching pathetic football.

  23. Rick 10/31/2009 at 8:58 AM #

    “I’ve said all along that I haven’t turned on TOB. However, given these blatantly false statements to, I assume, what he THINKS is an uneducated fan base truly angers me. Even before he said this I was of the opinion that he should make a move with Archer and Archer’s son, the DB coach who “we” (read ARCHER) brought on the staff as a grad assistant from a freaking high school in Kentucky. He’s “helping with” or coaching the worst position we’ve fielded in probably the history of NC State sports”

    I could not have said it better

  24. Wulfpack 10/31/2009 at 9:56 AM #

    What do I want TOB to do? I want him to move our program forward, not backward. We are officially the worst team in the ACC this year. Think about that for a minute. I don’t think any of us had that in mind in year 3 when he was tired. He’s done a poor job. It’s his responsibility to fix it.

  25. BAC79 10/31/2009 at 9:57 AM #

    I want to see all of those attributes that we all thought TOB brought to the table when he came here: a performance based organization; accountability; discipline, flexibility and a willingness to change and be adaptable when it is apparent the current plan is not working.

    What we are doing now obviously does not work. We don’t have new players, we don’t have new coaches, what we do have is the ability to adapt and change rather than continue to beat our heads against the wall thinking if we keep doing it surely at some point we will no longer feel the pain.

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