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  1. #1

    Default Stewart Mandel is asked if this is a "hot seat season" for PJ Fleck

    This might fall under the heading of "another dead horse to beat even further," but I thought it was worthy of a new thread, due to the national nature of the source.

    From Stewart Mandel's Mailbag in The Athletic.

    What is Minnesotaís expectation with P.J. Fleck in terms of performance in the Big Ten this year? This being his is third season, is this a hot seat season for him?

    Ethan F., Arlington, Va.


    You know, after Fleck went out of his way last summer to warn everybody it might be a rough rebuilding season, Minnesota quietly got much better by the end. When the Gophers were sitting at 1-5 in the Big Ten, coming off a bad 55-31 loss to Illinois on Nov. 3, I would have guessed they werenít going to win another game. Fleck that week fired defensive coordinator Robb Smith, which at the time felt like kind of a panicky move for not yet being through his second season.

    Instead, seemingly out of nowhere, Minnesota hammered Purdue 41-10, and then, after a 24-14 loss to division champ Northwestern, stunned everyone with a 31-15 rout of Wisconsin in Madison. And then the Gophers topped it off by routing Georgia Tech 34-10 in the Quick Lane Bowl to finish 7-6. Needless to say, that hot finish raises expectations considerably for 2019.

    No, he is not on the hot seat. If anything, it feels like heís a bit ahead of schedule given the extent of the rebuild he took on. Freshmen comprised more than 50 percent of Minnesotaís roster last season, highest in the country according to the school. Only five of last seasonís starters were seniors, QBs Tanner Morgan and Zack Annexstad will be entering their sophomore seasons and star WR Tyler Johnson is returning for his senior year. Itís entirely reasonable for Gophers fans to be thinking about a nine-plus-win season.

    For those who can get access to theathletic.com, which is a pay site:

    https://theathletic.com/802680/2019/...ruiting-cycle/


  2. #2

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    No, he is not on the hot seat.
    Obviously.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by A_Slab_of_Bacon View Post
    Obviously.
    More than Obviously. Stupid question.
    If we want to fix what happened, you need to fire Coyle and Kaler as well.

  4. #4
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    Stewart Mandel. Non-dink.
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by pk2 View Post
    This might fall under the heading of "another dead horse to beat even further," but I thought it was worthy of a new thread, due to the national nature of the source.

    From Stewart Mandel's Mailbag in The Athletic.

    What is Minnesota’s expectation with P.J. Fleck in terms of performance in the Big Ten this year? This being his is third season, is this a hot seat season for him?

    Ethan F., Arlington, Va.


    You know, after Fleck went out of his way last summer to warn everybody it might be a rough rebuilding season, Minnesota quietly got much better by the end. When the Gophers were sitting at 1-5 in the Big Ten, coming off a bad 55-31 loss to Illinois on Nov. 3, I would have guessed they weren’t going to win another game. Fleck that week fired defensive coordinator Robb Smith, which at the time felt like kind of a panicky move for not yet being through his second season.

    Instead, seemingly out of nowhere, Minnesota hammered Purdue 41-10, and then, after a 24-14 loss to division champ Northwestern, stunned everyone with a 31-15 rout of Wisconsin in Madison. And then the Gophers topped it off by routing Georgia Tech 34-10 in the Quick Lane Bowl to finish 7-6. Needless to say, that hot finish raises expectations considerably for 2019.

    No, he is not on the hot seat. If anything, it feels like he’s a bit ahead of schedule given the extent of the rebuild he took on. Freshmen comprised more than 50 percent of Minnesota’s roster last season, highest in the country according to the school. Only five of last season’s starters were seniors, QBs Tanner Morgan and Zack Annexstad will be entering their sophomore seasons and star WR Tyler Johnson is returning for his senior year. It’s entirely reasonable for Gophers fans to be thinking about a nine-plus-win season.

    For those who can get access to theathletic.com, which is a pay site:

    https://theathletic.com/802680/2019/...ruiting-cycle/
    Great answer by Mandel to a really stupid question. It is sad that people have gotten to the point where they are talking hot seat about any football coach who is entering his third season. But that is what happens when schools get stupid and fire coaches after 2 years.

    The team would have to have a terrible season for Fleck to even be on the hot seat entering 2020.

  6. #6
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    I agree he may be a bit ahead of schedule. Hot seat would only apply if the third season unexpectedly took a nose dive after marked improvement with a young team in year 2.

  7. #7

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    Again, Mandel's characterization of "...given the extent of the rebuild he took on." shades his comments about being a bit ahead of schedule.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by PMWinSTP View Post
    Again, Mandel's characterization of "...given the extent of the rebuild he took on." shades his comments about being a bit ahead of schedule.
    This is his opinion.
    100% of where you think Fleck is is shaded by where you think the program was when Claeys was fired.
    If you think the programís handling of the scandal was embarrassing and that 8-4 was a peak year for Claeys anyways, then youíre ahead of schedule.
    If you think claeys did a fine job sticking up for his players and that 8-4 plus a bowl win was a sign of larger things to come, then you would think we are behind schedule.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Some guy View Post
    This is his opinion.
    100% of where you think Fleck is is shaded by where you think the program was when Claeys was fired.
    If you think the program’s handling of the scandal was embarrassing and that 8-4 was a peak year for Claeys anyways, then you’re ahead of schedule.
    If you think Claeys did a fine job sticking up for his players and that 8-4 plus a bowl win was a sign of larger things to come, then you would think we are behind schedule.
    That's a pretty stilted and limited attempt to turn a complex situation into a binary choice.

    Did I think the program from top to bottom was in disarray? No.
    Did I think that this was the same dumpster fire that Jerry Kill inherited? No.
    Did I realize that a big hole existed in the secondary based on the events of the scandal and the players kicked off the team/out of school? Yes.

    So in this environment, the AD makes the decision to make a change in the Head Coach

    Looking at what was coming back, what the attitude on the team was, and what any new coach coming inherited

    Did I think that any coach coming in would want to instill his "culture"? Yes.
    Did a new coach magically fix the sheer body count in the secondary? No.
    Were there other issues in the depth chart? Yes. - O line and QB
    Was the team in good spirits based on how the scandal unfolded? No.
    Was this team devoid of talent? No.
    Did this team fit the new schemes the new coach wanted to run? It wasn't a total disconnect, but there would be some growing pains and the issues on the O-line, defensive backfield offered little room for error. The lack of experience at QB would be a challenge.

    So the takeaway and where there seems to be a disconnect is on was this a total rebuild. I would argue it was not, but I would argue that Fleck wanted it to be and so it was. So based on that, I would say, Fleck is behind schedule, not ahead of schedule. it has nothing to do with Claeys. It has everything to do with Fleck's approach and decisions. The biggest flaw in that he's ahead of schedule, to me, ignores the fact that when he fired an incompetent Defensive Coordinator the players that those who believe all things Fleck assured this board sucked, didn't anymore. His decisions held the team back in it's capabilities. We under performed because of bad decisions on his part. When Smith was removed, the issues with the roster didn't change the results did.

    A little more nuanced than I either liked or didn't like Claeys, but keep on sticking to that mantra. It's easier to blame that then consider the mistakes Fleck has made to this point and hold him responsible for some bad decisions. You can do that and still see that there is hope for the future under Fleck and that the program hasn't been a dumpster fire for a while.
    If we want to fix what happened, you need to fire Coyle and Kaler as well.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by caliGopher View Post
    That's a pretty stilted and limited attempt to turn a complex situation into a binary choice.

    Did I think the program from top to bottom was in disarray? No.
    Did I think that this was the same dumpster fire that Jerry Kill inherited? No.
    Did I realize that a big hole existed in the secondary based on the events of the scandal and the players kicked off the team/out of school? Yes.

    So in this environment, the AD makes the decision to make a change in the Head Coach

    Looking at what was coming back, what the attitude on the team was, and what any new coach coming inherited

    Did I think that any coach coming in would want to instill his "culture"? Yes.
    Did a new coach magically fix the sheer body count in the secondary? No.
    Were there other issues in the depth chart? Yes. - O line and QB
    Was the team in good spirits based on how the scandal unfolded? No.
    Was this team devoid of talent? No.
    Did this team fit the new schemes the new coach wanted to run? It wasn't a total disconnect, but there would be some growing pains and the issues on the O-line, defensive backfield offered little room for error. The lack of experience at QB would be a challenge.

    So the takeaway and where there seems to be a disconnect is on was this a total rebuild. I would argue it was not, but I would argue that Fleck wanted it to be and so it was. So based on that, I would say, Fleck is behind schedule, not ahead of schedule. it has nothing to do with Claeys. It has everything to do with Fleck's approach and decisions. The biggest flaw in that he's ahead of schedule, to me, ignores the fact that when he fired an incompetent Defensive Coordinator the players that those who believe all things Fleck assured this board sucked, didn't anymore. His decisions held the team back in it's capabilities. We under performed because of bad decisions on his part. When Smith was removed, the issues with the roster didn't change the results did.

    A little more nuanced than I either liked or didn't like Claeys, but keep on sticking to that mantra. It's easier to blame that then consider the mistakes Fleck has made to this point and hold him responsible for some bad decisions. You can do that and still see that there is hope for the future under Fleck and that the program hasn't been a dumpster fire for a while.
    I was intentionally giving the two extremes. Obviously there is all kinds of ground in the middle.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Some guy View Post
    This is his opinion.
    100% of where you think Fleck is is shaded by where you think the program was when Claeys was fired.
    If you think the program’s handling of the scandal was embarrassing and that 8-4 was a peak year for Claeys anyways, then you’re ahead of schedule.
    If you think claeys did a fine job sticking up for his players and that 8-4 plus a bowl win was a sign of larger things to come, then you would think we are behind schedule.
    This

  12. #12

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    I’m surprised Fleck made it to the end of year 2 with all the wins he left on the table.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Iím surprised Fleck made it to the end of year 2 with the challenges in recruiting and ticket sales per MC

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Iím surprised Fleck made it to the end of year 2 with all the wins he left on the table.
    Come on JG. It is pretty obvious he left wins on the table.


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  15. #15
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    Some here, not naming names, may have read it as “Is PJ hot?” YES

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