Its time for some folks to rein themselves in around here a little. This is to the fanbase as a whole, not specifically our commenters.
Everywhere I look, I see Tiger fans mailing it in, calling this season a total washout and failure. It isn't, at least not yet. Around the Clemson sphere, I see folks finally realizing that Jeff Scott and Andre Powell are not good position coaches, and I see folks completely switching their opinions on other staff members after 3 losses.I see people that think Tajh Boyd is the answer to our problems. I see people realizing that Dabo Swinney did nothing at all to deserve the job he was given, and some say he stabbed his predecessor in the back to get the job in the first place.
I see people who scolded us for calling out the coaching staff for their inadequacies and using strong language are now the ones that use the strong language and call out the coaching staff. Why did it take you 3 losses to wake up?
See if Clemson wins, and our WRs suck, you only pay attention to Jeff Scott's ability to recruit, and then give him a pass. You don't call for his head. You scold us for being too hard on him, even though his WRs can't catch a football. You just say "they're learning, they'll get better, and we won, so it's ok". You don't even acknowledge that these older WRs were also coached by Dabo Swinney for 2-3 years before Jeff got hold of them.
If Clemson wins, and Jamie Harper dances 15-20 times into a hole, but makes one single great catch, you forget that he danced 20 times, which cost us dearly. Hell we even lost that game, and people were kissing Jamie Harper's ass for the catch, because we "fought hard against a good team". They all ignored that he didn't put up half the yards Ellington did, with only 3 fewer carries. I call him a pussy for running like that, and you say we've lost our minds and our credibility.
Now all I see from everyone else is that Harper is a pussy and should never touch the football as a RB again.
If our Special Teams doesn't cost us a game, you don't even see what Andre Powell is doing out there with the personnel he's using. You give him a pass: "we won, so it's ok". When he shows that he cannot recruit worth a damn and that Jamie Harper hasn't been taught how to hit a hole, but we win, you give him a pass: "but we had C.J. Spiller and C.J. got so much better under him! Andre Ellington is a beast thanks to him!" No, Spiller was probably the best player in Clemson history, and Andre Ellington did his stuff from Day 1, just like C.J.. We bring in some great RB and you think that Powell is the one responsible for recruiting him, ignoring that the staff put Napier or Harbison on the guy to start so Powell wouldn't screw it up and let the interested player end up at Auburn, for example.
I see folks who kissed Napier's ass for how we played last year after Maryland now calling for him to be fired because he can't call plays anymore.
We are the first ones here to call out problems when we see them. I for one try to always call it like I see it, I am harsh, but I'm not blatantly unfair. I always give credit where I think it is due, and I don't call for someone's head without looking at the body of their work. I try to be very mindful of my opinions and try my best to be very consistent with them.
There are many of you who are not that way. You need to realize this.
I have been consistently against Brad Scott, and make no apologies for it. This year the OL has done their job, but it should not take the man 4 years to craft a decent line. That's bad coaching. You all will tame down your anger with Brad this year if the line continues to do as well as they have been, ignoring the bad years and the time it took him to do it, and the relative lack of success (or effort) from him in recruiting.
We called for Andre Powell's head in February, but the poll showed that several didn't want him gone, because they thought our ST was good enough in 09 and because we had CJ killing people. Even if this staff manages to teach Harper how to run like a 230lb back should, I'm still going to call for his head next February. I'm going to point out that the way he teaches his backs to hold a football causes some of our fumblitis. I'm going to point out again that he is a lazy recruiter. I bet the poll results next February don't show much change if we find a competent kicker and we bring in Bellamy and Lane together, because you think he's the reason we got them.
I gave Jeff Scott a little bit of a pass for his first season on the job in 2009. It is his very first season and a weak performance by the WRs does not totally fall on him, it falls a bit more on Dabo Swinney, who coached them until Jeff got them, and Dabo approved their offers. I'm not going to call for someone's head after one year's work, I'll give him his chance, and I'm still giving him one. He has not impressed me thus far aside from the recruiting trail. However if we turn things around somewhat and we bring in a Top 15 class, you'll all switch your opinion on him, even if our WRs drop 5 passes a game from here on. You won't care if we win whether he's a good position coach or not.
And many of you give too much leeway when it comes to that recruiting. Clemson is a nice place to be, and I've been all around the southeast. Recruiting is being a good salesman, and we can find others who recruit well and coach better. So if I believe Jeff Scott is a bad position coach after the end of this season, I'm going to call for his head just like Powell.
All offseason you saw everyone brag on Napier. You bragged on him even after the Auburn loss, which was still a loss, I remind you. I pointed out that some of his calls ended up costing us against Auburn, and people said I'm crazy. Now those people want his head. Fickleness and blindness, I say. You ignore bad performance by a coach when you expected to lose and we keep it close or have a chance to win. If he was as great a coordinator as many said he was preseason, he wouldn't have abandoned the screens that worked. He would not have abandoned the zone running game that gave UNC trouble, or even abandoned the rush at all against a defense that allowed 176 yards per contest coming in. Napier did a good job, in my opinion, calling plays last year to get the ball into the hands of his playmakers after Maryland....after Dabo meddled less in the calls....but there should never have BEEN a Maryland debacle in 2009. In retrospect, He probably should've attempted to create more opportunities to get the ball into the hands of some young WRs, who we see that we need right now. He, and Dabo, should not have needed to start 2-3 to figure it out that Dye and Ashe suck and that you can only throw to Spiller, Ford, and Palmer.
Now we took 4 games to figure out that the older WRs STILL can't play football, and they still haven't proven that they can figure out that Jamie Harper should not get equal carries as Ellington. If Napier turns this thing around, and then we bring in that Top 15 class thanks to his closing ability, you'll forget these issues.
I am not calling for Napier's head, and actually I think he's going to be a good coordinator, but he is learning on the job. I don't know that Clemson is a place where we can afford to take so many youngsters and let them all learn on the job. I thought he had it figured out last year, but apparently that was not the case. I'm not going to be as lenient in our Coach Review after this season, unless I find out that Dabo is meddling again in the playcalling.
Whether it is his fault or Dabo's for the WR personnel choices and the choice to run Harper, I cannot say. I can only say that he'll take the fall for it no matter what. Everybody is quick to jump on the coordinator.
I see people who were begging Kyle Parker to come back to Clemson now mailing it in on him, saying that they want Tajh Boyd to start because they think he's the magic answer.
The one constant in the football universe is this: everybody loves the backup QB. I once felt that way about Willie Simmons in 2001. Willie was a better passer than Dantzler and we struggled at times on offense after just destroying people in 2000 with RichRod's system, finishing 7-5. Then what happened? Willie got to start in 2002 and sucked ass. Then I realized that it wasn't Woody Dantzler's problem, it was Brad Scott calling the plays. I anointed Willie before he had really proven himself, and that was dumb on my part.
You were all the same way about Will Korn (OMG WILLY IS THE SAVIOUR!) and then what happened when he got his shot? He sucked ass. I was never that impressed with him at Byrnes and resisted the virtual fellatio that the Tiger fans gave him online, and Block-C played it off on you all pretty well. I did believe he'd be competent one day and might become a star, and admittedly his shoulder problems and Rob Spence probably cost him his stardom, but anointing him before he takes a meaningful snap is just stupid.
We won 9 games with Kyle Parker last year, and he threw 20 TDs. I know Spiller is the reason we won those games, but Parker didn't give them away either, and he was a RS Freshman. His accuracy has been a problem, and he has not gotten good at reading zone coverage yet, but saying that Tajh is going to come in and fix these problems before he's taken snaps in clutch situations is stupid. If you put Tajh Boyd in with bad playcalling and coordination on offense, he will perform worse than Parker. Tajh did not look anywhere near ready in Spring ball, and did not look considerably better in August, but because he scored some TDs against two patsies we started off with, and Parker struggles, you're ready to scrub Kyle and put in the backup.
Well what happens when Tajh's confidence is destroyed with bad Offensive play this year and he has to start next year? Are you going to be all over Tony McNeal the same way?
If you want Napier gone then why in the hell do you want Boyd to start? You realize Billy is the QB coach right?
If the WRs can't catch the ball then why do you want Boyd to go in and throw the incompletions?
Fix the personnel choices all around first, fix the playcalling next, and then if Kyle stinks it up, and Boyd gives this team a better chance to win, put him in, but not before. You do otherwise and you only make it unfair to the rest of the team and the fanbase by quitting on the season, and end up hurting Tajh in the long run. If we lose games because of Parker, I will not hesitate to suggest that Tajh get some snaps, and Tajh should definitely get snaps in any blowout, but no way would I just throw him into the fire on a whim.
This team has some winnable games coming up. I think the opponents we're about to face should not beat us, even if we play so-so. We don't have a shot at 10 wins anymore, I believe, but the division is theoretically feasible. The ACC still hasn't produced a consistent winner, and don't buy all the hype on NCSU and FSU just yet, not when they were downright dreadful just a year ago.
If this staff figures out that AE should get 30-35 carries per game, I think you'll see us roll some teams. Don't give up on the season because we had the worst-case scenario come out after 5 games.
But if you are vehemently against retaining a coach now, you better be the same way if they turn it around. If you aren't, you're just being fickle.