Reply To: Doeren on flight to Boston this week

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Ironically I feel better about the position coaches on offense than defense. Our DL haul (particularly with all the playing time we’ll be offering) will be telling.

As you well know I look under the surface for answers. Our defensive coaching is no different. Doeren’s replacement at NI was his DC who probably kept the staff under him. At least the better coaches. This probably caught Doeren off guard a little. The offer by NC State probably was a bit of a surprise although I’m sure the negotiations were going on with his agent before we made the off.

Regardless, he had to scramble for defensive position coaches. While DD isn’t the most personable guy in the world with fans, he is well known and well liked by coaches. While Chuck seemed to have relationships with the Norm Chow’s of the profession, DD seems more related to coaches who fit with his family culture but are either good up and comers or or like McDonald and Barlow — good coaches who didn’t have the greatest relationship with their previous bosses.

Fans have been down on Huxtable since he got here. The more I see of Hux the better I like him. Not for his DC abilities but for his personality and how well liked he is amongst the players — recruits in particular. Hux truly is a good man and is the “father image” in this family atmosphere. He isn’t driven by ego either, otherwise Roof could not have come to coach with him.

Barlow doesn’t get much love because of the seemingly poor performance of our corners. You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Barlow hasn’t had as much to work with as, say, McDonald. (He was one of Franklin’s staff at Vanderbilt so we know he’s not a pure dog.) He made a decent corner out of Alston in short order. You know Alston has been invited for a tryout by one of the NFL teams, right? Now he’s doing a ‘wonder’ job with Trowell. Barlow has done the best job he could with what he has had to work with. I’m OK with him until he proves he hasn’t got it.

Bringing in Roof may be a real difference maker. I heard many complaints last year about our safeties being out of position and looking confused. That will stop with Ted Roof coaching them. I see Aaron Henry as “red-shirting.” Funny thing to say about a coach but think about it. He coached safeties last year and this year he only has responsibility for nickels. And you know that Roof being a co-DC he’s training Henry.

While there is some overlap at LB, with Hux DC-ing the DL and the LB’s and Roof DC-ing the Safties, nickels and corners, we have a very nice division of responsibilities. I also suspect Henry is getting some training in coaching corners by Barlow. The nickel back does some receiver coverage and needs some of the same coveerage skills as corners.

That stuff is all in my mind an I may be totally off. What we do know is DD has some attention on the defense other than the DL. Our LB and CB recruiting is several degrees above where we have been. IMO DD can let go of any defensive coaching he may think he has to do with Hux and Roof here. We really miss Clayton White but are now recovering from his loss.

DD has improved remarkably as a HC in my opinion. Thinking about it OC’s are involved in game decisions far more than DC’s. Dave was a DC and it showed his first few years here. Behind the scenes DD insists on his coaches and himself have on-going training. Great attitude for a HC. And how the heck did he hook up with Belichick?

Speaking of the Pats I wonder if Drinkwitz was getting some coaching on using his tight end? I hope Hux was getting some coverage training and some blitz training on the trip. If we don’t use our TE for some receiving, we will not be able to recruit the good TE’s. We can teach blocking technique if the players are willing to learn and get their noses smacked around by DT’s. But you can’t teach soft hands. speed and running ability to the OT playing TE.

Rye, I’m through for the morning. Let’s get another beer and a sandwich and then you tell what tell what you think about the defense and defensive coaches? I’m not married to any of my thoughts. Let ‘er rip.