Redbird Football at #3 N. Iowa

Redbird15

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Combo platter. Receivers aren’t getting open and Jefferson can’t hang on to the football. Bit them again today.
ISU does not have any break away receivers ! Since snell left and even then he was the only only and that was at slot. OC are playing checkers when they need to learn to play chess. Get 4/5 yards in 2back set. Then next play go with a single back set with the smallest RB we have and run up the middle.. No play action from the 2back set with a running QB. WR never run short slant routes for the most part and find soft spots for qb to release ball quick. Offense is to predictable.. The only person they throwing the ball to is Tanner and some of the routes he is running are shallow 3/4 yard routes when we need 7 yards or more. Can we say OC'S. They can not blame Bryce for this lost. Think they put him in hand cuffs and said don't go lose the game. With those restrictions against a good team & the way we call plays and field personnel for yardage etc need ISU will be good to score 14 pts total between NDS, SDS and ND for those 3 games.
 

Redbird15

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Jefferson is under lock n key and its not his fault. Can we say OC's or OC ! Offensive play calling other team is playing chess and ISU playing checkers. The excuses young team is getting old when you can see read option for QB was there all night. But bet Bryce was told hand the ball off. OC's got to scheme up player personnel with the offensive play that being called . If you are going to throw to back out of the backfield why are you not throwing to the smaller or shifty RB sometimes. That RB is more likely to turn a 3 yard play into a 7/8 yard play by making to 1st tackler miss. Hell put Casper in backfield if that what it takes lol wheel route ! Got Tanner running post when he is not as fast so I guess OL going to have block for 7seconds for him to get open 20 yards down field. WR's can't get no separation on deep balls. Everyone was all excited the 1st game but 2 out of the 3 deep balls were from defense mistakes on SD. Some talk about development at QB over the years lol what about the other skilled offensive positions ? Defense ISU develop players to play when need. Offense remains to be seen ! We talk about kid that is transferring in fron ND... LOL um does he have break away speed or Julio Jones leaping ability ? Even so will OC's use him ? If offense keeps playing the way they have... Wonder if some birds will fly away to trees with berries elsewhere and leave the new babies behind ? I miss Proctor ! We would have probably saw some runs like this one from Johnny Ford from FAU ! Speed Kills and Power Kills... We don't have JR Power now the speed we thought we had is not there either. James made a lot of other positions look great when no eyes were on them .
 

Total Red

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More thoughts -

Offense - Not good but I don't want to come off as blaming it all on Jefferson. The protection needed to be better. He was harassed much of the game. Bryce did step up in the pocket and he threw a good downfield pass to Nagel for what should have been longest reception of the game but Nagel couldn't quite haul it in.

Last season we had what I would call an inside out running game. James was a gifted between the tackles runner. So much so defenses would sometimes bunch up in the middle and James would get some of his best gains starting inside and bouncing to the outside. This is a clip with the Jaguars where James shows how it's done. You can watch the whole video if you want but I'm just talking about the first play. He follows his lead blocker but the Colts step up and plug the hole. They don't think that James has the speed to get outside. They're partly right, James isn't fast but speed is OVERRATED. James has more tools in his toolbelt than Batman. This time he uses a stiff arm to break free to the outside. Inside out running.
That worked last season but James is gone. We have smaller backs and we're still running between the tackles. It thought we would try to go wide more this year, particularly with Nigel White. Maybe some option with a pitch or a toss sweep. I can't guarantee it would work, especially against N.Iowa. We might have a 4 yard loss going wide rather than 1 yard gain up the middle, but I'm surprised it isn't being tried. If we did have some success going wide it would help open up the middle.

Defense - We lost almost all of our top tacklers from last season. Even so I said that we would be strong on defense and that we still had depth. That depth is now being severely tested. We lost two D-Linemen (Jude Okolo and Jason Lewan) on the same play. Okolo was very slow to get up. I hope they are both recovering nicely. It will be really hard to keep the defense at the level it has been if both are out for NDSU, but if head injuries are involved then we have to err on the side of caution. We did get good play from the D-Line reserves. We harassed the hell out of their QB too and Dinga came in and got a big-time sack. Gomez was very active and even former TE McCall got in the action. We were down to the 3rd string. If you had a # in the 90s and a helmet you were thrown into the D-Line for the Redbirds. The defense fought valiantly and Wilhoit tried to put sprinkles on an ice cream sundae with a pick six but it all melted away.

We need to get some players healthy and a good plan on offense for game 3. Jefferson's running has been our most consistent weapon.
 

TIMMY

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ISU does not have any break away receivers ! Since snell left and even then he was the only only and that was at slot. OC are playing checkers when they need to learn to play chess. Get 4/5 yards in 2back set. Then next play go with a single back set with the smallest RB we have and run up the middle.. No play action from the 2back set with a running QB. WR never run short slant routes for the most part and find soft spots for qb to release ball quick. Offense is to predictable.. The only person they throwing the ball to is Tanner and some of the routes he is running are shallow 3/4 yard routes when we need 7 yards or more. Can we say OC'S. They can not blame Bryce for this lost. Think they put him in hand cuffs and said don't go lose the game. With those restrictions against a good team & the way we call plays and field personnel for yardage etc need ISU will be good to score 14 pts total between NDS, SDS and ND for those 3 games.
I agree with absolutely all of this. The 2 back set stuff in particular. Terrible. I'd have 11 guys flying to the box because I have seen zero counter. It's power lead/ISO (their best play) and the whole football world knows it. And it still works!!!

But..... and it;'s a long but........ Who has been working on this kid's mechanics? They are all over the place. Too much bend in the back leg. Opens the front leg. Too much all arm throwing. He's all over the place. And he's got too much physical ability for this to be the case at this point in his career. If I were his position coach he would hate my guts. Then it would click and he would name his firstborn after me. This is not rocket surgery.
 

Virginia Redbird

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I took some time before posting. Had to let this all sink in a bit. 0-2 with NDSU up next at the FargoDome. Anything can happen of course but 0-3 is looking like a very distinct possibility. With a short season and fewer at-large playoff billets (the MVFC Championship is definitely already out of reach), this spring season is becoming just painful. The defense still looks pretty good but when your defense outscores your offense, well Bucko...there is a problem. But it is still the same problem. Defense alone does not win championships. You see to win ... you have to score one more point than the other guys.
On the plus side, my wife says there is always a plus side, some young players get some good playing time and game experience for next fall. Jefferson could use some better coaching. The question is where is it going to come from? The Co-Coordinators are a former O-Lineman and former Running back/Linebacker. Has anyone looked at the QB assistant coach bio page? Nothing. Not a single word. Who is he? I don't think Jefferson is getting much help but Spack probably already has him penciled in for Safety in the fall anyway.
I am not trying to be doom and gloom but with NDSU and SDSU still to come and both on the road it is not looking to be a very pretty picture.
 

redbirdfan04

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Before our first game was canceled I told myself I didn't care if we went 0-8 this spring I was just craving live Redbird football. After two loses I retract that statement lol! I feel terrible for the entire program and FCS football overall. I think we are sitting at 2-1 or 3-0 if MSU doesn't cancel on us. I know it is an excuse but just how I feel. With 6 at large bids for the playoffs the Birds will have to go 6-0 from this point and will still be on the outside looking in for a bid. Football coaches and players are creatures of habit and you can tell this Spring season has them all uncomfortable. Even teams that are winning don't look good. The MVFC will dominant in the playoffs because of defense. Defense travels, even in the spring apparently!

A win at NDSU would sure put a smile on my face! Go Birds
 

TIMMY

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I took some time before posting. Had to let this all sink in a bit. 0-2 with NDSU up next at the FargoDome. Anything can happen of course but 0-3 is looking like a very distinct possibility. With a short season and fewer at-large playoff billets (the MVFC Championship is definitely already out of reach), this spring season is becoming just painful. The defense still looks pretty good but when your defense outscores your offense, well Bucko...there is a problem. But it is still the same problem. Defense alone does not win championships. You see to win ... you have to score one more point than the other guys.
On the plus side, my wife says there is always a plus side, some young players get some good playing time and game experience for next fall. Jefferson could use some better coaching. The question is where is it going to come from? The Co-Coordinators are a former O-Lineman and former Running back/Linebacker. Has anyone looked at the QB assistant coach bio page? Nothing. Not a single word. Who is he? I don't think Jefferson is getting much help but Spack probably already has him penciled in for Safety in the fall anyway.
I am not trying to be doom and gloom but with NDSU and SDSU still to come and both on the road it is not looking to be a very pretty picture.
Andy Belluomini is the QB coach. He played QB at Westchester St. Joes. He didn't play ball in college. He did some analyzing and quality controlling since he got into coaching. 1 year with running backs. Coaching QB's is hard. I know I didn't like it at first. It's mechanics and film study. And it's finding the tiny little things that make a player inconsistent. After 40 years it becomes easy. Experience counts and losing a guy like Beathard........ No one is going to mistake Harold for a youngster (thank goodness we've got him) but this O staff may be a little wet behind the ears.
 

Virginia Redbird

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Andy Belluomini is the QB coach. He played QB at Westchester St. Joes. He didn't play ball in college. He did some analyzing and quality controlling since he got into coaching. 1 year with running backs. Coaching QB's is hard. I know I didn't like it at first. It's mechanics and film study. And it's finding the tiny little things that make a player inconsistent. After 40 years it becomes easy. Experience counts and losing a guy like Beathard........ No one is going to mistake Harold for a youngster (thank goodness we've got him) but this O staff may be a little wet behind the ears.
Thanks, Timmy. I have to ask a question though. I played in High School and know a little bit about the game but I have never coached and have no real idea of how all this works. If you look at the bio/resume of the offensive coaches it is not very impressive as far as experience goes. The one exception is Harold Etheridge whose resume is very impressive. Maybe he did not want the OC job, who knows. My question though is wouldn't the ISU Offensive Coordinator job be a good position for someone looking to move up the coaching chain? Maybe a Coach who was an OC at a decent Div II program or other FCS program? The Redbirds are not the 9 time National Champ Bisons but they are a pretty good FCS team with mostly an annual trip to the playoffs under Spack. From my admittedly total ignorance of the coaching carousel, it just seems like there would be assistant coaches interested that have coordinator experience. I know everybody needs to have the first time sometime but when a team has a historical deficiency it would seem logical to me that is not the place you want to be the provider of someone's first time. ISU has a very young group of QBs. Nothing against the current QB coach but that young group needs someone that can develop them. Maybe Andy can do it and maybe not. QB is the most critical position on the offense and probably the team. Would it not make sense to invest significantly in the coach responsible for the QBs? Looking over the resumes it just seemed to be the defensive staff had a more impressive experience level overall than the offensive guys.
One thing I found funny while scrolling through the coach's bios was the job titles. Niekamp is the Defensive Coordinator. Banks is the "Defensive Associate Head Coach" and Stewart is the "Defensive Assistant Head Coach". My background is more in training and management. Usually, quirky titles like those are to provide a pay raise that the normal title would not justify or to give the individual an ego massage but means actually nothing. Also, I would not bring in someone with next to no background to train my critical personnel. I would get the best, most experienced, and capable I could find and afford for that job. Maybe it is different in football coaching. Maybe.
 

TIMMY

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Thanks, Timmy. I have to ask a question though. I played in High School and know a little bit about the game but I have never coached and have no real idea of how all this works. If you look at the bio/resume of the offensive coaches it is not very impressive as far as experience goes. The one exception is Harold Etheridge whose resume is very impressive. Maybe he did not want the OC job, who knows. My question though is wouldn't the ISU Offensive Coordinator job be a good position for someone looking to move up the coaching chain? Maybe a Coach who was an OC at a decent Div II program or other FCS program? The Redbirds are not the 9 time National Champ Bisons but they are a pretty good FCS team with mostly an annual trip to the playoffs under Spack. From my admittedly total ignorance of the coaching carousel, it just seems like there would be assistant coaches interested that have coordinator experience. I know everybody needs to have the first time sometime but when a team has a historical deficiency it would seem logical to me that is not the place you want to be the provider of someone's first time. ISU has a very young group of QBs. Nothing against the current QB coach but that young group needs someone that can develop them. Maybe Andy can do it and maybe not. QB is the most critical position on the offense and probably the team. Would it not make sense to invest significantly in the coach responsible for the QBs? Looking over the resumes it just seemed to be the defensive staff had a more impressive experience level overall than the offensive guys.
One thing I found funny while scrolling through the coach's bios was the job titles. Niekamp is the Defensive Coordinator. Banks is the "Defensive Associate Head Coach" and Stewart is the "Defensive Assistant Head Coach". My background is more in training and management. Usually, quirky titles like those are to provide a pay raise that the normal title would not justify or to give the individual an ego massage but means actually nothing. Also, I would not bring in someone with next to no background to train my critical personnel. I would get the best, most experienced, and capable I could find and afford for that job. Maybe it is different in football coaching. Maybe.
I think the ISU OC job is a really good job. I would normally expect a new OC at our level to have 8-10 years as a position coach. Hopefully, some of it working with Quarterbacks but that certainly isn't a necessity. In all fairness, there were some pretty extenuating circumstances with the timing of everything and these guys do have some experience. To me, the QB coach is a big deal. I hope the kid is great! That said I would hope Spack sees something special in these young guys.

As for the coach's titles? It's a joke.
 
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MadBird

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Yeah, disappointing so far, but then, it was hard to know what to expect. Had higher hopes for the offense overall. But you keep thinking back to the big first half pass plays vs. USD and it sure seemed promising. The RB situation is hard to evaluate, but two games in, Pha'Leak is doing okay. Not an All-American yet, but there's promise there too.

Take a trip to the MVFC website and take a look at the stats, it made me feel a little better. We've got the #1 rushing defense, #2 scoring defense, #5 pass defense (middle of the pack), #2 total defense, #5 rushing offense, Pha'leak #8 and Bryce #9 in rushing. For the most part, our offensive stats especially passing are hurting.


The D is still the "ISU D". Offense has a way to go.
 

crazzymark

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ISU needs to get and gear offensively and win the rest of the games and they still make the playoffs period just the way it is
 

Bird Friend

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