Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Offseason to-do list: Texas Tech
By David Ubben
We'll start taking a look at what each program in the Big 12 needs to deal with during the offseason, whether it be in the spring, summer or fall preseason camp. Maybe all three! Who knows?
It's about to get crazy up in here.
The Texas Tech Red Raiders are first.
Double-check the way the program is being run. Maybe they’ve all been freak incidents. At least a few were, especially some of the most notable ones like Eric Stephens’ knee injury against Texas A&M. But in each of the past two seasons, Texas Tech has dealt with more injuries than any other team in the Big 12. It has paid for it, too, especially with a five-win season in 2011. Now’s the time to examine practice habits and how hard players are being pushed before and during the season. Is that contributing to injuries? Only those deep inside the program would have a real idea, but the injuries can’t continue at this rate.
Figure out who’s in and who’s out at running back. Coach Tommy Tuberville recently expressed optimism that Eric Stephens would be able to return in 2012 from a serious knee dislocation he suffered in midseason 2011. What will his role be? DeAndre Washington also tore his ACL late in the season. It could be thin this spring in Lubbock at the positon, but figuring out that rotation in the fall could be pretty tricky.
Learn yet another defense. I don't envy Texas Tech defenders lately. When they're not getting injured, they're having to learn new system after new system. Art Kaufman was Tommy Tuberville's third defensive coordinator in three years, and once again, the Red Raiders will be learning a new system. It was a 3-4 in 2010 under James Willis and a 4-2-5 under Chad Glasgow last year. Now, it's a 4-3. That's not easy, and doesn't help a defense improve -- especially one that badly needs improvement after ranking eighth in the conference in total defense.