Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Big 12 mailbag: Why Colt McCoy will excel in the NFL
By ESPN.com staff
Here are some Tuesday contributions from my favorite people, my readers.
Anil Rao of West Lafayette, Ind., writes: Tim, I wonder with the strong season and career that Colt McCoy has had at Texas without the benefit of a dominate running game why do many not see him succeeding at the next level? Thanks and keep up the good work on an amazing blog!
Tim Griffin: Anil, thanks for the kind words. I also wonder what McCoy could have done with a more consistent running game. In 2008, there was no doubt that he was Texas’ most consistent running threat. He likely would have been that player last year if the Longhorns’ coaches had used him more in that role.
I think it will be interesting to see what he accomplishes at the next level. After watching him play for four seasons, I’ve seen him come back better each season from the previous one. I also think he will be driven by perceived slights if his draft status doesn’t match what he might think it should be.
The pro scouts that I talk to say the best comparison in his football makeup is Drew Brees, who was similarly doubted coming out of college. McCoy is bigger and stronger than Brees, which I think makes his chances a little better to play well at the next level.
I think McCoy's underrated arm, his leadership and his moxie as a player will help him succeed at the next level. I think somebody picking late in the first day of the draft will be picking up a steal if they pick McCoy.
Curtis from Lincoln, Neb., writes: This is moderately old news, but it was said after the Holiday Bowl that Nebraska quarterback Zac Lee injured his wrist and later his elbow early last season, leading to his sub-par performances and the one-game starting spot for the talented but raw freshman, Cody Green. Lee later rebounded for a respectable showing in the Holiday Bowl, and has had surgery to repair it.
So, with this in mind, who do you think is going to win the quarterback battle at Nebraska? Will it be Lee or Green?
Tim Griffin: Lee’s injury woes kind of put his late-season struggles in some perspective. But I was always waiting for Green to really jump out and impress me when he got a chance to play last season. I didn’t see that late in the season -- in fact, it seemed like he regressed as the season continued and he started playing the tougher defenses in the Big 12.
It will be interesting to see how Lee rebounds after getting a chance to recover from his surgery. I think he’ll go into spring practice as the favorite, but Green will have the opportunity to win the job with a big performance.
But that being said, I look for Lee to win the job and be Nebraska’s opening game starter on Sept. 4 against Western Kentucky. Green will play some next year. And I think the Wildcat that Shawn Watson dusted off during the Holiday Bowl could really be a huge weapon with Rex Burkhead and Green as the tailback in that offense. Look for that plan next season.
Chase Gosselin from Trujillo, Peru, writes: Should Missouri join the Big Ten, would the Big 12 have a shot at convincing BYU or Utah to replace the Tigers? In addition to maintaining conference alignment, either of these universities would bring another quality team to the Big XII, expand the conference's geographical television reach, supply strong fan bases (particularly BYU with LaVell Edwards Stadium), and provide another non-BCS conference team with a chance to earn some serious money.
Tim Griffin: Chase, I agree that both would be good long-term additions if the Big 12 should ever have a vacancy. One thing that would be important would be to nail down Colorado as a significant conference member. It would look unwieldy if either of the Utah schools was added without the Buffaloes remaining in place.
But in terms of facilities, strength in other sports and football tradition, either the Utes or the Cougars would be a nice addition for the Big 12.
Dan Beebe would prefer not to worry about that, however. I think he’d like to keep Missouri in place, if he could.
Davey Jones writes: Is your comment system working today, Tim? You had some interesting blogposts that I and others would like to have been able to comment on. What’s the problem?
Tim Griffin: I was told that our production people have just gotten a solution to this problem only a few minutes ago.
Thanks for your patience in this and come back later to post any comments you think might be relevant to my posts and the ones of the other bloggers. We appreciate the feedback.
Adam Jacquez of Raleigh, N.C., writes: Hey Tim, in regards to your all-decade Big 12 team, I was wondering why you chose Chase Coffman over Jermaine Gresham. In my opinion, Gresham was a much better all-around player. If Gresham had played in 2009, would it have swayed in your choice of Coffman?
Tim Griffin: I based my choices on productivity and longevity. As such, I thought that Coffman was the choice over Gresham. During the 2008 season, Gresham was the more productive player, but I thought over the course of both players’ careers that Coffman was the better player and deserving of my selection.
But to answer your question, if Gresham had played in 2009 and had a similar season as the one he had the previous year, I would have definitely given him more consideration for the all-decade team. The fact he missed 2009 really hurt his chances.
J.L. from Marshall, Va., writes: Hey, Tim wasn't Mike Sherman hired by Texas A&M because he was known as a defensive wizard? If so, how will hiring another defensive wizard help A&M turn around their recent struggles.
Tim Griffin: J.L., Sherman’s background before becoming a head coach was as an offensive coach and particularly an offensive line coach. From 1983-96, he coached the offensive line at a variety of colleges, with a one-season break as the offensive coordinator at Holy Cross in 1988. He was the Green Bay Packers’ tight ends coach in 1997-98 before serving for one season as the Seattle Seahawks’ offensive coordinator.
Sherman then was Green Bay’s head coach from 2000-05 and served as assistant head coach for the Houston Texans in 2006 and as their offensive coordinator the following season before arriving at Texas A&M as the head coach in 2008.
I think the hiring of Tim DeRuyter as A&M’s new offensive coordinator was a wise move by Sherman. DeRuyter had much success coaching at the Air Force. It will be interesting to see if his strategy and techniques will work as he moves up in class and starts calling defenses against the more talented teams he will regularly face in the Big 12.
Christopher Luce from Columbus, Neb., writes: I was wondering if you had a quick list of Big 12 stadiums and their actual seating capacities? Mainly, because I don't want to do the math. Your list doesn’t have one included. Can you help me with the most up-to-date numbers you can find?
Tim Griffin: Christopher, your wish is my command. I went through the last home media notes sheet for every Big 12 team to get the listed seating capacity for their final 2009 home game. Here’s the list I was able to come up with.
Thanks again for all of the good letters and check back again Friday with the next edition of my mailbag.