Friday, October 19, 2012

Gary Nord Is Digging His Heels In

It seems that the Purdue football coaching staff is now digging their heels in, which I think is a very bad sign. In this article by the always excellent Mike Carmin of the J&C, you hear from Coach Nord who seems to be on a perpetual mission to make everyone hate him.

I tweeted a story that had some of these quotes in it, but this is a different one, in which Carmin examines the thoughts of Tim Tibesar and juxtaposes them next to Nord's. Maybe this is Carmin's way of illustrating how far gone Nord is, I don't know. But I do know that it is infuriating.

Tibesar, to his credit, acknowledges there are no real bright spots on defense.

“I wouldn’t say we have a great strength,” the first-year defensive coordinator said about his group. “The last two weeks, we haven’t had something we can hang our hat on. We have to get back to the basics, work our tail off and earn some respect and earn that pride back.”

This is close to what I want to hear. When a team is putting forth an embarrassing product and everyone who looks judges it as awful, you need to eat some humble pie as a coach. You need to acknowledge that it is terrible and then tell us that it's not acceptable to you either, and that you're going to work hard to fix it. And then get back to work. Tibesar pretty much does this, so good for him.

Nord, on the other hand, lives in fantasyland:

“I really believe, and people around here will see what I’m talking about, I think the strength of the football team is the quarterback spot,” the program’s offensive coordinator and assistant head coach said. “I have total confidence in that position. The way they’ve been practicing the last couple of weeks, it hasn’t carried over to the game, but they’ve been practicing very well.”

I don't even understand what "they've been practicing very well" even means. Yes, I know that's because I'm not as smart as Gary Nord. But to say the strength of the football team is the quarterback spot? And we'll see what he's talking about? When, exactly? It's six games into a twelve-game season, TerBush's second as the starter and the last season he will play college football. If he isn't showing it on the field yet, isn't it time to just admit he is what he is?

We've said for a long time that he's a good soldier, he does what he's told and he tries his best to run the offense he's asked to run. His skills are limited, though, and there is a ceiling to what he can do for you. If Caleb had Alabama's defense and running game, being a game manager and completing 61% of his passes would probably suffice. But that's not the situation here.

Nord goes on to try to make your brain hurt more:

“I think Caleb has improved tremendously in the last three weeks on the practice field,” Nord said.
That's just incredible. This is something that losers say...."Hey, on the driving range, I was hitting them so straight!"

Who gives a rat's ass how he did in practice? Does Gary Nord actually think that should translate? When the QB is wearing the green jersey and there is no crowd or opponent, he definitely should look better. Even I know that.

“When you go out there against Michigan and what he threw for in the first half, and then everybody criticizes him,” Nord said. “He was 66 percent and he had three drops. That’s a pretty good day for anybody. (Against Wisconsin), he throws very well on the first 12 throws. We got in a situation where we got behind the chains.
This is the kind of thing that makes people (rightfully) mock your program. As was mentioned to us on Twitter, the whole "Hey, he did great except for some drops and some high throws" kind of remark is just so hollow. He did not have a "pretty good day" against Michigan. 16 of 25 for 105, with a TD and a pick-6 is not really good. Sure, it could be worse, but if that's this team's definition of "a pretty good day," then there are some serious misunderstandings about what constitutes good football in West Lafayette.

And then Wisconsin, Nord is even arrogant enough to suggest TerBush threw "very well"?? The line there was 7/16 (43%) for 80 yards, zero TDs and one pick.

Again, I am not putting the recent disappointments at the feet of Caleb TerBush. He does what he's asked and does his best. I've said for a long time that it's the coaching staff that I have zero faith in. And Gary Nord is digging his heels in:

Support from outside the program to start and play Marve grows every week. Nord said there’s only one person qualified to make the quarterback decision.

“I’ve committed my life to this thing for 32 years, and I’ve been coaching quarterbacks for 28 years and I’ve had these quarterbacks in the system for three years,” Nord said. “There’s nobody more qualified to say who should be playing on the field than I am. I don’t listen to the critics. They don’t see anything except a few plays. I see them every day.

“I’m in the meeting room with them three hours a day, I’m on the practice field with them two hours a day. I don’t know what they’re saying. I don’t read it, I don’t watch it and I don’t care. I know in my heart that we have a quarterback that can get it done, and I have total confidence in him. Everybody will see that as time goes on.”

 So just to be clear, Nord doesn't care one bit that people are restless and unsatisfied. He's the only one qualified to know who should be playing and how they should be playing. I mean, look at his track record of success!

And the critics "don't see anything except a few plays"? Really? That's not a solid argument, Gary. Because the plays that all of us see are the absolutely most important plays of the season -- the ones on the field during the games! Those are the plays that actually matter! Not the way he throws a ball in Mollenkopf on Wednesday afternoon, you jack!

And once again, Gary knows "in his heart" that they have a QB who can get it done and, you know, as time goes on you'll all begin to see that.

Awesome. Can't wait.


jas07 said...

Its got to the point were I just see Nord's face and I get mad. Is that horrible?

J Money said...

No. He gets mad if he sees anyone not bowing at his superlative knowledge.

Shadow300z said...

While I agree that Nord isn't a very good OC, I can understand why he's saying these things. He wants to protect his guys and say "they're great" and put on the happy face for the media, because he doesn't want any of his players to have hurt feelings.

It's all under control, we have the B10 right where we want them...yeah...

CaryNW87 said...

"I don’t listen to the critics. They don’t see anything except a few plays."

That's because of all the three-and-outs.

ATL_Boilers said...

My head just exploded reading that.


I guess this stance also explains his superior play calling - those plays ALWAYS work in practice.

CalTravelGuy said...

And Purdue's "Culture of Losing" lives on...

Anabelle Bailey said...

Totally agree.“From coaches to players to whatever, you’ve got to do your job and players depend on (you) doing what you’re supposed to do. It's a business and a sport. The business side gets ugly sometimes. The players deserve to be paid for their skill and hard work, the owners deserve to make a decent profit on their investment, the fans deserve to watch a great game! Nord really needs to eat some humble pie. *************/////*********//////*****

Rob Chapman said...

They have taken us from the cradle of quarterbacks to a team I cringe trying to watch get back in games. It's all finger pointing now and it should be, all at the coaches. The stadium is embarrassingly empty for live Big 10 games and Morgan Burke shows he is okay with being average. I feel bad for the recruits that visited this past weekend, sitting I'm the rain and watching Hope, Nord, ext put a subpar game plan together. If this is the best team we have had in awhile I cringe at next year. Regardless onwards to the Buckeyes, at least I am only seeing 53-17 predictions for that one.

BoilerWhat said...

I have no issue with folks discontinuing their support for the football program after reading stuff like this. It's sad that, as a fanbase, the only way we can voice our displeasure with this garbage is by not showing up to games. I feel bad for the players.

L2F said...

If only we could play our defense in the games.

In other news, Nord once hit a golf ball 400 yards with a putter, with his eyes closed, while standing on a unicorn....but no one was watching.

zlionsfan said...

One of the things that Nord doesn't seem to get is that there are ways to talk about a struggling offense without talking about individual players and whether or not they are playing well. I understand not wanting to say "Yeah, Caleb isn't getting the job done, but what choice do we have?" You can't say that at any level and expect anything other than abject hatred from your players.

But you also can't say what amounts to "Mediocre play at quarterback is great, isn't it, everybody?" Four-ish yards an attempt might win games if Purdue had a running game that could rack up 300 yards a game against Big Ten defenses. They don't.

Tibesar, on the other hand, does exactly what I think a coordinator should do: he says general stuff that amounts to "yes, you're right, we need to improve" without calling out any individual player or pretending that someone had an All-American-level game or two.

I normally don't advocate midseason firing, mostly because they don't provide short-term fixes (how many teams have an assistant coach on the staff who's actually better at a different role than one of the other coaches who's already in that role?), but after what will likely be a debacle on Saturday, I'd be fine with Burke firing Nord. I don't care who replaces him, whether it's Hope, Cornell Jackson, or a randomly-selected Ross-Ade Brigade member, but it's got to be better than this.

After all, Nord's been in the business for more than three decades, and he's still apparently unable to recognize when he's not getting the job done. Would it really be worse to have an interim OC, or even no OC at all?

Ryan F. said...

Hear Hear, Mr. LionsFan.

Man, Nord really is dense.

Hooba said...

You need to be a guest contributor on BS. I love your comments and you always nail it!
Keep up the good work BS!

Boilergal said...

Reminds me of Kim Jong Il... hitting 15 of 18 holes-in-one with no one there to see.

14-34 record as a head coach... obviously his experience allows him to be this arrogant.

Nord doesn't have to TRY to get me to hate him, mission accomplished.

jbrunner said...

I think there's a difference between no longer supporting the football program and no longer supporting this coaching regime. With the lack of results we've seen, I can definitely understand saying you no longer support the staff.

However, it's BoilerWhat's comment that seems borderline disturbing:
"I have no issue with folks discontinuing their support for the football program after reading stuff like this."

If this has reaches the point where people are proud of no longer supporting Purdue football as a whole, it's a serious problem. Change probably does need to happen soon, I agree...but hopefully everyone still remains Boilermakers. We will rise again.

Daniel Kirkdorffer said...

The problem with TerBush is he just isn't a leader. He lacks fire. He plays like a freshman. You watch him and you see a lackluster, mediocre performer.

Marve may have fire, but he doesn't have a reliable leg to stand on.

My issue with Gary Nord and Danny Hope is that if TerBush is their man, why in the world is he replaced by a sidekick time and again to bail him and the team out. If Marve is the solution then give him the ball when he isn't forced to play catch up and throw all the time.

Watching Purdue against Wisconsin was painful. The whole team seemed to cave in and give up. It was an embarrassment.

Brad said...

Nord doesn't care what fans think about his offensive decisions. I'm okay with that.

I'm just looking forward to the day when I don't have to think about his offensive decisions, because he's not working for Purdue...

BoilerBloodline said...

Finding out that Nord has a frontal lobe tumor is the ONLY thing that would explain away his absolutely idiotic comments. The arrogance and stupidity this man exudes is palpable. Honestly, if Morgan Burke would have thrown a dart at a map of the U.S. and searched for Offensive Coordinators within a 100 mile radius of where it hit, his chances of finding someone better than Nord would be at 100% Because Purdue ALWAYS finds a way to hire the worst of the bunch. And he is (and I think by a very long shot) THE WORST O.C. in Division 1 football....PERIOD!!!

Purdue Matt said...

Gary Nord is a jackass.