Alex Kaliakmanis: Trying very hard not to comment on a program that our family decided to cut ties with.

60's Guy

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he also needed to be able to run the ball in this system, and he either couldn’t or wouldn’t. The Gophers don’t need a pocket passer, they need someone who can read the read-option. One of the most frustrating aspects of watching AK over the past two seasons was that he so rarely made the right call on read options.
I don't think he had the authority to make any decisions. They told him to hand the ball off 99% of the time and then once a game or so they'd predetermine he should run the ball and because the other teams decoded our signals he'd be tackled for no gain.
 

cncmin

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I don't think he had the authority to make any decisions. They told him to hand the ball off 99% of the time and then once a game or so they'd predetermine he should run the ball and because the other teams decoded our signals he'd be tackled for no gain.
“Decoding our signals” must mean being ready for run, run, pass, punt. Our playbook was like the old Tecmo Bowl.
 

disco

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“Decoding our signals” must mean being ready for run, run, pass, punt. Our playbook was like the old Tecmo Bowl.
Except we didn't have Bo Jackson running away from everyone.
 

cncmin

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Except we didn't have Bo Jackson running away from everyone.
First, that was SUPER Tecmo Bowl, which upped it to 8 plays (and interchangeable before the game started!) instead of Tecmo Bowl’s 4. :). Second, if you played against the Raiders right, Bo could usually be stopped.
 



RememberMurray

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I don't think he had the authority to make any decisions. They told him to hand the ball off 99% of the time and then once a game or so they'd predetermine he should run the ball and because the other teams decoded our signals he'd be tackled for no gain.

Thanks for sharing your unfounded theories.
 







60's Guy

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Thanks for sharing your unfounded theories.
Did you watch any games at all? Did our QB ever keep the ball when you'd have to be blind to not see the DE crashing to the pile? Tell me he just keeps doing that game after game if that is not what he is told to do. Any normal coach is going to ask what he saw and why he didn't pull it get the first down. But he continues to hand the ball off on every play call except the rare ones where he keeps it and gets tackled for a loss because the read clearly said he was dead in the water.
How else do you explain it?
If his decisions are his alone and that bad!!! Are you going to ask him him play every snap?
Nobody is....unless they didn't trust him and he was following instructions...doing what they asked.
 

Great Plains Gopher

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There was a shrewd comment here that Ak's slinging sidearm passing style made him throw the ball too hard - that he didn't have the soft touch, as for a screen pass, a quick pass to a running back. That should have been coached out of him somewhere along the line, but wasn't. Yet there was a lot more wrong with the Gophers this year than the QB: offensive line weaker, couldn't protect Ak; safeties outrun by a mile several times for scores; the best running backs hurt; other teams running at will against the linebackers and corner backs (Purdue, e.g.), plus the usual dull play-calling and lack of imagination. Lots of improvement needed, but a huge problem is looming up: how do you keep an All-American player with the easy portal and the "salaries" other teams can pay to poach him. Going back to the sit-out-a-year transfer policy is the beginning of needed reform. You'd think most coaches and ADs would be for it.
 




dpodoll68

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Did you watch any games at all? Did our QB ever keep the ball when you'd have to be blind to not see the DE crashing to the pile? Tell me he just keeps doing that game after game if that is not what he is told to do. Any normal coach is going to ask what he saw and why he didn't pull it get the first down. But he continues to hand the ball off on every play call except the rare ones where he keeps it and gets tackled for a loss because the read clearly said he was dead in the water.
How else do you explain it?
If his decisions are his alone and that bad!!! Are you going to ask him him play every snap?
Nobody is....unless they didn't trust him and he was following instructions...doing what they asked.
I can explain it very easily - virtually every time we run the run-pass option (where your two options are to hand it to the RB or pass), thousands of people at the game, and obviously dozens of posters on this forum, instead think we're running a read option (where your two options are to hand it to the RB or keep it and run as a QB). People got mad at Kaliakmanis (or Morgan, or Rhoda, or Croft, or Streveler, or Leidner, or Nelson, or...) because he didn't keep the ball and run it himself, when 95% of the time that isn't even a choice in his set of options. I mean, I suppose he could go rogue and keep the ball, running a different play than the coaches called, and his 10 teammates are running, but I imagine he could do that once or maybe twice before he'd find himself standing on the sidelines for an extended period of time.

And, moreover, when we call a run-pass option, based on watching the play called thousands of times over the years by Gophers coaching staffs, I have to imagine that the QB is expressly told whether to run or pass when the play is called an overwhelming majority of the time, with the call being run 85% of the time, and that the "option" is merely window dressing which fools no one, explaining why we run so many negative yardage plays each and every game.

I personally have explained this concept on this very site dozens of times over the last decade, and many others have tried as well, and yet people are still bitching about it as we approach 2024. Amazing.

We had a long laundry list of problems at the QB position in 2023, but thankfully AK deciding on his own to run read option wasn't one of them.
 
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Spoofin

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I made it through page 1. A gopher player leaves and GH determines it was the team that wanted him out. A tradition as old as GH. Let’s not forget that it won’t hurt us and the replacement coming in is a “can’t miss”.
 

Stuff

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If Dino couldn't earn playing time on this roster, I'm not sure how he will even find it on a FCS school.
 


MGGopher

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Well, unless dad jumps back on Twitter today, we’ll never get the ACTUAL reason Athan is transferring. Here’s my wild guess.
  1. Fleck recruits Athan with, “We’re not taking another QB this year or next, the keys to the kingdom are yours, we’ll let Tanner ride it out next year then it’s yours — little competition, etc.”. Clark and Annexstad are told this and bolt.
  2. On top of that, the family expresses concerns about the MN offense but is assured that once Mo and Morgan are gone, they’re gonna open things up, let this talented young kid fling it around, bring in big time WRs like Bateman again, etc. These lines are repeated last offseason and we’ve got Spencer and Crooms transferring in, Fleck talking about the offense being unrecognizable at times, and Athan throwing like 40 times against Neb.
  3. Becomes apparent early in the season that throwing 30-40 times isn’t the answer as neither the WRs nor QB is good enough to consistently win that way, so not only does Fleck go back to Tressel-ball, he also starts sniffing around the country for other QBs.
  4. Athan and fam don’t like either of those facts, so they’re out and feel wounded that PJ reneged on his “promises” to change up the offense and make Athan “his guy” for 3 years.
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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Well, unless dad jumps back on Twitter today, we’ll never get the ACTUAL reason Athan is transferring. Here’s my wild guess.
  1. Fleck recruits Athan with, “We’re not taking another QB this year or next, the keys to the kingdom are yours, we’ll let Tanner ride it out next year then it’s yours — little competition, etc.”. Clark and Annexstad are told this and bolt.
  2. On top of that, the family expresses concerns about the MN offense but is assured that once Mo and Morgan are gone, they’re gonna open things up, let this talented young kid fling it around, bring in big time WRs like Bateman again, etc. These lines are repeated last offseason and we’ve got Spencer and Crooms transferring in, Fleck talking about the offense being unrecognizable at times, and Athan throwing like 40 times against Neb.
  3. Becomes apparent early in the season that throwing 30-40 times isn’t the answer as neither the WRs nor QB is good enough to consistently win that way, so not only does Fleck go back to Tressel-ball, he also starts sniffing around the country for other QBs.
  4. Athan and fam don’t like either of those facts, so they’re out and feel wounded that PJ reneged on his “promises” to change up the offense and make Athan “his guy” for 3 years.
I think how much "promise" there was ... I'm skeptical.

PJ has made it clear and said publicly that he tells players his job "my job to go out and get better players". I think that's pretty honest.

So yeah maybe the plan was to not go get a QB this year, but it's always the plan, so far ...

With nearsighted dreams, I'd probably hear what I want to hear if I'm the parent or player.

But me as a disconnected outsider, after watching this year's QB play it's ZERO SURPRISE to anyone that PJ would sit down with AK at some point and tell him he has to make some changes.
 
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walrus

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What’s a family to do if the qb position with a program doesn’t receive any nil or, let’s say for the sake of argument, less nil than a running back, offensive/defensive lineman, or perhaps even a defensive back?

Would that become a bone of contention that possibly could terminate a family, player, relationship with a coach/program/school?
 

disco

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What’s a family to do if the qb position with a program doesn’t receive any nil or, let’s say for the sake of argument, less nil than a running back, offensive/defensive lineman, or perhaps even a defensive back?

Would that become a bone of contention that possibly could terminate a family, player, relationship with a coach/program/school?
Absolutely. I have no doubt NIL discrepancies within a team can and do lead to resentment.
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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What’s a family to do if the qb position with a program doesn’t receive any nil or, let’s say for the sake of argument, less nil than a running back, offensive/defensive lineman, or perhaps even a defensive back?

Would that become a bone of contention that possibly could terminate a family, player, relationship with a coach/program/school?
I think that's why we see team wide and position wide NIL announcements, to make sure everyone gets a taste. After that NIL "donors" can make their call.
 

Gophers1992

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Absolutely. I have no doubt NIL discrepancies within a team can and do lead to resentment.
I don't doubt that this can and will happen, but every workplace in America has pay disparities among the workers. I don't think Patrick Mahomes' teammates resent him for doing all those State Farm commercials.
 

GFBfan

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Why friendly? Put your money where your mouth is if you're so sure. AK stunk, and I fucking hate PJs offense more than the US Congress. But his problems have zero to do with play calling. He has horrid footwork. No pocket presence. Zero touch. An uncanny ability to consistently stare directly at his target. Makes some of the worst reads I've ever seen a QB running rpo make. His throwing mechanics are in serious need of an overhaul, that 3/4 arm angle worked for Rich Gannon because he had all the things listed above that Athan doesn't. We would be seriously hard pressed to be worse at QB next year.
Most all of that has to do with coaching. Why weren't any of those things fixed or addressed prior to the season or during the season?
He did consistently stare directly at his target...just like Tanner Morgan did. That tells me it isn't the QB's fault, but the scheme/coaching.
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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Most all of that has to do with coaching. Why weren't any of those things fixed or addressed prior to the season or during the season?
He did consistently stare directly at his target...just like Tanner Morgan did. That tells me it isn't the QB's fault, but the scheme/coaching.
Eh ... if he has to stare at his target (for a long time ... because let's face it he has to look at them...) that's the QB trying to figure out what is going on.

Coach can't just say "yeah don't look at the guy you're throwing too so much" and have it be "fixed or addressed prior to the season or during the season" ;)

If it was as simple as "fixed or addressed prior to the season or during the season" everyone would be Steve Montana ... but they're not because you can't just magically coach up everyone.

Football is full of coaches out there who got a great QB and then not so much and the results are pretty telling, there's no magic "make a QB not suck" out there that I've seen.
 




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