Sunday, October 07, 2012

Don't Blame Caleb

We're consistent if nothing else.

We've never thought TerBush was the answer at QB...and we can't stand to see Purdue's student athletes bad-mouthed by Purdue fans.  Are we contradicting ourselves? We don't think so...We're observing what we see.

Danny Hope has told the Boiler faithful multiple times this season that TerBush earned the #1 QB spot in practice.  Granted, none of us see what he, Nord and company see...he doesn't allow that.  But, as a guy who's gotten nervous in front of a crowd while playing sports, I can tell you that practice performance doesn't equal gametime...but as a guy who has also coached, I appreciate players that work hard in practice.

What we all do see is that 19 struggles with pressure and tends to make decisions slowly in the games.  He played pretty poorly Saturday...and the problems he normally has, he displayed versus a determined UM defense.  But before you get internet brave and start calling a 6'5" 20-something year old names via Twitter, think about this- that loss wasn't his fault.

The loss was a team product.  Poor preparation led to poor execution...Poor execution led to poor situations...Poor situations led to very few adjustments, sadly.  Purdue was beaten in every aspect of the game yesterday.

But back to the TerBush discussion-  I don't blame the kid for they type of player he is.  He wasn't a highly-touted recruit...he came from a pretty small school...and he predominantly ran the option as he led his squad to a state championship his Senior season.  He's got an unusual passing motion that hasn't improved a ton since he arrived on campus and has never been described as having a cannon of an arm.  He's effective-enough when running the ball, and OK at making checks at the line of scrimmage.  He is what he is.  I can't blame him for not being Drew Brees...or Kyle Orton...or Billy Dicken...or even John Reeves (when he played QB).

Based on what Hope and company said in recent weeks, they believed that Purdue's newly-revamped defense only needed a game manager- A guy to do exactly as they asked him and exactly as they expected him to do...and the running game and defense would bring home the victory.

We all know now that formula isn't going to fly versus good teams.

The offensive line struggled to create space and struggled to keep a clean pocket for any of the QBs that played.  And the defense couldn't stop anything yesterday.  Each time they really needed to get off the field, they'd allow a yard or 50 more than UM needed for the first down.

While there's enough blame to go around, the buck stops at the top...right? Not TerBush, not even the coordinators who called the plays and formations...but the guy that hired them, right?

Well, we have less of a problem with Purdue fans pointing their collective vitriol at a guy that gets paid than doing so at the know that if you visited here for a while.

But, perhaps our collective blame and ire should go higher a guy who isn't just the most-recent mustached face of the football program, but the guy who has been the face of the entire athletic program for 20 years, and the one who controls the purse strings.  He's made some great decisions, no doubt about that. We've given him credit for successes like the hiring of Matt Painter and the Mackey renovation, when it's been deserved.  But when you think about it, what we've seen from Coach Hope isn't much different from what we've seen from Caleb TerBush...and like TerBush, Hope is who he is.

Perhaps Hope is learning how to run a B1G program on the job...but the game plan and lack of adjustments v. UM didn't seem to show much progress.  The thrashings that have been handed out to Hope-coached squads in the last few years, by the league's leaders, and even upper-middle foes, seem to exhibit a trend.

Many Purdue faithful are calling for Hope to be fired.  But before you call for that, look at a few givens that exist.

Burke looked for an inexpensive option when he hired Hope, and he got it.  He continued by making Hope's coaching staff one of the lowest-paid in the conference.  Even when Hope replaced key parts of the staff following his new contract signing in early '12, he still wasn't given much of a budget increase.  And while I was impressed with Tibesar's defense versus MAC and DI-AA opponents, I've been thoroughly unimpressed in the last three halves of football.

Maybe we will see a vastly-improved effort and an air-tight scheme next week...maybe Wisconsin's style of play will create better match-ups for Purdue and produce a more-competitive game.  I don't know the future; even the near future.

What I do know is the last few years...and more recently, this last week, has been pretty lousy for the program.  As a result, tickets will not be flying off the shelves for next week's contest...just like they haven't been selling in the past few seasons.  That loss of revenue and its subsequent effect to the athletic department's bottom line, is something that Burke understands quite well.  And while he ignores negative feedback from fans on websites like this, he will not ignore the gaping hole in his budget created by poor ticket sales much longer.

If things don't change quickly, as in this week, the program and ticket sales for the rest of this season will probably be eerily-similar to the last few seasons.  As a result Purdue's AD will be looking to hold someone accountable for this situation at the season's end.  His search shouldn't last long as he won't need to look outside his office for the culpable party.


Jessica M said...


And that's all I have to say about that.

Mike Tomko said...

Reeves!!!! He almost pulled off a Hope style upset of Ohio St my freshman year to a sold out Ross-Ade (OK half the stadium was Gray and Red). He was up 14-0 at the end of the 1Q, 14-14 tie at half, and then a Hope style crash and burn losing 14-49. That was the first time in my life I realized that people from Ohio were deuchbags. (And that was before the current connotation of deuchbags was invented)

Kristine Cunningham said...

Terbush/Marve..Marve/Terbush. It's going to be a fight all season long. With Marve's injury(s) we have seen a lot more time for CTB. We have become well aware of Terb's error-prone ways, but we have also seen him manage games well. I can't argue one bit that during Marve's time on the field Saturday, he looked like the better QB. I also think that situations are set up to make him look better than Caleb gets the option to. Play calling varies from one QB to the other. With that said, I could not have been more angry and embarrassed by the student section on Saturday. I was stoked when I saw the number of people that stayed in town. But when they started chanting for Marve in the first half, it made my stomach turn. A fan base cannot turn against the QB like that. Obviously Coach Hope knows what the public thinks, and refuses to listen. But the decision is made, supporting the QB is what the fans need to do, not discourage him and taunt him. We won't ever get anywhere with that happening

boilerdowd said...

What situations are set up to make Marve look better?

The students didn't boo TerBush, they chanted for Marve- I think there's a big difference.

Honestly, I disagree with almost everything you typed in your comment and really don't know where you're coming from in most of your points.

That said, you're entitled to your opinion, obviously.

Kristine Cunningham said...

Where I was sitting, the students were booing. I completely understand the happiness and cheers from the crowd when Marve finally entered the game, he deserved every bit of them. I just hate when fans turn against their team, and chanting for Marve/booing TerBush is in a way turning on the team because Coach Hope keeps saying week after week that Caleb is our guy.

Not saying that I agree with TerBush being the starter, I just think we have to try and support him if he is going to be our QB. As far as the play calling goes, I think coach Hope is a lot riskier when Marve is in the game. It's not just screen passes and roll-outs every play. If Hope/Nord are more comfortable with Marve, then start Marve.

With that said, I actually do agree with your originial post about our problem being much more than a QB issue.

CaryNW87 said...

If this was PAL, Pop Warner, or if any of these guys were 12 years old or younger, then it would be wrong to boo.

But this is D-1 football. These guys are a heartbeat away from a shot at the NFL. And while they "don't get paid" and never have any money (but still miraculously find the cash to make it to the local nightclubs), remember that they are paid with a full scholarship. As a father of a high school senior, I can tell you that is a lot of money.

There is no reason to protect a paid athlete's feelings from hearing it from the crowd when they aren't doing their job.

Also, as a season ticket holder, I am expected to pony up D-1 money for my tickets. That ticket is a contract between myself and the University. I pay the D-1 rate to see a D-1 product on the field. When I don't get it, I have a right to express my opinion.

Please don't misunderstand. When a Purdue team plays hard and is simply outscored, I still proudly cheer for the players, coaches and the school. I will take the loss proudly (see this year's ND game). But when I care more than the players and coaches do, I'm saying something - even if all I can say is "Booooooooooooooooooooooooo."

CaryNW87 said...

Another thing for you to disagree with: GBI is saying that Hope has already made CTB the starter for the Wisconsin game, because he was "more efficient" last Saturday.

CTB: 16-25 / 105 yards / 1 TD / 1 Pick 6 / 64% completion / approx. 6.5 yards per pass

Marve: 5-8 / 43 yards / 1 int (off receiver's hands) / 62% completion / approx. 8.6 yards per pass

So, completion percentage was about the same, and yards per pass favors Marve. How is CTB more efficient?

BoilerBloodline said...

Great blog boilerdowd. I agree with MB not having to look any farther than his office to place blame, but his comments over the years have lead me to believe that he'd throw anyone BUT himself under the bus. Also, I'd like to point out what I see happening. Danny Hope is a "nice guy". Nice guys only make good life coaches, not good football coaches. The last time I checked, the SEC was hands down the best football conference in the nation. And as I look down the list of SEC coaches, I cannot think of many other words to describe every SEC coach, except - ass*#les. (at least they come across that way) Their players respect them because the coach demands it, but I guarantee those same players will not actually "like" their coaches until they are out of college. That's because they no longer have to listen to them chewing their ass about anything and everything like they had the past 4 years. Only when they get into the real world will they appreciate those ass chewings. I have NEVER seen coach Hope or ANY of his staff come remotely close to giving a player a verbal thrashing. That is why I believe our players lack so much discipline on the field. They know if they screw up, they will get a hand clap and a "you'll get 'em next time". Speaking from experience, I played some of my best football when I was pissed off at my coach. Good coaches know what to say and when to say it, to get the best out of each player. A good football coach doesn't care who or what you're angry with, they just want you to play angry often enough, that you learn how to do it on your own. The great football players are masters of controlled aggression. They are capable of turning their anger on and off like a flip of a switch. Hence the old Shawn Merriman "light switch" sack dance. I watch Danny Hope on the sideline and he honestly looks as if he's coaching 9 and 10 year old kids, just learning the game.

Boilergal said...

I've been saying for years that MB needs to be canned. His hire of Painter (the high point of his admin)was dumb luck. He was going for the cheap hire... turns out, Painter is a great coach! I really wish that Purdue would hire an AD that wants a solid, successful football program that fills the seats... oh, one can dream.

Tim said...

When Hope says that TerBush is more efficient what he means is that he is a good soldier and does what he's told. He doesn't improvise. He doesn't audible out of a run call when it's 3rd and 57. He follows orders.

Marve reminds me of Brees in the way he tries to make plays.

As I said this weekend, Purdue doesn't need a manager it needs a play maker. From an outsiders perspective I can see a noticeable difference in fan AND player attitude when Marve is running the show.

Tim said...

On a previous thread I saw that we should vote with our pocketbook. Given Burke's history I don't think that will work. What he'll do is find someone even cheaper to hire.

While a big splash hiring would (in my opinion) easily pay for itself in ticket sales, merchandise, bowl winnnings etc, I just don't think the AD believes the same thing.

Imagine a scenario where Purdue hired Urban Meyer for $10 million per year for 10 years. Are you telling me that (prior to OSU obviously) Meyer wouldn't be interested? Make it $15 million per year then. There's a number that exists to get anyone to come to West Lafayette. A big move like that would energize the fans, put butts in the seats, get recruits and win bowl games. Everyone wins and Purdue makes more money than they're making now even though they're paying 10 times more for their coaching staff than they currently are.

Vandarth said...

I think the only Purdue teams that have been good in the last 15 years were teams with exceptional QB's (Orton, Brees). I thought maybe that would change with the new defense, but it looks like we're still in that boat. We still have quite a few smaller players on D, although I hear that a lot of the new recruits are big. Maybe we'll get to a point where we can rely on the D more soon.

I feel bad for Terbush, but I saw enough of him in the first 3 series. Maybe he'd be better if we had a more experienced O-Line, but he does not do well with pressure, and he wasn't accurate enough. At this point it is obvious that we need a really talented QB like Marve but his health is a concern. I know he said he is fine afterwards and doesn't feel pain in his knee but he looked like he was in serious pain when he got sacked near the endzone. I mean, getting sacked isn't fun but.. his knee probably took on a lot of weight on the couple sacks that he took. Who knows how long he can play without swelling at this point. However, I still don't understand what the coaches are seeing. They said Terbush made less mistakes, but he took some bad snaps. Even with Marve's mistakes, whatever they may be the last couple games, he still gets more points on the board. I'm not a coach, so I don't know what they are seeing. But regardless, kudos to Marve for having the courage to go out there against Michigan. The guy is a beast.

pinball said...

Great discussion BDowd. Your definely showing your age with the Billy Dicken name drop. Throw Matt Pike and E.Hunter into the Hat.

I agree its not on Terbush, who is doing what he is asked to do, and to the best of his ability. He is a game manager who can throw a very accurate quick slant or crossing pattern over the middle. He just doesnt have the velocity to throw the sideline (aka bubble screen) or deep out and doesnt have the touch for the consistent deep ball. I dont think the play calling is taylored for either QB, Its just obvious that Marve has better skills and more confidence. The dude was Mr. Football in Florida and recruited by the "U" for a reason. Thats a huge accolade just Like Mr. Basketball is here. This isnt a knock on C.T. he is running the plays that are called....the same STALE ASS plays over and over. The Bubble screen worked the first 2 seasons of the Tiller era, Now the whole planet knows its coming. The play calling is autrocious, use C.T. strengths and minimize his weakness. Just as Tiller did with Dicken and Orton (in his earley years) Spread the field...use the short pass, crossing routes/pick plays, Rb screens and the flat.USE THE FN T.E. for Purdue Petes sake!!!(We recruit NFL caliber T.E.S) get them the ball. Then go long, then bubble screen if the D plays soft. Then Run the damn ball. Marve can do it All( he has Brees talent, unfortunatley not his health)so Nord needs to quit calling plays only Marve can execute. Or play Marve more. Marshall was a perfect example of Short passes picking defenses apart (ours)and letting the recievers do the work amd score points

I also agree in this case...Shit rolls up hill. I say Nord is too conservative and predictable, Hope is still learning on the job(steep learning curve) in his 4th year and is clearly out matched and out coached by other Elite coaches. As for M.B. I wont defend him and Im not a numbers cruncher, but its obvious he makes his BUSINESS decision with baskeball first which I understand. I will say, it would be an extremely difficult task to hire a new coach for any sport, especially basketball and football. I think he is good with being mediocre in football, especially after going from the painful Colletto era to the slighlty above average but fun to watch Tiller era. I think most Mid-tier University ADs regardless of the conference are looking to get the most for their money and (not Danny)Hope-fully a diamond in the rough. lets face it....there arent alot of Nick Sabans and Urban Meyers out there.

In hindsight.... Brock Spack as the firey Head Coach of a Balls-out, Badass Boiler Defense...with anybody who throws first and runs 2nd as O. Coord. The Hell with the option and the Wildcat. Throw the BALL! lastly, In forsight.....Purdue annouces Jim Tressel as the new Head Coach for 2014! Its fine Boiler Fans. W.Lafayette and Lafayette have Shitty Tattoo Parlors.

boilerdowd said...

Pinball, why stop with Hunter? Downing was the man!!

Actually, Downing or Macarthy might be good comparisons.

I don't think Purdue needs Saban or Tressel...but a guy like Hoeppner wouldn't be a bad option...or shoot higher for someone like Patteson OR Sumlin (will never happen now).

Kodiak33 said...

I posted this on H&R, but I'm not sure if you guys saw this. A caller called in and suggested that Marve made the offense more responsive.

“There’s a lot more to the game than making a few plays that may be specific to your talents. I love Robert Marve. I’m a huge Robert Marve fan and we’re fortunate to have on our football team. It’s a decision we base on what we see on a daily basis in practice and on Saturdays. Throughout the course of last season and this season, Caleb Terbush has performed better. You are certainly entitled to your opinion, whether it’s right or wrong, you’re certainly entitled to it. But we’ve spent a lot more time looking at the film and a lot more time watching the execution of the game than you do with the little bit of time that you do watching it as a fan. Entirely different perspective and a lot of information you’re not privy to that goes into the decision making process.”

boilerdowd said...

I'm pretty sure that translates to someone having compromising pictures of someone else...but I'm not privy to that information enough to be sure.

Whatever the case may be my eyes and statistics are both lying to me...silly brain believing those cues.

Tim hit the nail on the head above- the coaches don't like Marve's audibles and checks...and TerBush does exactly what he's asked. End of discussion, I guess.

Thomas Floyd said...

The thing Marve brings to the table is the leadership! Brees had it, Orton had it, Marve has it, Terbush doesn't have it. I watch him come off the sideline go to Nord listen to what he says then sits on the bench. We've been down for awhile due to that. When Curtis Painter was here at Purdue Kory Sheets and Dustin Keller were the leaders and the person on that side of the ball has to be the QB!