Part 1 in a series of posts on the Tim Brewster Era.
Off the Field Issues
- On the Field
- Year Three
Public Relations - a method to his madness or is he just mad?
This may be the biggest area of weakness or strength depending on who you ask or what your point of view is. One of our brilliant TDG writers would tell you Brewster has been a nightmare from a PR standpoint (I don't want to say who but his initials are PJS). I do not want to put words in PJS's mouth but I think I'm safe in assuming what I just typed is fairly accurate. Brewster came in making statements that months later proved to be outrageous...
"The other thing I wanted to talk about is the type of football team we're going to have and what the expectations are for this football team. My expectations from day one are going to be to win the Big Ten Championship. That's what the seniors deserve and what everybody deserves."
"Our expectation is to win a Big Ten Championship now. We're not interested in any rebuilding process. I'm very fortunate that I'm not coming into a situation that is decimated where there are no players. There are players here. Glen Mason did an excellent job at this university and coached these kids well. They've won a lot of games. They're not void of talent, so we're in a little different situation here than it is at most places that are going through the hiring process. I'm very excited that it's not a complete rebuilding process."
These were quotes made within the first few days of being hired. Clearly outlandish and inaccurate. Maybe Brewster was disillusioned with the talent he had, maybe he was just trying to instill confidence in his team or maybe he didn't know what he was doing. Regardless of his intentions people took notice and when his team stumbled to a 1-11 record it looked foolish.
Personally I love that he walked into the Bierman building and dared to say the words "Rose Bowl." I think the building shook when he uttered those words, but why be afraid of the Rose Bowl? That's the goal. Maybe he fails but I appreciate raising the bar and trying to attain new heights rather than lowering it and always meeting mediocre expectations. I'm not giving him a 'A' in this department as he often goes overboard and leaves himself open to the butt of jokes. But raising the bar and getting people excited is not a crime.
Clearly Brewster needs work in this department. From a coaching standpoint I can see the value in getting your players to believe they are capable of more than they think they are capable of. From the standpoint of the athletic department I see the value in getting your fan base excited and purchasing tickets (which happened). From a recruiting standpoint clearly Brewster's excitement and passion helps to draw kids into his program. But there has to be some restraint shown. There is a time to be a salesman and a time to be realistic, he has not learned this balance. I believe in getting people excited and I love that rather than lowering expectations to a point that he can't help but exceed them he is raising the bar. But you also do not want to make your program look foolish and be the butt of jokes. Guys like Paterno, Tressel and Bowden are able to get their kids to play at a high level, win on a regular basis and recruit talented kids while still being able to call it like they see it. I admire his passion and enthusiasm but this is an area that could stand some improvement.