The 5 biggest blunders P.J. Fleck has made in 2020 (1. More dudes on ‘D’)

BleedGopher

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per Phil:

1. More dudes on ‘D’
You can’t blame a head coach for losing four defensive starters to the NFL and having to replace a plethora of talent at all three levels. But he is responsible for identifying who can fill some of those responsibilities, and between lack of preparation due to COVID-19 and general inexperience across the board, Minnesota’s defense has been possibly the Big Ten’s worst. You can look at scheme, you can look at circumstance, or you can just look at the athletes. The Gophers aren’t yet recruiting at a level where they’re able to plug-and-play on a year-to-year basis, and until they are, they’re going to have duds of seasons mixed in with magical ones like their 11-win 2019 campaign.

2. Take a closer look at takeaways
It’s not that Minnesota doesn’t emphasize turnovers and havoc plays during practice. But its 3 interceptions are tied for ninth in the B1G, and the Gophers have recovered just one fumble all season. When you can’t rely on your defense to provide consistent stops, the next best thing is momentum-turning takeaways. Antoine Winfield Jr. was the king of those. Minnesota needs more ball hawks.

3. Overtime out east
When you get the ball on the second possession of overtime and score to come within a point of tying, the impending decision is often taxing. Kick the ball and keep playing OT, or go for 2 and thus the win?

4. Limping to the finish
During the first three quarters of games, Minnesota averages 25 points. The final period? 3.8. The Gophers’ lack of finish allowed Maryland to come back and beat them and Michigan to breeze to a comfortable victory in Week 1.

5. Week 1 rewind
That season opener under the eerie Friday Night Lights at TCF Bank Stadium looks quite agonizing in retrospect. A 49-24 loss to Michigan to start the season certainly wasn’t in Fleck’s plans, but it looks way worse now that Michigan is 2-4 with a divided, angry fan base. Can you imagine if Minnesota hadn’t come out so flat and then finished a week later at Maryland? This season could look a lot different.


Go Gophers!!
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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Eh.... sometimes you just are going to lose all your play makers and that's how it is.

We're not Ohio St. with 4* players 4 layers deep...


I take issue with 'blunders' as sometimes shit just happens. I think claiming anything that goes wrong a 'blunder' is wrong.
 

upnorthkid

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Pj should’ve done a better job with injury prevention and opt it’s to make the defense better too. Calling these blunders is just silly
 

Some guy

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1) not going for 2 against Maryland
2) that fake punt against michigan
3) that 15 yard penalty against iowa


Other than those three; there is nothing I found objectively stupid about the season.
 

noamfromm

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per Phil:

1. More dudes on ‘D’
You can’t blame a head coach for losing four defensive starters to the NFL and having to replace a plethora of talent at all three levels. But he is responsible for identifying who can fill some of those responsibilities, and between lack of preparation due to COVID-19 and general inexperience across the board, Minnesota’s defense has been possibly the Big Ten’s worst. You can look at scheme, you can look at circumstance, or you can just look at the athletes. The Gophers aren’t yet recruiting at a level where they’re able to plug-and-play on a year-to-year basis, and until they are, they’re going to have duds of seasons mixed in with magical ones like their 11-win 2019 campaign.

2. Take a closer look at takeaways
It’s not that Minnesota doesn’t emphasize turnovers and havoc plays during practice. But its 3 interceptions are tied for ninth in the B1G, and the Gophers have recovered just one fumble all season. When you can’t rely on your defense to provide consistent stops, the next best thing is momentum-turning takeaways. Antoine Winfield Jr. was the king of those. Minnesota needs more ball hawks.

3. Overtime out east
When you get the ball on the second possession of overtime and score to come within a point of tying, the impending decision is often taxing. Kick the ball and keep playing OT, or go for 2 and thus the win?

4. Limping to the finish
During the first three quarters of games, Minnesota averages 25 points. The final period? 3.8. The Gophers’ lack of finish allowed Maryland to come back and beat them and Michigan to breeze to a comfortable victory in Week 1.

5. Week 1 rewind
That season opener under the eerie Friday Night Lights at TCF Bank Stadium looks quite agonizing in retrospect. A 49-24 loss to Michigan to start the season certainly wasn’t in Fleck’s plans, but it looks way worse now that Michigan is 2-4 with a divided, angry fan base. Can you imagine if Minnesota hadn’t come out so flat and then finished a week later at Maryland? This season could look a lot different.


Go Gophers!!
I can't believe the author is trying to lend credence to the canard that our offense goes conservative in the fourth quarter.
 

short ornery norwegian

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You can nit-pick and second-guess almost any team in the country.

For me, the more interesting question is this:

Does Fleck believe that he has made any mistakes? If he had a do-over, would he do anything differently?

What fans think - what the media thinks - really doesn't matter. what matters is whether Fleck and his coaches are willing and able to conduct a strong self-assessment and look for areas where they can improve.

I can live with mistakes if people learn from their mistakes and figure out how to do better the next time.

if people keep making the same mistakes, then you've got a problem.
 

Some guy

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I can't believe the author is trying to lend credence to the canard that our offense goes conservative in the fourth quarter.
It’s just statistically not that significant of a change from quarters 1-3

We are conservative in quarter 4...correct
But not that much more conservative than we are in quarters 1-3. WE ARE ALWAYS CONSERVATIVE...it is why we have to burn timeouts to prevent delay of game penalties every game.
 

gophereric30

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1) not going for 2 against Maryland
2) that fake punt against michigan
3) that 15 yard penalty against iowa


Other than those three; there is nothing I found objectively stupid about the season.
Me personally the way the defense was playing would have gone for 2, but I get where he was coming from, that we could have turned around next ot with ball and put pressure on maryland by scoring and going up 7. My biggest problem wasnt with our defense, it was trying to kick xp with a kicker who stinks!
 

gopherjay

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Didnt even hurt us. Purdue missed fg after that. Didnt turn out to be great decision, but didnt hurt us in game at all.
[/QUOT

It was a stupid decision no matter the outcome. Does that again and I would question the head coach's sanity.
 

hungan1

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This is an odd year with Covid. I'd wish they didn't have to cancel a few games. The young pups could've gained more playing time. Expect the Gophers to have a down year or two. The younger players need time to develop.

The Gopher seem to be chasing deficits at certain positions since PJ Fleck took over. The year it is the DL. The time will come when the Gophers recruiting classes are more balanced like Wisconsin's.

In the meantime, they have to be lucky in their recruiting. This team is bound to win a Big Ten title sooner or later.
 

Some guy

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Me personally the way the defense was playing would have gone for 2, but I get where he was coming from, that we could have turned around next ot with ball and put pressure on maryland by scoring and going up 7. My biggest problem wasnt with our defense, it was trying to kick xp with a kicker who stinks!
College OT favors the team with a better kicker as on of the three possible outcomes is a field goal.

Seeing as how the 3rd OT could’ve ended with us kicking a 37 yard field goal while they still had a possession to go...you go for the win when you have the chance to if you have the worse kicking game.
 

SPEGOPHER

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Would be curious to know how many teams have their WR coach calling plays? Usually the HC or OC/QB coach. Am I wrong?
Interesting question and I'm not sure of the answer, but my guess is it's low. I'm willing to revise my statement to simply "hiring Sanford."
 

60's Guy

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Would be curious to know how many teams have their WR coach calling plays? Usually the HC or OC/QB coach. Am I wrong?
Don't think it's a deal breaker. Running backs coaches become OC's fairly often. It's their capacity that matters. Simon by all accounts is very good as a wide receivers coach. He might be a better fit as an OC? LOTS of coaches coach different positions throughout their careers.
If you are that concerned about appearances it's a problem...it's about ability.
PJ just wanted both guys on his staff.
If you watched the bowl game you could not conclude Simon was not the best person for the job.
It just makes sense. Seamless transition.
Problem was, he'd already promised it to his other buddy.
 

Some guy

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Don't think it's a deal breaker. Running backs coaches become OC's fairly often. It's their capacity that matters. Simon by all accounts is very good as a wide receivers coach. He might be a better fit as an OC? LOTS of coaches coach different positions throughout their careers.
If you are that concerned about appearances it's a problem...it's about ability.
PJ just wanted both guys on his staff.
If you watched the bowl game you could not conclude Simon was not the best person for the job.
It just makes sense. Seamless transition.
Problem was, he'd already promised it to his other buddy.
You have no idea though. (Nor does anyone).

It’s possible that Simon called the plays but Fleck micromanaged offensive bowl prep much more than he would usually do and didn’t want to do that all year so he hired someone with more OC experience.


if fleck had hired Simon I’d have confidence in it. The fact that he didn’t tells me he didn’t want to (obviously). Probably flecks prerogative to hire who he wants IMO
 

gophereric30

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Would it be on your list if we got first down and went on to score td to ice game?
 

60's Guy

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You have no idea though. (Nor does anyone).

It’s possible that Simon called the plays but Fleck micromanaged offensive bowl prep much more than he would usually do and didn’t want to do that all year so he hired someone with more OC experience.


if fleck had hired Simon I’d have confidence in it. The fact that he didn’t tells me he didn’t want to (obviously). Probably flecks prerogative to hire who he wants IMO
100% All I have for input is the bowl game results.
Decision is 100% PJ's. But, something we'd never hear, so are the consequences of that decision or any other one.
 

gophereric30

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College OT favors the team with a better kicker as on of the three possible outcomes is a field goal.

Seeing as how the 3rd OT could’ve ended with us kicking a 37 yard field goal while they still had a possession to go...you go for the win when you have the chance to if you have the worse kicking game.
In college if you have to kick a fg in ot your probably gonna lose with a good or a bad kicker.
 

HitMeAgainIAmStillMoving

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You can nit-pick and second-guess almost any team in the country.

For me, the more interesting question is this:

Does Fleck believe that he has made any mistakes? If he had a do-over, would he do anything differently?

What fans think - what the media thinks - really doesn't matter. what matters is whether Fleck and his coaches are willing and able to conduct a strong self-assessment and look for areas where they can improve.

I can live with mistakes if people learn from their mistakes and figure out how to do better the next time.

if people keep making the same mistakes, then you've got a problem.
Fleck has said two specific things that bug me. Last year he said he made the defense scheme "even simpler" meaning we dumbed it down but not enough for these fools, while taking all the responsibility for failure but of course non at the same time. This year he said he called a "good play" on third down that led to a loss of yards and a field goal attempt. If he has "bad" plays please take them out of the playbook.
 
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A_Slab_of_Bacon

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This is an odd year with Covid. I'd wish they didn't have to cancel a few games. The young pups could've gained more playing time. Expect the Gophers to have a down year or two. The younger players need time to develop.

The Gopher seem to be chasing deficits at certain positions since PJ Fleck took over. The year it is the DL. The time will come when the Gophers recruiting classes are more balanced like Wisconsin's.

In the meantime, they have to be lucky in their recruiting. This team is bound to win a Big Ten title sooner or later.
Yeah at some point it was:

Ok we're not gud right now, but at least these guys are getting some playing time and can---- well shit I guess not that either.
 

#2Gopher

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Personally I believe Fleck analyzes every game as to what went wrong, what went right, and what they could have done better as a staff. Good gracious the nitpicking goes on and on. I can be with a group of guys (not this season), something will happen during a particular game were watching on television. Before you can take a sip of your beer you've got several different opinions what should have taken place.
 
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