Friday, January 22, 2010

What Can We Expect from Jeff Horton

Ok, I've had a chance to calm down. Jeff Horton is our offensive coordinator. Jeff Horton is our offensive coordinator. JEFF FREAKING HORTON IS OUR FREAKING OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR!?!?!?

I don't love this choice. Not at all. Not even a little bit. Brewster went out and got himself a Yes Man, a guy with no future of ever being a head coach again, let alone an offensive coordinator. Since getting canned at UNLV back in 1998 Horton has been a career position coach at best. 1999-2005 coaching QB's at Wisconsin. 2006-08 with some bad Rams teams (they won a grand total of 11 games in those three seasons) his job was, according to his bio, "assisting with special assignments and administrative duties." Seriously. And that was as recently as two years ago. Last season he was QB coach with Detwah, and all sarcasm aside, looked to do a pretty good job with #1 overall pick Matt Stafford. I mean it's the Lions- the fact Stafford didn't get killed, injured, or throw 9,473 picks has to be seen as a victory, right?

Still, not exactly the resume I was hoping for, and not one that inspires me to believe great things are ahead for our offense in 2010. You wonder if guys like Heupel or any of the other candidates were ever seriously interested, or if they interviewed just to get their name out there, and lauged in Brew's face when he told them they were not only coming into a situation where they could very well be one-and-done, but they were also going to be forced to run someone else's offense. It'd be one thing if you got the playbook and schemes to an offense created by Mike Leach or Brian Kelly, but to be forced to run an offense that produced the worst offense in the Big Ten and one of the worst in all of college football?

No wonder Horton's the guy we ended up with. Who else would be desperate enough to take this job? A guy who hasn't called offensive plays at any level since at least 1998, and even then I don't have confirmation he did so at UNLV. Or previous to that at Nevada.

So Horton's our guy. Judging from the places he's been, we can only guess what this means for us. Obviously we hope it's NOT more of the same of 2009. The ray of hope for me is that in his time at Wisconsin he developed John Stocco and Brooks Bollinger into really good, productive Big Ten quarterbacks. He also certainly seemed to have Stafford going in the right direction with the Lions. Let's hope that means he can get through to Weber and Gray, and get some better production out our signal callers. Another is that he sees Fisch's offense in a different way, and uses different looks to get our QB's rolling out instead of using so many straight drop backs that don't favor the strengths of Weber or Gray.

Obviously, a big part of how well our QB's do are completely out of Horton's hands. So much depends upon Tim Davis getting a heck of a lot more out of our offensive line, and our offensive line opening holes for our running backs so we're not so completely dependent on our passing game to move the ball. Play-action fakes and bootlegs and rollouts don't do much good if the running game isn't a threat, or if the O-line is so porous our QB's are running for their lives.

Jeff Horton, quarterback developer? As my dream of Josh Heupel or anyone else with a pulse has died, this is the hope I'm going to cling to. That and that Brewster knows what he's doing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Minnesota...... We recycle 'scony coach's........

Weclome to the big time!

Go Gophers?