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RB Sports Discussion => Monday Morning Quarterback => Topic started by: swinesation on February 08, 2018, 09:51:37 am

Title: 13 redshirts
Post by: swinesation on February 08, 2018, 09:51:37 am
We redshirted 13 freshman last season. Isn't that a higher than usual number? Who in the group has the most potential to contribute next season? I know Montaric Brown would be one.
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: Porkys Revenge on February 08, 2018, 10:11:14 am
Koilan Jackson. Maleek Barkley and Maleek Williams. 
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: swinesation on February 08, 2018, 10:25:25 am
Koilan Jackson. Maleek Barkley and Maleek Williams. 

I'm going with David Porter as the darkhorse. You don't think Brown, or were you saying in addition to Brown?
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: CHELLO300 on February 08, 2018, 10:47:55 am
Shane Clenin
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: swinesation on February 08, 2018, 11:01:10 am
Of course Hyatt could end up being starting QB
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: lumphog on February 08, 2018, 11:12:55 am
We're in much better shape than most think. IF this staff can coach as good as I think they will, it's gonna be a good year.
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: hogsanity on February 08, 2018, 11:19:33 am
We're in much better shape than most think. IF this staff can coach as good as I think they will, it's gonna be a good year.

So some of the recruiting that BB was doing is going to pay off for the new coach?
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: hview on February 08, 2018, 12:19:42 pm
Did Giovanni LaFrance (LB), end up being a RS Freshman, after his injury last year? I don't remember. He may be a Sophomore.
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: OneTuskOverTheLine™ on February 08, 2018, 12:23:29 pm
Of course Hyatt could end up being starting QB
This is going to be a fun QB race.!!
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: Mo_Better_Hogs on February 08, 2018, 12:23:40 pm
Were the 13 all freshmen? Because occasionally a player will redshirt later. Either way, this is a great question. And an important one.
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: Smalltownhog95 on February 08, 2018, 01:02:12 pm
So some of the recruiting that BB was doing is going to pay off for the new coach?
I think Bret recruited fairly well. Someone posted his rankings were as good or better than Petrino or Nutt. It was just his stubbornness to play said recruits over upperclassmen and walk ons that led to his demise (and Kurt Anderson we all know.)
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: razorbackfaninar on February 08, 2018, 02:32:11 pm
I think Bret recruited fairly well. Someone posted his rankings were as good or better than Petrino or Nutt. It was just his stubbornness to play said recruits over upperclassmen and walk ons that led to his demise (and Kurt Anderson we all know.)

Bielema had a lot of faults, but recruiting wasn't one of them.  There is a lot of talent on campus right now.  There was enough last year to be more competitive than 4-8.  There is enough there right now to be competitive from the start of the Chad Morris era. Whether we have a coach who can put all that together remains to be seen, but there is more talent than you would expect from a team coming off of a 4-8 season
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: jgphillips3 on February 08, 2018, 02:46:00 pm
Bielema was alright at recruiting.  His problem was putting all the pieces together into a coherent whole.  Morris walked into good, solid talent.  Not depth, but lots of talent sprinkled throughout the roster.  Morris just needs to put all the pieces on the table and build the best machine he can from what he has then work to improve the parts as he goes.  There is enough talent on hand to win 7 or 8 games right now.  Heck, there is enough to win 9 if we got hot.  There isn't enough to beat the three teams on the schedule that have us at huge talent disparity, but Morris will have a few years to work on that.
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: Hog Fan...DOH! on February 08, 2018, 02:46:03 pm
I think Bret recruited fairly well. Someone posted his rankings were as good or better than Petrino or Nutt. It was just his stubbornness to play said recruits over upperclassmen and walk ons that led to his demise (and Kurt Anderson we all know.)

In my opinion, history will show that BB's biggest problem was trying to rebuild twice.  You only get one shot to build toward sustainability.
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: Jim Harris on February 08, 2018, 04:21:47 pm
We redshirted 13 freshman last season. Isn't that a higher than usual number? Who in the group has the most potential to contribute next season? I know Montaric Brown would be one.

It seems like a high number considering how bad Arkansas was, and how bad some of the seniors were, with a coach in his fifth year. I can see it early on, redshirting even more as you build to the fourth and fifth years.
I thought it was interesting that Alabama was noted for playing as many freshmen this year as anyone in the country. Little redshirting there.
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: ricepig on February 08, 2018, 04:26:08 pm
It seems like a high number considering how bad Arkansas was, and how bad some of the seniors were, with a coach in his fifth year. I can see it early on, redshirting even more as you build to the fourth and fifth years.
I thought it was interesting that Alabama was noted for playing as many freshmen this year as anyone in the country. Little redshirting there.

That's because their good Jr's declare for the draft, so they also are needing guys to step up. That, and they come in ready to play......
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: Jackrabbit Hog on February 08, 2018, 04:34:10 pm
Speaking of redshirts, ricepig, your karma is approaching OTR status.

Hmmm........
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: Jonbo on February 08, 2018, 04:43:20 pm
So some of the recruiting that BB was doing is going to pay off for the new coach?
Well, remember, they WERE "close". That's what BB kept saying. Seriously, I imagine that he was right in as much as that there is some talent on the team. I'm hoping we find out that one thing Beilema had working decently was recruiting, that he had built some depth, but I'm no kind of expert.
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: Atlhogfan1 on February 08, 2018, 04:46:30 pm
The skill positions have some good depth.  Jackson would have helped this past season.  Bielema's downfall was the oline recruiting which made no sense.  Build the lines first especially when you are a coach who wants the oline to be the face of the program.  Maybe the new blocking schemes can help us offensively till we get depth and veteran coach can get our def front through till more depth is built. 
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: OneTuskOverTheLine™ on February 08, 2018, 04:49:32 pm
Shane Clenin
https://www.hudl.com/video/3/2941733/57c43684842eb21f909236ed

 I'd like to see what he can do against our d-line. In the film above I saw him double team two d-linemen. If they had been more than 280 lbs combined weight I would say he took on a double team. ;)
 The guy is mean enough for sure. Man! I wish we could see practice tape highlights too...
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: bennyl08 on February 08, 2018, 05:00:42 pm
Montaric Brown, Kolian Jackson, Maleek Williams, David Porter, and Jordan Curtis.

All 5 of those have serious NFL potential if they decide to live up to it.
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: OneTuskOverTheLine™ on February 08, 2018, 05:03:01 pm
Montaric Brown, Kolian Jackson, Maleek Williams, David Porter, and Jordan Curtis.

All 5 of those have serious NFL potential if they decide to live up to it.
That's a natural fact... I can't wait to see what these coaches can do with Chevin Calloway too.
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: ThisTeetsTaken on February 08, 2018, 06:57:29 pm
It seems like a high number considering how bad Arkansas was, and how bad some of the seniors were, with a coach in his fifth year. I can see it early on, redshirting even more as you build to the fourth and fifth years.
I thought it was interesting that Alabama was noted for playing as many freshmen this year as anyone in the country. Little redshirting there.
I think CBB was mimicking what he was taught by Alvarez but didn’t have the foundation built like Alverez’s program. 
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: bphi11ips on February 08, 2018, 09:50:03 pm
Speaking of redshirts, ricepig, your karma is approaching OTR status.

Hmmm........

I gave him +1 in spite of myself.
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: ricepig on February 09, 2018, 07:40:52 am
Speaking of redshirts, ricepig, your karma is approaching OTR status.

Hmmm........

Is that good, or bad, I've never heard of this "OTR" fellow....
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: hogsanity on February 09, 2018, 08:59:48 am
With 13 red shirts you could argue that the current recruiting class has 29, not 16 players, because that is how many will be on campus that have never played a down of college football.
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: Jackrabbit Hog on February 09, 2018, 09:08:32 am
Is that good, or bad, I've never heard of this "OTR" fellow....

It's neither good nor bad, but it sure answers a lot of questions Skandar.  I mean Pillowhead.  I mean Rudy. ...
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: lumphog on February 09, 2018, 09:38:43 am
So some of the recruiting that BB was doing is going to pay off for the new coach?
UmmmmErrrrrrUhhhhh YEA
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: OneTuskOverTheLine™ on February 09, 2018, 09:57:21 am
Speaking of redshirts, ricepig, your karma is approaching OTR status.

Hmmm........

 Yep.. I +1'd him hoping to give him some zen... Then I'm gonna crap on it by dragging him into another GSD. LOL..! ;)
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: redeye on February 09, 2018, 10:25:29 am
The skill positions have some good depth.  Jackson would have helped this past season.  Bielema's downfall was the oline recruiting which made no sense.  Build the lines first especially when you are a coach who wants the oline to be the face of the program.  Maybe the new blocking schemes can help us offensively till we get depth and veteran coach can get our def front through till more depth is built.

I agree, but think there's more to it than meets the eye.  I think Bielema did realize the importance of recruiting for the OL, but just struggled to bring in the level of player needed.  He got off to a good start with Skipper and Kirkland, then discovered that level of lineman was required for his offense in the SEC, unlike at Wisconsin.  He was on his way toward building depth with that type of quality, when Pittman threw a wrench in the plan, by leaving for Georgia.  After that, he never recovered and struggled to get linemen of that quality, which also hurt the defense by keeping them on the field longer.

If Pittman hadn't left, I think the last 2 years may have been much different for Arkansas.
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: 12247 on February 09, 2018, 10:54:49 am
In my opinion our overall talent is not bad and not good.  Just a tweak below average to do much in the SEC.  We should handle the OOC schedule and get 2 or 3 wins in the SEC.  The problem is actually:  1.  A new staff, 2.  a new scheme on both O and D., 3.  Difficult conference,  4,  Totally, mentally disabled team.

I just learned that we may have 29 players who haven't been totally ruined by the previous staff.  That folks, could be a blessing.  Maybe those players won't have to be unlearned the horseshit and gunpowder routine and then relearn the new scheme.  A hard working staff that truly has the team in mind will go a long way in the unlearn and relearn requirements.  How long that takes will reflect in the won/loss column.  Going to Colorado State, will we be just a group of individuals out there playing a pickup game or will we be a team????  The answer to that may be the difference in winning or losing.  Morris says it best.  You players provide the want to and the staff will provide the how to.  If those two things happen, this team will surprise folks.  Just a little slip from that or just 2 or 3 injuries and we will be unpleasantly surprised.  Those few on here that proclaim this is a 4 win max team for next season will prove their genius.  Get the want to and how to flowing and throw in a little luck like no major injuries, everyone buys in, coaches keep up the work ethic, and this team COULD win 7 regular season.  I expect a 6-6 season.
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: Athog on February 09, 2018, 08:11:09 pm
Bielema had a lot of faults, but recruiting wasn't one of them.  There is a lot of talent on campus right now.  There was enough last year to be more competitive than 4-8.  There is enough there right now to be competitive from the start of the Chad Morris era. Whether we have a coach who can put all that together remains to be seen, but there is more talent than you would expect from a team coming off of a 4-8 season

Good post!
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: OneTuskOverTheLine™ on February 09, 2018, 11:56:26 pm
Yo... I got a feeling next year is gonna be gud.!!
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: Flrazrback on February 10, 2018, 12:05:00 am
To the man's credit, Coach B didn't leave the cupboard bare. Look for the new staff to come in and develop a really good group of talented young players.
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: Pork Twain on February 10, 2018, 03:41:52 am
So some of the recruiting that BB was doing is going to pay off for the new coach?
Been saying all along, this is a Danny Ford turning it over to HDN type of situation.  There is a lot of talent on this roster.  Likely the most talent inherited since Ford handed off to HDN.
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: DeltaBoy on February 11, 2018, 09:28:57 pm
We will see!
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: Vantage 8 dude on February 11, 2018, 09:51:01 pm
With 13 red shirts you could argue that the current recruiting class has 29, not 16 players, because that is how many will be on campus that have never played a down of college football.
Interesting way of looking at it. Kinda like the old cracker jack box-a surprise in each one.
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: zane on February 11, 2018, 10:16:54 pm
Speaking of redshirts, ricepig, your karma is approaching OTR status.

Hmmm........

Now that you mention it- has anyone ever seen both Rice and OTR in a room at the same time??
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: kodiakisland on February 11, 2018, 10:24:12 pm
To the man's credit, Coach B didn't leave the cupboard bare. Look for the new staff to come in and develop a really good group of talented young players.

No, they didn't leave us bare, or seem to use what they had well.  It looked like there was a lot of talent standing on the sidelines.  I can't wait to see what this new bunch does with our current crop of TEs.
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: onebadrubi on February 11, 2018, 10:42:47 pm
Now that you mention it- has anyone ever seen both Rice and OTR in a room at the same time??

Only skandar and Rudy
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: Iwastherein1969 on February 11, 2018, 10:58:56 pm
Been saying all along, this is a Danny Ford turning it over to HDN type of situation.  There is a lot of talent on this roster.  Likely the most talent inherited since Ford handed off to HDN.
The Hogs won't start the season 8-0 like HDN did in his first year. But neither are we helpless like most people on the Alabama,errgh,  SEC Network believes, either. Mr. Put it in the left lane and hammer down is going to be pleasantly surprised the second week into Spring practice. He's going to find a team that would have run his SMU Mustangs off the field.
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: ChopSooie on February 12, 2018, 08:24:24 am
The fact that Morris said we would have a split offensive and defensive recruiting class, then went out and signed 10 defensive players, should tell you all you need to know about talent on campus.

He obviously thinks the offensive talent is closer than the defensive after reviewing our current players.
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: Grizzlyfan on February 12, 2018, 10:59:38 am
I've stated on here a few times that I don't think we have a very good roster.  At least not upper half SEC quality.  Some disagree with that vociferously with that position.  Question.  What 3 position groups would any of you say is a strength for this team coming into 2018?
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: Arkansas Hog in Dallas on February 12, 2018, 11:07:16 am
I've stated on here a few times that I don't think we have a very good roster.  At least not upper half SEC quality.  Some disagree with that vociferously with that position.  Question.  What 3 position groups would any of you say is a strength for this team coming into 2018?

DBs-Pulley, Calloway, Curl, Brown, Ramirez plus the freshmen and some other guys I forget
QB-3 4 star guys on campus
RB
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: Grizzlyfan on February 12, 2018, 11:10:09 am
DBs-Pulley, Calloway, Curl, Brown, Ramirez plus the freshmen and some other guys I forget
QB-3 4 star guys on campus
RB
I would agree with the DB's.  Not a bad group.  As for the rest of the defense, DL group, and LB group, are they strengths, weaknesses, neutral?
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: onebadrubi on February 12, 2018, 11:12:11 am
I've stated on here a few times that I don't think we have a very good roster.  At least not upper half SEC quality.  Some disagree with that vociferously with that position.  Question.  What 3 position groups would any of you say is a strength for this team coming into 2018?

Switching styles like we are, no one knows.  However, we have as much talent on the roster as we have had during a coaching change since join the SEC based off of kids here with offers from other top schools. 

I personally think we have some young and very skilled talent at the following positions, TE, WR, RB, DB (CB and Safety).  I firmly believe we still have some good talent for the Oline as well, they just need a coach (which appears we took a major step up now), Wallace, Gibson, and Fro all should be in the starting lineup come August in my opinion.  Look at what is sitting behind them, Clenin (appears to have major upside), clary got some starting reps but really needs weight room, and you still have Jackson and Wagner.  We will be really thin, but there is still some talent there. 

I'm leaving the jury out on the defense,  but no way they go back.  there is some talent there that has been majorly misused (Ramsey, agim, smith, Harris, etc).   
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: jkstock04 on February 12, 2018, 11:12:28 am
I've stated on here a few times that I don't think we have a very good roster.  At least not upper half SEC quality.  Some disagree with that vociferously with that position.  Question.  What 3 position groups would any of you say is a strength for this team coming into 2018?
After last season that would be a laughable question to answer.
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: LA Football fan on February 12, 2018, 11:20:32 am
Switching styles like we are, no one knows.  However, we have as much talent on the roster as we have had during a coaching change since join the SEC based off of kids here with offers from other top schools. 

I personally think we have some young and very skilled talent at the following positions, TE, WR, RB, DB (CB and Safety).  I firmly believe we still have some good talent for the Oline as well, they just need a coach (which appears we took a major step up now), Wallace, Gibson, and Fro all should be in the starting lineup come August in my opinion.  Look at what is sitting behind them, Clenin (appears to have major upside), clary got some starting reps but really needs weight room, and you still have Jackson and Wagner.  We will be really thin, but there is still some talent there. 

I'm leaving the jury out on the defense,  but no way they go back.  there is some talent there that has been majorly misused (Ramsey, agim, smith, Harris, etc).   

With Agim and now Gerald, you could potentially have two elite DE's on defense.  Have to find some serviceable interior d lineman, which we should have.  Depth could be the biggest issue with the d line but it does have the potential to be really good.
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: HawgHeadCheese on February 12, 2018, 11:22:25 am
I've stated on here a few times that I don't think we have a very good roster.  At least not upper half SEC quality.  Some disagree with that vociferously with that position.  Question.  What 3 position groups would any of you say is a strength for this team coming into 2018?
RB's
DB's now that a few guys who were starting that shouldn't have graduated
LB-Greenlaw, Harris all we need is one guy to step up
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: Grizzlyfan on February 12, 2018, 11:47:41 am
RB's
DB's now that a few guys who were starting that shouldn't have graduated
LB-Greenlaw, Harris all we need is one guy to step up
You have identified LB as a strength, even though you can't name who the 3rd guy should be, and you certainly can't say that we have any quality depth at this position.
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: Arkansas Hog in Dallas on February 12, 2018, 11:57:43 am
You have identified LB as a strength, even though you can't name who the 3rd guy should be, and you certainly can't say that we have any quality depth at this position.

The third guy could be Ramsey, Morgan, Parker, or Pool. I would agree tho, our D’s weakness is gonna be LB. We have an above average D-line and probably the best DB group the UofA has had in a long time.
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: bennyl08 on February 12, 2018, 06:23:28 pm
I've stated on here a few times that I don't think we have a very good roster.  At least not upper half SEC quality.  Some disagree with that vociferously with that position.  Question.  What 3 position groups would any of you say is a strength for this team coming into 2018?

I'll one up and go through each position group with strength and/or weaknesses. Two major themes in this are that the players will be learning a new offense and defense so I'm just going to mention that here rather than repeat it over and over and the second is that you'd have to be blind to think that the talent of the team was reflected in the performance last year. Not saying we go 13-1 like Auburn did from '12-'13, but the team is very much facing a similar situation to Arkansas from Ford to Nutt and Auburn from Chizik to Malzahn in a talent heavy team under a head coach that lost the team to a talent heavy team under a new HC.

QB: Neutral. Our position group is loaded with highly rated players and some good offer lists as well. We aren't completely breaking in a new qb t his year due to Austin's injury, but overall, this is a very green group, hence neutral.

RB: Neutral. Similar-ish situation to QB. Whaley showed a lot of promise in '16, we had the lost lockerroom season last year where he didn't grow but didn't really regress either. However, he's the only really highly rated guy that we have. However, we've seen flashes from Hammonds and Hayden and Maleek IMO can be as good as Marshon Lattimore from SC and really showed out in spring practice last year. Some really good potential, not a ton of experience but there are flashes of what can be done.

FB: Strength, but will Morris adapt some to take advantage of the two really good FB's that we have, or will their abilities go to waste?

WR: This one is tough to diagnose. On paper, we have one of the best units anywhere around, loaded with top notch offer lists and we could almost make a 3 deep with nothing but 4* talent. That said, outside of Cornelius, there isn't a ton of experience. Morgan , Hathcer, and Cornelius dominated the reps while they were here leaving only the lost season to judge the players in real college games. On paper, they are one of the best groups in the entire SEC. However, last year, they were one of the biggest weaknesses struggling to get open even against the cupcake opponents. How much of that was part of the team giving up on the coaching staff vs. actual lack of talent? Time will tell.

TE: Strength. However, like fullback, who knows if Morris will use it or not. O'Grady and Patton are major threats in the receiving game. Cantrell and Gunter are very balanced TE's and Gragg is a great blocker with soft hands but not too dangerous after the catch. There's a dearth of weapons who have all combined for some pretty good numbers. We haven't had the single dangerous player like with Hunter in part because we can rotate 4 or 5 guys.

OL: Currently, can't say this is anything but a weakness. Froholdt is one of the top guards in the country. However, outside of him, we don't have any known studs. Wallace has shown flashes and is comparable to the best that any school has to offer in terms of size, athleticism, and offers coming out of HS, but he has struggled with consistency. Gibson is a solid run blocker but struggles in pass protection due to a lack of athleticism. We lost Rogers and Heinrich two of our more promising up and coming players. Jackson hasn't impressed. Ragnow, Raulerson, and Ramirez are gone as well. Leaving us with some very promising players such as Merrick, Wagner, Clenin, etc... who have yet to really see the field. We return 4 starters on the OL which is normally a great thing, all four of which are multi-year starters. However, they struggled even in 2016 which wasn't a lost year. However, they have virtually all played under a single coach in Anderson so there is real reason to believe that they can perform better, given that many of our guys were highly coveted by the top schools in the country.

DE: Currently a weakness, but it could easily be one of our biggest strengths by the end of the season. We have some great pass rushers is guys like Paul, Ramsey, Taylor and Porter who are all still relatively young. A young pass rusher can often be more of a liability than an asset when they rush themselves into the backfield and lose all gap control and penetrate themselves right out of the play. Plus, many of the guys listed are not strong enough to hold their own in the run game which takes some time in the gym as well (though ramsey is sooo small he'll likely stay at LB). In 2016, I mean, we saw the potential in Wise but he was injured and we didn't have a really good DE behind him at the time save for young pups who the coaching staff decided to place stronger and wiser but less explosive players in. Last year in the 3-4, well, you typically don't even want your DL to get any penetration so, no surprise guys like Agim didn't have many big plays when they are deliberately told to hold your blocks rather than disrupt. That said, we do have Agim at DE who has shown a whole lot of flashes, just needs to become a consistent and complete player, which again, he's been an underclassmen the past two years and that's pretty common. We have some of the aforementioned players who have potential to be very good pass rushers. Guys like TJ Smith who can stop the run very well and isn't too shabby in explosive power in his own right, and a new JUCO player who looks incredibly promising, but hasn't yet had a practice with a power 5 team, much less played a snap.

DT: Weakness. I like Capps, Guidry, and Marshall at the top, but especially if you factor Smith as a DE, we are lacking in quality depth at the position. Ferrell was an important signee and will probably figure into the rotation given that Capps is the only big guy we seem to currently have (edit, looked it up and Marshall is actually listed at 310 and Capps at 300. Capps has the strength of a 330 pound guy and Marshall the athleticism of a 280 pounder).

LB: Slight strength: DeJon Harris ranks up there with the best LB's in the conference. He is an elite player. Greenlaw is a very solid and consistent compliment, who is among the top half of LB's in the conference, but not among the very best. You are correct to bring up that we don't have an immediately obvious 3rd star players, but how often do you even have that third LB out on the field anymore in a 4-3? It's usually replaced by the nickelback or a hybrid player. That said, we have quality in LB prospects that put us very deep at potentially good players. Further, we have at least 2 players that have demonstrated ability on the field as well. Ramsey and Morgan ranked 8th and 9th respectively in tackles on the team last year despite Ramsey only starting 8 games and Morgan starting 0. What did they do on the field? They combined for 9 tackles for loss (Greenlaw who you seem to admit is a strength started all 12 games and had a total of 1.5 tfl), they each had two passes defended, tying Greenlaw's two despite way fewer snaps, they combined for 8 qb hurries compared to Greenlaw's 2 total on the season and each of them caused a fumble while Greenlaw didn't cause any. With Eugene graduating and being a highly productive player, there's more room for Ramsey and Grant to make even more of an impact as well as be able to give Harris and Greenlaw rests. As an aside, think about where we've done well with LB's in the past decade or so. Franklin and Nelson made a really good duo, but there was never really a third guy to help them out nor depth to allow them to rest. Similarly with Ellis and Spaight. We are in a better position at LB than we have been in a very long time.

CB: Moderate strength: Won't go into too much detail here in the secondary given that you also already agree that these are strengths. However, think about why you view them as a strength. What do we have that's proven here? We have Pulley who has about one and a half of a good season and then a injury that we don't know how well he'll come back from. We lost 2 seniors who were regular starters for us in Toliver who has a good shot of being drafted and Richardson who'll likely be a priority free agent after the draft. We have Curl who played decently for a freshmen playing IMO out of position due to need and depth at his natural safety spot. However, if he was an upperclassmen, people would be calling for his head with his play last year. We have a ton of potential here with guys like Dalton, Challoway (who played some but not as well as Curl), Curtis, Hernandez, McClellion, and the newcomer Bishop. We lost a lot of experience and have a lot of promising young players coming in with good offer sheets, but none of them have proven to have lived up to their prestige yet. Oh, also need to mention Tutt who could be one of our fastest CB's but has struggled with injury. He could be primed for a breakout year as well.

S: Strength. Safety is surprisingly in a bit better shape than CB, namely because the stud player we have isn't coming off a lost season from injury. Ramirez's stats were on par with all conference safeties but in a tie breaker, nobody is going to give it to the player on the bad team with the bad defense. He has NFL size and athleticism to go along with his high production. Like CB, the S spot is also losing two multi-year starters in Coley and Liddell, and like the CB spot, there are a lot of really promising players with really good offer sheets, but again, haven't proven it on the field. Such promising guys include Brown, the aforementioned Curl, M. Smith, Edwards, Mason and Foucha round up the really exciting true freshmen. I'm not forgetting Reid Miller, but he seems best suited for us as a special teams monster as well as being good in the nickel spot as a third safety kind of guy.

LS: Weakness, but only because of unknown. We just graduated our long time long snapper. For all we know, our next LS could be amazing for us.

P: Neutral, Blake Johnson in limited punts 2 years ago showed to be as good as any punter we've had recently, but only in backup duty to Toby Baker. Last year the job was his and the average yardage dropped a good bit, but factoring in how many of his punts were inside the 20, I imagine that played a role as well especially with 5 50+ yard kicks. While an average of 38.6 seems low by our standards, it's still pretty good by most of college football.

K: Neutral, Limpert booted nearly 10% of his kickoffs out of bounds. He did boot 8-9 on fg's, but that's a really small sample size. Comparing that to Hocker, he averaged right near 20 attempts per season with a season high of 27 attempts, 3 times higher than what Limpert attempted this year. So, there's promise for the future, but there's red flags here as well.

Lastly, what is a strength vs a weakness is a very relative question. What are we comparing to? Power 5 college football as a whole? Only the SEC? Only the top teams in the SEC? Compared to typical levels for Arkansas teams? A lot of people don't factor in teams like vandy and kentucky and such into what the SEC average is. They look at the receiver that end up being early round picks and don't think about the teams that go several years without having a single NFL level receiver on their roster. For example, comparing our talent to the SEC as a whole, over the last 5 NFL drafts, we rank 5th in the SEC behind only Bama, LSU, UGA, and Florida. We've had more NFL draft picks than the likes of the aggies, auburn, tenner, mizz, msu, OM, SC, Kentucky, or vandy. Which really goes to show the lack of in game coaching we have had over that stretch as well. Though, based on the recruiting rankings, there was some good development of the players that we did sign relative to our SEC foes on average. We could recruit and develop the talent, but couldn't figure out the x's and o's to win games.
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: liljo on February 13, 2018, 03:05:14 pm
I'll one up and go through each position group with strength and/or weaknesses. Two major themes in this are that the players will be learning a new offense and defense so I'm just going to mention that here rather than repeat it over and over and the second is that you'd have to be blind to think that the talent of the team was reflected in the performance last year. Not saying we go 13-1 like Auburn did from '12-'13, but the team is very much facing a similar situation to Arkansas from Ford to Nutt and Auburn from Chizik to Malzahn in a talent heavy team under a head coach that lost the team to a talent heavy team under a new HC.

QB: Neutral. Our position group is loaded with highly rated players and some good offer lists as well. We aren't completely breaking in a new qb t his year due to Austin's injury, but overall, this is a very green group, hence neutral.

RB: Neutral. Similar-ish situation to QB. Whaley showed a lot of promise in '16, we had the lost lockerroom season last year where he didn't grow but didn't really regress either. However, he's the only really highly rated guy that we have. However, we've seen flashes from Hammonds and Hayden and Maleek IMO can be as good as Marshon Lattimore from SC and really showed out in spring practice last year. Some really good potential, not a ton of experience but there are flashes of what can be done.

FB: Strength, but will Morris adapt some to take advantage of the two really good FB's that we have, or will their abilities go to waste?

WR: This one is tough to diagnose. On paper, we have one of the best units anywhere around, loaded with top notch offer lists and we could almost make a 3 deep with nothing but 4* talent. That said, outside of Cornelius, there isn't a ton of experience. Morgan , Hathcer, and Cornelius dominated the reps while they were here leaving only the lost season to judge the players in real college games. On paper, they are one of the best groups in the entire SEC. However, last year, they were one of the biggest weaknesses struggling to get open even against the cupcake opponents. How much of that was part of the team giving up on the coaching staff vs. actual lack of talent? Time will tell.

TE: Strength. However, like fullback, who knows if Morris will use it or not. O'Grady and Patton are major threats in the receiving game. Cantrell and Gunter are very balanced TE's and Gragg is a great blocker with soft hands but not too dangerous after the catch. There's a dearth of weapons who have all combined for some pretty good numbers. We haven't had the single dangerous player like with Hunter in part because we can rotate 4 or 5 guys.

OL: Currently, can't say this is anything but a weakness. Froholdt is one of the top guards in the country. However, outside of him, we don't have any known studs. Wallace has shown flashes and is comparable to the best that any school has to offer in terms of size, athleticism, and offers coming out of HS, but he has struggled with consistency. Gibson is a solid run blocker but struggles in pass protection due to a lack of athleticism. We lost Rogers and Heinrich two of our more promising up and coming players. Jackson hasn't impressed. Ragnow, Raulerson, and Ramirez are gone as well. Leaving us with some very promising players such as Merrick, Wagner, Clenin, etc... who have yet to really see the field. We return 4 starters on the OL which is normally a great thing, all four of which are multi-year starters. However, they struggled even in 2016 which wasn't a lost year. However, they have virtually all played under a single coach in Anderson so there is real reason to believe that they can perform better, given that many of our guys were highly coveted by the top schools in the country.

DE: Currently a weakness, but it could easily be one of our biggest strengths by the end of the season. We have some great pass rushers is guys like Paul, Ramsey, Taylor and Porter who are all still relatively young. A young pass rusher can often be more of a liability than an asset when they rush themselves into the backfield and lose all gap control and penetrate themselves right out of the play. Plus, many of the guys listed are not strong enough to hold their own in the run game which takes some time in the gym as well (though ramsey is sooo small he'll likely stay at LB). In 2016, I mean, we saw the potential in Wise but he was injured and we didn't have a really good DE behind him at the time save for young pups who the coaching staff decided to place stronger and wiser but less explosive players in. Last year in the 3-4, well, you typically don't even want your DL to get any penetration so, no surprise guys like Agim didn't have many big plays when they are deliberately told to hold your blocks rather than disrupt. That said, we do have Agim at DE who has shown a whole lot of flashes, just needs to become a consistent and complete player, which again, he's been an underclassmen the past two years and that's pretty common. We have some of the aforementioned players who have potential to be very good pass rushers. Guys like TJ Smith who can stop the run very well and isn't too shabby in explosive power in his own right, and a new JUCO player who looks incredibly promising, but hasn't yet had a practice with a power 5 team, much less played a snap.

DT: Weakness. I like Capps, Guidry, and Marshall at the top, but especially if you factor Smith as a DE, we are lacking in quality depth at the position. Ferrell was an important signee and will probably figure into the rotation given that Capps is the only big guy we seem to currently have (edit, looked it up and Marshall is actually listed at 310 and Capps at 300. Capps has the strength of a 330 pound guy and Marshall the athleticism of a 280 pounder).

LB: Slight strength: DeJon Harris ranks up there with the best LB's in the conference. He is an elite player. Greenlaw is a very solid and consistent compliment, who is among the top half of LB's in the conference, but not among the very best. You are correct to bring up that we don't have an immediately obvious 3rd star players, but how often do you even have that third LB out on the field anymore in a 4-3? It's usually replaced by the nickelback or a hybrid player. That said, we have quality in LB prospects that put us very deep at potentially good players. Further, we have at least 2 players that have demonstrated ability on the field as well. Ramsey and Morgan ranked 8th and 9th respectively in tackles on the team last year despite Ramsey only starting 8 games and Morgan starting 0. What did they do on the field? They combined for 9 tackles for loss (Greenlaw who you seem to admit is a strength started all 12 games and had a total of 1.5 tfl), they each had two passes defended, tying Greenlaw's two despite way fewer snaps, they combined for 8 qb hurries compared to Greenlaw's 2 total on the season and each of them caused a fumble while Greenlaw didn't cause any. With Eugene graduating and being a highly productive player, there's more room for Ramsey and Grant to make even more of an impact as well as be able to give Harris and Greenlaw rests. As an aside, think about where we've done well with LB's in the past decade or so. Franklin and Nelson made a really good duo, but there was never really a third guy to help them out nor depth to allow them to rest. Similarly with Ellis and Spaight. We are in a better position at LB than we have been in a very long time.

CB: Moderate strength: Won't go into too much detail here in the secondary given that you also already agree that these are strengths. However, think about why you view them as a strength. What do we have that's proven here? We have Pulley who has about one and a half of a good season and then a injury that we don't know how well he'll come back from. We lost 2 seniors who were regular starters for us in Toliver who has a good shot of being drafted and Richardson who'll likely be a priority free agent after the draft. We have Curl who played decently for a freshmen playing IMO out of position due to need and depth at his natural safety spot. However, if he was an upperclassmen, people would be calling for his head with his play last year. We have a ton of potential here with guys like Dalton, Challoway (who played some but not as well as Curl), Curtis, Hernandez, McClellion, and the newcomer Bishop. We lost a lot of experience and have a lot of promising young players coming in with good offer sheets, but none of them have proven to have lived up to their prestige yet. Oh, also need to mention Tutt who could be one of our fastest CB's but has struggled with injury. He could be primed for a breakout year as well.

S: Strength. Safety is surprisingly in a bit better shape than CB, namely because the stud player we have isn't coming off a lost season from injury. Ramirez's stats were on par with all conference safeties but in a tie breaker, nobody is going to give it to the player on the bad team with the bad defense. He has NFL size and athleticism to go along with his high production. Like CB, the S spot is also losing two multi-year starters in Coley and Liddell, and like the CB spot, there are a lot of really promising players with really good offer sheets, but again, haven't proven it on the field. Such promising guys include Brown, the aforementioned Curl, M. Smith, Edwards, Mason and Foucha round up the really exciting true freshmen. I'm not forgetting Reid Miller, but he seems best suited for us as a special teams monster as well as being good in the nickel spot as a third safety kind of guy.

LS: Weakness, but only because of unknown. We just graduated our long time long snapper. For all we know, our next LS could be amazing for us.

P: Neutral, Blake Johnson in limited punts 2 years ago showed to be as good as any punter we've had recently, but only in backup duty to Toby Baker. Last year the job was his and the average yardage dropped a good bit, but factoring in how many of his punts were inside the 20, I imagine that played a role as well especially with 5 50+ yard kicks. While an average of 38.6 seems low by our standards, it's still pretty good by most of college football.

K: Neutral, Limpert booted nearly 10% of his kickoffs out of bounds. He did boot 8-9 on fg's, but that's a really small sample size. Comparing that to Hocker, he averaged right near 20 attempts per season with a season high of 27 attempts, 3 times higher than what Limpert attempted this year. So, there's promise for the future, but there's red flags here as well.

Lastly, what is a strength vs a weakness is a very relative question. What are we comparing to? Power 5 college football as a whole? Only the SEC? Only the top teams in the SEC? Compared to typical levels for Arkansas teams? A lot of people don't factor in teams like vandy and kentucky and such into what the SEC average is. They look at the receiver that end up being early round picks and don't think about the teams that go several years without having a single NFL level receiver on their roster. For example, comparing our talent to the SEC as a whole, over the last 5 NFL drafts, we rank 5th in the SEC behind only Bama, LSU, UGA, and Florida. We've had more NFL draft picks than the likes of the aggies, auburn, tenner, mizz, msu, OM, SC, Kentucky, or vandy. Which really goes to show the lack of in game coaching we have had over that stretch as well. Though, based on the recruiting rankings, there was some good development of the players that we did sign relative to our SEC foes on average. We could recruit and develop the talent, but couldn't figure out the x's and o's to win games.

Thank you for this. I thoroughly enjoyed reading through this.
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: GO on February 14, 2018, 07:10:08 am
Pretty good breakdown. So many unknowns with the new system coming in. Some guys should really step up and shine in it and with usually anytime a new coach comes in there will be a few who don't buy into the system and thus not give 100%. I have a feeling for any choose that route they won't be around long.
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: bennyl08 on February 15, 2018, 11:35:56 pm
Pretty good breakdown. So many unknowns with the new system coming in. Some guys should really step up and shine in it and with usually anytime a new coach comes in there will be a few who don't buy into the system and thus not give 100%. I have a feeling for any choose that route they won't be around long.

I'm hoping not but have a gut feeling we could have another Otha Peters or two type situation. Some really good players who ended up going on to the NFL on a 53 man roster transferring due to the coaching change and hurting our depth.
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: nwahogfan1 on February 16, 2018, 09:31:15 am
I would agree with the DB's.  Not a bad group.  As for the rest of the defense, DL group, and LB group, are they strengths, weaknesses, neutral?


I say over all a weakness.  Lbers have some speed and agility but not enough.  DLM has a few also.  Both groups needs more athleticism and depth.  with the addition of 5 on the DL and 2 at LB I think we are getting better.  SEC is all about speed and athleticism to make plays in space.  Beleima tried to turn us into Wisconsin and maybe it would have worked better if he had not failed so badly at recruiting OLM and difference makers on defense.
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: sickboy on February 16, 2018, 11:10:58 am
I've stated on here a few times that I don't think we have a very good roster.  At least not upper half SEC quality.  Some disagree with that vociferously with that position.  Question.  What 3 position groups would any of you say is a strength for this team coming into 2018?

I'd say we have loads of talent at RB, CB and DL.
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: Jim Harris on February 16, 2018, 11:23:58 am
I'm hoping not but have a gut feeling we could have another Otha Peters or two type situation. Some really good players who ended up going on to the NFL on a 53 man roster transferring due to the coaching change and hurting our depth.

Perhaps, but I have this feeling a guy like an Otha Peters is NOT who a guy like Chavis is going to run off so that he can play slow walkons and lesser talents at LB. I am anxious to see if any of those LBs Bielema recruited can actually back up or sub in for Harris and Greenlaw. Not sure outside of Harris that there is an Otha-like talent among the guys Bielema brought in. I could easily be wrong about that, though.
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: arlhog on February 16, 2018, 11:24:50 am
I know this isn't going to be popular but we had 13 guys that couldn't get on the field for a 1-7 sec team. 
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: Vantage 8 dude on February 16, 2018, 11:29:11 am
I know this isn't going to be popular but we had 13 guys that couldn't get on the field for a 1-7 sec team.
The question is whether or not that was a very conscious decision by last year's staff NOT to "burn" a redshirt or was it due to the fact a particular wasn't any better than what was already on the field. I think that particular question/issue has to be considered before automatically deciding any recruit who didn't play last year is necessarily a blah player.
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: bennyl08 on February 16, 2018, 11:40:39 am
Perhaps, but I have this feeling a guy like an Otha Peters is NOT who a guy like Chavis is going to run off so that he can play slow walkons and lesser talents at LB. I am anxious to see if any of those LBs Bielema recruited can actually back up or sub in for Harris and Greenlaw. Not sure outside of Harris that there is an Otha-like talent among the guys Bielema brought in. I could easily be wrong about that, though.

Otha was injured for much of 2013. I don't think for a second that anybody on our coaching staff wanted to not be playing Otha. It was more a factor of we have an Otha at 60% and slower guys at 95%. Further, there are sometimes just people who don't fit.

For all we know, Scoota just won't enjoy working with this coaching staff for whatever reason and will transfer after the spring. It would have nothing to do with his talent or the coaches deliberately running him of, just a matter of differing styles.

Not saying he will, but things like that are not uncommon with a coaching change.
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: Uncle Remus on February 16, 2018, 11:42:55 am
I think we will have a much better idea of what this teams final makeup will look like within a couple of months.  You know there are several that have been given the "give us a chance to show you" talk that are truthfully still on the fence on transferring.  I think if they give him a chance...they won't be let down.
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: arlhog on February 16, 2018, 10:39:02 pm
The question is whether or not that was a very conscious decision by last year's staff NOT to "burn" a redshirt or was it due to the fact a particular wasn't any better than what was already on the field. I think that particular question/issue has to be considered before automatically deciding any recruit who didn't play last year is necessarily a blah player.
The staff last year was coaching for their jobs from day one.   Red shirts shouldn't have stood in the way of winning games.   If that was the case, then they needed to be gone.
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: Cinco de Hogo on February 17, 2018, 10:05:29 am
We all know that Bielema’s team exhibited one major flaw and that was speed.  Two things are going to mark how successful Morris is in transitioning this team.  One is finding that group of “uncommon” upperclassmen who really want to play high level big boy SEC football and let me say right now, if they don’t have to want to just say “next”!  Morris can’t afford to waste time on “uncommon” upperclassmen who are simply catching some sun on their way to becoming whatever.  On the football field in the SEC you can’t afford very many players who have decided to give academics 110% and football 90% or less.  Give them a short rope to prove something then as I said just say “next”.  (Let me Head you off right now, i’m not talking about kicking any player to the curb, just the bench)

One of the biggest questions is speed and Morris is going to have to look at players with a very critical eye.  It started day one, transitions this team and each individual player into the new schemes and reconditioning them for those schemes.   Some are going to have the desire some aren’t but if we are going to find the speed we so desperately need it going to happen in the weight room, workouts, practices etc.  the coaches WILL have a plan for each and every player.   So the burning question all off season will be, how many buy in, how many successfully prepare their bodies and minds in a way that the gains help our overall team speed as well as being better prepared mentally to play four quarters in CCM’s schemes IN the toughest football conference.  This is what they signed on for when the signed their LOI’s.

As for BB’s recruiting, it will only be top 30 talent if Morris can get top 30 production out of it...BB sure wasn’t!
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: jbigs77 on February 19, 2018, 08:47:27 am
Arkansas's problems appeared early in BB time here. Strength and conditioning may have been part of the second half failures but I also believe quality depth and a deficiency of proper substitution along with the inability of the coaches to make changes or adjust to changes made by other teams.

In short, we often started games well, got a lead only to get gassed and lose the game in the second half or overtime. Overplaying players can also have contributed to what seemed a high injury level.

I believe and what I hope happened last year with the seemly high redshirt level (and may have been higher but changed due to injuries) was that BB thought after his extension that he would have at least one more year after last year. Well you go 4-8 you done. Except for maybe 4 points we could have been 2-10.

What I hope he was thinking was he wanted more depth, so he redshirted more players. Most likely the majority of these players were 2 to 3 stars that needed conditioning and development. If this is want he was thinking, going into this year, with the current players from last year, there would be more depth.

I really believe BB before last year, thought he'd have at least 2 more years.

In comes CCM. Different system, all players will have to learn that. That is a minus for any team. On the plus side. Hopefully better coaches that can make adjustments and know how to teach players. More of a modern approach to the game. Play fast, misdirect, throw the other team out of rhythm and create confusion and be unpredictable. Substitute in a smart manner, so they can be fresh and actually play 4 quarters, and hopefully cut down on injuries. 

I also think the addition of Chavis was a positive, and I do believe CCM will recruit more and better defensive players. He realizes his offense, successful or not, will not be on the field as much as a ball control team. I think his offense will have success, but the key to the W/L issue will be defensive play.

It is impossible at this point to predict what kind of team or W/L record we will see. But there are a lot of positives that may be out there. Including the redshirts that will be available. I am hoping for the best. Go Hogs
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: Vantage 8 dude on February 19, 2018, 09:03:54 am
The staff last year was coaching for their jobs from day one.   Red shirts shouldn't have stood in the way of winning games.   If that was the case, then they needed to be gone.
I'm honestly not convinced that CBB actually thought he'd be fired after this past season. Heck, if the stories are accurate HAD Long been retained we would likely be sitting with Bret still as our HC. So it apparently took a firing of the AD before the real source of failure was sent packing. Under the circumstances not playing some of the previous year's class most certainly makes sense.
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: woodhog14 on February 19, 2018, 10:10:50 am

TE: Strength. However, like fullback, who knows if Morris will use it or not. O'Grady and Patton are major threats in the receiving game. Cantrell and Gunter are very balanced TE's and Gragg is a great blocker with soft hands but not too dangerous after the catch. There's a dearth of weapons who have all combined for some pretty good numbers. We haven't had the single dangerous player like with Hunter in part because we can rotate 4 or 5 guys.

Morris uses the TE. While Morris was OC at Clemson in 2011, the TE Dwayne Allen won the Mackey Award and had 50 receptions for 600 yards and 8 TD's. Best numbers for a TE in Clemson history and only Mackey Award winner the school has produced.
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: lasthog on February 19, 2018, 10:35:17 am
No, they didn't leave us bare, or seem to use what they had well.  It looked like there was a lot of talent standing on the sidelines.  I can't wait to see what this new bunch does with our current crop of TEs.

Agree, and I am particularly interested in which players start on the o-line interior.  Be interesting to see if the four-star upperclassmen are still inferior to the youngsters.
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: bennyl08 on February 19, 2018, 10:55:49 am
Morris uses the TE. While Morris was OC at Clemson in 2011, the TE Dwayne Allen won the Mackey Award and had 50 receptions for 600 yards and 8 TD's. Best numbers for a TE in Clemson history and only Mackey Award winner the school has produced.

And he and his OC have said they plan on using the TE here. However, actions speak louder than words. While OC at Clemson, the offense wasn't solely his own. Dabo had his influences as well.

While on his own at SMU, TEs had 41 total receptions over 3 years. Admittedly, they are on record the first year there saying there wasn't really a TE on the roster. Problem is, it was their third year with 3 recruiting cycles under their belts that they had a mere 4 total receptions go to TEs. We'll see what he does here.
Title: Re: 13 redshirts
Post by: HeathWimp on February 19, 2018, 11:02:04 am
I'm honestly not convinced that CBB actually thought he'd be fired after this past season. Heck, if the stories are accurate HAD Long been retained we would likely be sitting with Bret still as our HC. So it apparently took a firing of the AD before the real source of failure was sent packing. Under the circumstances not playing some of the previous year's class most certainly makes sense.

I agree, I think Bert felt he was safe right up until Long was fired.  When that bombshell dropped, he knew it was over.  Long was coy during that interview with Bo, where he said he had a "plan" for Bert after the season.  He implied (but did not confirm) that he would have fired Bert after the season.  I don't believe this for a second; I think it was just Long messing with the fan base.  He had no intention of jettisoning his "signature" hire.