Monday, October 19, 2009

Couple more random thoughts

Let me say for the record, that's not Dr. Rob at the porclain throne in the my picture after the UK game. I've gotten a couple of texts about taking pictures of Rob in his underwear. So just to clear that up...

After the presser today w/ Chiz, its blatantly obvious that everyone sees problems and asking questions about our weakside LB situation. Could it be that Ted Roof has what we in the eyecare/bloggin world call Gran's syndrome*?

Gran's syndrome is a condition where although you have a better specimen/talent at a position you become myopic in your coaching and decide to go with a "safer" option at that spot. Here are a few examples:

1999 RB Clifton Robinson over Heath Evans(yeah, that Heath Evans who still plays for New Orleans). Legend has it that early on, Evans went to Gran and told him "I'm the best back you've got." Gran didn't like the bravado I suppose. Evans finally started the Georgia game that year. Auburn led 31-3 at the half.

2003 Cadillac/Ronnie 1st/2nd string. 3rd string Tre Smith(!). Brandon Jacobs 4th string. OK, so more forgivable here. Except for the Tre ahead of Jacobs. Maybe Gran made them do cartwheels over the goal line to see who is next in line. Jacobs transferred and now is the feature back for the New York Football Giants.

The disease at its worst-Tre Smith starts ahead of Kenny Irons (Cartwheels again?) in the Ga Tech game. We can't run the ball at all, and Brandon Cox throws it like 50 times in that game with 4 picks, and we lose. We flouder for a few more weeks. Kenny didn't know the blocking schemes, or so we were told. He figured it out in time for the LSU game, where he famously predicted going for 200+ and backed it up.. Again, maybe it was just too much bravado for Gran to take?

So here we are in 2009, Ted Roof has a cocky, green, all-world juco transfer. He elects for the safe choice in Herring. All of this is totally hypothetical, of course. But I keep hearing similar things. Doesn't know the defense, just not ready, etc. Eltoro was even MIA for the Arkansas game, which tells me its doghouse or injury (likely the former).

Maybe he's in the doghouse. Maybe he really doesn't know the defense. But it's base defense. We don't appear to have any wrinkles/twists/complexities that are hard to learn.(Rob might elaborate more here).

My fear/conspiracy theory is Roof is upset with his talented, confident (borderline cocky) Toro and going with Herring, who is just absolutely getting killed out there.

I know its silly to speculate, but with our depth issues at LB, we need this guy. If it really is a knowledge thing, get him a football tutor. I bet a guy as talented as Freeman can make up for most of it.

Love to hear anyone's thoughts on this silly rambling while I finish my last patient of the day.

* OK, really not a disease, and I love Eddie Gran, but he seemed to miss sometimes with his choices in the RB rotation over the years.


  1. On Eltoro Freeman I also believe it is more than just not picking up the defense. I believe Coach Chizik even referred to it as a "personal issue". If it was only an issue with picking up the defense I think he would have made the trip to Arkansas ... we are far too thin at LB and special teams to leave an able body at home.

    I wonder if Eltoro took serious umbrage to being yanked in the Tennessee game, and said and/or did something that the coaches felt was detrimental to the team. And he is now working his way back into good standing, plus spending some extra time learning the defense.

  2. .....Count me among those who never understood the Clifton Robinson thing, either. Maybe once out of 20 carries he'd break a 10 yards. Otherwise, he was getting tapped down in the backfield. And he had no hope of blocking an SEC linebacker on the blitz, being outweighed by 80 pounds.

    .....I will say this about Freeman, though. Since he came to Auburn, I've been to the A-Day game and the West Virginia games. In the stadium, you're not a slave to the TV camera, and watch stuff away from the ball. Freeman runs great. He looks quick, and has great big old arms that can shed blocks. He was never able to track the ball down, though. He was 100MPH, but always away from the play. I think he had one tackle on A-day, and nothing against West Virginia.

  3. When did Evans hurt his ankle? Seemed like he came in and had an great game and I thought "Finally, a back that is over 170 lbs" and the next play he hurts his ankle and is out for the season.
    How about Ronnie Brown 2001? He looked great early on, then Caddy slowly started establishing himself, and it's like Tubs/Gran decided they were going to just ride Caddy from then on out. Then Caddy goes down in the IB, and where's Ronnie? Dont' know. Cassinius Moore gets the call, until he gets hurt and then it's Chris Butler! Ronnie is basically invisible until Caddy goes down again in 2002 and, low and behold, there's a future #2 pick sitting on the bench who comes in and puts up 1000 yards!