Getting Minnesota's offense 'back on track' goes well beyond quarterback play

nitramnaed

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Per Saturday Tradition Phil Ervin
https://www.facebook.com/dialog/sha...k-on-track-goes-well-beyond-quarterback-play/
Two things can be true at the same time.
Once the Golden Gophers’ golden boy, quarterback Tanner Morgan is now the scorn of all Minnesota. Those 2 interceptions late against Bowling Green were ugly. So is his 135 passing yards per game average, which ranks 12th in the 14-team Big Ten.

This is arguably the worst stretch of Morgan’s career, yes. To the senior’s credit, he’s worn it.

But he isn’t getting much help.
“This is about all of us,” coach PJ Fleck said this week in reflecting on a 14-10 loss to Bowling Green in which his team was a 30.5-point favorite.
The Gophers don’t have much time to lick their wounds. Instead, they’ve got some serious work to do on offense to help an imperfect but much-improved defense.
It starts with rhythm, offensive coordinator Mike Sanford Jr. said. Not just for Morgan, but for the entire unit.
“It’s through sustained drives and just being able to utilize the different or various weapons that we have,” Sanford said. “And utilizing them more and utilize more of the guys that we have in the pass game.


“I think just getting our quarterback in more of a rhythm. I think that was the thing that was obviously lacking last Saturday.”
Some reporters and fans have suggested a quicker pace might behoove an offense that ranks 100th nationally in yards per play. Minnesota isn’t morally against going no-huddle, but its identity is balance.
That’s hard when you lose the reigning B1G running back of the year for the season and have injuries to top wideouts Chris Autman-Bell and Dylan Wright.
But this is the B1G. And it’s football. People get hurt.
“We’ve got to continue to do everything in our power to learn from the data that we have,” Sanford said. “Utilize the personnel that we have and then … put them in the best positions to go be successful.”
That includes an offensive line that’s as experienced and intimidating as any in the country but is apparently easily confused by “junk ball defense,” as Sanford called the stunts and twists that had the Gophers’ big guys on their heels all day Saturday.
Or are they? Morgan, ever the class act, has taken most of the blame — including, he said, not properly identifying the defense’s alignments and giving his line the right “ID.”


“I know what I did Saturday is completely unacceptable,” Morgan said. “Those guys (the O-line) are awesome. There was a couple moments where they were put in a really hard position with the ID calls. A lot of it comes back to me to put those guys in the best position possible every call that we have, so that they can have success. That’s really what it comes down to, too.”
And yes, Morgan needs to play better. He can; this is the same guy who dueled with Justin Fields 2 years ago for the title of B1G’s most efficient passer.
The takeaway is there’s plenty of blame to go around.
Some potential solutions: Keep leaning on running back Treyson Potts, who’s been beyond admirable in Mohamed Ibrahim’s stead. And simplify pass protection so Morgan can focus on hanging in the pocket, making the right reads and finding the mojo this offense so direly covets.
There’s plenty of season left, starting with Saturday’s 11 a.m., Big Ten Network contest at Purdue. The Boilermakers will test the Gophers’ defense, which means a huge jump from Morgan and Co. is in order as full-swing conference play commences.
Purdue surprisingly ranks 5th in the conference in total defense — right behind Minnesota.
So a get-right game would give the Gophers even more confidence. They need it.
Badly.
“So much room for opportunities, so much room for growth,” Morgan said with a smile. “That’s the exciting part.”

 

GringaGopher

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As a young man I have always been impressed with Tanner. As our starting QB and team leader it is getting more difficult to like his game. I really hope he gets back on track this Saturday.
 

BoatRacer

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We’ve got to continue to do everything in our power to learn from the data that we have,” Sanford
what the fuck is that mean? I fucking hate those jabyywakky talk of DATA, WHATMAKEQBTICKS. all that shitss. It is just X and O. And coaching acumen. It is whether you as OC,DC,HC has it or not. The rest is absolutel BS. If I have to hear about that so call fucking DATA I would like to puke. You're not fucking data scientist or internet startups, leave these BS somewhere and do your damn job. WHYY WHYYYY THE FUCK WE NEED THIS ASSHAT ?? WHYYYY
 

BoatRacer

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You don't need to crunch data to see your game plan, play calling and preparation suck. You just need a fucking functioning brain. I am so angry whenever I listen or read his BS. Why in the media keep silent. Just pls call that asshat as asshat.
 

PMWinSTP

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We’ve got to continue to do everything in our power to learn from the data that we have,” Sanford
what the fuck is that mean? I fucking hate those jabyywakky talk of DATA, WHATMAKEQBTICKS. all that shitss. It is just X and O. And coaching acumen. It is whether you as OC,DC,HC has it or not. The rest is absolutel BS. If I have to hear about that so call fucking DATA I would like to puke. You're not fucking data scientist or internet startups, leave these BS somewhere and do your damn job. WHYY WHYYYY THE FUCK WE NEED THIS ASSHAT ?? WHYYYY
Tell us how you really feel😉
 


mkAz

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You don't need to crunch data to see your game plan, play calling and preparation suck. You just need a fucking functioning brain. I am so angry whenever I listen or read his BS. Why in the media keep silent. Just pls call that asshat as asshat.
I love the passion! I agree, I think it's a coaching issue, not a player issue, the coaches aren't putting anyone on that offense in a position to succeed. The defense knew what was coming, we did nothing to counter that. OL was overwhelmed by too many men in the box, too many blitz's and stunts and LB's crashing the edges. QB then had no time and RB's had no holes. Do better Mike Sanford.
 

hungan1

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Per Saturday Tradition Phil Ervin
https://www.facebook.com/dialog/sha...k-on-track-goes-well-beyond-quarterback-play/
Two things can be true at the same time.
Once the Golden Gophers’ golden boy, quarterback Tanner Morgan is now the scorn of all Minnesota. Those 2 interceptions late against Bowling Green were ugly. So is his 135 passing yards per game average, which ranks 12th in the 14-team Big Ten.

This is arguably the worst stretch of Morgan’s career, yes. To the senior’s credit, he’s worn it.

But he isn’t getting much help.
“This is about all of us,” coach PJ Fleck said this week in reflecting on a 14-10 loss to Bowling Green in which his team was a 30.5-point favorite.
The Gophers don’t have much time to lick their wounds. Instead, they’ve got some serious work to do on offense to help an imperfect but much-improved defense.
It starts with rhythm, offensive coordinator Mike Sanford Jr. said. Not just for Morgan, but for the entire unit.
“It’s through sustained drives and just being able to utilize the different or various weapons that we have,” Sanford said. “And utilizing them more and utilize more of the guys that we have in the pass game.


“I think just getting our quarterback in more of a rhythm. I think that was the thing that was obviously lacking last Saturday.”
Some reporters and fans have suggested a quicker pace might behoove an offense that ranks 100th nationally in yards per play. Minnesota isn’t morally against going no-huddle, but its identity is balance.
That’s hard when you lose the reigning B1G running back of the year for the season and have injuries to top wideouts Chris Autman-Bell and Dylan Wright.
But this is the B1G. And it’s football. People get hurt.
“We’ve got to continue to do everything in our power to learn from the data that we have,” Sanford said. “Utilize the personnel that we have and then … put them in the best positions to go be successful.”
That includes an offensive line that’s as experienced and intimidating as any in the country but is apparently easily confused by “junk ball defense,” as Sanford called the stunts and twists that had the Gophers’ big guys on their heels all day Saturday.
Or are they? Morgan, ever the class act, has taken most of the blame — including, he said, not properly identifying the defense’s alignments and giving his line the right “ID.”


“I know what I did Saturday is completely unacceptable,” Morgan said. “Those guys (the O-line) are awesome. There was a couple moments where they were put in a really hard position with the ID calls. A lot of it comes back to me to put those guys in the best position possible every call that we have, so that they can have success. That’s really what it comes down to, too.”
And yes, Morgan needs to play better. He can; this is the same guy who dueled with Justin Fields 2 years ago for the title of B1G’s most efficient passer.
The takeaway is there’s plenty of blame to go around.
Some potential solutions: Keep leaning on running back Treyson Potts, who’s been beyond admirable in Mohamed Ibrahim’s stead. And simplify pass protection so Morgan can focus on hanging in the pocket, making the right reads and finding the mojo this offense so direly covets.
There’s plenty of season left, starting with Saturday’s 11 a.m., Big Ten Network contest at Purdue. The Boilermakers will test the Gophers’ defense, which means a huge jump from Morgan and Co. is in order as full-swing conference play commences.
Purdue surprisingly ranks 5th in the conference in total defense — right behind Minnesota.
So a get-right game would give the Gophers even more confidence. They need it.
Badly.
“So much room for opportunities, so much room for growth,” Morgan said with a smile. “That’s the exciting part.”

The Gophers were spoiled by the reliability and durability of Mo Ibrahim. He even makes the passing plays go better by spreading the defense to cover a wider field.

I know that there are only so many first-team practices and reps to go around. But, the backups do need to be in sync with the QB and the Offensive Line.

Why not have separate reps for the backup WRs and RBs with Zak Annexstad or the other QBs? Are they doing more film evaluations? Are they managing practices efficiently as they say they are?

They need to re-establish trust and confidence. They looked like a team out of sync against BGSU.
 


Dakota2

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We’ve got to continue to do everything in our power to learn from the data that we have,” Sanford
what the fuck is that mean? I fucking hate those jabyywakky talk of DATA, WHATMAKEQBTICKS. all that shitss. It is just X and O. And coaching acumen. It is whether you as OC,DC,HC has it or not. The rest is absolutel BS. If I have to hear about that so call fucking DATA I would like to puke. You're not fucking data scientist or internet startups, leave these BS somewhere and do your damn job. WHYY WHYYYY THE FUCK WE NEED THIS ASSHAT ?? WHYYYY
Finally a post that gets home to the problem. You hit it, Boat.
 




Dakota2

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I love the passion! I agree, I think it's a coaching issue, not a player issue, the coaches aren't putting anyone on that offense in a position to succeed. The defense knew what was coming, we did nothing to counter that. OL was overwhelmed by too many men in the box, too many blitz's and stunts and LB's crashing the edges. QB then had no time and RB's had no holes. Do better Mike Sanford.
But did you here what Fleck said after the game? "The game plan revolved around CRAB."

Yes, he said the whole game plan was based on a guy who played one down. This is a guy who was hurt for two months and just got back.

I am embarrassed to hear my football coach say something that stupid and doubly so if it is actually true.
 


Boomtime

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But did you here what Fleck said after the game? "The game plan revolved around CRAB."

Yes, he said the whole game plan was based on a guy who played one down. This is a guy who was hurt for two months and just got back.

I am embarrassed to hear my football coach say something that stupid and doubly so if it is actually true.
It's "coachspeak" and one of PJ's ways of delaying criticism.

If we lose to Purdue... we'll hear the same crap.
 



denguegopher

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Sanford's comments are worse than his coaching.
If you are an OC and your offense sucks, there is nothing that can be said to placate angry fans. Anything that is said sounds stupid. His guys had better play better this week.
 

Dakota2

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If you are an OC and your offense sucks, there is nothing that can be said to placate angry fans. Anything that is said sounds stupid. His guys had better play better this week.
In 2018 we were a young team with no expectation of winning the West. Fleck had time for Rob Smith to prove he could not do the job. He doesn't have that time now.
 

Some Day...Maybe

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Going into a bye week after this week, will Fleck pull the trigger? I say no, not unless it’s another awful week this Saturday. I’ll say this though, Sanford will not be the OC next year, and the sad thing is some of us knew this after half of the 2020 season. Could blame that on Covid. This season there are no excuses. Sanford has been riding his dad’s good name and legacy. He can’t coach for sh^t, just like Robb Smith. PJ, PJ, you can’t keep making these terrible hires for your coordinator positions. And while we’re at it, your special teams coach has been below average since you got here.
 

Plato

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Fleck and Chryst are both singing the same sad song.
Both have to have a hard look at their offensive position coaches (I see the double meaning) and their chosen one QBs.
If past history is any guide to the future I would bet Chryst will do nothing and PJ does not have a long enough history to guess what he will do.
Tune in Sunday after Saturday's games are in the record book.
 

PMWinSTP

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Fleck and Chryst are both singing the same sad song.
Both have to have a hard look at their offensive position coaches (I see the double meaning) and their chosen one QBs.
If past history is any guide to the future I would bet Chryst will do nothing and PJ does not have a long enough history to guess what he will do.
Tune in Sunday after Saturday's games are in the record book.
Chryst is 37-14 in the B1G.
 


cjbfbp

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Chryst is 37-14 in the B1G.

Yes, he's definitely earned some breathing room. However, I'd guess that they have a fair number of irate fans. When you're used to winning the West year after year, the fan expectations are much higher than those for most teams, including ours, in the division
 

Ogee Oglethorpe

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We’ve got to continue to do everything in our power to learn from the data that we have,” Sanford
what the fuck is that mean? I fucking hate those jabyywakky talk of DATA, WHATMAKEQBTICKS. all that shitss. It is just X and O. And coaching acumen. It is whether you as OC,DC,HC has it or not. The rest is absolutel BS. If I have to hear about that so call fucking DATA I would like to puke. You're not fucking data scientist or internet startups, leave these BS somewhere and do your damn job. WHYY WHYYYY THE FUCK WE NEED THIS ASSHAT ?? WHYYYY
Perhaps less caffeine is in order?
 

MaxyJR1

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Sanford is in the hot seat. Another subpar performance this Saturday and he’s gone
I would just promote Simon to calling plays and leave Sanford as QB coach and evaluate at the end of the season.
 


Fleckoff

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I tend to believe when a new coach comes in and players regress under their tutelage, it tends to be a coaching issue. Tanner is 20-10 as our starting qb, including 13-9 in conference play. The rest of PJ qb's are 8-11 and 2-11. Saw the same thing with guys like Carter Coughlin, Kamak Martin, Thomas Barber, Coney Durr, Cashman, Huff brothers when they went from Claeys and Sawvel to Robb Smith. They regressed as players and as a unit, it really was amazing how many warts Winfield covered when healthy, but Fleck made a coaching to change to someone who simplified things on that side of the ball and in that Purdue they looked like the 2016 defense again. Sometimes you have to own up to a bad hire and Sanford has shown a pattern of this with Love at Utah State and his disastrous years at WKU and Notre Dame.
 

Dakota2

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I'm not sure having Sanford influence Morgan is a recipe for success.
QB coach has nothing to do with Morgan at this point other than watch a few minutes of film and both agree on the obvious. Morgan in fourth year, this is fifth game of this season. What is Sanford going to say to Morgan this week?

QB coach is for development of young guys. He should be working mostly with Athan and that is worse than bad.
 


Dakota2

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Uhhhhh... You serious, Clark?

Yes, Clark, quite serious. Morgan has started more than 30 games. QB coach no longer needs to explain how to grip the ball, proper way to drop back, oh and remember not to throw falling back.

The only meaningful talk they could have now would be:

Sanford: "Quit panicking and get rid of the damn ball."

Morgan: "Come up with a balanced game plans and quit calling plays like you have never seen a defense."

Since neither are going to tell the other the truth -- not allowed in PJ land -- they watch some film and recite proforma lines.
 




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