Gary Nord continued to defend his indefensible play-calling today in GBI's coordinator's corner. Here's what he had to say about his pass plays:
"I'm not sure what anybody wants to see, but we called 60 passes and about half of them were five-step down passes, so I'm not sure what anybody is seeing on that. Probably ought to go back and watch the film again. We threw outs, we threw posts, we threw take-offs, we threw square-ins. We threw every combination route that I know to throw, in the middle of the field, we dropped some, but I'm not sure what they're looking at on that."
I guess me, the 60+ people who came through my brother's house who were watching the game on Sunday all are just seeing things incorrectly. A few of us played football, another currently coaches high school football...and almost all watch a ton of football...but we're all wrong. By the way, so was EsPNU's producer who made a fancy graphic that talked about the fact that almost all of Purdue's passes were short and to the outside (late in the second quarter).
I love that Nord keeps digging his heels in deeper and deeper as his offense gets worse and worse. It makes no sense, but is more entertaining than his play calling. The offensive line is leaking like a sieve as their spacing, footwork and pick-up are awful. Marve got hit hard time and again...and the designed rollouts, especially in the end zone to the short side of the field seemed were as nonsensical as Nord's coachspeak the last few weeks. I do agree with one thing that Nord said one thing that was correct- the receivers have lost a ton of their confidence. Edison, who has been sure-handed for the last three and one-half seasons dropped two catchable balls...and at least one of the receivers (Bush) looks gunshy as he's getting hit time and again while standing with his back to the defense after yet another one-yard out. (Sorry coach, I'm just telling it as I see it.)
The bright spots for me continue to be the Shavers runs and finishes runs when he gets the chance to get to the second level...and seeing Bolden and Marve playing at all is pretty great.
I have a few early-Christmas wishes for the Purdue offense for next season:
-That Henry is granted a sixth year by the inconsistent NCAA. I believe we won't know that until after next season though.
-That Henry will be used as a slot, RB, WR, kick returner, wildcat QB and where ever he can make a difference...but I'd rather him not be anything other than an emergency QB. It's time for the next coach to let Appleby, Etling and Marshall battle for the future as Cottom, Hunt and incoming Frosh Kenyante Green pound the ground game.
-And speaking of ground game, let's not forget that Purdue has a bunch of very good, big Freshman OLmen waiting in the wings. Hopefully they are coached in a way that they can develop a bit more efficiently than what we've seen the last few seasons. They'll be bolstered by a few returning starters who are upperclassmen that need to be a part of a better scheme.
Losing the top-two leading scorers, top-2 leading rebounders, the top 3-point shooter, top shot blocker and a legend of the program who had become a reliable crutch whenever anything was needed is really tough to replace...so Matty isn't trying to.
Instead, he's decided to build toward a new style of play that relies less on the three pointer and more on points in the paint...and why wouldn't he? Purdue is bigger and stronger than they've been since the mid-90s...but Forces of Good are young. So, we'll see a lot of what we saw versus Montevallo this season: inconsistency.
Let's remember back to the Baby Boilers Freshman year...Sure, they were extremely impactful, BUT, they lost games to teams they shouldn't have lost to, made horrible mistakes and looked like Freshman, especially JJ, very early in the season. Simpson might be playing JJ's role this season...because he's not the player he'll be by the time he's a Senior. I think he'll be similar to MSU's Draymond Green when he graduates...but right now, he looks tired, he's hampered by not being in the best shape. But, he might also be a microcosm for this team...because he'll improve and do so quickly, I believe.
The three-headed Johnson rotating point guard system run by RonJohn, TJohn and AJ looks pretty solid in its early trials...but Raphael (pronounced Ray-fell...not Raf-ee-ell) Davis' ability to aggressively attack the basket is already proving to be effective...which is a carry-over from Italy. Sure, that might change a bit this Friday when Purdue plays its first D-1 opponent, but the fact that he relies on driving first and the jumper second will put pressure on defenses to get back and get into position. TJohn and Davis might help create opportunities from the outside for AJ and Byrd (who hasn't gotten into a rhythm just yet). I'm pretty sure though, that Byrd's hard work in the off-season will pay dividends when the games start to get important.
Tomorrow is election day...and I think this is the most-important presidential election I've seen in my lifetime. And while I won't tell you how you should vote, I will suggest you vote on the issues that mean the most to you and your family...and if you don't know the issues or the differences between these two candidates, it shouldn't take too much research for you to figure it out. Get educated and exercise your freedom to make a difference.
Also, try not to rely too heavily on "fact-checking" sites...most have a bias one way or the other. Not all sites can be as fair as this, the greatest site in all of the land.
We're blessed to live in a country in which peaceful, fair elections and subsequent smooth transitions of power are the norm. It's a tremendous waste of freedom and disrespectful to those who continue to fight for our nation, not to care enough to vote.