Monday, November 26, 2012

Saying the Right Things So Far

We've been tough on Morgan Burke here before and I'm sure we will be tough on him again. However, we also want to give credit where it's due (which we do our best to do) and so I'd like to say here that, so far, Burke is doing and saying the right things.

There are rumors -- seemingly credible ones -- that Burke and company essentially made the decision after the embarrassment vs Wisconsin. Which makes sense in retrospect, because if you haven't already noticed, if Purdue wins that game -- and does nothing else differently this season, blowouts and all -- the Boilermakers are in the Big Ten title game. My point is that this is a plus for Burke on the credibility scale. He's not good at firing people -- doesn't like to do it -- so this shows he realizes what's at stake.

During the press conference, Burke also talked directly and succinctly. He was done with his comments in a mere 7 or 8 minutes and then took questions. He acknowledged the lack of improvement was a factor, the alienation of season ticketholders was a big issues and so forth. These are things worth noting, as in the past we've been critical of him and the athletic department in general of seemingly failing to see the reality of the situation, regardless of whether it was the listing football program or the clumsily-handled Matt Painter situation.

Burke gave credit to the players for their ability to stick to it and win these final three games -- again, something we agree with and give him credit for. That wasn't the result of excellent coaching. It was the result of continued mediocre coaching, bad opponents and, most importantly, the will of the players, especially the seniors. Good for Burke for crediting them.

As an aside, I liked Burke saying that "by tomorrow" coaching candidates will be all over the internet. Someone in the press pool informed him, "They already are." 

I also liked his acknowledgement that they'll need to pay someone. He said clearly that they're aware of what Big Ten coaches get paid and they are prepared to take that on. He didn't give a specific number they're going to pay a head coach, but it's been documented that there is money being raised among JPCers to reportedly fund both a buyout and a first year salary. These are signs of the coaching search being taken very seriously, and I like it. Burke also didn't seem his often-prickly self in response to the questions. Carmin (I think) asked him how he would sell Purdue to a potential coaching candidate and Burke clearly gave it some thought and then talked about Purdue's brand and why Purdue is a good destination. He ticked off points about the incoming President, the brand of football, the trustees, and others and pointed out that they all like to win. That's important. It's also key to me that, as b-dowd pointed out, having "Purdue ties" isn't that critical. He said he thinks "ties to Purdue are tie-breakers; they're not pre-requisites." That, too, makes me feel good. As I said, saying a lot of the right things. 

Another aspect that I really like and that also supports the notion that Burke realizes fully how significant this hire is, is his search committee advisers. Ryan Grigson, Rick Smith and Bill Polian are guys who know football, plain and simple. And Smith, working in Texas, is closer physically to a hotbed of college football coaching, recruits, etc., so his take on what should be considered is interesting to me. There are some who think this committee is window dressing, but regardless of how much advising they're actually doing, it's a good move in practice and optically. Purdue is taking this seriously.

Morgan Burke told us that Pasadena is the goal, which is to say BCS bowl games are the goal. I think it's fair to say that's the kind of thing many of us have wanted to hear for a while. It contradicts statements such as 6-6 being "extremely successful" and referring to yourselves as "bowl champions" following an uninspiring win over a MAC team in a nothing bowl game. We've longed for someone to say this isn't acceptable (besides us low character fans) and, so far, Burke is saying that. He did everything but come out and admit that they tried their patented cheapo approach and it just didn't work.

So far, Morgan Burke is saying the right things. Let's hope it continues, as this hire could be the one that cements his legacy at Purdue.


CalTravelGuy said...

This is a fair post about Burke and it's time to pull together as fans, alumni and friends... we need to get behind the program to get it rolling again. But I just want to state for the record that you don't owe Burke any apologies. Nor do you owe the fans any apologies. Neither do I. Hope never felt like a great choice and then it was clear early on that he was a horrible choice. I hope we are playing out here in Pasadena sometime in the next few years. I hope people realize that without loud, vocal, passionate fans like me... yes dickish at times... and without, we could have seen the Hope era drag on for 2-4 more years. That's the truth and it's not funny at all. "It's time to be a Boilermaker again" and you can quote me on that.

Sincerely, One Formerly Pissed Off, Alienated Fan Who Has Hope Now That Hope Is Gone

Plang said...

I was rather glad to see Burke didn't waste any time. It is actually good to see that the Athletic Department feels some pressure here to get things back on track quickly. I've been on record as saying that I didn't think it would happen. I'm glad I was wrong.

I feel for the players, but even they have to take a moment and think about what their results on the field were and how empty the stands were when they took the field. Loyalty to a coach is a good thing, but at the end of the day, results have to be addressed. I think the players will eventually realize this.

Now that Burke has pulled the trigger, he better have someone wrapped up before Christmas, but no later than the end of the year.

Matt Gentry said...

Is it just me in reading way too deep into things or does anyone else think that Kliff Kingsbury (OC at Texas A&M) appears to be the primary target?

I mean all this about bringing back the cradle of quarterbacks talk and the emphasis on offense sounds right up his alley.

I think he is the perfect choice. He is young, energetic, and has strong ties to Texas recruiting (and Sumlin).

I don't think Burke would have made such a big deal about bringing back an offensive mindset if we were just going after a MAC head coach.

Mark said...

I agree that Burke said all the right things. Let's see it pull in a coach who can develop players and scheme some offense!

J Money said...

Matt -- Reportedly, one of the people they've reached out to is Helfrich, Oregon's OC. That would definitely fit the bill, too.

We love Kingsbury, but he's pretty young.

Mommatried said...

I swear sometimes its like J Money types my thoughts for me. I agree MJB deserves a golf clap for the press conference. I thought it was well done and well put. He discussed the issue of DH "low" salary, he pointed out all the improvements that have been made...I am hopeful this hire matches the Pasadena statement...and the 85/25 commitment and spoke about being accountable....did we ever sniff the T25 under DH? I can't recall us ever looking that good.

I am hoping- asking- calling that maybe your site and HR site...could again campaign the fan base for JPC memberships. 17 a mos....200 bucks for the year...I know I will finally add a few measly benjamins to the coffers...although I swore when I graduated in 2000 that I would not join so as long as MJB experience in our senior design class left a bad taste in my mouth.

But this is more important.

Dont you have a JPC reference # that you get points for? to your call once more we rally...

Matt Gentry said...

I agree that he is young but if these rumors about Tressel being around (maybe as director of football operations or something like that) are true... Also, it might be a bit more of a bargain to give a guy his first big break.

Plus, you have to be pretty mature to prepare a gameplan and beat Alabama.

PU03 said...

I thought Burke also said he wanted someone with HC experience. If so it would lead one to believe Helfrich and Kingsbury are not the primary targets.

Matt Gentry said...

I think he said it was a positive but not a requirement. The fact he even left the door open on that is interesting.

PUhopeless said...

Has Cheney's name come up anywhere? I know TENN struggled this year, but they still racked up some high yardage and QB numbers and who knows those Tiller-like schemes better than Cheney? He has the offensive side of the ball covered for sure...