I recently joined EKU's fansite Maroon Nation, (VERY nice and intelligent fans. Join if you wish. They like the Boilers and several have followed Hope's move via GBI), to get some facts regarding how Hope's transition from Roy Kidd went. As most of us know, Kidd was one of the all-time winingest coaches in college football and Hope played for him. Not exactly an easy act to follow.Through both posts and IM's, here is what I gleaned:1) Hope focuses his recruiting primarily on multi-purpose guys in the vein of Edison, Sinz, Holmes, Foy, Pamphile, etc. This way, he can experiment quite a bit as he tracks a players progress and finds the best player-team "fit." This is done to both hedge against injuries and to create skill-set depth. We've seen this pan out with Tiller and I guess Hope is carrying on that tradition and did at EKU quite a bit.2) Hope's first 3 teams experienced alot of problems and inconsistencies, but were corrected as time went on. Last year, we had a solid O-line and defensive secondary, but we had poor special teams play coupled with too many TO's. This year, we have solid defensive backfield play, poor O-line play, but radically fewer TO's. ST play still stinks. One EKU fan said to expect a "change" there by next year if not sooner. Nice to see this is something they've went through as well in regards to Hope.3) Hope's teams seemed flat in OOC play, but seemed to hit their stride in conference play. After how we performed last year, I see this as being a trend. One EKU fan told me to expect en masse shifts in personnel and packages come conference play as Hope's strategy is to gauge performance in OOC play, adjust once the conference season comes in, and go from there. He also admitted that Hope will make you scratch your head sometimes with his decisions, but that for every drill, every play, and every game, there is a plan and he has it mapped out.4) Patience. This was stressed almost to the man on the board. EKU fans went through an adjustment from a power running game offense and a bend-don't-break defense to a high-power spread and run offense and a speedy-but-salty defense loaded with athletes. Hope's recruiting follows a path towards development as opposed to instant impact. This way, as one Colonel put it, he builds skill position depth across the board and utilizes plug-and-play tactics to keep things fresh. It took him over 4 years to get a program from near-bottom to one of the best in the FBS.There are some parallels that were good to see as it doesn't provide the refelction of an HC in over his head or just winging it as many of us Boilers have alluded to. I see where his plan is in play, it's simply rough right now to see the forest for the trees given our current state. I'm not going to judge his body of work until it's within the 3-4 year threshold, honestly. I think the vast majority of us, we've taken that path as opposed to the "FIRE DANNY HOPE NOW" bandwagon that has since gained steam.Just my two bits...BOILER UP!!
Surprise surprise, Robert Marve has one good knee. Did we really have to take a week to prepare a statement? Not that it makes a hill of beans difference. Last year Hope stuck with Joey Elliott and we saw somethings from him that we maybe didn't expect....and I couldnt help but be left to think, what if Joey had started 2, 3 or 4 years? Of course Curtis Painter is in the NFL and he broke some B10 records- I guess that will happen when you're throwing the ball 60-70 times a game....still he struggled to beat Central Michigan.I'm glad we have a freshman quarterback....we're at a place we should have been 3 years ago when Hope came on the scene. I'm not glad to see RB injured, but grooming and developing a QB on the field through experience...who knows, we might actually be decent in 2 or 3 years- if Hope can keep his head that long.
JF- Great stuff...really appreciate the leg work you did to get another angle. All that said, he simply MUST change the coordinator situation for DC and STC, in my opinion...maybe at the end of the season...especially for the special teams.Ben...shocker about Marve, huh. Worst kept secret ever? Now the question is- will we see any of Jeff Robinson and burn his shirt OR do you scratch and claw, beg steal and borrow (from other positions) to make sure he has four more years of eligibility after this season? We'll see.I hope things get better in the next 9 days.
BD -You're most welcome. I really had a good time with it since they're a very well-versed bunch. I think they gained another fan through it all, honestly. I love reading both this site and H&R and I was getting a little sick of hearing the grumblings from some "fans" about firing the coach now. I understand the frustrations, but stimulus must be seperated from the response and the situation examined objectively. Coach Fitz had issues his first 3 years at NW as they had some adjusting to do and it seems to have paid off in spades. I see Hope and his staff putting in all this work and it HAS to start paying off eventually. It was good to have some parallels to draw from to give me some reasoning behind the movement being made.All said, I'm glad it helped you.BOILER UP!JF
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