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

mngolf

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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.
I thought it was Dave Marino.
 


SeaBee_Gopher

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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.
I think some of them do, but guess what, he's more important than you on the team and to the fans so deal with it.
 

Pompous Elitist

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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.

Number 1 is strong evidence of a quid pro quo; not recruiting many other desirable QBs except Knuth. Unfortunately, in hindsight a miscalculation. I recall Burnsie cryptically stating (over the last several years) things like Athan wasn’t ready; alluded to turnover tendencies and perhaps not dedicated to film. Didn’t love football as Mason would say. He said on his most recent podcast Athan could make all the throws consistently in practice but on game days he would seize up.

After seeing Athan’s body language this year he never really seemed locked in, would wilt when things went poorly. Not the gamer one wants to see. PJs body language was also not great this season... My amateur assessment after reading and seeing all this is his problems are mostly upstairs but maybe a different system, environment, set of coaches and teammates can coax a star out of him. Will be interesting to watch wherever he lands.
 

atsgopher

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more than one thing can be true at the same time.

AK did not have a great year
Fleck's offense is not necessarily QB-friendly
the coaching from the QB coach may have left something to be desired
a lot of people - players, coaches and fans - are upset after a disappointing season

I don't question AK's effort or commitment to the program. in the end, it didn't work out for him at MN. I hope he can find success somewhere else. and I hope MN can find a decent QB or 2 in the portal so that they don't have to throw Lindsey to the wolves next year as a true FR.
Hiven the amount of resources teams need to stop our run game, being a serviceable QB is really not that hard.
I don't understand how we were closer to beating NW and Illinois than losing to Iowa and NE. Nebraska couldn't have been any closer - it was way closer to a loss than the other two. Illinois' touchdown catch was wide open with time still on the clock, and it wasn't fourth down. Iowa actually returned the punt for a touchdown, and no matter what those of us with Maroon/Gold colored glasses want to believe, that was extremely fortunate/lucky the ref ruled the way he did. All we had to do was make a simple tackle along the sideline, with at least four players right there with DeJean. That return wasn't luck, the ruling was - our special teams have been bad for years. It never should have come down to that ruling.

Northwestern completely outplayed us in the second half, and Illinois did as well down the stretch.

In the end, we could play these stupid games all day. We were 5-7, not 7-5 or 3-9. 5-7 - that's not good and there are things that need to improve.
The ruling was lucky, but only because it was an obvious ruling that should have been called real time. I saw it, my friends saw it.

Additionally, the TD wasn’t amazing when you watch the replay. It was predicated on multiplplayers stopping. Watch it, he would have been creamed had he not waved. Absolute siitting duck. Caught the ball in a reckless positon. He’s lucky, he’d have been injured or fumbled.
 


GopherTheJugular

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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.
Certainly the exception and not the norm, but what Lincoln Riley did with Baker Mayfield comes pretty close to "make a QB not suck".

EDIT: after thinking more on it, two things come to mind. We probably won't get to see Lincoln Riley do it again anytime soon, as now his reputation means he'll only be looking at top-notch QBs for the foreseeable future. Also, not sure how to classify Steve Spurrier's fun and gun. His QBs didn't do much in the NFL, so was he making them not suck? I honestly don't know this one, as it pre-dates my time a little bit.
 
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Panthadad2

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Number 1 is strong evidence of a quid pro quo; not recruiting many other desirable QBs except Knuth. Unfortunately, in hindsight a miscalculation. I recall Burnsie cryptically stating (over the last several years) things like Athan wasn’t ready; alluded to turnover tendencies and perhaps not dedicated to film. Didn’t love football as Mason would say. He said on his most recent podcast Athan could make all the throws consistently in practice but on game days he would seize up.

After seeing Athan’s body language this year he never really seemed locked in, would wilt when things went poorly. Not the gamer one wants to see. PJs body language was also not great this season... My amateur assessment after reading and seeing all this is his problems are mostly upstairs but maybe a different system, environment, set of coaches and teammates can coax a star out of him. Will be interesting to watch wherever he lands.

I have a feeling this is the last time Fleck places all his eggs in one QB basket. In one year, they went from a position of good depth to very little. Knuth didn't even get a snap for KSU, so maybe he wasn't the answer either, but I sure hope Fleck can hit the portal hard for some QBs.
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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I have a feeling this is the last time Fleck places all his eggs in one QB basket. In one year, they went from a position of good depth to very little. Knuth didn't even get a snap for KSU, so maybe he wasn't the answer either, but I sure hope Fleck can hit the portal hard for some QBs.
I think QB depth is going to be a thing of the past on all but the absolute best teams.

The portal is absolutely filling with QBs already this year.
 

MplsGopher

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@Pompous Elitist how else do you propose we get a decent QB to actually come here, with G5 level NIL and the frigid cold?

The only way I can think of is to promise them playing time in the Big Ten.

But I await your alternative path.
 



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@Pompous Elitist how else do you propose we get a decent QB to actually come here, with G5 level NIL and the frigid cold?

The only way I can think of is to promise them playing time in the Big Ten.

But I await your alternative path.
I doubt our NIL is G5 level. Probably on the lower end for P4, but not G5.

There are a lot of cold climates in college football. Most of the Big Ten is.

And yes, playing time in the Big Ten is a big draw.
 

Pompous Elitist

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@Pompous Elitist how else do you propose we get a decent QB to actually come here, with G5 level NIL and the frigid cold?

The only way I can think of is to promise them playing time in the Big Ten.

But I await your alternative path.

There is only so much NIL money going around, and knowing how people operate and sell the amounts are definitely vastly less than the numbers floated by interested parties.

The portal has created an ability to rebuild almost instantly. The problem is finding diamonds in the rough. The portal incentivizes coaches to hit on the next big thing rather than develop a guy. It excites fans, same as NFL draft.
 

MplsGopher

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Are you related to Fleck??

There was not an actual answer to the actual question, in those words.
 

MplsGopher

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If you can’t drop a big bag on a guy, there is no reason for him to want to come here.

- Cold, significantly more so than every other P5 save Wisc and maybe Iowa/St.
- Relatively little NIL money
- Rushing heavy offense with a coach who tends to call running plays on 3rd down instead of throwing it.


Why would any decent QB that has other P5 options choose that??


The real answer is that they have no other equivalent options. That’s our path.

For example, we won’t even get close to this Bosmer kid unless no other P program offers him.

And if that happens ….. why??
 



Pompous Elitist

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Are you related to Fleck??

There was not an actual answer to the actual question, in those words.

Sure it was. Fans have daydreams of other teams spending millions on QBs or other franchise players. I’d guess those deals are a) not that common, b) if real are usually hypotheticals with numerous weasel clauses, or c) generally vastly less money than someone like Rhule would state.

MN can offer some NIL, Big Ten exposure and competition. Fleck can sell. My bigger concern is selling the system as something that can highlight a QB’s or receivers talent..
 

Gopherbbdude

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I love all the speculation!!! very few of you have it right, but all of you think you do.

I know nothing of the situation but it sure is fun reading your posts.

Oh yeah..... NIL is the only way this team will ever win the games you want and expect them to win. $$$$

I love college football but NIL and free agency is ruining it.

Go Gophers!
 

MplsGopher

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@Pompous Elitist that either gets us what we’ve been getting or gets us lower than that.

Your post was that Fleck shouldn’t promise playing time.

Taking that away and with what we have left to offer, and then everything going against us right now, is only going to get guys who have no other (bona fide, commitable) P5 offers.
 


disco

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For example, we won’t even get close to this Bosmer kid unless no other P program offers him.

And if that happens ….. why??
There are a LOT of QB's in the portal already. Bosmer is an FCS guy whose other options when he declared were WMU and Buffalo. If you have a legit chance to start for a B1G program, or play on Tuesdays in November in empty stadiums in the MAC, what would you choose?
 

Tlsbhansen

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I can only assume that Fleck will upgrade our QB position as he has often upgraded other positions...by raiding the MAC powerhouse of Western Michigan! They appear to have seven on the roster...surely they can spare one!

Image.png
 

Tucker32

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Thanks for sharing your unfounded theories.
Not really unfounded… how many times have you seen any QB of ours keep the ball. And, KC has said in the past they didn’t really give QBs that option typically. I doubt PJ changed that this year with Harbaugh given what we saw.
 

short ornery norwegian

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a lot of this comes back to the same question - is Fleck willing to change or capable of changing his approach when it comes to QB play and the passing game?

obviously, we don't know what is happening inside the program. all we can base an opinion on is what we see - and what we see is a program that struggles to pass the ball effectively, and a program where QB's are leaving via the portal in droves.

looking at the situation, do you conclude that everything is fine - or do you conclude that some changes may be required to attract and keep a quality QB?

If I'm a portal QB looking at MN, I am going to want some pretty strong assurances that I am being brought in to play QB. if they want a guy to hand the ball off 45 times, they can get one anywhere.
 

60's Guy

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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.
Okay, assuming your analysis is spot on, why do we do that?
My analysis came to the same conclusion you are explaining, I just got there with a different path.
But we both agree it results in a lot of negative yardage plays.
I'm not in any way suggesting AK is the right QB for read option but so many times the contain defense is just selling out to take away the handoff and we just keep handing it off. Then, the side that is truly most vulnerable...we ignore that side and the QB goes to the other side on the called keep option where the contain is disciplined and it is a loss. Even Athan, where it's not a strength of his would have to be able to take advantage of a defense if you limited him to one bad read a game. He'd figure it out.
Why would a staff keep doing that? My explanation is they don't trust the QB...how do you see the why? What is the argument of advantages doing it this way offers?
And if your QB has accuracy issues why add the fake handoff to pass which rarely resulted in a successful play...takes longer and gives him less time to process.
 

MplsGopher

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Did we actually run the actual RPO here before Kirk Ciarrocca??

Brewster, Kill, Claeys?


I thought it was more of a recent fad?
 

Gopherchase

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Okay, assuming your analysis is spot on, why do we do that?
My analysis came to the same conclusion you are explaining, I just got there with a different path.
But we both agree it results in a lot of negative yardage plays.
I'm not in any way suggesting AK is the right QB for read option but so many times the contain defense is just selling out to take away the handoff and we just keep handing it off. Then, the side that is truly most vulnerable...we ignore that side and the QB goes to the other side on the called keep option where the contain is disciplined and it is a loss. Even Athan, where it's not a strength of his would have to be able to take advantage of a defense if you limited him to one bad read a game. He'd figure it out.
Why would a staff keep doing that? My explanation is they don't trust the QB...how do you see the why? What is the argument of advantages doing it this way offers?
And if your QB has accuracy issues why add the fake handoff to pass which rarely resulted in a successful play...takes longer and gives him less time to process.
Sometimes with PJ I think it’s Ok to just admit that he’s kind of dumb.
 

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I can only assume that Fleck will upgrade our QB position as he has often upgraded other positions...by raiding the MAC powerhouse of Western Michigan! They appear to have seven on the roster...surely they can spare one!

View attachment 28636
Pretty crazy that in this day and age you can have 7 QBs on a roster.
 

60's Guy

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Here's what I'm concluding after reading all the discussion on AK8 being terrible.
Sometimes with PJ I think it’s Ok to just admit that he’s kind of dumb.
He played every snap. He had to be doing what they told him to do? If the backup did these same repeated flaws, but only worse and that's why he couldn't get on the field....then it's the coaching...right?
If the backup was more efficient and they just didn't let him play....that's coaching.
We all agree Athan was hopeless but he kept playing??? I don't know what was going on but with all QB's unhappy....it's more coaching than bad players is my conclusion.
 


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Here's what I'm concluding after reading all the discussion on AK8 being terrible.

He played every snap. He had to be doing what they told him to do? If the backup did these same repeated flaws, but only worse and that's why he couldn't get on the field....then it's the coaching...right?
If the backup was more efficient and they just didn't let him play....that's coaching.
We all agree Athan was hopeless but he kept playing??? I don't know what was going on but with all QB's unhappy....it's more coaching than bad players is my conclusion.
Or could it be that all the QBs were bad (Viotto gets a bit of a pass on that since he was a freshman) and AK was still the best option? To me that's on the coaches only in the sense of bad recruiting. Tanner Morgan was a good QB, but the last QB who was even remotely NFL ready was Sauter. So QB recruiting has been a problem here for basically my entire life.
 

60's Guy

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Did we actually run the actual RPO here before Kirk Ciarrocca??

Brewster, Kill, Claeys?


I thought it was more of a recent fad?
I believe what I was watching with Brewster, Kill, Claeys....the QB had the ability to keep the ball and run. Gray and Leidner, Nelson imo did that.
 

50PoundHead

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Looking forward to see what level he ends up at.Thinking MAC maybe
I'm not a scout, but I think Kaliakmanis would do better in a more wide-open system. It just seemed he did better with his legs as a freshman than he did this year.
 




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