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I have a lot of faith in Applewhite.  I think he will sort out the top 4 by week 1 (NW game), but most likely, will see many guys get action in week 2 & 3.  Probably by OU or after that game, the main rotation guys will be set for the rest of the season.  I like the RB room, and we should be fine.

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36 minutes ago, Farms said:

Yes and no. R. Johnson probably started the year as the 4th, maybe even 5th guy and ended up RB1.  I think most would say Stepp started the year as CO-#1 with Ervin and was nowhere to be found at the beginning of the year.  Obviously Ervin went down and Yant had some issues that factored into the RB rotation but overall I still think they can do a better job of identifying their best guy(s) before the season. Hopefully somebody is good enough to emerge as the clear cut best guy but wouldn't be surprised to see RB by committee again.   

 

People get upset when coaches "don't play the best players".  Then people get upset when "playing the best players" leads to switching "too much".  Basically, people are upset with the overall results so they nit-pick everything there is to complain about.  It been that way for years.

 

I think a lot of the shifting at RB was simply they were all fairly similar so trying to find the right person is hard.  Plus when the results aren't what you want them to be, I think you're more prone to try something different just to see if there is a spark.  Such as starting McCaffrey at QB.  I don't know that I blame the coaches for trying anything they can to get something work better.

 

Rahmir definitely started off about 4th.  But word is it really lit a fire under him and he started running harder.  So it's not fair to say they just couldn't decide.  The situation changed.  They adjusted.  Isn't that what they're supposed to do.

 

I think calling Stepp a co-#1 is a stretch.  Ervin was definitely #1.  Ervin had 12 carries against Illinois to Stepp's 3.  There's nothing "co" about that.  Johnson actually had more carries that Stepp with 4.  I don't know how much stock can be put in the Fordham game because it was such a blowout.  Against Buffalo, the carries were fairly equal (10-9) but the production wasn't (5.6 ypc for Ervin, 1.9 for Stepp).  Stepp didn't get a carry against Oklahoma, even after Ervin got hurt.  It was Johnson that go all the work.  

 

So Ervin was the guy until he got hurt.  There was somewhat of a jumble for 2-3-4 but Rahmir was in that mix even before Ervin got hurt then immediately took over as the guy.  And he didn't get replaced until he got hurt.  Yant got chances when he earned them and got benched when his attitude didn't measure up.  Not sure what's to complain about there.

 

I think the complaints about the running back rotation last year were overblown and more a byproduct of the lack of success overall and the OL struggles blocking.

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21 minutes ago, Mavric said:

 

People get upset when coaches "don't play the best players".  Then people get upset when "playing the best players" leads to switching "too much".  Basically, people are upset with the overall results so they nit-pick everything there is to complain about.  It been that way for years.

 

I think a lot of the shifting at RB was simply they were all fairly similar so trying to find the right person is hard.  Plus when the results aren't what you want them to be, I think you're more prone to try something different just to see if there is a spark.  Such as starting McCaffrey at QB.  I don't know that I blame the coaches for trying anything they can to get something work better.

 

Rahmir definitely started off about 4th.  But word is it really lit a fire under him and he started running harder.  So it's not fair to say they just couldn't decide.  The situation changed.  They adjusted.  Isn't that what they're supposed to do.

 

I think calling Stepp a co-#1 is a stretch.  Ervin was definitely #1.  Ervin had 12 carries against Illinois to Stepp's 3.  There's nothing "co" about that.  Johnson actually had more carries that Stepp with 4.  I don't know how much stock can be put in the Fordham game because it was such a blowout.  Against Buffalo, the carries were fairly equal (10-9) but the production wasn't (5.6 ypc for Ervin, 1.9 for Stepp).  Stepp didn't get a carry against Oklahoma, even after Ervin got hurt.  It was Johnson that go all the work.  

 

So Ervin was the guy until he got hurt.  There was somewhat of a jumble for 2-3-4 but Rahmir was in that mix even before Ervin got hurt then immediately took over as the guy.  And he didn't get replaced until he got hurt.  Yant got chances when he earned them and got benched when his attitude didn't measure up.  Not sure what's to complain about there.

 

I think the complaints about the running back rotation last year were overblown and more a byproduct of the lack of success overall and the OL struggles blocking.

I don't have that many questions about why they played certain RBs and when.  I know I'm probably in the minority.  The bigger issue is why some of these guys haven't been more productive and that's why I believe there was a coaching change.

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@BigRedBuster I might be wrong, but I think the link to less production was partly due to the inside-zone they run. I am a big advocate of giving RBs more opportunity to the edge and in space. I know it doesn't always produce big plays or success all the time.  But it does give them an opportunity to use speed and cutting ability, more than running between the guard and tackle, or guard and center all the time.

 

Seems to me that the outside runs are for duck-r guys only, or WR in this offense.  Or QB option plays.  A majority of those option plays involve WR. 

 

In other words, I can see more RB production if we mix it up more often (inside & outside).  The big runs we had with RBs were due to bouncing it outside instead of going into a pile of lineman.

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2 hours ago, Mavric said:

 

Well ... of course it is for now because Ervin isn't even practicing. 


He beat out two of those three last year.  Obviously he needs to be healthy but I don't think it would be a shock for him to do it again.

No it wouldn’t shock me either. But with Yant appearing to be in top shape, it just seems he has more potential (doesn’t mean it will be realized) than Ervin. Just my own personal opinion.  As of right now — and it could changed — it appears Grant and Yant have the potential to become elite and Johnson to be very solid. That may not happen, but it will be fun to find out. Then you got Ajay Allen coming in the fall, and he could be a factor. It’s simply my opinion Ervin will face much tougher competition than before. Thus he could end up in the top three or below. And then there is Emmit Johnson. We shall see. 

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11 minutes ago, admo said:

@BigRedBuster I might be wrong, but I think the link to less production was partly due to the inside-zone they run. I am a big advocate of giving RBs more opportunity to the edge and in space. I know it doesn't always produce big plays or success all the time.  But it does give them an opportunity to use speed and cutting ability, more than running between the guard and tackle, or guard and center all the time.

 

Seems to me that the outside runs are for duck-r guys only, or WR in this offense.  Or QB option plays.  A majority of those option plays involve WR. 

 

In other words, I can see more RB production if we mix it up more often (inside & outside).  The big runs we had with RBs were due to bouncing it outside instead of going into a pile of lineman.

Well, it would also help if there wasn't a pile of linemen.

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2 hours ago, Mavric said:

 

Johnson got hurt.  Yant couldn't keep focused.  I don't think that's on the offensive coaching staff.

 

Here are the season rushing totals for our top RB since Frost took over:

1048

745

396

495

 

We're not developing running backs. That's on coaching. 

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Just now, Guy Chamberlin said:

Here are the season rushing totals for our top RB since Frost took over:

1048

745

396

495

 

We're not developing running backs. That's on coaching. 

 

That's a different argument from what I previously responded to.

 

It's possible and likely probably that it's at least partially due to coaching.  It's also due to injuries.  And it's also due to attitude on the player's part.

 

Not totally on coaching by any stretch.

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1 hour ago, admo said:

@BigRedBuster I might be wrong, but I think the link to less production was partly due to the inside-zone they run. I am a big advocate of giving RBs more opportunity to the edge and in space. I know it doesn't always produce big plays or success all the time.  But it does give them an opportunity to use speed and cutting ability, more than running between the guard and tackle, or guard and center all the time.

 

Seems to me that the outside runs are for duck-r guys only, or WR in this offense.  Or QB option plays.  A majority of those option plays involve WR. 

 

In other words, I can see more RB production if we mix it up more often (inside & outside).  The big runs we had with RBs were due to bouncing it outside instead of going into a pile of lineman.

There are RBs around the country that run inside zone with a lot more production than we saw.  Now, I would say a lot of that has to do with the line.  But, it's also on the RBs.

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35 minutes ago, BigRedBuster said:

There are RBs around the country that run inside zone with a lot more production than we saw.  Now, I would say a lot of that has to do with the line.  But, it's also on the RBs.

Our most productive RB is one that wasnt developed by this staff...that tells me all I need to know about how poor Held was as a RB coach. When he left here and ended up at North Alabama that only solidified it. He wasn't even regarded as a capable FBS RB coach. 

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9 minutes ago, Hedley Lamarr said:

Our most productive RB is one that wasnt developed by this staff...that tells me all I need to know about how poor Held was as a RB coach. When he left here and ended up at North Alabama that only solidified it. He wasn't even regarded as a capable FBS RB coach. 

It would be hard to argue against this. 

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12 minutes ago, Hedley Lamarr said:

Our most productive RB is one that wasnt developed by this staff...that tells me all I need to know about how poor Held was as a RB coach. When he left here and ended up at North Alabama that only solidified it. He wasn't even regarded as a capable FBS RB coach. 

 

Eh, that's kind of reading into it what you want to read into it.

 

That same RB also had his own personal most productive year - by far - under this staff.  So it seems pretty likely that this staff did by far the best job of putting him in a position to succeed.  And I don't know how you can say for sure that he wasn't developed by this staff when they had nearly a year to work with him and by all accounts he was in significantly different physical condition during that time.

 

I personally think that was much more about the last year that we had a solid and experienced offensive line than anything, but I don't know how anyone can say one way or the other with any certainty.

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30 minutes ago, Hedley Lamarr said:

Our most productive RB is one that wasnt developed by this staff...that tells me all I need to know about how poor Held was as a RB coach. When he left here and ended up at North Alabama that only solidified it. He wasn't even regarded as a capable FBS RB coach. 

I’m not going to sit here and support Held. I don’t think he was getting it done. 
 

But, to say he was developed by the other staff was a stretch.  He didn’t do much until this staff got here. 

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I think one needs to look at total rush yards by the RBs for the season to keep some perspective too.  I feel the RB room has had more talent than the yards we got from them, whichever ones played. I don’t think any that got more than 15 or 20 carries were that poor, talent wise.  
 

Now a lot of issues impacted production from the RB position every year.  From my view, I saw poor blocking, poor scheming at times, unfortunate game situations (bad field position, penalties ruined down and distance too often, inconsistent QB reads and injuries, etc etc.).  
 

Was held a good RB coach?  It doesn’t look like he accomplished much but he did help recruit some good players.  His résumé was poor and he took a low rent job after he left Lincoln - says he was not attractive to other places but ??   He was inexpensive for a reason maybe. 

 

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57 minutes ago, Hedley Lamarr said:

Our most productive RB is one that wasnt developed by this staff...that tells me all I need to know about how poor Held was as a RB coach. When he left here and ended up at North Alabama that only solidified it. He wasn't even regarded as a capable FBS RB coach. 

I was reading before posting, but was going to say the same thing.  The problem was not the RB room, but the running back coach.  I feel confident in saying that our "old" RB's will look MUCH better than last year.  Looking forward to seeing what they can.

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