Mailbag Dec.7, Why Has OL, RB Regressed?

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Q: while what you say about the offense blocking and running effectively is true, the system and the copaching of those techniques is critical. why is it that performance of the offensive line and running backs has regressed so much under this syatem and the coaches that have reponsibility over the offense, the O line; why is it that we can`t recruit Connecticut kids—perhaps it is that we don`t know how to use the palent like in the case of Tebuccy Jones JR—WE CAN`T AFFORD TO HAVE SUCH A TALENT NOT PLAY AND LEAVE THE PROGRAM FOR A LESSER DIVISION AND EXPECT TO GET THE OTHER CT KIDS Joe Byrka, South Windsor

A: There was a lack of experience up front this year Joe, talent, too. You also had your best guy, most versatile guy miss the last four games with an injury. Lyle McCombs is 5-8, 166 pounds. The years of success those kids were bigger, tougher or faster. Lyle is a talent but you can’t consistently throw a guy that size at a D-1 defense these days and expect a lot of success. You needed diversity in the backfield this year and didn’t get it but should have. I think the schemes should have been adjusted for success but its a good question the coaches raise when they ask how do you adjust from that long term? I don’t know. And as far as CT kids I think you’re getting the current head coach confused with the former head coach. They’ve landed quite a few local kids since he’s been here. They’re not getting them all but I think that situation isn’t as dire as you’ve portrayed it here. The record is there just check it. Losing Tebucky Jr. is unfortunate Im with you 100 percent on that one.

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21 thoughts on “Mailbag Dec.7, Why Has OL, RB Regressed?

  1. JD


    Another Long Off-season for the Huskies and their fans. Hope all is well for you and yours this Holiday Season!

    I must chime in that the Offense was a problem as a whole and I’m fairly confident after watching all of the games that changes need to be made on that side of the ball. The OL was soft, slow, and weak. Very few times if any at all did they attempt to push the pile forward or keep blocking until the whistle blows.
    The RB issue is clear. UCONN runs a Ground and Pound offense. McCombs is 5′-8, 165 soaking wet. He doesn’t fall forward and doesn’t break tackles. He is a quality scat back or a third down back at this level. If UCONN had a proto-typical sized RB(6′, 205+) the scheme would have made a little more sense.
    The QB position in my mind is still the biggest reason UCONN isn’t winning games. This kid gave his all but didn’t connect on several large throws during critical game situations. His TO’s pretty much spoiled several fantastic Defensive performances. I feel he did progress towards the end of the season but I also said the same thing about Johnny Mac last season…

  2. John

    I dont care about recriuts I care about winning games and filling the rent to honest PP fails on both of those. This was one of the worse teams I have ever see at UConn since we have been in D1. I think our coach is outdated and we are in for some long lean losing years here. Coach change should be on the table if next year is a bust like this year. Cuse fired PP for a reason that was three years of losing seasons.


    @ mike..the ct kid I believe you are referring to played TE and committed to BC then De-committed and went to Maryland…and I’m sure it wasn’t HCRE that recruited him …it was Mike lockley a heavy hitter recruiter for them.

  4. Mike

    This thread got a little out of hand. To get back to the subject of the post: Dez, I am wondering what you think of the popular theory out there of Mike Foley being moved from OL to TE’s being the reason for the drop in production of the OL (and as a result the RB’s)?

  5. Shaggydog84

    Hey Dez
    Enjoy your comments whether or not I agree with all of them. Although it’s probably too early to say PP has done a much better job than RE in CT, PP certainly does have a presence in CT. I agree with most of your comments on this matter…the only thing i would say is, although i’m hoping CC turns out to be a big time recruit, and yes, he would not have gone to UCONN if RE was still around, I’m not sure we can really say he was a big time recruit. I actually think he’s gonna do well, he’s a great kid and is a sponge for learning. However, when we look at who actually offered him, it’s not along the lines of Graham Stuart or the Werner kid. Mostly ivy’s, and i believe BC at some point actually pulled their offer. For a kid to be ranked a fairly high 3 star (rivals) i was surprised at the offer list. And if my memory serves me i don’t think he committed early so he wouldn’t get many more offers. Again, i love the kid, think he’ll do well, but i wouldn’t hang my hat on him as a huge recruit. The transfers have been huge no doubt and i agree it’s due to PP, so i can only hope it’s a sign. I’m just not sure how significant in the long run recruiting in CT will be if the 4-5 stars (where are few and far in between in CT) are not in reach. Hope that’s not the case.

    Just my opinion on the subject. Thx

  6. Mike

    I actually was not a big RE fan.
    Im sorry if I come across the wrong way. I am confused though because you told me that if I am going to try to make points I should present facts. When I pointed out that I did, you said it was the manner in which I did it. So now I am apologizing.

    I hope that Graham Stewart has the career that Scott Lutrus did. If he truly transferred for “personal reasons” then why would he have not come if RE was still here? I know you have a relationship with the kid, has he told you this?

    I hope that Casey Cochran has the career that Dan Orlovsky did. I know that you are high on him. I personally havent seen anything that would lead me to believe that he will have the career that DO did.

    Again, I am sorry if I came across the wrong way. My point of contention is simply that you consistently write that PP has improved the quality of the recruits being brought to UConn and as someone who follows recruiting closely, I do not see that as a fact.

    Perhaps you could write an article proving your point? Im not trying to come across the wrong way. I just feel like, as a decade long season ticket holder, I need something (anything) to get me excited about spending my hard earned (and believe me it is) money on season tickets again. And you can say that isnt being a good fan. I understand that argument. Times are tough out there for everyone, that money would be valuable someplace else. But if I truly have something to believe in, to get excited about, I would love to spend that money on UConn Football.

    At the moment, I need it proven to me that my skepticism is ill-founded.

    1. dconner Post author

      i think we both know you were on a mission against me, dont we Mike? Its ok. Im starting to get used to it. Anyway, if you read Andy’s last two posts I think you’ll find what you need. He did some research on where UConn is now in recruiting. Was a class ever ranked this high under your guy? Now Im not big on the recruiting service rankings but I know most fans do. It’l be interesting to see if their disdain for the coach will mask it, probably will. Id ony add guys like Shak Phillips, Alex Mateas, guys who went to BC and Graham Stewart florida are four star guys that had UConn on their lists but went elsewhere, then came under PP, my point is the quality of recruit has been upgraded and thats what you have to do to upgradd the program. All the apologies arent necessary. I dont mind my work being challenged but save the other stuff, like the guy im defending? That was uneccessary

      1. Mike

        I do not see any posts by Andy? I would love to see it! Can you point me in the right direction?

        I do not take recruiting services as the end all be all but other than results on the field, they are the only metric we have to judge whether recruiting has been upgraded.

        Your opinion that the talent has been upgraded would imply that you believe the following:

        Shak is better than Kashif Moore.
        Mateas is better than Moe Petrus.
        Graham Stewart is better than Sio Moore.

        Those are the 3 names you used, compared to 3 recent UConn players who were recruited under the last HC who play the same position. 2 of those guys played this year and the results do not indicate an upgrade.

        Again, I want to be proven wrong. I do not know why you think I am “on a mission against” you? Like I said, you have stated several times that recruiting has been upgraded but other than your word, and results on the field, how do we know this for sure?

        Was Mateas given higher grades for his play at Center this year than Mo did last year? Was Shak given higher grades than Kashif? I know that these are questions that can only be answered by the coaches but if they are truly “upgrades” then we know what the answer should be……

        If PP is truly upgrading the level of talent in the program, when do you think we will see see the results on the field? Again, looking for reasons to spend my money and not feel like it was wasted!

        I totally feel like you are taking me the wrong way and I am struggling to use my words properly to change your mind. Thus all the apologies!

  7. Rick C

    From just when my son played on the team. Hurd,Ryan,Hicks,Trevardo Williams,Lutrus,Easley(I’ll grant you it was as a walkon and took 31/2 years to realize talent) Eric K.. I just think its a fallacy that Coach P is bringing any more or less than Coach Edsall did. Each have had their successes and failures at getting local kids. You are probably right Coach RE would not of gotten Casey but Coach PP didn’t think the Kid at Temple would fit in here and I think he’s the type of kid Coach RE goes after.

    1. Mike

      And obviously PP was unable to get Dan Orlovsky and Edsall was. Perhaps PP would still be the coach at Cuse had he been able to make that pull……though I will say that the style of QB that he and George preferred at Cuse was of the more athletic variety (though they did have Colt Brennan as a commit when they got fired which leads me to believe that perhaps they were looking to get more into the pro style and would in fact have liked to have gotten Orlovsky).

  8. Kevin

    No doubt dc is right on this one, I still dont like hcpp to bring us to a relevant level but he gets better in state kids.

  9. Mike

    So because I didnt say the kids name I didnt present a fact?
    It was a factual statement that a CT kid is going to Maryland. I do not see how not putting the kids name makes it an unfactual statement?
    Yes, PP is keeping some kids in CT. But so did Edsall. So again, I do not see how PP is making the difference that his holding the position of Head Football Coach at UConn was supposed to make in that regard?
    My point was this: Edsall and PP both have gotten CT kids to come to UConn, both have lost CT kids on the recruiting trail. The difference, as I pointed out, is that it seemed to me that Edsall lost the CT kids to some pretty big time programs (Wisc, ND, Penn St) while PP is losing them to lesser schools (MD, Temple).

    Just because I didnt put a kids name (which Im not sure is the right thing to do to an 18 year old kid in a public forum) does not mean that I did not present you with facts. You needing the names to consider it a fact tells me that pehaps you should keep yourself a little more up to date on the Division 1 recruits in this state since the prospect of them staying in state to play at UConn is something that is often cited as being a strength of the Coach whom you so often defend because he is “bringing in better recruits”.

    1. dconner Post author

      Nope, kids name had nothing to do with it. It was all about the way it was presented – as if he was UConn’s to lose. Seems a little silly for me to make a stink out of a kids name. Edsall NEVER brought in the talent level stateside Pasqualoni has. Are you serious? He never would have gotten Cochran – NEVER. NEVER would got the Thomas kid from New Canaan or the RB from Hand. We can run this all day the state players your favorite coach couldn’t nab – 11 years vs 2 he still loses. Would love to have this argument. Quantity-wise your guy may win. Quality-wise???? Connection to coaches in state, transfers from other BCS programs to CT in last two years? Lets do it!

  10. Mike

    It seems to me that both Randy and Paul have both lost CT HS Recruits. Randy seemed to lose them to programs like Florida, Wisconsin and Notre Dame. Paul seems to be losing them to Maryland (how bout that eh?) and Temple. I’d wager that he will begin losing them to Addazio and BC as well. The main reason for the PP hiring was supposedly his having the ability to keep in-state kids home (too much emphasis has been placed on this, in my opinion). So if he is not doing it and not winning games……..

    1. dconner Post author

      seems to me casey cochran, noel thomas, matt walsh, graham stewart returning, is because P is here. Who did P lose to Randy at Maryland? I dont mind you challenging everything I write. Its good for the soul but come correct, meaning have the facts first. it seems to me was an indicator facts werent going to be taken into consideration but they should – thanks

      1. Ken

        DC, the top HS recruit from Manchester. Was a BC committ but switched to MD. He never really had him so I don’t think he really lost him. He is a TE so getting him would have been nice, but they go where the want.

          1. Ucfanillinois

            Dez, I follow uconn from Illinois. Have you heard anything about coaching duties changing? I would like to see foley go back to o line and fire deleone. His play calling was so easy to read. Also I read cinch is upgrading their stadium . We need to promote uconn more at the rent and in ct. We need to build the uconn brand. Good job Dez can’t wait to hear more about this offseason changes.

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