Kliff Kingsbury

As we prepare for the 2017 college football season, few coaches have as hot of a seat as Texas Tech’s Kliff Kingsbury. And when it comes to his job evaluation, apparently other anonymous Big 12 coaches aren’t impressed either. Athlon Sports spoke to coaches in anonymity and here were some of the takes on the Red Raiders head coach. 

“(Kliff) Kingsbury is a hard worker and super talented, but he wasn’t prepared to be a head coach when he got the job and just hasn’t put it all together at this point. He tries to do so much on offense.”  

“There’s really no culture on their defense so they don’t get the results they want.”

“They’ve been great on offense and still not been a good football team the last couple years. That’s ridiculous.”

“The biggest issue is they just can’t tackle. Eventually (defensive coordinator David) Gibbs started playing Cover 1 or Cover 0 so he could line up guys in particular gaps, but if you cant tackle, it doesn’t matter because there’s no one at the third level to make a play if you miss. It’s not on Gibbs. I think a lot of it is because he doesn’t get enough time in practice or enough looks to practice against because they’re so gimmicky on offense. I’m not being critical because it’s a fantastic system, but they never get to see the split zones and isos and those things so as a defensive coach, your players don’t know how to get off blocks or fit runs. People just run it down their throat.”

Uh, this isn’t good.

And there are even more quotes in there from other coaches, which you can see in the link near the top of the article.

Basically, Big 12 coaches think, and when anonymously spoken to admit, what we all say as fans and talking heads: Tech’s defense is so bad it’s embarrassing. The amount of pressure this offense has on it, knowing that scoring 40 points may not win a game (in fact it may still lose you a game by two touchdowns) is not a healthy way to build a program. Hal Mumme to Mike Leach to Art Briles to plenty of other coaches have mastered the ability to win big without a defense that mimics Alabama’s. But you have to be able to get occasional stops.

Maybe this is the year David Gibbs finally figures it out with his unit, but color me skeptical. I do not totally buy the idea that the defensive woes are because they play a gimmicky offense in practice, because as we’ve listed with the coaches above, they had defenses that were “good enough” to win, and win big. As for blaming practice time, please, everyone has the same amount, so that is a pretty poor excuse.

The culture was addressed above and I think that’s a huge part of it. The fact that Kingsbury has been involved with the defense this offseason and is sitting in meetings is important. There’s something to be said as a defensive player when the head coach shows more enthusiasm and care for what is going on on your side of the ball. That will be a good first step. Will it be enough? We will have to wait and see.

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