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Golden Nuggets for 11.25.08

A couple posts down, GN noted the hard news from Monday that offensive line coach Phil Meyer had resigned.

As a former reporter, I'm always skeptical when someone "resigns." Dan Monson "resigned" after all, and we all know that he had to be led to that decision. The collapse of this football team, culminating in one of the more embarrassing games in Minnesota football history Saturday was partially to do with offensive line woes.

I can't sit here and talk offensive line technique, maybe some of you can, but I do want to come to Meyer's defense a little. His offensive iine was hit with injuries all season and it is incredibly young. I believe we started three freshman against Iowa. My point here is that although the o-line was abysmal for most of the year, Meyer didn't have a lot to work with.

Meanwhile, offensive coordinator Mike Dunbar did little to help offset the team's primary offensive weakness. It had been clear at the beginning of the Big Ten season that the offensive line wasn't capable of creating a pocket for Weber really ever. Do you think we rolled Adam Weber away from the pocket enough to take some of that heat off of one of our lineman? And did we keep a tight end in to block often? Or a fullback? Do we even have a fullback?

The offensive line needs to be priority #1 in the offseason for Brewster and his recruiters. That would have been the case whether Meyer was here or not. But it could have been a less obvious need had Dunbar tried to mask the weakness just a little.

  • Marcus Fuller of the PiPress suggests Brewster consider bringing back Gordy Shaw from the Glen Mason regime. Shaw was popular among area high school coaches in the area. From a purely public relations perspective, I doubt this happens. It would be an admission on Brewster's part he should have kept Shaw to begin with.
  • Dave Campbell of the AP thinks Mike Dunbar should be fired. I'm not sure I agree, but I have always preferred coordinators who are trying to make a name for themselves. Mike Tomlin comes to mind. He busted his rear with the Vikings to get his shot with Pittsburgh. That said, Brewster probably needs vets around him. Anyway, harsh words from Campbell:
    In the Big Ten standings, so far, it’s the same old middle-of-the-pack situation, but in two years Brewster and prized offensive coordinator Mike Dunbar have taken what was a proud, powerful running attack and literally driven the Gophers into the ground by forcing the trendy spread offense upon them. Brew up something different, coach. This is unwatchable. After the 55-0 defeat Iowa whacked them with on Saturday night, the Gophers left the Metrodome for the last time. They’re going outside where the sport ought to be played, and despite Minnesota’s warmer-than-you-think fall weather — the average gameday temperature over the last six seasons was 64.3 degrees — the natural conditions will demand an even greater ability to run the ball well. "That’s an area where obviously there’s going to be some great focus of mind," Brewster said. "We’ve got to find a way to run the football better." So get rid of Dunbar before he enters the final year of his contract. Call up Gordy Shaw, the well-regarded offensive line coach under Glen Mason, and make him your offensive coordinator.
  • In Down with Goldy's review of Saturday night's men's basketball win over Colorado State, the blogger praises Blake Hoffarber and questions Travis Busch's decision to toss up six shots.
  • Speaking of Down with Goldy, somehow they are on this list but TDG isn't. Hmmmmmmm.
  • Some jerk at The Bleacher Report--which I don't think I'm linking to anymore--called the University of Minnesota fanbase "horrific" and "rather pathetic" because Iowa fans travelled north and had a significant presence in the Metrdome Saturday. Oh, he added that we're "not worthy of a new stadium." With columns like that I'm not sure the writer is wroth a spot even on some random Internet outpost like the Bleacher Report.
  • Some Indiana football fans are asking Bill Lynch to resign.