Minnesota football: 5 biggest holes to fill in 2021 starting lineup

A_Slab_of_Bacon

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 21, 2015
Messages
15,952
Reaction score
2,777
Points
113
It is entirely possible Fleck already is the predominant play caller. He has a strong time of possession philosophy. Those ultra conservative fourth quarters are not the OC’s idea.
Possible, but do we anything for sure?

I know from the past, a few interviews on some big plays, PJ indicated that he heard the call from the OCs and then talked to a player about it, seemingly indicating that he wasn't calling it. But those are just one off situations.
 

Otis

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 13, 2014
Messages
4,310
Reaction score
1,011
Points
113
I know we lost Dickerson, but don't we have another stud 4* corner coming in?

Kid from Arizona. Who says he can't start as a Freshman?
 

WriterGoph

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 21, 2009
Messages
3,915
Reaction score
2,240
Points
113
I know we lost Dickerson, but don't we have another stud 4* corner coming in?

Kid from Arizona. Who says he can't start as a Freshman?
Yes, Steven Ortiz and Justin Walley are both CBs with a lot of expectations. Walley is already on campus and working out with the team as well.
 

PMWinSTP

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 11, 2015
Messages
10,046
Reaction score
941
Points
113
A lot of your concerns depend on how much you think a lack of spring ball, normal off-season workouts and fall camp really impacted our team. If one trusts what we can do with our "normal" program, then one expects big improvement in a lot of young players. But if one thinks that 2020 was an exposure of lack of talent or bad coaching, then there definitely are a lot more concerns.

Glass half full or glass half empty?
I think 2020 was a bit of all this stuff. Inexperience, undeveloped talent, coaching. For all intents and purposes, a lot of teams had the same issues with lack of spring/fall camps, normal workouts.
 

WriterGoph

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 21, 2009
Messages
3,915
Reaction score
2,240
Points
113
I think 2020 was a bit of all this stuff. Inexperience, undeveloped talent, coaching. For all intents and purposes, a lot of teams had the same issues with lack of spring/fall camps, normal workouts.
Yeah I think this really played out across a lot of other sports as well. Anywhere you saw teams with a lot of new players coming together who hadn't had time to practice and gel like normal. Heck, in basketball, look at how it's impacted a ton of the blue blood programs this season.
 

MNVCGUY

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 8, 2011
Messages
9,431
Reaction score
2,173
Points
113
Yes, Steven Ortiz and Justin Walley are both CBs with a lot of expectations. Walley is already on campus and working out with the team as well.
It is dangerous to pin too many hopes on true freshman being ready to go right away. That says, Ortiz in particular comes across as someone who might be ready to go quickly. Just a gut feeling though with nothing to back that up.

My hope is more on some of the DBs we have not seen yet emerging. Too many football fans get caught in the basketball mentality where if a guy doesn't make an impact right away he must suck. We have a number of DBs that were all fairly well regarded coming out of high school that we haven't seen in action yet.
 

MNVCGUY

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 8, 2011
Messages
9,431
Reaction score
2,173
Points
113
Yeah I think this really played out across a lot of other sports as well. Anywhere you saw teams with a lot of new players coming together who hadn't had time to practice and gel like normal. Heck, in basketball, look at how it's impacted a ton of the blue blood programs this season.
Forget the blue bloods, it is on full display in our own backyard with our basketball team. We have a team with the talent to blow out Michigan and Ohio State (both currently ranked in the top 4) one night and then turn around and get destroyed by much lesser teams the next night.
 

MplsGopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 4, 2017
Messages
21,752
Reaction score
4,791
Points
113
Forget the blue bloods, it is on full display in our own backyard with our basketball team. We have a team with the talent to blow out Michigan and Ohio State (both currently ranked in the top 4) one night and then turn around and get destroyed by much lesser teams the next night.
*cough*coaching*cough*
 

FredCoxRocks

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 20, 2014
Messages
1,108
Reaction score
685
Points
113
Saturday Tradition articles are just weird. You usually walk away saying one of two things:
One..."I need more info. and I have more questions".
Or two, "Your headline is misleading...that is not the most insane mic-drop, slam, or come-back I have ever heard".
 

MNVCGUY

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 8, 2011
Messages
9,431
Reaction score
2,173
Points
113
*cough*coaching*cough*
Not to turn this into a basketball thread. Pitino certainly deserves plenty of blame for the way the team has played. But the point is still valid that with as many new faces as they brought in, they didn't have the time needed to really gel in the off-season and pre-season. There is clearly a ton of talent on the roster as evidenced by the teams they have destroyed....but there is zero consistency. Some of that is definitely coaching but some of that is simply the fact that these guys have not spent much time playing together.
 

WriterGoph

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 21, 2009
Messages
3,915
Reaction score
2,240
Points
113
*cough*coaching*cough*
Yeah exactly. Coaching gets you tied for the most ranked wins in the country (and school history) and it also has you winless on the road. It goes both ways, amigo
 

MplsGopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 4, 2017
Messages
21,752
Reaction score
4,791
Points
113
Yeah exactly. Coaching gets you tied for the most ranked wins in the country (and school history) and it also has you winless on the road. It goes both ways, amigo
I would love to know what Pitino was able to figure out for that home win against Michigan, and why he has for some reason decided not to do that same thing in almost every other game.
 

WriterGoph

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 21, 2009
Messages
3,915
Reaction score
2,240
Points
113
I would love to know what Pitino was able to figure out for that home win against Michigan, and why he has for some reason decided not to do that same thing in almost every other game.
Some of it is on he and his staff, but some also has to be on the players for lack of execution and confidence too. Our team is clearly way better when we make some early shots, but the shots going in is pretty clearly out of RP's control.

Same for football. PJ and staff can call plays early and prep in practice, but like in 2020, if Tanner makes a bad throw, the line doesn't protect or a defender takes a bad pursuit angle, that all goes to shite pretty quick.
 

Otis

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 13, 2014
Messages
4,310
Reaction score
1,011
Points
113
Yes, Steven Ortiz and Justin Walley are both CBs with a lot of expectations. Walley is already on campus and working out with the team as well.
This is great news! Would be awesome to hear that Ortiz is enrolling early. From what I've heard Walley is an athletic stud! Him getting extra time to work with the Gopher strength coaches and trainers as well as technique coaches could really help him get a jump on the season.

It's not like that first game will be a warm up against average college receivers.

I am kind of curious to see how Fleck does at preparing the Gophers for Ohio State with an entire off-season to prepare for the first game. He has done pretty well with his extra weeks.
 

Otis

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 13, 2014
Messages
4,310
Reaction score
1,011
Points
113
Some of it is on he and his staff, but some also has to be on the players for lack of execution and confidence too. Our team is clearly way better when we make some early shots, but the shots going in is pretty clearly out of RP's control.

Same for football. PJ and staff can call plays early and prep in practice, but like in 2020, if Tanner makes a bad throw, the line doesn't protect or a defender takes a bad pursuit angle, that all goes to shite pretty quick.
Players set the tone of games more than a coach.

Coaches can set in game plans and strategies all week long but it is up to the players to execute those strategies come game time. Seeing how the Gophers ALWAYS SEEM TO SUCK ON THE ROAD. It appears there is faulty strategy being employed by the basketball team.

But nothing screws with a game plan faster than players taking ill-advised 3's early in games and setting the tone for another brick layers convention.

Just like a missed read on a run-pass option can easily lead to an early pick 6 and burn the game plan in the first minute.
 

WriterGoph

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 21, 2009
Messages
3,915
Reaction score
2,240
Points
113
This is great news! Would be awesome to hear that Ortiz is enrolling early. From what I've heard Walley is an athletic stud! Him getting extra time to work with the Gopher strength coaches and trainers as well as technique coaches could really help him get a jump on the season.

It's not like that first game will be a warm up against average college receivers.

I am kind of curious to see how Fleck does at preparing the Gophers for Ohio State with an entire off-season to prepare for the first game. He has done pretty well with his extra weeks.
Unfortunately, I don't think Ortiz will be here til summer.

As far as early enrollees I believe it was:

Walley
Eastern
Boyd
Brockington
McGill
Devon Williams
Gibbons
Pinckney
Val Martin
Dylan Wright
Karter Shawn
The Specialists

 

Otis

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 13, 2014
Messages
4,310
Reaction score
1,011
Points
113
Unfortunately, I don't think Ortiz will be here til summer.

As far as early enrollees I believe it was:

Walley
Eastern
Boyd
Brockington
McGill
Devon Williams
Gibbons
Pinckney
Val Martin
Dylan Wright
Karter Shawn
The Specialists

Sounds like a Stallone movie! Gopher Marketing should be all over this and pay you a finder's fee!

Cue the Mission Impossible theme! Roll the Gopher Field Goal Highlight Reel! Flash "The Specialists" across the scoreboard as our new kicker trots out to drill another "ho hum" addition to his 82% field goal conversion rate!

Brilliant!
 

MplsGopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 4, 2017
Messages
21,752
Reaction score
4,791
Points
113
Our team is clearly way better when we make some early shots, but the shots going in is pretty clearly out of RP's control.
How can any coach ever be fired? It's not their fault that the players are choosing not to make plays.
 

WriterGoph

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 21, 2009
Messages
3,915
Reaction score
2,240
Points
113
How can any coach ever be fired? It's not their fault that the players are choosing not to make plays.
There are definitely other issues with the basketball program than just making shots
 

noamfromm

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 9, 2014
Messages
806
Reaction score
375
Points
63
It's not just vision, he doesn't pass the eye test on many levels to me. Hope to be proved wrong, but he doesn't look like a power 5 rb.
I'd say he passes the eye test. He is fast and the right side --- but I am in the he has not shown a good ability to find holes camp.
 

EG#9

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 20, 2008
Messages
6,772
Reaction score
729
Points
113
A lot of your concerns depend on how much you think a lack of spring ball, normal off-season workouts and fall camp really impacted our team. If one trusts what we can do with our "normal" program, then one expects big improvement in a lot of young players. But if one thinks that 2020 was an exposure of lack of talent or bad coaching, then there definitely are a lot more concerns.

Glass half full or glass half empty?
Yeah I agree, a lot of those concerns might be answered by Fall. I feel like it's at least plausible, if not likely, that every one of those concerns is answered in a positive manner. I'd say WR and CB would be the two I'd be most pleasantly surprised if they were filled in the manner I'd hope they would be. From info from another site, it doesn't sound like a couple of our younger WR's (Nam for one) are living up to what the staff hoped they would be. I do like Wright a ton as a transfer and both Jackson and Emelien were said to be impressive in camp, but I think Wright is the only one of the 3 that could provide us that home run threat that Bateman brought to the table. At CB, Walley might be my favorite recruit in this class outside of Eastern, but counting on a true freshman to play a major role is dicey. Unfortunately Smith coming on seems like wishful thinking at this point.

At LB with Gibbens coming in and getting Oliver back, there's a lot of options. Considering we often only have 2 LB's on the field, if we can't find two to play well next year that points a lot more towards scheme.

On the DL, will Brown move to the edge after his redshirt year? The Joiner kid the staff was high on as a late flip last year didn't play last year and he's another option along with Jalen Redding who got some snaps. Knock on wood but the DT position has young guys with good recruiting pedigrees and older guys that have played a lot of football. On paper, we've got everything we could want there except for proven production (beyond Pinckney's 3rd team All ACC season).
 

60's Guy

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 29, 2010
Messages
5,577
Reaction score
662
Points
113
We don't have to necessarily fill any certain 5 holes...we just need guys on each side of the ball and a special teamer to standout...some guys to step up to an all conference level. We have Mo and the Crickets at the moment. No noise, no buzz, no chirping out of anybody.
Need some guys who make you say: "He's good!!"
I think they are likely there...just gotta happen.
 
Top Bottom