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I don't think I've ever predicted a season more accurately than this one, in terms of what I felt I had an idea about:

1. My belief was the OC should be canned if Stanford couldn't average 30 PPG this season and take advantage of what seemed to be the makings of a dominant passing game. 
Well, they in fact averaged 29.6, and Costello was arguably the best QB in the Pac-12. Stanford failing to get 3 more yards to add 8 more points to the ledger yesterday is a pretty spectacular microcosm for the season, however. Did a lot, but didn't quite realize the full potential of what was available. Really frustrating to not get from good to great, and this team had the potential to have a great offense this season, even with injuries. Would love to say a healthy Love would have made it great, but the reality is if healthy, the offense might have been even less productive given how weak Stanford was in the trenches this season, -.2 Net Rush Differential.  Not good.

2. The defensive line would be better than most people were expecting
How the hell did they allow Cal to run for over 150 yards? That's all they can do is run, and Stanford couldn't stop them from getting more than their season average yesterday. Akin to the offense really should have put 31 on the board, had opportunity to finish with a statement, and not only yielded 4.7 YPC, but allowed last drive of game TD. Still a .7 YPC improvement over 2017.

3. Booker and Fox would play as Frosh
Said several times these guys were critical to sign last year. Their talent jumped off the screen like no Stanford DL I have seen recruited recently.  Booker played in every game, and they had 4 solo tackles each against Cal. To put this in perspective, Dylan Jackson has 12 all season. Jovan Swann has 14 all season. These guys are going to be All-Pac 12 performers.

4. The pass rush would be better as a result of Gabe Reid
My favorite post of this year was when Toohill went down and I said this would give Gabe Reid a chance to step up, only to have several peeps take issue that I didn't have enough fait in Jordan Fox. Gabe Reid's highlight videos showed an explosive first step and ability to play low that no other Stanford pass rusher had IMO. Lo and behold, even though he didn't get as many snaps as Fox, Reid led Stanford in sacks, was #4 in the Pac-12 with 5.5 and Stanford finished one sack behind WSU to lead the conference. Another future All Conference performer.

I didn't make any season record prediction for Stanford, because Davis Shaw is so damn stubborn and cautious about what he does with the offense. I knew Costello would have to be leaned on to win games, even assuming a healthy Love, and had no faith in Shaw to trust the passing game, but I honestly, didn't expect the pass defense to be so terrible at the same time. 

I did however predict Cal would go 7-5!

Like everyone else, never anticipated the OL to be so unable to run block. Sure injuries, but Stanford finished averaging just 3.7 YPC, DEAD LAST in the Pac-12 and #109 in FBS.  This is frankly inexcusable, especially when you can pass like the 2018 Stanford team can.  I still think there must be major changes in who runs the offense and how it is managed, because it simply is not producing up to its potential, IMO.

The team I was most wrong about this year was Utah. They looked dreadful to me at the beginning, and I thought Stanford would handle them easily. Oops. They certainly righted the ship and might have been in the Rose Bowl if Huntley and Moss stayed healthy.  Wittingham is the best coach in the Pac-12, IMO.

How would y'all assess your predictions for, and assessments of, the 2018 season now that it is in the books?
I was even more prescient.  I predicted every single thing. 

Even that Shaw would lose 14 pounds.

I am not often wrong, of course, but this was an unusually good year for my calls.
(12-02-2018, 07:55 AM)Hulk01 Wrote: [ -> ]I was even more prescient.  I predicted every single thing. 

Even that Shaw would lose 14 pounds.

I am not often wrong, of course, but this was an unusually good year for my calls.

What were they Hulk?  I want to know what you were spot on about and what you missed!
I did venture a guess at Stanford's regular season record.  I predicted we would end the season 9-3, with losses to Washington (correct), Notre Dame (correct) and one other team we had no business losing to.  I had not heard of Minshew yet, so I had us beating Wazzu at home this year.  But I thought there was a chance we might lose to one of Utah, ASU (at their place) or Cal (again, at their place), because we seem to drop a game like this every year.  So the difference was the unpredictable Cougs, who I completely expected to be in the bottom half of the north.  

The disappearance of our run game and the ineffectiveness of our O-line at run-blocking were the biggest surprises for me, as well.  While I accepted some issues in the early games as the O-line struggled to gel and defenses stacked the box against us, I fully expected the run game to come together at some point and predicted at various junctures in the season that Love would finally have a break-out game and rush for over 200 yards.  It never happened.  The O-line never became a run-blocking force.  

I fully expected Costello to have a break-out year; and once Shaw finally accepted that Costello was his only option to salvage the season, we saw what he was capable of.  He is not yet a finished piece of work, but he has developed into a true offensive leader and could end up being our next great QB in the Stanford pantheon, alongside the likes of Plunkett, Elway, Luck and Hogan.  

I was worried about our defense going into the season and thought my fears were misplaced after the first three games in which we gave up only 23 points (16 if you subtract the UC Davis garbage TD at the end) and led the nation in fewest PPG allowed.  Then Oregon happened, then Notre Dame, and my fears became reality.  Our final statistics of 23.8 PPG allowed and 415.6 YPG allowed are the worst of the Shaw era; and we actually had a negative total offense differential (-20 yards), continuing a downward trend that began in 2016 (-2 yards) and 2017 (-14 yards).  Not an auspicious development.  Going forward, the defense remains the largest question mark. Our fortunes in 2019 will depend on reversing this trend and getting back to the days of a stingy D that Shaw can regularly rely on to get the stop. 

Shaw made some steps forward this year and showed that he could evolve with the profile of the team.  He was clearly uncomfortable doing so (as he stated himself), but he accepted the hand he had been dealt and rolled with it (frankly, he had no choice).  I remain convinced that he needs to upgrade the coaching staff and lure some outside talent (yes, high-level talent) that will challenge him and add some additional dimensions to the team.  If we end up 9-4 after the bowl game, I would be very frustrated if Shaw took this as vindication of his program and tried to sell the 2018 campaign as a successful season alongside such banner years as 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015.  He was coach-of-the-year in the Pac-12 last year with a 9-5 record, so 9-4 is even better, right?  And with fewer injuries and the ball bouncing our way a couple more times, we might have been north champions and beaten Utah and been back in the Rose Bowl.  Yes, maybe.  But this would avoid the hard questions that face him and his staff if they ever want to get back to elite levels again (i.e., top ten) and potentially knock on the door of the CFP.  If 9-4 is a season to be proud of, 8-5 is also not bad, and 7-6 is not a disaster, etc.  This kind of thinking will be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Me too.  I even predicted we would play Cal on Dec 1. :-)
I am still relishing yesterday's beatdown of the Weenies that was far greater than the final score indicated but as far as the overall season goes I am disappointed. This team should have been at worst 9-3 and I think with better coaching - especially on offense - and I think it could be 11-2 and playing in the Rose Bowl.

I know that there was a time when 8 wins was considered a of immense proportions success. For me that era is gone. What this decade has taught me is that Stanford CAN succeed at the highest levels of college football on a consistent basis - which I define as making an NY6 bowl. Every year, of course not but far more often than not.

Most importantly, I pray that Shaw is disappointed in this season especially in himself and his staff and is willing to make some changes there. In particular, the OL & run game are horribly broken and the tackling this year was unacceptably poor. I would hope for a change in OC to someone outside the program but I know that's just not going to happen.

I will likely venture down the road if we are in the Amazing Chicken Bowl (and the weather is more hospitable than our last time there) but otherwise I will watch our bowl game on TV.
I was being...well, Sunday morningish and sarcastic.

I find it interesting to remember what I expected.  Here's my memory;

1.  A DL that won't be good but won't be as hideous as many feared--including me at times..
2.  I also penned in, once a week, that Gabe Reid would give us some very good moments off the edge.  Not an every down guy, but he didn't have to be to help us.
3.  Barton would be OK but a half-step slower.
4.  Worried about Holder, too, confident Adebo would be solid but make a few rookie errors.
5.  Our safeties would be solid.  Never expected the tackling issues.
6.  Pegged the defense at 22.5-23.0 ppg allowed. 

On offense
1.  We'd be terrific--39 ppg.
2.  Outstanding run game behind improved run blocking, which was not good in 2017.
3.  Excellent and sometimes spectacular passing game behind excellent protection plus AW, Kaden, and Trent
4.  155 PER performance from Costello, with some blips but threaten Herbert for 1st team all conference.
5.  85% of our fans would continue to reflect their total conviction that they know more about offensive football than 95% of all other fans and more than at least 80% of our coaches.

So the surprises:
1.  Injuries.  Startling.
2.  Tackling.  Startling.
3.  Run blocking.  Startling.  Often utterly nonexistent, I rewatched the SC game three  times, certain it couldn't be.  It was.  And it continued.
4.  Bryce's failure to return to 95%.
5.  Mike Williams more effective and W-P less effective than I expected.

I thought the conference would be significantly weaker and have significantly fewer outstanding players. 
I thought Browning would be exposed, at long last, and Rapp would be to, but to a lesser degree.
I was certain Washington State would lose at least five games and maybe eight or nine.
And that USC would win at least eight.
The conference proved to be even worse than I expected.

I usually end up underestimating Stanford's win loss record--every year, in fact, except 2014.  I figured 9-3 this year.  But if you told me we'd have all these injuries (Toohill and Alfieri especially, but also Herbig and the total loack of continuity on OL) and that Love would barely resemble his 2017 version, I'd figure 8-4 at best. thinking Costello would keep us from 7-5, somehow.
The one assessment that as far as I know nobody (including the media and coaching staff) got right was the fact Stanford would not be able to run the ball. All the rest of our "assessments" may have been right on (or not), but the glaring problem of this year is and was the running game. Some have asserted that the injuries we had on the OL accounts for the problem. It may be so, but it also could be something else. What worries me is that it seems to be such a mystery to everybody that it happened. What one does not understand can be real hard to fix. It is easy to make the problem worse instead of better. It is also possible to assign causes that are outside of ones control (as injuries mostly are) and just assume the problem will go away. The lack of a run games is the number one question on this team. Everything else, while possibly important, is secondary.
Not sure, but I feel like sometime around the second-half of the Notre Dame game, Lance Anderson decided that blitzing much more often than in past years was necessary for the defense to have any chance of stopping a good offense.

When we see the dreadful pass defense statistics, I feel that's possibly something to keep in mind.
(12-02-2018, 10:25 AM)Goose Wrote: [ -> ]The one assessment that as far as I know nobody (including the media and coaching staff) got right was the fact Stanford would not be able to run the ball. All the rest of our "assessments" may have been right on (or not), but the glaring problem of this year is and was the running game. Some have asserted that the injuries we had on the OL accounts for the problem. It may be so, but it also could be something else. What worries me is that it seems to be such a mystery to everybody that it happened. What one does not understand can be real hard to fix. It is easy to make the problem worse instead of better. It is also possible to assign causes that are outside of ones control (as injuries mostly are) and just assume the problem will go away. The lack of a run games is the number one question on this team. Everything else, while possibly important, is secondary.

(12-02-2018, 10:25 AM)Goose Wrote: [ -> ]The one assessment that as far as I know nobody (including the media and coaching staff) got right was the fact Stanford would not be able to run the ball. All the rest of our "assessments" may have been right on (or not), but the glaring problem of this year is and was the running game. Some have asserted that the injuries we had on the OL accounts for the problem. It may be so, but it also could be something else. What worries me is that it seems to be such a mystery to everybody that it happened. What one does not understand can be real hard to fix. It is easy to make the problem worse instead of better. It is also possible to assign causes that are outside of ones control (as injuries mostly are) and just assume the problem will go away. The lack of a run games is the number one question on this team. Everything else, while possibly important, is secondary.

I completely agree with you, which is why when we have problems, and everyone is harping on the play calling, I push back hard.  Criticizing the play calling suggests an easy fix; liked only we zagged when in fact we zigged, the problem would go away.  The truth of the matter is that the offensive line’s run blocking woes are not problems that will be fixed with someone calling a different play.

We have the talent at offensive line positions to be good, if not dominant next year (depending on what Herbig does).  You can’t do anything  about injuries, but the problems with not having enough recruited scholarship offensive linemen in the younger classes is a problem we will (unless we are very lucky with injuries next year) be facing for a couple years.

The biggest question mark is player development.  Herbig, even when not injured, was not as dominant as he was last year.  Little (again, even when not injured) did not take the next step this year, and at times regressed.  Hall plateaued, and made some boneheaded mistakes that a senior should be making.  Left guard has been a turnstile for us, and nobody has really emerged there.

The only thing I would say is that just because we the fans don’t understand why the offensive line has been problematic this year doesn’t mean the coaches can’t figure it out.  Two years ago, the offensive line struggled mightily pass blocking.  This year, the one bright spot for the offensive line was pass blocking.  In fact, CTCard’s theory is that the coaching staff was so concerned about our atrocious pass blocking that they made it a point of emphasis, at the expense of good run blocking.  That suggests that it is a fixable problem, if one places more emphasis on run blocking.

BC
(12-02-2018, 11:34 AM)BostonCard Wrote: [ -> ]We have the talent at offensive line positions to be good, if not dominant next year (depending on what Herbig does).
Do we? No matter how highly rated these guys were out of high school, they have yet to put it together on the field. We have had better recruiting classes on the OL as the program's reputation has grown. We get more highly rated guys. However, it has not led to an increase in performance, in fact quite the opposite. I wonder if there is a problem in who we recruit? We seemed to do better with "nasty" 3 stars than we are doing now. Then again, the sample size is small, and certainly I don't know all the behind-the-door conversations going on in the coaching staff. Furthermore, the conference has changed, in that people know what we are trying to do and prepare to defend it. That wasn't so true five years ago. I am however suggesting we should question our assumptions.

Quote: You can’t do anything  about injuries, but the problems with not having enough recruited scholarship offensive linemen in the younger classes is a problem we will (unless we are very lucky with injuries next year) be facing for a couple years.

The biggest question mark is player development.  Herbig, even when not injured, was not as dominant as he was last year.  Little (again, even when not injured) did not take the next step this year, and at times regressed.  Hall plateaued, and made some boneheaded mistakes that a senior should not be making.  Left guard has been a turnstile for us, and nobody has really emerged there.

Very true, and I for one have no idea why we didn't get somewhat better just from experience. It did appear that there was lots of player position shuffling going on in the spring, which maybe didn't help. However, that didn't apply to Hall, Herbig, or Little. (During the season we had to move Herbig due to other players being injured, as I recall).

Quote:The only thing I would say is that just because we the fans don’t understand why the offensive line has been problematic this year doesn’t mean the coaches can’t figure it out.

I would be much more confident that the coaches could figure it out if we had started the year throwing the ball as much as we did at the end of the year. It would appear that the coaching staff thought we could actually run the ball, at least for the first three games. Many here have beat on Shaw for being stubborn, but it appears to me more that he just didn't expect us to be so bad on the ground. He thought the bad results were  flukes that would reverse themselves if we kept at it. It took a while for him to decide that no, we were that bad and we weren't going to suddenly revert to "normal". So far, I see no evidence the coaches have figured out why we are that bad. They apparently did not expect us to be. Not that I envy them the task, as I have no idea myself!

Quote:Two years ago, the offensive line struggled mightily pass blocking.  This year, the one bright spot for the offensive line was pass blocking.  In fact, CTCard’s theory is that the coaching staff was so concerned about our atrocious pass blocking that they made it a point of emphasis, at the expense of good run blocking.  That suggests that it is a fixable problem, if one places more emphasis on run blocking.

Not if they then forget how to pass block. With the talent we (think) we have, we should not have to totally re-learn how to run/pass block every year. Yes, probably they got more passing reps than usual during the season, but we are talking 60-40, not 90-10. I just don't believe that emphasis on pass blocking should suddenly mean you forgot how to run block. Hall has had five years to learn it. Even Little had one year to learn run blocking (in games, not just practice). So, while that may be a factor, I can't see how it can be an explanation.
It's great when you predict doom, but it's glory instead. It's frustrating when you correctly predict doom. Nothing is more maddening than predicting glory and the reality is doom, especially when the glory had been seen already.

Stanford went from #6 in FBS in YPC to #109, with virtually the same personnel. I don't know how this can be explained any other way than by coaching failure.  Players don't all regress at once unless the coaching they are getting is sub-par. The only materially different guy not playing OL in 2017 was Dave Bright.  Nobody can tell me this drop can any way be explained by losing one guy. By contrast, Notre Dame had two OL drafted in the Top 10 of the NFL draft and went from #3 to #57

There are problems with the Offense, but to me, the real issue is the Defense.  Stanford has some very talented young defenders, but I just don't know if Lance Anderson should continue to be trusted.  His unit has declined in performance steadily for years. 

Pac-12 (FBS) YPP 2014: #1 (#2)
Pac-12 (FBS) YPP 2015: #4 (#64)
Pac-12 (FBS) YPP 2016: #4  (#41)
Pac-12 (FBS) YPP 2017: #7 (#90)
Pac-12 (FBS) YPP 2018: #9 (#69)

If Cal, with no better talent than Stanford has, can be #2 (#16), there really is no reason Stanford shouldn't be better on Defense.

If Shaw does prioritize getting better on Defense and running the ball more effectively, and mixes in a potent passing attack with the best QB he's had since Luck, maybe 2019 can be one of those odd year runs to a conference title. But there must be staff changes because it seems clear some new thinking needs to be infused into the program.
Re the OL struggles this year, this is the first year under Coach Carberry. I think, in the interest of fairness, we need more data to evaluate 
his impact in coaching/developing the OL (if anything, I feel that this year's struggles, given Coach Carberry inherited this line, might say more
about the previous OL coach). But without additional data, we won't know. We have some great OL prospects coming in, to complement
three talented OL returning. 

I think Tavita's work, given the severe OL limitations and injuries this year, has been pretty impressive. To average 30 points, even with the talent we have, with the OL in the shape it was in all year against pretty elite competition, speaks well in my book. In particular, you could see Tavita's impact in terms of changing the philosophy mid-year with regards to run/pass balance, as well as with the introduction of the screen game later in the year (which was particularly effective yesterday, as evidenced by the Scarlett TD).
(12-02-2018, 01:29 PM)OutsiderFan Wrote: [ -> ]There are problems with the Offense, but to me, the real issue is the Defense.  Stanford has some very talented young defenders, but I just don't know if Lance Anderson should continue to be trusted.  His unit has declined in performance steadily for years. 

The Utah State HC job is open. Texas Tech hired Matt Wells as their new HC. Does Utah State make a run at Anderson?
(12-02-2018, 01:29 PM)OutsiderFan Wrote: [ -> ]If Cal, with no better talent than Stanford has, can be #2 (#16), there really is no reason Stanford shouldn't be better on Defense.

If Shaw does prioritize getting better on Defense and running the ball more effectively, and mixes in a potent passing attack with the best QB he's had since Luck, maybe 2019 can be one of those odd year runs to a conference title. But there must be staff changes because it seems clear some new thinking needs to be infused into the program.

You raise a very valid point here.  Under Sonny Dykes, Cal's defense was hopeless.  Wilcox basically took the players Dykes recruited, added a few freshly-recruited underclassmen and turned the Cal D into a strong unit.  Nobody can tell me Cal has better raw material on the defensive side of the ball than Stanford has.  All Wilcox could do is coach up the players he had, change the schemes and emphasize the importance of a stout defense.  He simply hasn't had the time to recruit an entirely new roster for the defense and put his own players in place.

So the legitimate question is: why the decline in Stanford's defense over this same period of time? In 2014, our D was still a monster; now, it is in the lower third of the conference.  How would it have performed if Wilcox had been coaching it?  What opportunities have we missed with the personnel we currently have?  Ultimately, is Anderson the right coach to revitalize the Stanford defense?
I think a point, that may have been mentioned previously, but is important to consider in the context of our defense, is that
our defense, in order to be most effective, has to stylistically complement our offense. I.e. If we play up-tempo spread offense,
the defense should expect to be on the field for a longer period of time each game, and as such, I would probably emphasize
speed/endurance over size/strength to a degree. Likewise, if you play the type of offense we played from 2010-2014, ball control,
run football, bleed clock etc., a bigger defense with maybe not the same level of speed/endurance might work well.

As our style of football has changed offensively, particularly with the big change this year, our defense has had to adapt. Our defense
is on the field longer now than previously (at least when we optimally executed our strategy from 2010-2014), so I don't think the level of performance previously seen by the defense is realistic. By the same token, the offense is far scoring more points, so we perhaps don't
need that level of defensive performance to win games. Not saying we don't need to improve on defense, but expecting a 2012-2014 defense
with our new offensive philosophy may not be realistic. 

Our defense was generally good enough against lesser competition (UCLA game aside, when we really only gave up 35 points on defense). However, against good-to-elite competition, the defense wasn't good enough. In particular, I thought our middle linebackers, and a potential lack of speed, got exposed against that level of competition. We couldn't keep up with receivers in the middle of the field.
Cal had significantly better linebackers (particularly inside) and a much better overall secondary. Did you notice how their safeties flew to the ball. Wilcox is a very good defensive coach.

As for Anderson, I truly doubt he has gotten worse at his job. He simply doesn’t have the same level of talent.


(12-02-2018, 03:03 PM)Austroturf Wrote: [ -> ]
(12-02-2018, 01:29 PM)OutsiderFan Wrote: [ -> ]If Cal, with no better talent than Stanford has, can be #2 (#16), there really is no reason Stanford shouldn't be better on Defense.

If Shaw does prioritize getting better on Defense and running the ball more effectively, and mixes in a potent passing attack with the best QB he's had since Luck, maybe 2019 can be one of those odd year runs to a conference title. But there must be staff changes because it seems clear some new thinking needs to be infused into the program.

You raise a very valid point here.  Under Sonny Dykes, Cal's defense was hopeless.  Wilcox basically took the players Dykes recruited, added a few freshly-recruited underclassmen and turned the Cal D into a strong unit.  Nobody can tell me Cal has better raw material on the defensive side of the ball than Stanford has.  All Wilcox could do is coach up the players he had, change the schemes and emphasize the importance of a stout defense.  He simply hasn't had the time to recruit an entirely new roster for the defense and put his own players in place.

So the legitimate question is: why the decline in Stanford's defense over this same period of time? In 2014, our D was still a monster; now, it is in the lower third of the conference.  How would it have performed if Wilcox had been coaching it?  What opportunities have we missed with the personnel we currently have?  Ultimately, is Anderson the right coach to revitalize the Stanford defense?

Synergy. Stanford’s clock grinding ball control style certainly helped their defense. Playing a fast tempo offensively puts more pressure on your defense as they are on the field more. I don’t think you need different athletes. You just need more of them. When Oregon was at its best, Allito ran people in and out defensively. I heard him comment that you need more depth defensively if you play fast offensively. Makes perfect sense.

It’s another reason I think Stanford is better off playing power oriented, ball control offense. They won’t usually have great defensive depth. But things change. Right now they aren’t equipped to play a power running style. I don’t expect that to change next year


(12-02-2018, 03:28 PM)d4cohn Wrote: [ -> ]I think a point, that may have been mentioned previously, but is important to consider in the context of our defense, is that
our defense, in order to be most effective, has to stylistically complement our offense. I.e. If we play up-tempo spread offense,
the defense should expect to be on the field for a longer period of time each game, and as such, I would probably emphasize
speed/endurance over size/strength to a degree. Likewise, if you play the type of offense we played from 2010-2014, ball control,
run football, bleed clock etc., a bigger defense with maybe not the same level of speed/endurance might work well.

As our style of football has changed offensively, particularly with the big change this year, our defense has had to adapt. Our defense
is on the field longer now than previously (at least when we optimally executed our strategy from 2010-2014), so I don't think the level of performance previously seen by the defense is realistic. By the same token, the offense is far scoring more points, so we perhaps don't
need that level of defensive performance to win games. Not saying we don't need to improve on defense, but expecting a 2012-2014 defense
with our new offensive philosophy may not be realistic. 

Our defense was generally good enough against lesser competition (UCLA game aside, when we really only gave up 35 points on defense). However, against good-to-elite competition, the defense wasn't good enough. In particular, I thought our middle linebackers, and a potential lack of speed, got exposed against that level of competition. We couldn't keep up with receivers in the middle of the field.
(12-02-2018, 04:20 PM)lex24 Wrote: [ -> ]Cal had significantly better linebackers (particularly inside) and a much better overall secondary.  Did you notice how their safeties flew to the ball.  Wilcox is a very good defensive coach.

As for Anderson, I truly doubt he has gotten worse at his job. He simply doesn’t have the same level of talent.

My question is: how did Wilcox end up with better athletes to build his defense around when 1) he inherited the weak D of Sonny Dykes and 2) he has only had two years to right the ship?  Does this mean Dykes had great athletes that were simply underutilized or badly coached?  And how did our athletes end up being worse than Cal's when defense has always been a lynch-pin of the Stanford football philosophy?  Yes, I know it is tough to recruit top defensive players; but we used to have them.  Something is no longer working.  For example, is there any player on our current defensive roster who is likely to be drafted after this year?  Okereke maybe?  Our D used to be plugged with NFL-caliber players.  No longer.
(12-02-2018, 01:29 PM)OutsiderFan Wrote: [ -> ]Players don't all regress at once unless the coaching they are getting is sub-par.
Why do you think this is true? The alternative argument is that if the players were good last year, they shouldn't suddenly get worse with no coaching at all. Even if the coach is telling them all the wrong things, if they knew how to run block last year, they don't forget that all at once. This is an assertion with no real argument behind it. It might be nice if it were true, because the fix would be to replace the coach. But unless there is some reasoned argument behind it, it is difficult to credit.
(12-02-2018, 10:25 AM)Goose Wrote: [ -> ]The one assessment that as far as I know nobody (including the media and coaching staff) got right was the fact Stanford would not be able to run the ball.

This is certainly correct, though I don't know why you specifically include the media. As far as I know, there is no media out there with any particular expert and insider knowledge of the Stanford team.

It is the issue that most concerns me about the staff. It's their job to know their team, and it is quite clear they expected to be able to run well this year.

(12-02-2018, 10:25 AM)Goose Wrote: [ -> ]The lack of a run games is the number one question on this team. Everything else, while possibly important, is secondary.

I am not sure I would go that far. That's the far and away number one question for the offense. There's still a host of issues on the defensive side of the ball that only secondarily depend upon our lack of run game [though yes, the defense and offense should be designed to mesh].


(12-02-2018, 11:34 AM)BostonCard Wrote: [ -> ]In fact, CTCard’s theory is that the coaching staff was so concerned about our atrocious pass blocking that they made it a point of emphasis, at the expense of good run blocking.  That suggests that it is a fixable problem, if one places more emphasis on run blocking.

Well, I wasn't being entirely serious with that.
My best guess as to the run blocking woes is that it's primarily due to the injury hits that go well beyond guys being able to suit up for a game or not - then possibly that coupled to some lack of emphasis on run blocking/teaching/training in favor of pass protection.  


But I am in no position to know. The coaches are in position, what they understand isn't clear to me.
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