Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Presser reax

Sorry for the lateness. Real Life AAARRGGH.

Video of said presser here; something approaching a transcript here.

An introductory press conference is like the laser-light show to close the amusement park; sure, it's nice to look at all the pretty lights, but you come for the roller coasters and thrill rides and to have your kids get an autograph from a dude sweating his life away inside a wool cartoon character's costume. Likewise, I watched the presser video and read the transcripts pretty closely, but Chizik convincing a single recruit-on-the-fence to re-commit would be bigger news.

Nonetheless, here's a few impressions ...

1. I'll give Chizik some credit for finessing that "Why did you leave Auburn if you love it so much?" question as well as he did. I don't think "Because I wanted to come back to Auburn" makes a lot of sense--has Chizik been reading his Catch-22?-- but it's as good an answer as there is. Zen-clever, if you ask me.

2. Most football coaches are physically impressive and/or good public speakers, so the fact that Chizik is physically impressive and a good public speaker doesn't count for a ton at the JCCW. But man, you have to admit that's a hell of a jawline he's got. We're talking Clark Kent-square. Friend-of-the-blog Justin compared it to Tom Glavine's:

and I think that's a pretty apt comparison. So, hey, he's got that going for him.

3. As for the actual content of what Chizik said, most of it was what you'd hope to hear. Recruiting and the staff is job No. 1, great, Auburn is the bestest place ever, you bet it is, the players and coaches and administration all needs to be one big Auburn Family, I hear ya boss. But not hearing that sort of stuff would be more noteworthy than actually hearing it since, hey, what else is he gonna say? Of mild interest were his comments specifically referring to beating the bushes with Alabama high school coaches--still doesn't really mean anything, but that's a better-sounding and more focused-sounding start than "Hey, we're gonna really recruit!", I guess.

4. Not everything was peachy-keen, however, in my humble opinion. Chizik "never deviated" from his "blueprint"? So the blueprint included demoting his coordinators and firing a couple of position coaches? Really? Just tell us you made a couple of mistakes and that you learned from them, please, rather than pretending everything was going just swimmingly in Ames before you came to Auburn. We can't really argue with Jacobs' claim that Chizik was "on the path at Iowa State to turn that program around," since we didn't get too far down the path, but we can agree the blueprint wasn't entirely perfect, can't we?

5. He claims he doesn't want to "mircomanage" his coordinators, but perhaps in the case of Wayne Bolt, his ISU DC, perhaps a bit of micromanagement was needed before his team landed at 111th in the nation in total defense? Just sayin'.

6. And here's the twin lowlights of the press conference: first, Chizik saying that his offensive philosophy is "200 years old":
On offense right now, you've got to run the football. That doesn't mean we're not going to throw the football. It means that you have to be physical. That doesn't pigeonhole me into any one offense. So many offenses are not one-dimensional anymore.
So, tell, me, bigshot wide receiver and quarterback recruits whose absence have been the bane of Auburn's offense for going on three seasons now ... how excited are you to play for a "200-year-old" offense that's "got to run the football" although don't worry, even if it doesn't have to throw the football, it "doesn't mean we're not going to throw the football." Got that? You excited?

I shouldn't be so snarky, I know that--Chizik has his philosophy and his style, and I though I wish he'd just made them sound a little jazzier and innovative than he did (and possibly they are), at least he's being upfront about them. What really bothers me isn't Chizik's style. What bothers me, kills me, is that that style in and of itself, regardless of how well it was working, is apparently a big part of what got him hired. Take it away, Fail Jacobs:
He'll re-energize Auburn with his physical, smash-mouth brand of football. All Auburn people will come together.
See, in the SEC, you can't get too hung up on "moving the football" or "scoring points" or even "winning football games." The first thing you gotta do, the most important thing, is just to go out there and smash somebody in the mouth. Doesn't matter why, doesn't matter what it accomplishes. In the SEC, you just gotta smash someone in the mouth, and let everything else take care of itself. You might ask why we'd refuse to even give the time of day to a coach who went 11-1 and then hire a coach who went 2-10 while competing in the same conference, but I know our fans. They're SEC fans, and they don't really care about those silly "wins" and "losses" just so long as they can see one guy smash another guy in the mouth.

Oh well. At least Jacobs didn't mention "SEC experience" as a big selling point to the hire, I mean, I think it's been proven pretty conclusively that it doesn't mean anything. If even us pissant bloggers are smart enough to figure it out, surely someone whose job it is to know ...
"We wanted someone who was a relentless recruiter, a guy with unbelievable character and integrity, someone who has been in the SEC and had been successful, somebody who has a passion for football -- Auburn football -- and his family."
*head explodes*


easyedwin said...

Help me. My legs are getting a bit shaky. I was ok on Saturday, but this double shot of pessimism is causing me to have second thoughts. I got the "note from Pat Dye" today. It made me feel even worse. I want point production and I want it NOW !!

Jerry Hinnen said...

Easy E, optimism tomorrow.