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Jerry Kill's teardown of PJ Fleck is rare in college football coaching

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Former coaches almost never rip their successors like Jerry Kill just ripped P.J. Fleck

 

 

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College football coaching is a high-turnover business, and the churn naturally leads to icy relations between some coaches. When a new coach takes over a program, he’ll almost always talk about building a culture and, broadly, changing the team to make it better. Implicit when that happens is a statement that the last coach didn’t do a good job. Making that more clear, the new coach usually fires all the previous coach’s assistants.

 

For the most part, this tension stays quiet. When a team’s former coach does interviews, it’s not uncommon for him to simply not talk at all about the guy who came after him.

 

That context makes these comments, from former Minnesota coach Jerry Kill about current Gophers head man P.J. Fleck, downright jarring:

 

 

 

 

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That has got to be a tough situation on both ends.  It is refreshing to hear coaches speak honestly about it though.

 

Also, Kill knows he never has to worry about needing "friends" for a job again so he can actually speak his mind and step out of the good ole boy circle. 

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This is great.  My exact feeling on Fleck.  Didnt like how he talked like the Minny job was a complete overhaul and how they had to start at year 0.  Fleck and Claeys did a great job at Minny and they were going to be a force in the West if Kill didnt have health issues.  Fleck just comes off as disingenuous in just about everything he says or does.   

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Kill is mad about Fleck coming in and talking about how he had to fix a broken culture? Uhh, Jerry, PJ came in following a sexual assault scandal, ten player suspensions, and a player boycott. You can play the blame game all you want, but that whole ordeal reflected poorly on the program any way you slice it, and Fleck definitely had to address the situation in some way.

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12 minutes ago, Toe said:

Kill is mad about Fleck coming in and talking about how he had to fix a broken culture? Uhh, Jerry, PJ came in following a sexual assault scandal, ten player suspensions, and a player boycott. You can play the blame game all you want, but that whole ordeal reflected poorly on the program any way you slice it, and Fleck definitely had to address the situation in some way.

This is a very fair point.

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1 hour ago, Toe said:

and Fleck definitely had to address the situation in some way.

 

But did he really have to open up a used car lot next door?

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I have many thoughts.

 

Most of them arent good.

 

I am not a PJ Fleck fan. He is a walking sound byte. I dont think he is a bad coach but he is very gimmicky and I think he relies on that. While I think he means what he says I dont know if he truly can connect with people who see past his sayings. 

 

Jerry Kill was creating something special with the Gophers and his health took that away.. but lets not kid ourselves, things were already starting to go poorly between Kill and the UofM administration. He didnt feel like he had the support he needed and while he couldnt go on because of health he also didnt leave on the greatest terms. He left in a way that they had no choice but to go with Tracy Claeys. Claeys wasnt given a super fair shake but the way he handled the sex assault probably made it a worthy decision to move on. 

 

The major issue Claeys and Kill had was they were looking for a way out. The new AD wanted his own guy and I think they were looking for a reason to can Claeys.

 

All of this is part of the reason Kill  has a bone to pick.

 

Now, on to PJ. I think PJ holds guys accountable. I have mentioned in the past he is a bit like Frost in that sense but where he loses me is how fake/gimmicky he comes off. I also dont think he is that great of a coach. He reminds me a bit of Tim Miles but less goofy/fun. 

 

When PJ came in. He TRASHED the old team. Similar to what Frost did. He questioned work ethic, and how they basically didnt go to class. No idea if that was true but I can understand why Kill was offended. PJ was giving himself a bit of an out and trying to take pressure off himself if it didnt work for the first 2-3 years. His big thing now is that they are SOOO young because he had to hit reset because all the previous guys didnt fit his culture. 

 

PJ is a salesman. He is going to spin things to make himself look better. My guess is if he has any success at MN, he will leave for a bigger job.

 

In this case, I think Kill should probably just move on but I dont think he is all that far off. PJ strikes me as a guy who will stab you in the back to further himself, but will put a cute spin on it. 

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image.jpeg.a7c25d5aaa86e4fa589e9e2e3cd03a72.jpeg image.jpeg.23d8f2bfec12d841ce6e3a04178f3b86.jpeg

 

The article describes PJ as a can of Red Bull in maroon.  I think that is a great analogy. I mean look at him, this is how he dresses for every PC you see him at.  Always dressed in a very dapper suit and tie.  He is all about the image he is projecting and his  sayings.  

 

l like to watch the B1G weekly coaches PC during football season at my lunch break.  Pat Fitzgerald's are great, he is funny and entertaining in what he says and I don't think he is trying to be. Harbaugh says as little as possible most the time.  Dantonio can be funny or a dick depending on his mood.  Frost is pretty even keeled and a little funny.  Christ is boring as hell.  Then you have PJ who shows up in his suit, he is the only one in a suit, and he talks a mile a minute and basically says nothing.  He gives little catch phrases and a lot of double talk bull s#!t. Think Bob Diaco but with the word "elite" mixed in a lot for effect.  

 

The article also says he worked for Greg Schiano at Rutgers and that is where Kill thinks he picked up his shtick.  I would say that is somewhat accurate.  Schiano has a lot of  the same traits as PJ he is just not nearly as over the top as he is.  Rutgers also has a catch phrase similar to "Row the Boat".  It was something like "Pound the Rocks" or "Break the Rocks".  

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Wasn't there something about his recruiting tendencies that were really creepy?  Like he'd stare down recruits, or not let them leave, something like that?  Thought there was a write up last year about some kids who experienced how crazy intense he was with them.  

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3 minutes ago, Calvin said:

Wasn't there something about his recruiting tendencies that were really creepy?  Like he'd stare down recruits, or not let them leave, something like that?  Thought there was a write up last year about some kids who experienced how crazy intense he was with them.  

 

Quote

This isn’t the first time rumors such as this have come out of a Minnesota visit. There have been rumblings since the arrival of Fleck about players being pressured into committing while on campus. There are half-jokes about players being locked into a room until they give there word. Those jokes seem less funny with the added context. These are life-changing decisions being made by teenagers and grown men are pressuring them to be made quickly and without all the information, putting themselves, their record and their bonuses ahead of the players they coach.

 

https://www.blackheartgoldpants.com/2018/6/18/17459294/overreaction-monday-kirk-ferentz-iowa-hawkeyes-college-football-recruiting-ncaa

 

 

 

 

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Everyone looks really bad here.  I get why Kill is ticked but he comes across so petty and like a whiner that it's hard to take him seriously.  Did Claeys get a bit of a raw deal?  Probably.  At the same time you had a huge sex assault issue coupled with the fact that the former AD resigned due to sexual harassment which meant that Claeys had to get clipped.  I don't get Fleck's schtick at all and maybe that's because I've never been in an environment both work-wise or sports-wise that required a little motto or something to work towards.  The thing is, in my opinion the weird gimmick stuff only works at the G5 level and lower P5 level.  It feels so forced and contrived.  Can you imagine Alabama, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Michigan or freaking Iowa rolling out some stupid catch phrase?  We'd be laughing our a**es off at Iowa if they did something like this.  The only P5 team I can think of that has a bit of a gimmick is Clemson with Howard's Rock but the backstory on it is pretty cool and has dated back to the 60s.  Plus the Clemson entrance where they touch the rock and sprint down the hill through the crowds is awesome

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4 minutes ago, GSG said:

This sums up the whole "PJ Fleck is a used cars salesman" perfectly.

 

The guy has a way with words and understands how to pressure/sell you until you realize.. Wait, what did I just agree to?

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3 hours ago, NUinID said:

image.jpeg.a7c25d5aaa86e4fa589e9e2e3cd03a72.jpeg image.jpeg.23d8f2bfec12d841ce6e3a04178f3b86.jpeg

 

The article describes PJ as a can of Red Bull in maroon.  I think that is a great analogy. I mean look at him, this is how he dresses for every PC you see him at.  Always dressed in a very dapper suit and tie.  He is all about the image he is projecting and his  sayings.  

 

l like to watch the B1G weekly coaches PC during football season at my lunch break.  Pat Fitzgerald's are great, he is funny and entertaining in what he says and I don't think he is trying to be. Harbaugh says as little as possible most the time.  Dantonio can be funny or a dick depending on his mood.  Frost is pretty even keeled and a little funny.  Christ is boring as hell.  Then you have PJ who shows up in his suit, he is the only one in a suit, and he talks a mile a minute and basically says nothing.  He gives little catch phrases and a lot of double talk bull s#!t. Think Bob Diaco but with the word "elite" mixed in a lot for effect.  

 

The article also says he worked for Greg Schiano at Rutgers and that is where Kill thinks he picked up his shtick.  I would say that is somewhat accurate.  Schiano has a lot of  the same traits as PJ he is just not nearly as over the top as he is.  Rutgers also has a catch phrase similar to "Row the Boat".  It was something like "Pound the Rocks" or "Break the Rocks".  

 

 

 

 

To be fair he doesn't dress like that for games or monday morning press conferences or whatever. Those are big event type of things. Every coach wears a suit at B1G Media Days, for example (I think I even took that picture on the left?)

 

His gameday/practice(?) attire is much more subdued: 

 

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5 minutes ago, Landlord said:

To be fair he doesn't dress like that for games or monday morning press conferences or whatever. Those are big event type of things. Every coach wears a suit at B1G Media Days, for example (I think I even took that picture on the left?)

 

His gameday/practice(?) attire is much more subdued:

 

I mean it's the suit with a university pullover instead of the jacket, not that different. And someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the coaches are required to wear university apparel for games. If they made U of M suits (I'm sure you can get custom ones, but I mean from the university) he would wear one. He comes across pretty poorly to a lot of people, attire is just a part of it. With that being said, I agree with the others saying no one looks good in this. Seems like Kill is bitter and wants to still be relevant, and Fleck is very much a salesman albeit a good coach as well.

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