UConn Coach Paul Pasqualoni On Record Five NFL Draft Picks And Why No More Wins?

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Spoke with UConn football coach Paul Pasqualoni a short time ago for a story I’m working on for tomorrow but we’ll leave a couple bites to chew on: the record five draft picks and the question some have about why if there’s many draft picks why weren’t there more wins.



“I thought the draft went good for our guys and I liked the fit for each of the guys,” Pasqualoni said. “I think Sio [Moore] being out with Oakland they’re a little bit more of a 3-4 team so there’s things there that he can do and rush the passer on third down. I like the fit for Trevardo [Williams] a lot down in Houston. They’ll make him a 3-4 outside linebacker so he’ll be in a two-point stance on first and second down which we tried to do a little bit with here and on third down he’ll put his hand down in the ground and rush the passer.

“I think with the people down in Houston [linebackers coach] Reggie Herring and [defensive coordinator] Wade Phillips, I think in that system, if Trevardo is going to be able to make the transition to the outside linebacker position I think the 3-4 scheme that the Texans are in is as good as it gets for him.

“Ryan Griffin down there [also in Houston] with all the tight ends, obviously they’ve got a Pro Bowl tight end in [Owen] Daniels. Brian Pariani, the tight ends coach, liked the flexibility and how many different things that Ryan Griffin did here as a tight end. He played the regular tight end spot, he played the fullback spot and he played the wide receiver spot which are all the things in the [head coach Gary] Kubiak system that the tight ends have got to be able to do. The terminology will be different but the concepts will all be the same so I think they feel like Ryan Griffin is going to go in there and learn this stuff right away so they can see what he can do.

“Nick Williams getting a chance with the Redskins as a returner and slot receiver I think that’s good. I think Mike Smith [also with the Texans] getting an opportunity is good as well. I like the fit for Blidi [Wreh-Wilson] the Titans are more of a man-to-man, bump and run team. That’s what they want to do. I think that’s Blidi’s strong suit. Jacksonville wants a mixed zone along with some man and I think that’s what [Dwayne] Gratz does well.

“I think these guys in the NFL did their job. They knew the kids well and I think for our players it worked out and I just a call from the Ravens and they’re going to bring [defensive tackle] Ryan Wirth in on Thursday. They’re going to bring him in with the rookies and see what he can do.”

And now to this draft picks/talent/wins deal we’ve been hearing and talking about.

“Well if you turn the ball over [on offense] and you give up a big play at an inopportune time [on defense] regardless you’re chances of winning are slim,” Pasqualoni said. “That would be my first response to it. The biggest factor in winning football games, still, and it’s no revelation, nothing new and it’s not anything anybody doesn’t know, it’s that the turnover…if you turn the ball over in tight games you stand a good chance of losing, No.1.”

That answer won’t be good enough for those who simply don’t like Pasqualoni so then we’ll go to the facts which are challenged more today than they’ve ever been but… 

Did you know UConn was tied for 88th in the country for the most turnovers lost by the offense with 26? Did you know UConn ranked 110th in interceptions thrown with 18? Idaho was the worst in Division I-A with 22. Did you know the UConn was ranked 100th in the nation allowing 2.75 sacks per game? We already know about rushing attack, ranked 117th of 120 schools, 88 yards per game. QB Chandler Whitmer (222 yards per game) ranked in the top 60 throwers but he only had nine touchdown passes.

If you want to know why UConn didn’t win more games, folks? Start with the offense. If you want to know how and why the Huskies stayed in games and had opportunities to win them it was because of the defense led by four players who got drafted. The people who saw the games know that.

“No.2,” Pasqualoni said. “Over the last two years we’ve had good representation of defensive players at the Combine. We’ve got to get to the point where we’re sending offensive players to the Combine but we need more playmakers and we need more production on offense and hopefully as we move forward that will happen for us.” 




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24 thoughts on “UConn Coach Paul Pasqualoni On Record Five NFL Draft Picks And Why No More Wins?

  1. Jonathan

    I agree that the talent was not comparable between the offense and the defense so that gives GDL and Coach PP an excuse on why the offense was so bad. My problem is when is it fair to stop using that as an excuse. We can agree that Randy Edsall did not have great offensive talent those years he was consistently winning 7-8 games a year. I don’t think the athletic department or fans should be subject to another season of less than 7 wins. My problem with Coach PP is his predictability. As someone said, the fans could predict the plays that were coming. I just dont think he adapted to his players. Why wasnt Nick Williams getting more touches on offense? Why wouldn’t UConn move Whitmer out of the pocket more so he wouldn’t get killed in the pocket? Why didn’t Coach PP trust McCummings to throw a pass in a game? Cause there was no surprise what the play call was when he came in the game.

    I am hopeful this offense will turn around this season but I am concerned that there will be potentially 5 guys getting reps with the 1st team offense and no rhythm will be established in practice if a winner isn’t announced early enough.

    1. dconner Post author

      @Jonathan yeah what I see is 6 seasons at .500 or below when Randall Edsall was here. I saw a nine-win season including a bowl game in 07 and I see three consecutive right win seasons, two getting there with the bowl game. I think what people don’t know around here but should know because many do is that one of the reasons the schedule never got upgraded around here years ago when it should have is because Edsall had to have his three, four winnable games and in the Big East who knew so if you could get 3-4 guarantees …look at those 05 and 06 seasons coming off first bowl in 2004…I think we all like Nick but didn’t he have some difficulties this year Jonathan? Go back to the first quarter of the Western Michigan game near the goalline as well as a couple other games. Nick is a player but he had some uncharacteristic drops this year which isn’t debatable sorry. He talked about it. Moving Whitmer? Might have worked but my guess is he didn’t do a lot of it because it’s not a strong suit. He’s a drop back passer Jonathan. Straight back, survey, pitch. On McCummings..mmm yeah Ill let the other fans answer that one for you. There’s a lot of opinions out there about him including moving him to RB which isn’t happening but, you know, that opinion is out there. You think he should have been able to pass more; some think he should get carries as a running back. Anyway I don’t think the staff felt comfortable enough which is why he has told the staff he wants to be a complete QB. I think him coming to camp late set him back a little and then there were the examples in game where he did throw it to look at as well Jonathan. The predictability thing is fair I guess but you should be used to that here, right? Who was more predictablein games here more than Randy Edsall? C’mon Jonathan with that one, lol. I certain;y haven’t forgotten that one. Can’t let the predictability one go untouched

  2. joesimsbury



  3. RST

    I guess I am guilty of raising the question about number of wins on Twitter when the Huskies writers were all puffing their chests out after the draft and comparing UConn’s five to a lot of big name programs with fewer drafted. It was meant as a rhetorical question, but it sure got a rise out of a certain someone:):) That wasn’t exactly my intent.

    Let’s see what happens this season. The Blue-White exercise (or whatever it was) certainly was concerning, but things have a way of turning around. Let’s see what happens. For one thing, I am looking forward to seeing this kid from Texas.

      1. RST

        No need to apologize, Dez. In going into the corner after the puck on this board, one expects an elbow or two. It’s part of the deal.

    1. TheJerk

      by saying “no revelation here” are you referring to HCPP blaming someone else, and not taking any of the heat himself?

      1. dconner Post author

        @TheJerk I think he has blamed himself as he should but he can’t take all the blame and he shouldn’t. Again we watched the same games but if you believe the coach is solely responsible them for all thats gone wrong then so be it. uI won’t debate you because really what I’m trying to do is avoid having the same arguments over and over. I’m not wired for that kind of stuff. I’m not. I think we need to move ahead , on something, and I think we should, really Furthermore there is a lot of truth to what he said today which as Artie pointed out was nothing new if you watched the games.

      1. TheJerk

        dez i agree there is nothing new here. we all knew the defense had some special players this year, and the offense, well not so much. But much like in business, I want a leader who takes ownership of the failures as well. Someone who constantly leans on statistics doesnt always tell the whole story. I have been a sales guy, and I know other people on here have been sales people, and I am sure at one point or another we have all used “stats” to pull our butts out of the fire. The beautiful thing about numbers, is you can twist them into anything you want. Now with that being said, did HCPP fumble the football?. No. Did he throw the INT?. No. I get it. But like it or not for everyone, HCPP is the boss. I just want to hear some ownership of this program thats all.

        1. dconner Post author

          @TheJerk – he has taken ownership and responsibility it’s just not enough for you. You want him to take all of it. Yes you saw the fumbles and INTs missed blocking assignments big play breakdowns on defense at the wrong times and you let’s be honest you want him to take responsibility for those. One question. Randy Edsall was like God to you and your buddy. How do you think he did with the ownership and responsibility thing throughout his career as well as when it ended here? How did he do with that on the field and off? The point here is getting you to move on and accept the season as over and understand a new one starts in a few months and most importantly you have your coach for the upcoming season.

  4. Palatine


    You sticking with the “UConn didn’t have the talent to compete with Rutgers and Syracuse” line, or did the draft change your mind?

    1. dconner Post author

      @Palatine I think it’s time for you to move on to something else. That’s what I’m sticking with. You’re more focused on me and what I think than anything else. Sorry but I don’t get that one. Focus on the football team and preferably next season.

    2. Howard Lubinger

      How many draft picks came from the offensive side? What was the weakness of the team?

  5. JD

    Thanks Dez.

    It’s No Surprise to any UCONN Fan that this Defense had (4) Players drafted in the first 4 rounds. Ryan Griffin did a great job for the Huskies as well.

    Unfortunately as we all know, the Offense was one of the worst in the Country for the 2nd year in a row. What’s sad is I am not convinced we will be any better on Offense this year.
    That being said though HC Pasqualoni and his Staff lost those games. Anyone who watched this team would know we Could’ve/Should’ve have won at least 7 games in each of the past 2 seasons(Vandy, ISU, WMU) & (NCSU, Temple, USF).
    No question about it…

    1. dconner Post author

      Also @JD – if you want we can break down in each of those examples what led to the losses. He made some mistakes in games. He’s admitted those at Vanderbilt as well as others people just dont want to hear it. thats not important i think this is though: if you’re interested lets talk about what happened in those games that you mentioned only because I think you have to be careful when saying one person cost a team a game when there are players on the field who play and have responsibilities. Its ok if you dont like the guy as coach its not right believing he cost the team all those games. You picked some great ones to discuss so let me know. You start by indicating in each of those games how he lost them, how what he did contributed directly to the loss in those games and ill come back and illustrate how I thought those games were lost on the field, where players didnt tend to their responsibilities. Now mind you the thing about UConn kids, when they make mistakes they say they made mistakes so I will also reach back and get direct quotes from those games from the players themselves, see what they said as well and we can go from there. Your move JD – thanks man

  6. JCBJR

    90% of time: (1st down) run up the middle; (2nd down) run around left or right end – element of “surprise”; (3rd down) pass – incomplete or interception; (4th down) punt!!! Great offense …

  7. Howard Lubinger

    Great job on this one, DC! Nothing new to those of us that watch the games, understand the sport and can comprehend simple statistics. There were great defensive players. However, the talent and performance on the offensive side of the ball did not measure up. Defense does win games, however, there is only so much that a unit can be leaned on.

    Hoping the improvement in recruiting on the offensive side of the ball changes this trend.

  8. Ray

    Congratulations to all of these players…..it is tough to swallow where this team ended up the last two seasons.

    I am excited about our new offensive coordinator and think we have a chance to turn it around.

    Keep up the good work Dez and let’s hope for the best

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