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Defending Charlie

Tom Nield | Wednesday, November 11, 2009

 After Saturday’s loss I heard phrases such as “his head is on the chopping block” and other such references to Charlie Weis. While the buck does stop with him, I wanted to make sure my initial reaction to the game was correct. After watching the game again (yes it was painful) on nbcsports.msnbc.com, I found out why I initially thought the loss didn’t hinge upon Charlie’s coaching. Here is a list I compiled.

Option defense: Horrendous is an understatement. Option defense is quite simple. Tackle every single running back (each player is assigned a back to tackle) and they can’t run the ball because they are all on the ground under one of your players. Yet either John Tenuta (defensive coordinator) or our players failed to understand this and allowed Navy to run for a whopping 348 yards.
Tausch missed 2 field goals. Either would have given us a win.
Turnovers: Floyd, Clausen, and Parris had turnovers (Floyd caused an interception at the 5 yard line by not knowing what play was being run) and Clausen fumbled at the 1.
Red zone offense has been terrible, and not just because of Charlie. Execution breaks down and we can barely run the ball three yards (all run plays are designed to go for more than one yard; that much I know).
When your offense has more first downs (32-20), more net yards (512-404), and more plays (71-60), a mark in the L column cannot solely be an offensive coordinator’s fault.
I hope the outline I have explained has helped convince some of you that Charlie is not the only one to blame. I know that I dropped a number of names while highlighting the game, but we must keep in mind that football is a team effort from the head coach all the way down to the water boy (you might laugh at the water boy, but if he doesn’t work hard, the players don’t stay hydrated.) Despite some of the blame rightfully being put on Charlie’s shoulders, the football team’s recent loss does not merit the firing of its head coach.
Tom Nield
Morrissey Manor
Nov. 10