Re: What's your take on our assistant coaches?
I don't think any of those guys are on the hot seat. If any are it would be Sands and Robinson.
All these guys are pretty good coaches (well they come across as that, though you have to wonder about Elliott sometimes). But they recruit very well. None of them other than Ward and maybe G.A. are ace recruiters, but they are above average recruiters for position coaches.
And we absolutely need that.
Sands seems to do a good job as rb coach, but his recruiting hasn't been as strong as the other guys. Robinson is a head scratcher. Not a very good recruiter, and his units have been lacking so far. Kicking is looking up, and we aren't making mistakes (knock on wood) with snaps and so forth, but big plays like blocks and returns are just not there for us.
Then again I don't blame them exactly. There is no good way to say it, other than it starts at the top with Spurrier. I don't think he gives special teams enough emphasis and practice time. Usually once a season he says "Special teams can have whoever they want to play on it." or "We are going to spend more time on special teams in practice."
And they might do it for a while. But inevitably it will just kind of fall by the wayside and things will go back to the way they were before.
I'm also thinking it might not be fair to blame Elliott for the line's inability to run block. I just don't think Spurrier does that. At least not like Holtz did, or Saban or Bielema does. You have to commit to it, work it during practice, and do it in games even if it is not giving you the yards that give you that little endorphin rush.
I'm made this point several times, but no one cares. He did come pretty close to having a 50/50 run/pass mix at Florida. But what no one tells you is the freakish incredible number of draw plays that were run. That was his rushing play. And it didn't work against teams that could shut down his pass like 92 Alabama, 96 Nebraska, and a number of Florida State teams.
The closest we have come to having a bread and butter running play is the read option with Shaw and Garcia. If he isn't going to let Thompson run it, then we don't have a run game.
I'm not sure how good we would be at it, but there are some things he could do but probably won't. One is totally embrace running with spread concepts. Have Thompson run like Garcia and Shaw (Yes I think he is mobile enough to make a defense respect it enough not to key on the back). Play more Wildcat with Cooper, and play Nosovitch more.
Another thing he could do is actually line up in the I (we know the plays are in the book), and stick with it and try to establish the run game. We actually do have excellent backs, and stars on the offensive linemen. The line is big, athletic, and experienced. They really should be able to do this. I really don't know if we have a qb on the roster that is experienced enough and capable of this kind of play though, since you have to be able to hit some short and intermediate throws along with bombs.
I don't expect him to do either. I know about Spurrier's career and his success. That is true.
But I also know what I see. And unless we find a way to run the ball it is going to be a long season, as regards offensive effectiveness, and keeping the defense off the field.