Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Where are they now - Patrick Nix

Look, I know that when you hire a new offensive coordinator, you need to spin things the right way. But sometimes you just have to scratch your head a little bit. Who am I talking about? Actually, I'm talking about Miami's new OC - Patrick Nix. Check out the comments by new Miami head coach Randy Shannon:

After a long drawn out search for an offensive coordinator, what was it about Nix that made you believe he can fix the numerous problems on offense?

Randy Shannon: "I looked at how Georgia Tech was scoring points. I don't look at yardage. I've been in games at Miami as a player and as a coach where we've had 500 yards of offense, 200 yards rushing, 300 yards passing, but we only scored 10 points. The biggest thing I'm looking at is scoring points and that's what he was doing everywhere he's been as a player and coach. What really caught my eye was what he did when Reggie Ball got suspended. He brought in a freshman that hardly played all season and they scored 35 points. I also notice he'd done a good job with quarterbacks. That was the biggest thing with me. I needed to find an offensive coordinator that does a great job with quarterbacks. To me that was the key to rebuilding this offense. If a guy can coach the quarterback then he knows exactly what the quarterback wants to do and should be doing. What are his reads? what he can, and can not do. Him being a quarterback himself, winning 12 games at Auburn, being a winner, I saw a lot of potential in him."

Ok, first of all, when Reggie got suspended we didn't bring in a freshman. We brought in a redshirt sophomore who's been the #2 guy for 3 years now.

I also notice he'd (Nix) done a good job with quarterbacks.
Ok, what exactly are you noticing? Reggie's career was marked by slow improvement from widly inconsistent to "reducing mistakes" to monstrous flare-out at the end. Frankly, Reggie is the only QB you've been able to see from the Nix era since he was the only one really taking snaps.

Look, I don't want to bash Coach Nix. It's clear he helped our offense. It's clear we scored a few more points a game with him calling the plays. It's clear he still has a lot of potential as a coach. But I'm not buying what Shannon is selling here. Just because Miami lost to GT 2 years running doesn't mean he should put the blinders on to the reality of QB play the past few seasons at GT. Now, if Bennett comes in and sets the world on fire, then Nix at least gets some piece of credit for developing him over the years. But he never developed Bennett to a level that he could overtake the wildy erratic Reggie. That in-and-of-itself just makes you wonder.